Local celebrities have stepped in to complete the missing part of a memorial to the 1943 Bethnal Green tube disaster.Families of the disaster’s 173 victims have been fundraising for five years to complete the memorial in time for its 70th anniversary on March 3.
But while benches, a plinth and plaques have all been installed, £100,000 is still needed to complete an upside-down staircase which will form the final part of the ‘Stairway to Heaven’
The Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust will stage a concert in St John’s Church in Bethnal Green on Saturday night to try and raise the extra money.
Sandra Scotting, the Trust’s honourary secretary, said: “It has been labour of love working for this, and it feels tremendously important for us see this to the end.
“We have had an awful lot of support from the local community, but are still in desperate need for funds to build the stairway part.”
The gig will star Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, formerly of 1981 Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz. Baker was born and went to school in Bethnal Green.
They will be supported by singer/songwriter Jessica Goyder, who has performed at Glastonbury, and Peter Sceats, who has written a song about his aunt who died in the diasaster.
18-year old Eimile Donohoe and twin sisters Natalie and Kylie Stroud are also set to perform.
The tragedy occurred when the noise of anti-aircraft rockets fired from nearby Victoria Park caused a panic at the stairs of the station, then in use as an air raid shelter.
173 men, women and children were crushed to death, making it the largest loss of civilian life in Britain during World War Two.
Scotting said that the group was “determined to fundraise until the completion of the memorial” – but was uncertain if it would be finished by the anniversary.
Designed by local architect Harry Paticas, the memorial will have 173 cone shapes at the top of the stairs, allowing light to come through as the sun moves.
The event is taking place at St John’s Church, next to Bethnal Green underground station, on Saturday October 6 at 7.30PM.
Tickets can be bought in advance from the Fountain Pub, Sceptre Road, E2, or at the door. For more information, click here.