It has been a really busy but exciting few weeks, so apologies for not updating my blog recently.
We had an amazing evening for our Parliamentary Reception on 28th February hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow, and arranged by our wonderful local MP Rushanara Ali. The Speaker’s House, where the reception was held, is a superb place and we had the use of 4 rooms with a 4-poster bed in the last room. The works of art in the rooms are very impressive. We enjoyed some delicious nibbles and wines thanks to sponsorship by Canary Wharf PLC.
As well as a very amusing speech by Mr. Bercow, who told us that his father grew up in Dalston, East London, our patron Tommy Walsh spoke about the disaster and the Memorial we are raising funds for. He asked for help from the local business representatives in the room. Rushanara made a lovely speech about the importance of remembering the disaster and all the people affected by it.
We were joined by our other patrons Cheryl Baker and Harry Harris, as well as Len Goodman (who lost an uncle in the disaster) and his new wife Sue, plus lots of lovely Pearly Kings & Queens and representatives from businesses all over the East End. Paddy Piano entertained us with some beautiful background music. It was such an enjoyable evening that nobody wanted to go home!! Our thanks to all the staff at the Speaker’s House for all their help with the arrangements for the evening.
Then on 3rd March we held the 70th anniversary Memorial Service. A fuller report is below on our opening page, but I can tell you that I was overwhelmed by the amount of people that attended. When I looked up at the end of the Service to see the Church completely full, with people in the top balconies and also standing at the back, it was really gratifying to see. We think there was over 550 people inside the church and more outside on the Memorial site. Thank you all so much for coming along, especially as I know that so many of you have long and difficult journeys. It certainly made all the planning worthwhile. And it was wonderful to hear such super comments about the Memorial too now that the first phase is finished and it looks so good.
The flowers and wreaths placed on the Memorial at the end proved to be such an emotional sight. People have been looking around it every day since, and at all times of the day whenever we have been there to visit it. Many have been in tears reading the labels and cards that accompanied the floral tributes. The nice thing is that lots of people are also reading the individual plaques and talking to each other as they walk around it.
There are lots of people to thank including the wonderful Design Team (Harry Paticas & Tom Raymont of Arboreal Architecture) for their attention to detail and their vision in helping us produce such a wonderful Memorial. Also for working very hard and long hours, far more than they have ever been paid for. Also, to the many people involved in the building process – all are listed on our acknowledgements page. Also, thanks to our wonderful patrons who work hard to raise the profile as well as funds for us. To Fr. Alan Green, the Rector of St. John on Bethnal Green Church, for conducting such an uplifting and comforting Memorial Service and helped by Rev’d Stuart Lee. And a big thank-you to all the survivors who came along on the day, despite ill health and difficult journeys. It was wonderful to see so many – about 30 we think. I hope you have all given your contact details to Dr. Toby Butler of the University of East London as recordings of your memories will be undertaken early in the summer.
We have undertaken 6 station collections in the last month and raised good amounts. We will now take a few weeks break to try to obtain some funds towards the final part of the memorial in the hopes of having it finished as quickly as possible.
The station collection day at Liverpool Street station in February raised £584.10. Thanks to all those who donated as they passed through this busy station and a special thank-you to all those who helped out on the day.
In the run-up to Christmas we were all so busy with fund-raising events that I haven't had time to update things I'm afraid. But we raised lots of money at the Festive Fair at St. John on Bethnal Green Church and would like to thank Fr. Alan Green for permission to use their forecourt for the sales days. Also, we had a very enjoyable time at Shoreditch Town Hall for their design show and met lots of lovely people there at the same time as raising funds. Our thanks to Gideon and Della for permission to be there. Plus, of course, station collection days at Bethnal Green, Highbury & Islington, Mile End and Stratford, plus West Ham football club, Weavers Field firework display and Kind Edward Memorial Park Halloween event. June Blackman raised over £900 for us on the fairwell evening at the Fountain pub in Sceptre Road, which had to close after she had been the landlady for over 25 years. It was a very sad night and we thank June for all her hard work raising funds for us over the years and also helping sell tickets, etc from there. We wish her and her husband good health and happiness in their enforced retirement.
