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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Simple ceremony for rail victims
Memorial unveiled to the victims of the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in 1999
The memorial is a reminder to all about what happened
Three children bereaved by the Paddington rail disaster unveiled a memorial to the 31 people who died - exactly two years after it happened.

Many of the 200 at the ceremony in west London wiped away tears as Piers Beeton, 12, his sister Olivia, nine, and Antoine Manning, two, unveiled the 10-foot high, 10-tonne memorial.

Sculpted by Richard Healy, the work stands in an memorial garden being constructed overlooking the scene of the crash on 5 October, 1999, near Ladbroke Grove.


I very much regret that the government has used the second anniversary of the crash to put out a grossly misleading statement

Victims' solicitor, Louise Christian
However, the ceremony was marked by the anger of families of the victims and a solicitor representing them, who continue to feel rail safety is not being given the attention it needs.

The Right Reverend Michael Colclough, the Bishop of Kensington, referred to the continuing anger felt by injured victims and bereaved relatives.

As he conducted the ceremony, he said: "The memorial has no neat frills and does not have all the stone polished, so its stark ruggedness reminds us of understandable and righteous anger".

Olivia and Piers, who live in Brighton and are both pupils at Brighton College, lost their father Anthony, 47, in the crash.

Mr Beeton, from Didcot, Oxfordshire, was a senior civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office.

Antoine was eight weeks old when his father Delroy, 39, a builder from Lewisham, south east London, was killed in the crash.

Floral tributes were placed at the foot of the memorial, which carries the name of each victim.

Firefighters attend to the smouldering wreck of one of the trains.
31 people died in the crash in October 1999
Before the unveiling, in bright sunshine, the Bishop of Kensington, the Right Reverend Michael Colclough, called for a one-minute silence in memory of the dead.

He said the crash had: "left families and friends of both the bereaved and the survivors stunned and apprehensive of the future".

Bishop Colclough also said: "It is a strong memorial, and a vivid reminder to all who pass by, on rail track or road, of an event that we as a nation must not forget".

Margaret Beeton, mother of Piers and Olivia, said: "The unveiling of the memorial is a final goodbye from us to Anthony."

On rail safety she said: "They are trying, but it's taking so long.

"Nobody wanted anyone to go through what we went through again, but already other people have."

Solicitor Louise Christian, who represents some of the bereaved, criticised transport secretary Stephen Byers' statement on Friday that all trains using Paddington station, would be fitted with train protection systems by the end of 2001.

Ms Christian said: "I very much regret that the government has used this second anniversary to put out this grossly misleading statement.

"The government knows perfectly well that the bereaved want automatic train protection on trains and they should have forced all train companies using Paddington to have it fitted."

'Money not safety'

Some of the bereaved flew in from America and South Africa, while Angus and Christine Stewart arrived on Wednesday from Wellington, New Zealand.

Mr Stewart, originally from Scotland, lost his son Allan, 28, a chartered accountant from Reading in Berkshire, in the crash.

Mr Stewart condemned the lack of progress in rail safety improvements.

He said: "People seem more interested in making money than safety.

"I think there's much to be done. There still seems little to prevent trains going through red signals."


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