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Memorial held near Euston station at exhumation site for HS2

PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 August 2017

Campaigners attempt to save trees in and around Euston Picture: @stopHS2

Campaigners attempt to save trees in and around Euston Picture: @stopHS2

Archant

Camden residents held a final memorial for 61,000 souls buried in St James Gardens before the process of exhuming all of the bodies in preperation for HS2 begins.

A lady 'yarn bombs' a tree in St James Gardens Picture: @stopHS2A lady 'yarn bombs' a tree in St James Gardens Picture: @stopHS2

Scores of peoplecame to the church, situated next to London Euston station. to pay their respects on Wednesday.

It comes after residents campaigned to save the site and the many London plane trees. Action group, Save Euston’s Trees, was created to challenge HS2 but is also an attempt to save any further trees from being chopped due to make way for construction of the new high speed train line. Recently, residents have opted to “yarn bomb” threatened trees, by knitting scarves round them to highlight their plight, but recently, these woollen reminders have been disappearing.

The development of HS2 in the area has not proved popular. Resident, Marian Kamlish, 92, said: “In times of austerity, this vanity project is an insult to those in the NHS, in education, in the fire services and the police force, all suffering cuts while this rich man’s railway sucks up over a hundred billion of our money.”

Whilst Dorothea Hackman who is the church warden and volunteers at the nearby Euston food bank said: “It is obscene to spend around £100billion on a railway for which the economic case is not proven. We should not be allowing diesel engines to continue to pollute the air and poison our children.”More than 500 trees will be lost in Camden. StopHS2, the national campaign against this development, believe that these trees are vital to cleaning the air of one of London’s most polluted boroughs.

Campaigners at the final memorial service at St James Gardens Picture: @stopHS2Campaigners at the final memorial service at St James Gardens Picture: @stopHS2

It has even been reported that residents have been told to keep their windows shut for 17 years because of air and noise from pollution which will arise as a result of HS2 construction.

Representatives from the HS2 programme were at the memorial and were happy to facilitate with the event. An HS2 spokesperson said: “Though the former burial ground at St James’s Gardens has not been in use for more than 100 years, we will ensure that we treat the site with dignity, respect and care. As such, we will continue to work closely with the local community, the Archbishops’ Council, the local parish, Historic England and other organisations as we proceed with the next phase of the project.”

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