So, our thanks to everyone involved in allowing us to collect donations at these events, to everyone who gave us donations and all our wonderful volunteers who braved the coldest of temperatures or rain most of the time. We really appreciate everyone's help throughout the year too and want to thank you all for your support and time in 2012 and wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.
Now 2013 is here we have to find that final chunk of money quickly so we can add the 'stairway' part of the Memorial and have it completely finished during the 70th anniversary year. Any help or suggestions you might have for raising funds will be very much appreciated.
Sandra (hon Sec/Trustee)
The Charity Celebrity Concert in aid of the Bethnal Green Memorial on Saturday 6th October was a great success. It was held in St. John’s Church next to Bethnal Green underground station.
Our patron, Tommy Walsh was the compere for the evening and he made sure everything ran smoothly and with lots of humour. He started the proceedings explaining about the Bethnal Green tube disaster and the memorial that is being built just across the road from the church. He said that the money raised from this concert will be put towards the final ‘stairway’ part which is all that is outstanding from the project.
Peter Sceats opened the event by singing ‘Vicky Park Guns’ which he wrote in memory of his relative Lillian Sceats who died in the Bethnal Green tube disaster at the age of 15. Cd’s of the song were on sale during the evening with all proceeds going to the charity. A few days earlier Peter had sold one of the CDs for $1000 to a friend’s Mum. He presented the cheque to Cheryl Baker, one of our charity patrons (who had grown up in Bethnal Green), which really started off the evening well.
He was followed by Jessica Goyder who played keyboard and sang her own compositions. She is a lovely young woman with a refreshing haunting voice.
She was followed by another brilliant and up-and-coming youngster, Eimile Donohoe, who is an attractive 18 years old. She is a budding talent with a distinctive voice that will clearly go far.
The final act of the first half was from Kyla and Natalie Stroud. These 18 year old twins explained in a very humorous way how they came to write and sing their own song. They sang their own compositions as well as covers of other hits. They are extremely talented and professional, being Cheryl Baker’s daughters, and later doubled up as the backing group to OBF.
After the interlude the group OBF - Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston (formerly Bucks Fizz) came on stage in a blaze of light and sequins and were extremely energetic. They sang their hearts out with lots of their number-one hits, as well as songs from their new album and their versions of several 80’s hits. They had lost none of the sparkling talent from when they first won the Eurovision song Contest and really got everyone rocking. By the end of the evening everyone that could do so, was on their feet and literally dancing in the aisles. It was clear that the audience did not want the concert to end as they were having so much fun.
There were Cd’s for sale by OBF and Jess Goyder who gave some of the proceeds to the charity. We had OBF T-shirts on sale and lots of delicious food (with thanks to June Blackman, Maria Bottono and Annicka for the cakes and Lee Scotting & Tommy Walsh for the rolls and beigel fillings) and the wonderful beigel shop in Brick Lane for their contribution to the refreshments. So there was plenty for everyone. St. John’s ran the bar for their own church funds and we are extremely grateful to them for making the wonderful church available to us for the concert and rehearsals.
It was a super event and everyone left with a feel-good feeling, but the wonderful Cheryl Baker stayed behind to sign autographs, T-shirts and have photos taken with her fans.
Our grateful thanks to all the performers and artists who gave their time freely and helped us to raise almost £2000 towards the ‘stairway’ fund.
The Open House weekend went very well with lots of visitors to the site on 22/23 September. There should be a fuller report on the opening page of our website but we were delighted with the number of visitors despite the plinth not being in place and we had 12 volunteers that offered to become Memorial Guardians to keep an eye on it when it is finished. We raised £273.27 in donations.
