Hatfield rail crash: a town remembers

A memorial service will be held on Sunday to mark ten years since the Hatfield rail disaster.

ON October 17, 2000 at 12.10pm a train bound for Leeds left King’s Cross; 13 minutes later and travelling at 115mph it derailed just south of Hatfield station killing four men.

*Peter Monkhouse (pictured below right), a 50-year-old advertising executive, from Leeds.

*Steve Arthur, 46, from Pease Pottage, West Sussex, worked in the aircraft leasing business.

*Leslie Gray, a 43-year-old solicitor, from Tuxford, Nottinghamshire.

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*Robert Alcorn, 37, from Auckland, New Zealand, was an airline pilot.

ST Etheldreda’s Church in Old Hatfield will once again become a place to remember those killed and affected by the derailment – as it did a decade ago.

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The doors were opened by the then Bishop of St Albans, Christopher Herbert, for people to come and pay their respects in the days after the crash, with ministers on hand to provide support and counselling.

The church will be the scene of a special service, which is open to all, this Sunday.

The service of readings and hymms including Put thou thy trust in God, The Lord is my Shepherd and Make me a channel of your peace, will begin at 11.15am.

It is set to conclude at noon, when the families of those who lost their lives will be escorted to the trackside memorial to mark the time of the crash at 12.23pm.

At the same time the public are invited to a reception in the church hall, where they will also acknowledge the time of the accident with a minute’s silence at 12.23pm.

Welwyn Hatfield mayor Howard Morgan said: “On this, the 10th anniversary of the crash, it is right and proper that we remember those who lost their lives.”

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