The unveiling of the Bethnal Green Stairway to Heaven Memorial took place on the 17th December 2017. It was a moving occasion with the few survivors of the disaster and the doctor on duty that evening aged 102, still with us for the unveiling.
Bethnal Green was the site of the largest civilian disaster of the second world war and took place on March 3rd 1943. 173 men, women and children were crushed to death in the narrow entrance to the underground station being used as a bomb shelter during an air raid. Sworn to silence the relatives bore their loss without recognition of the horrors that unfolded that evening.
The memorial is the culmination of 11 years work for the Architect Harry Paticus and 6 years (on and off) for the Green Oak Carpentry Company. The ‘Big Box’ was made entirely from Teak (Tectona grandis) sustainably grown in the plantations of Java, finger jointed into long lengths and then glued into 150mm square beams to form the sides and roof. 173 tapered cones were cut in the roof to represent the victims, and the names engraved into the sides with a specially designed type face called ‘Bethnal Green’.
The Green Oak Carpentry Company are proud and delighted to have been involved in helping to bring this project to realisation. A short news report video about the unveiling of the Stairway to Heaven memorial can be viewed here.