On 30th September the afternoon’s book launch at Bethnal Green library was well attended, with a feast of delicious cakes, tea & coffee provided by the lovely author Lynne Whelon who spoke about her book "The Chicken Run". The fictional story mostly revolves around some children living in East London in the 1950's when life was carefree. Interwoven in the background is a lady who had been involved in the Bethnal Green tube disaster and although she had not spoken about it for many years it affected her life and brought mystery to the plot. Lynne very kindly donated some of the book sales money to our charity and organised a raffle at the library which raised £50.55 for us. Copies are available on Amazon.
Later on Saturday evening it was the Premier Performance of the London Requiem at Abney Park Cemetery, composed by Benjamin Till, which included text found on gravestones across London. There was live music and a choir and it took place outdoors in the beautiful setting of the cemetery in North London, on a still, cool, evening, which made the music even more haunting. At the end the audience could take away one of the balloons each and to remember the people mentioned on the label. Some people took them home and some let them off into the night sky. Donations a amounted to £218.27 and there might be more to come .
The East End Jewish Celebration Society‘s film festival day was on the following day. A number of rare and fascinating films of life in the old East End were shown. In the afternoon we saw 'It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow' which was about the Bethnal Green tube disaster from ITV in the early 1970's. The film was written by Bernard Kops and directed by John Goldsmith, both of whom were there to talk about the disaster and the making of the film. Bernard was looking for his mother on the night of the disaster but she was safely down below. So, with her story, and having been there at the time and talking to a number of relatives and survivors next morning, he pieced together what happened and wrote the film, which had been digitally enhanced by ITV for this performance. It is still not possible to obtain permission to make copies of the film, but for those of us who lost loved-ones in the disaster it was a very powerful film. Donations of £71.97 were given during the day.
We are extremely grateful to everyone involved in these events as they have all been so helpful and generous.
Jack the Ripper Mystery Evening 31st August report
Wow, it really was a fantastic evening. Lots of facts about who Jack the Ripper could have been and he was the father of one of our victims, which was the real surprise. Full details are on the opening page of our website but I can’t thank everyone enough who helped to organise it. It made it so interesting and unusual. Tommy Walsh was so good as the narrator and compere. He spoke movingly about the disaster and the two families that were involved in particular. He was brilliant with the ad libbing during the question and answer session at the end.
Cheryl Baker gave up her time and brought in staging, lighting, sound systems and radio mikes, all free of charge, by persuading friends and family to help out. She is a real gem. And she was a brilliant actress in the play too, starring as the murder victim Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols. After she was murdered on stage by the Ripper, I don’t know how she managed to keep so still for so long. She is a true professional.
Sue Lechmere, who acted as Polly’s fellow prostitute, Emily Holland, just agreed to help out as we needed somebody for the part. She had never acted before in her life and it seemed like a bit of fun. That was until the day got nearer and she became sick with worry. She was really nervous and thought she might fluff her lines, but in the end she was word perfect and acted so well that you would not have known she was not an actress. So, well done Sue, especially as her great grandfather could have been the Ripper himself so it was a brave act to take part.
The play and a large part of the evening was written and produced by Edward Stow who knew so many facts and figures about the Ripper murders that he was able to answer all the questions at the end of the evening’s lively Q & A session. Also, Ripperologist, Christer Holmgren, had flown over from Sweden just to reveal all to us. He gave a Powerpoint presentation to the packed audience giving all the facts about the inconsistencies, lies and details that led them both to believe the most likely suspect for Jack the Ripper was Charles Cross. He was a cartman who claimed to have found the first victim, the unsuspecting prostitute Polly Nichols, on August 31 1888.
Cross was discovered standing over the body by the witness Robert Paul. He told the police that he had been walking through Bucks Row on his way to work at Pickford’s depot in Broad Street around 3.45am when he found the body. However, Holmgrem and Stow believe that Cross could have been the killer, but had been disturbed by Paul in the middle of mutilating the poor victim. There were discrepancies in the witness statements of both men and all the subsequent murders occurred in places and times on the route between Cross’s home and work or to his mother’s house.
