Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 26 September 2010 page 5 (of 12)
Teesside Topics 33
Our very first Service was held at the Middlesbrough Cenotaph, which was indeed an appropriate venue for such an event. However it seemed to me that there was always the danger of unattractive weather, so I thought that we should go inside!! This was just as well, since January 31 2010 was a day when Teesside was still affected by snow. On display in the Church there was an exhibition of artwork by pupils from a local Primary school, themed around the Holocaust. The level was astonishingly high and I hope to attend the school and congratulate the pupils.
Despite the weather we had a good deal of support at the United Reformed Church in Middlesbrough. Some had been brave enough to travel from Newcastle Hartlepool and Loftus in order to attend. There were 5 Mayors and other dignitaries, although Mayor Mallon could not make it, having just suffered a family bereavement. He had sent his apologies and a very heartening message that we should keep going – stressing the importance of such a service of commemoration.
The service was led by The Archdeacon of Cleveland, Paul Ferguson, who delivered a most thoughtful and impressive address. The other newcomer to the programme was Joe Gellert from Tyneside, who spoke in a moving personal vein about his relations and how they had suffered in the Nazi Holocaust – 36 had perished on the continent. The rest of the Service followed its usual pattern, with contributions from Margaret Thompson, Meg Robb and a prayer by the representative of the British Legion. I lit the Candle of Remembrance and read a closing prayer
The new Bishop of Whitby has now arrived and we hope that next year he will be able to attend the Service and perhaps we can prevail upon him to speak. Despite the weather we aim to keep going.
A rather different item of local news concerned the late Col Nathan Cohen. Nathan, from Stockton, had a distinguished Army career. Following his Army sevice he sat as a High Court Judge in Malaya and Cyprus. Over the years he had acquired a massive array of medals, as well as the Freedom of Stockton. He died leaving no close relatives. Recently, the medals appeared at an auction and there was furious bidding between an individual and the DLI Museum - Nathan having been DLI. The individual won but discovering that the Museum really wanted the medals, then presented them to the Museum - a happy ending.
Whilst the Interfaith Service has ceased, the Interfaith Group has been revived with a new Chairman so it may be that we shall be having future meetings David Simon StokesleyFebruary 2010
I just wanted to say thank you for such a marvellous website you have produced here. Although my Jewish relatives originated in Sunderland and came down to Stockton in around 1860's, I do find it very interesting to read about the other local Jewish communities and I enjoyed reading what you have written.
(Do you know if anything has been written about the Stockton Jewish Community at all, as I have been unable to find anything on the internet?) [Ed note: JewishGen has a page about Stockton, http://www.jewishgen.org/JCR-uk/Community/stockton/ but most of it seems to have been taken from our website.]
I see that your address is in Israel. I am still local to Middlesbrough, so if you require anything looking up/photos taken of anything in this area related to your website, feel free to ask. Amanda Fearns
[Ed note: We took up Amanda’s very kind offer of help and she responded as follows:]
I have visited the cemetery today [June 2009] at Stockton and found it to be in a fairly well kept state, and probably about the tidiest I have seen it over the past few years. Primarily because they have taken out all of the overgrown shrubbery and hedges around the perimeter, but also because there is now some new planting of shrubs and a few trees. The headstones themselves haven't seemed to have changed much either, and I haven't noticed any recently vandalised ones since I have last been, although there are a few cracked ones and some laid flat, but these ones have been like this for years. Here are some photos:
I didn't have time to take individual ones as I had my toddler daughter with me but will try over the summer - I only live a few minutes away!
I was very interested to see a headstone that I don't recall seeing before, although it has been there for years, probably because it would have previously been hidden by the hedging of the perimeter. It was of the Gloskop family, one of which keeps cropping up in my genealogy research, this family having lodged with Emmanuel Fryde and his family in Sunderland, a very well known Jewish family of Sunderland before moving to Stockton in the 1860's. It was unusual because there is an area of grass all around the Jewish burial area of around 8-10ft where there seem to be no burials except this one headstone on its own, just a matter of around 2 feet away from the Jewish section - I wonder why? Would you know anything of the Gloskop family at all? Perhaps this headstone should have been within the Jewish perimeter I wonder and it has been marked up wrongly, or maybe it is the case that the family no longer practised their faith on their relocation to Stockton, as there was no recorded congregation here at this time? I find this all very interesting! Amanda Fearns