Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 5 January 2000 page 4
Early M’bro Olim
I know of two early Olim, who may be unknown to your readers.
Long before the start of WWI, my uncle and aunt Jacob (Jack) Bergman and aunt Esther (Cohen) lived in Kensington Road and their two children Arthur and Ruth, my cousins, were born there. The family emigrated to the USA around 1923. In 1928 Ruth returned to M’bro, to visit the family, en-route to Palestine, where she remained with husband, Sol Holland, children and grandchildren until she died about five years ago.
The other is John Westwood, an outstanding, typically modest man, who chose to live in Israel and has been a valued asset. We were friends together at the High School and by chance in the same army company in 1939, where we both got into trouble for exchanging our uniforms. We met again after 1946. He was a skillful constructional engineer and had been given the job of taking a set of plans to the new State of Israel to supervise the construction of an electrical power station at Tel Aviv (the "Reading"). Both he and the work were a success. He was popular, met a girl and married. He was asked to carry out similar work in India. He and his wife had then to decide which country to live in and they chose Israel, where he was welcomed by the Israel Electrical Authority. He lives in Tel Aviv to this day.
Finally, I know you have lots of Kindertransport stories, but the Stock family has one of its own. My father Louis was determined to get his sister and her two children out of Germany. He went to the German Embassy in Paris in August 1938 and secured a visa to enter Germany. He then went to the British Embassy in Berlin and got visas for them to enter Britain. The visas were delivered by hand to my aunt at her house, whereupon the three of them left immediately and sailed to M’bro. Today, the daughter lives in England and the son in Jerusalem. My father was a man of action—I still have his old passport with the Nazi visa stamped in it. Harold Stock Ashton under Lyne, England
Many thanks indeed for the enjoyable Newsletters. Sylvia and I moved to M’bro from Glasgow in 1951 and I worked for Thomas Mouget, as I had done in Glasgow, where I knew Egon their son.
In the early days the two main characters were Siegfried Wolf, the owner, and Julius Englander his director. They were both very kind and fair people to work for.
When Susan our daughter was born Mr Wolf gave me £25 "for the little princess". When I asked if this was a production bonus he fell about laughing!
Mr Englander was a fanatical Boro supporter. In the days before floodlighting, mid week matches started at 2.00pm. Mr Englander decided we would start work at 6.00am instead of 7.30am, have a short meal break and finish at 1.00pm instead of 4.00pm so that "anyone" could attend the match!
Riding in any car with Mr Englander was always exciting. He used to drive with his elbows, whilst filling his pipe and spilling ash on his trousers. We all worked very hard—I became area works manager—but they were happy days.
We moved to Newcastle in 1984 and live near Susan and her family. We are very settled here but enjoy hearing the news from M’bro. Vic & Sylvia Couriel Newcastle upon Tyne, England
I was born and lived in Ayresome St until the age of eighteen, when I went to Leeds Medical School. Near us lived Rev Turtledove, the Levys, Barney Jacobs and his two elder sisters, also Jackie Morris and Brenda Lapp. It was a twenty minute walk to Brentnall Street cheder, four times a week. I used to save the penny tram fare in order to buy sweets from the nearby Rabinowitz shop.
I was a member of the Scouts (4th Jewish) and, later on, the Habonim, which had been started by Julian and Sammy Segerman. Terry Greenberg was in charge. Names I recall are Freddy Levy, Allan Freeman, Eric Brown, Arnold Brechner, and Ronnie Niman. The Scouts held camp at Sleepy Hollow and the Habonim at Great Ayton. I recall Allan Miller shouting at me for using a flashlight on Friday night!
In my last year at school, I joined the Home Guard and cycled twice a week over the Transporter Bridge to Port Clarence, where I manned the anti aircraft guns. Fortunately nothing ever happened on my watch. During this period there was an active Young Zionist group which included Hilda Saville, Betty Simon, Ronnie Niman, Mimsie and Rita Goldberg.
After qualifying I served in the RAF in the Suez Canal Zone. My first trip to Israel was to Cyprus in the back seat of a Meteor jet, and then by Cyprus Airways to Haifa. Half of the plane was taken up by food parcels. Things were pretty tough in those days.I joined a general practice in Bradford on demobilisation, and stayed there for nine years. We came to Israel with our three children in 1962.
My grandfather Barnard Reuben died in 1916, nine years before I was born. Grandmother, his second wife, lived till 1938, and altogether he left eleven children. My mother was the last to leave M’bro in 1948. One of my uncles Jules Reubens was a councillor for Cleveland ward from 1923 to 1945.
I recall my great uncle, Noah E Reubens, always in demand as a raconteur at Jewish and other charity concerts, where Rev Wulwick would sing operatic arias, along with great aunt Lilly, who was the mother of Blackpool resident comedian Dave Morris. Barney Gatoff Zahala, Israel
Answers to Quiz no 5
1. Francis, Leahy, Staines, Ratcliffe and Watmough 2. Ms Muddle 3. David Baum; Dennis Broady; Sam Doberman; Lewis Lazarus; Philip Niman; Theo Richardson; David Simon; Harry Simon; Sidney Sive; Harold Stock; Donald Wiseman 4. 1951 5. Barney Gatoff 6. Maurice Marks 7. Freeman and Wolf 8. West Hartlepool 9. Michael Saville and Melvyn Kersh in 1952 10. 11 Lambeth Road