Cross actually gave a false name to the police. His real name was Charles Lechmere and he was the father of one of the 173 victims of the Bethnal Green Tube disaster in 1943 and of course the great grandfather of Sue who played the part of Emily.
The other cast members were Anthony Smith and Anthony Hull who played Cross and Paul respectively – both had appeared in the opening ceremony of the Olympics and Smith had been in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Wednesday too, so was pretty shattered next day but still had to learn his lines for our play. They came from the Woodhouse Players, Woodford. PC Mizen was played by Dave Trumper from the Hartley Players in Kent, so it was a diverse cast.
The wonderful Beigel Shop in Brick Lane were extremely generous in giving us lots of beigels for the refreshment stall and Barbara and Bev Spicer donated and prepared the fillings and worked on the refreshment table, and Tommy Walsh donated the delicious smoked salmon to put in them.
The cakes that Carly Geary made for the evening were to die for – cup cakes with lovely daisies on (our emblem) and jam sponges that would melt in your mouth. The Spicer and Geary families lost loved ones in the disaster. So, along with Chris Foley (who organised the make-up and wardrobe), the costumes donated by 3-Mills in Bow and Buckles & Breeches in Gravesend, we are so grateful to everyone who gave so much help and time to make it such a very special evening
And a huge thank you to everyone at St. John on Bethnal Green Church who allowed us free use of the venue for our rehearsals and the actual event, as well as their projector, screen, and for organising a bar (which was for their funds) which was so welcome on such a warm night. Everybody has been so kind to us which is how we managed to raise so much money on the night – just over £2,200 as there were no costs to cover at all.
Sandra 077324 60444
I should have told you about Del Wyer who undertook a sponsored climb of Mount Snowdon for us a week ago. He battled the most dreadful weather you can imagine for June - 50mph winds, torrential rain, sleet and just 2 degrees temperature, with virtually zero visibility at the top. He certainly deserves our since thanks and is to be congratulated on completing the climb under those circumstances. I can understand why he says he never wants to see another mountain!! Well done Del and my apologies for not letting everyone known about this wonderful event in advance.
I know that times are hard and you are all very generous, but if you could possible spare a pound or two to sponsor him at this late stage I’m sure it would make his extreme efforts a lot more rewarding and help our ‘stairway’ fund of course. You can sponsor him on our website just click on the ‘donate now’ sign at the bottom of the opening page or by text to 70070 by typing in STHM43 £ (any amount from £2 to £10).
Since my last message to you the Isle of Wight’s Brightstone School pupils have again done some wonderful fund-raising for us. The 20 pupils in Class 4 (all 9 years old) have raised the magnificent sum of £600 for our charity. Well done to them as they were given £1 each to try to make as much money as possible and each child did different things like dog walking, washing up, car washes, odd jobs, etc. They must have worked so hard. They presented the cheque to our newest patron, Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz, who was able to meet them at an educational centre near her in Kent. She spent a lot of time with them having her photo taken with each one and signing autographs. Our thanks to Cheryl and everyone involved at the school for such a brilliant outcome.
The station collection at Stratford on 31st May was hard-going as there had been a lot of train problems that day, but we still managed to collect £350.10, so my grateful thanks to all the helpers on the day (Derek, Maria, Lee, Lynda, Chris Foley, Chris Stanfield, Janet, Connie, Lesley, Sue, Carole, Heloise, Alex and Lizzie) as I was at the Royal Academy for part of the day where the model of our Memorial produced by architect Harry Paticas is still on show until 12th August. Our thanks to all those who donated too.
(firstname.lastname@example.org or 077324 60444 or ring Derek Spicer on 077 22 162 168)
PAST BLOGS FROM 2012.
It's really exciting and also quite daunting. The site has been cleared and work is progressing. The hoarding around the building site has lots of info on it about the disaster and also details about the memorial itself and how to donate to the charity's funds. The 'first dig' - a ceremonial start to the building of the memorial - took place on 1st March with the Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, Tommy Walsh (our patron) and John Biggs (East London's representative at the Greater London Authority) helping our Chairman Alf Morris and other committee members plus local Councillors put the first spade in.
