New plaque marking life of Titanic survivor installed in Chadwell Heath park
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:10 02 March 2020
Barking and Dagenham Council
A new plaque commemorating the life of a Titanic survivor has been installed in St Chad’s Park.
The original memorial to Eva Hart, who spent most of her life in Chadwell Heath, was put in the park in 1996.
But over time, the plaque became damaged by the elements and a member of the British Titanic Society contacted Barking and Dagenham Council to ask if it could be replaced.
And on Thursday, February 20, it was replaced - with members of the society, the Swiss Titanic Society and council staff gathering to unveil the new plaque.
It is located next to a tree which was planted shortly after Eva's death aged 91, and where the original plaque was situated.
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Eva, who was born in Ilford, was just seven when she boarded the Titanic with her parents.
The family, who were travelling as second class passengers, were on their way to start a new life in Winnipeg, Canada, when the ship struck an iceberg.
Eva and her mum Esther survived, but her dad Benjamin was among more than 1,500 passengers and crew to drown.
As an adult, Eva - who was made a MBE in 1974 - spoke out about the disaster and criticised the lack of lifeboats on the vessel. She was involved with many films and documentaries about the sinking of the Titanic.
As well as being remembered with the plaque and tree in St Chad's Park, she has also had a pub named after her - The Eva Hart in High Road, Chadwell Heath.
Cllr Saima Ashraf, Barking and Dagenham Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement said: "It is important we commemorate Eva Hart's life, not only because she was a local resident, but also because of her time dedicated to tell her story of what happened on that fateful night the RMS Titanic sank.
"I would like to thank both the British and Swiss Titanic societies for working together to source a replacement plaque and our park rangers team for installing it."