Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 8 October 2000 page 3
I was born in Birmingham in 1956; we moved to M’bro in 1958 and stayed until 1964. I lived in Glasgow almost twenty years before coming on Aliyah in 1983. I married Irene from Gothenburg in July 1988 and we have three children
Amongst my M’bro memories:
* Sneaking INTO Ayresome Park before the end of the match when they opened the gates to let everyone OUT
* Playing in Smarts’ Toyshop on a Sunday morning when no-one else was there (Heaven for a 7-8 year old)
* Going to the seaside at Redcar (now that I live in Herzliya, Israel, I marvel how it was ever warm enough to go into the sea there)
* Being allowed to pick the fruit off the roof of the Succah on Simhat Torah and being amazed at this structure with the opening roof.
* My Dad practising for the shul choir before the Hagim. ( I still remember some of the tunes from Yom Kippur that I have only heard there)
* Going to Dr Gordon’s house on a Shabbat afternoon - though I don’t remember why!
* Going out fishing on old Joe’s boat and once catching 35 fish. I was really looking forward to my next trip - and I was sea-sick!
More than anything else, I remember going back to M’bro after we moved to Glasgow to visit my grandparents in 75 Roman Road – and Smarts Toyshop of course. It was always very funny to hear the customers call my grandfather (Max Bharier) or my great uncle (Louis Bharier) “Mr Smart”.
The best visit was in July 1966 to see N Korea beat Italy in the World Cup at Ayresome Park.
The funniest visit I can remember is when we went to visit Benny and Miriam Goldstein’s shoe shop in Newport Road and my father was smoking a pipe. Miriam complained that Benny’s pipe smelled of old socks—he was smoking St Bruno tobacco. So she having remarked that my father’s tobacco smelled quite pleasant by comparison asked him what tobacco he was smoking. “St Bruno”, he replied! Steven Teiger www.wintra.co.il
About six months ago I received an enquiry via Israel from Australia about an Ellen Hinda Smollan. I contacted the person in Australia, Jeremy Hodes (whose great grandmother this was) as she happened to be one of the sisters of my grandfather. Since then, much research has taken place, mostly by Jeremy who is a genius when it comes to detective work on the Internet. We now have a family tree of some 24 pages. During his searching Jeremy came across the Middlesbrough newsletter, found the name of Michelle's father, Louis Smollan, to whom I wrote. He replied saying he had passed the letter on to Michelle. My nephew, Grant Gochin who lives in Los Angeles, and I were on holiday in Israel in April and we went to meet Michelle and Zelick. It is quite amazing what a simple enquiry can lead to although we have not yet managed to tie Louis Smollan's family to our own.
My great grandfather, Harris Smollan, emigrated from Poland to Middlesbrough in 1869 He was a jeweller and lived at 49 Albert Street, Middlesbrough (his wife was Rachel); they came out to South Africa in 1882. An huge problem (for us) is that his father, Aaron, seems to have had 3 wives resulting in a mix up that we cannot unravel! Harris' brothers (or half brothers) who also came to Middlesbrough from Poland are Isaac (who seems to have married Julia Smollan - surely not a half sister; in the 1881 M'bro census it states that they lived at 16 Marton Road, M'bro and their 7 children are listed! Isaac was present at the consecration for the foundation stone of the M'bro synagogue on 21 August 1873), Solomon and Joshua. They all eventually settled in South Africa.
This constitutes what we know about our immediate family. From whom Louis Smollan, and Moshe, Tuvia and Chaim originate we do not know - certainly not from "our" five aforementioned - but there is no doubt they are all the same family.
We are desperate to ascertain whatever information we can about Harris, Isaac, Julia, Solomon and Joshua (and an Israel too), their dates of birth, when they arrived in M'bro (Solomon apparently lived in Bristol thereafter) and the names of their parents - if we are correct and they all had the same father (ie Aaron), particularly, the names of their mothers! Obviously we would be delighted to receive information of any Smollans who arrived in M'bro at that time as it would be great fun to tie Michelle's family to ours. Jeremy has compiled a separate, extensive tree of their family (many of whom now live in the USA) but it doesnt go as far back as we have traced Harris et al, because their side of the family haven't any details from the mid 1880s.
Can anybody help us? Valerie Smollan Cape Town, South Africa
May I congratulate you all on the Newsletter which I find extremely interesting.
My father Maurice Simon used to visit the Hostel regularly and often took some of the girls to Redcar for an ice cream. I still correspond with Hanna Stern who was in the hostel originally and then lived with Etty and Lionel Levy until she went to America. I also write to Beryl Shapiro (nee Freeman) in Canada.
Keep up the good work Betty Levinson (Simon) Hartlepool, England