After the photocall we all went along to The Town Hall Hotel (the old Bethnal Green town hall that has been beautifully restored to a 5 star hotel and apartment) just along the road, where a reception had kindly been laid on for us by courtesy of Marie Baxter, the General Manager. The Hotel has been extremely helpful and supportive to us and as well as providing the delicious refreshments for the reception they have also given a very generous donation to the charity.
There are 3 windows in the hoarding so you will be able to watch the work going on.
We have pictures of the progress on the construction page, but hope you will come along and see the work going on from time to time over the next few months.
We have sufficient funds to build the foundations, landscaping, plaques, bench and plinth to the top. We just don't yet have the final chunk of money needed to complete the 'stairway' part. So, we hope very much that by starting the building process anyone that has held back with their donations or sponsorship will come forward so that we can complete the Memorial as quickly as possible.
Despite the cold weather we made £104.87 at the Well Street Common fete on 20th May and lots of lovely contacts and friends. My thanks to Sue Butler for braving the cold with me all day and also to Tommy Walsh for joining us for quite a while with his lovely dog.
It was also very cold for the Tower Hamlets Cemetery’s open day on 6th, but at least it didn’t rain. Sue Butler joined Lee and I for that day too. We enjoyed a wonderful performance of balloons and clowning from one of their 'Charlie Chaplin' entertainers. We only raised £31.77 but it was lovely to be part of the event. Several of our disaster victims are buried in one area there, including my grandmother and cousin. It is very overgrown around their graves due to the rain and recent explosion of vegetation, but the ‘Friends of the Cemetery’ will make a big effort to clear the area in time for the 70th anniversary next March and will also plant lots of spring bulbs. It was also good to be part of a visit by one of our survivors, Ray Lechmere, to his father’s grave, which he had not seen since the burial soon after the disaster. Talking about his experience helped him too, so we were pleased to be included.
Charles Jenkins, in America, has kindly produced a short film appealing for donations that can be viewed at:
You might like to send this to friends and relatives to help them understand more about our project. It is set to the CD written & produced by Pete Sceats and his children in memory of Lilian Sceats. Charles's website is full of information and history about the East End and London landmarks so have a look at the rest of the information and wonderful photos on there.
You will be delighted to know that i was invited to a reception at Clarence House recently to meet HRH Prince Charles. I was able to tell him about our project and he was very gracious and interested. It would be so wonderful if he could agree to unveil the Memorial when it has been completed as he now lives in his Grandmother's house and she was, of course, the favourite of East Enders during the war. Sandra
Another piece of excellent news is that our architect Harry Paticas of Arboreal Architecture, Bethnal Green, produced a beautiful model of the Memorial and submitted it to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. Only a small number of items are selected for the exhibition, but Harry’s model was one of them. So, many congratulations to him and it will hopefully also raise our profile and awareness. It was open to the public from 4th June to 12th August.
The station collection at Fenchurch Street station on 29th March raised £563.80, so our thanks to all those who donated or stopped and spoke to us at the station and to all our helpers - Sue, Janet, Amanda, Alex, Derek & Alf who gave us (Lee and Sandra) breaks during the 12 hour day at the station.
Thanks to the wonderful children at Globe Road school who organised a fund-raising sing-along and raised £72.20 early in March and to the ladies club at Sutton at Hone who donated £41.11 at their March meeting. The station collection day at Bethnal Green underground on 9th March raised £482.55. So thank-you to everyone who donated money to our funds and all the helpers involved during March.
For those of you that were not able to attend the Memorial Service to mark the 69th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube shelter disaster on Sunday 4th March at St. John on Bethnal Green Church we will try to upload as many photos and info as poss over the next few weeks. It was a most beautiful Service and Prebendary Reverend Alan Green (the Rector of St. John's, and also our pastoral trustee) gave such a perfect and uplifting Address. I think we all felt comforted by it. A report did appear on BBC news on Sunday evening (the London local news section), but unfortunately that is not available online.
Leon Silver, President of the East London Central Synagogue, also gave a wonderful address and hopefully you will be able to read more on our website soon. John Biggs, Esat London reproesentative of the Greater London Authority, read the first Lesson and Tommy Walsh did the 2nd one. Then the names of all 173 victims with their ages, were read out while 173 candles were lit on the altar. It was really moving.
After the Service I gave a brief update about the building process and also thanked our Design Team for all their hard work in helping us to reach this position of starting the building work despite several ups and downs (mostly out of our control). Particular praise was given to the architect Harry Paticas of Arboreal Architecture who has worked way above and beyond the call of duty and also Davis Langdon, the Quantity Surveyors. Local firm Mayer Brown solicitors, J. Riney & Co and The Town Hall Hotel were all thanked for their pro bono work, reduced costs or donations and support. Also, special thanks go to our patron, Tommy Walsh, for all his advice and help on the building side. Without him and so many local companies we would not have been able to achieve our goal of building Phase 1 of the memorial.
The first phase of the building works will take us up to the top of the plinth and will include the foundations, plinth, plaques, landscaping and replanting. Phase 2 will be the 'stairway' part that we don't yet have the money for.
After the Service we crossed the road, led by Nick Risdale of the Civil Defence Association with his standard, Rushanara Ali the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, John Biggs, Tommy Walsh and the rest of the Stairway committee with our wreaths and flowers to lay on the railings in memory of our loved ones. Rev. Alan Green gave a blessing and we observed a minute's silence - well as silent as it can be in Roman Road!!
The church had been packed this year, despite the weather, and so many people brought flowers and wreaths which made a wonderful sight by the railings. Derek Spicer helped lay them all out despite his broken wrist. I hope you will be able to look at them before they fade.
Then everyone returned to the church for refreshments and to talk to each other. Many different sides of families, that never knew each other before, were able to meet up. Survivors were encouraged to give their account of what happened to them. I hope that talking about it helps some of them, just as counselling would have helped them if it had been availalbe in 1943.
We had CD's of 'Lilians Theme - Vicky Park Guns' a song written and sung by Pete Sceats and his children, in memory of his aunt Lilian Sceats, who died in the disaster aged 15. They are on sale for £3 along with books, T-shirts, pens, mugs, etc. With the sale of goods, donations for the refreshments and donations in envelopes we raised £1103.13 that day, which was truly magnificent and we are very grateful to everyone who came along and joined us for a memorable day. The day before the Service, Saturday 3rd March - the actual anniversary of the disaster - Councillors from all parties on Tower Hamlets Council completed a 5K sponsored run in Victoria Park. They were joined by local MP Rushnara Ali. It was a very special day and everyone did amazingly well. Cllr. Joshua Peck, arrived at the finishing line first, followed by Cllr. Alibor Choudhury. Both guys looked very fit.
We are so grateful for all their efforts, especially as they had been training in all that freezing cold weather beforehand. Their hard work paid off as they have so far raised £5,400 for us, which is an amazing amount and we are really delighted that this has given a brilliant start to the 'stairway' fund. Well done to all the councillors who took part and we hope you have now recovered.
THE CHARITY'S AGM 2012 ; PRESENT TRUSTEES
The Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust’s AGM took place on 31st March 2012. We were able to welcome some new trustees to our committee which is a great help to those of us who have been on it since the charity was first formed on 30th March 2007. We approved the annual accounts which had been professionally audited ready to send off to the Charity Commission.
All the existing trustees were prepared to continue in their role: Raju Vaidyanathan, Anna Reid, Barbara Spicer, Frank Summers, Lee Scotting, Sandra Scotting, Derek Spicer, Rev. Alan Green and Alf Morris. They are now joined by Christine Foley, Edna Austin, Janet Dye, Sue Butler and Babs Clark (Survivor). Most of the trustees are either survivors, have lost a relative or have some connections to the disaster or are just very willing helpers. As no word had been heard from Terri Fitzpatrick or Sue Camerilleri for some time it was decided that they did not wish to remain in post. So the new trustees will replace them.
Full list of Trustees' roles and background
Alf Morris (chairman) is a survivor of the disaster and he first met the architect Harry Paticas and adopted the Stairway to Heaven Memorial design along with all those who attended the (packed) first public meeting to discuss the building of a memorial to the Bethnal Green tube shelter disaster at the end of 2006. Our Pastoral Co-ordinator Rev. Alan Green is the Rector of St. John on Bethnal Green Church. Our other Trustees are our treasurer & fund-raising coordinator Derek Spicer (whose brother & sister died in the disaster), Barbara Spicer (who lost an aunt and cousin), Hon.Secretary Sandra Scotting (whose grandmother and cousin died in the disaster and her mother and aunt were survivors) who set up the charity in 2007, retired accountant Lee Scotting, marathon runner and fund-raiser Raju Vaidyanathan (youth worker), Anna Reid - who did a sponsored silence when working as a train driver (her Great Nan died in the disaster), Frank Summers is a project manager in a large building company and will help as an unpaid consultant on the building works side, Edna Austin is expert on data and family history and works tracing people for her own agency, Chris Foley (hon admin assistant) lost her grandmother, aunt and uncle, Janet Dye (fund-raiser), her mother is a survivor still living in Bethnal Green, Sue Butler (fund raiser) lost 3 members of her family in the disaster, Babs Clark who is a survivor). Our thanks to all the Trustees and committee members who have worked so hard over the last year. Their help has been invaluable . We now just need to raise the last tranche of money to build the 'stairway' in order to complete the Memorial as quickly as possible.
We were sorry to report the death of Michael Kelly who had resigned as trustee the previous year due to ill health.
All the Trustees pay their own phone, postage, printing, stationery and travel costs. Nothing is taken out of the funds of the charity for admin costs by the Trustees apart from the liability insurance which we have had to take out of the funds in the last year. This means that every penny raised goes towards building the Stairway to Heaven Memorial. All payments are part of the cost of building the Memorial itself which are being made in stages.
Tommy Walsh – formerly of Ground Force, Quest TV’s daily DIY show, Radio London's phone-in and in several TV & radio adverts with his catchphrase "Job Done" – has agreed to be our charity patron.
He is just as lovely in the flesh as he is on TV, so we are delighted about this. Tommy has lots of contacts and hopefully will be able to help us to reduce some of the costs of the Memorial.
Cheryl Baker, of Bucks Fizz fame has also agreed to be a patron of the charity, having grown up and been to school in Bethnal Green.
Harry Harris from Sky's Discovery Channel has also agreed to be a patron of the charity. He and his family also grew up in Bethnal Green.
Our thanks to all our patrons who do a great job of raising our profile. Sandra (Hon. Sec) email@example.com
We still have different coloured filligree earrings for sale at just £1 a pack. We also have copies of Sean Dettman’s book about the disaster costing £10 each so please order your copies as soon as possible.For more information or details about how to order please give one of us a call.
Sandra (Hon Sec/Trustee) 077324 60 444.
Derek (07722 162 168)
Just remember that if every family raised £1000 we would be able to carry on building the final 'stairway' without any delay. Please see what you can do..If you would like to organise a stall or fund-raising event for us just contact me and one of us will help you as much as possible. Thanks, Sandra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have a child or grand child at school that has not had a visit from one of our trustees to give a talk about London during the War as a child and about the Bethnal Green tube shelter disaster please let me have the school details and we will try to arrange it with their Head or history teachers. We don’t mind where it is. Likewise if you belong to a pensioners group, history society, WI, Townswomen's Guild or local club and would like us to come along and give you a talk about the disaster please let me know.
Sandra (Hon. Sec/Trustee) 077324 60 444
For more information about anything to do with the Memorial and the charity please ring Derek Spicer on 07722 162 168 or Sandra on 077324 60 444.