Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 28 January 2013 page 11 ( of 17)
Teesside Topics 40
Yes, I agree it did not come out very well, but it was a bit ancient. Not as old as me, but still nearly 70 years old. And there is a limit to what modern technology can do. What am I talking about? The photo of course – so perhaps a bit of a damp squib. Well, you win some and you lose some, as Middlesbrough did. More of that anon. Back to the photo, as I must tell you I was delighted to hear from Lt.Col Mordaunt Cohen, who spotted himself on the photo and is still battling on, after a most active and distinguished career in political, military, legal and Jewish affairs.
Back to Middlesbrough and its loss. Mayor Mallon had hoped that the town would be granted the status of city, but that honour went to Chelmsford. Personally, I was not keen on his idea. My plan in 1959 was for Teesside as a region to be unified and to become a city. In that connection I was inspired by a Stockton Alderman called Peter Milne. After years of campaigning the memorandum was accepted by the Labour government, so in 1968 we had Teesside County Borough - the seventh in size in the UK. Sadly, the Tory government wiped it out in 1974 to get rid of Labour control, but the point I want to stress relates to Peter Milne. When he died, his widow told me that he had Singers prayer book open at his bedside and had been accustomed to read from it. It emerged that when he was Mayor of Stockton the Hebrew Congregation had presented it to him. Stockton of course had many outstanding Jews over the years, such as Reuben Cohen, District Registrar and Chairman of Durham Quarter Sessionsand his sons, Judge Clifford Cohen and Lt Col Nathan Cohen . So Middlesbrough lost out, retaining its tarnished image in some surveys as the worst town in England. It is reviled in the press, which is a bit annoying for the residents. Now Sunderland was granted city status not so long ago, which leads me to ask if that has had a material impact. Has there been a growth in investment or in any other way?
Talking of images, I get a bit fed up with TV and its image of the Jewish community. Some of the recent programmes have really been pretty poor, whether relating to Jews looking for wives or going on cruises. With regard to TV, I have just completed aquestionnaire for publication in a magazine. [Ed note: see the article here]. There was a question as to my favourite restaurant and I wonder how many readers remember my favourite restaurant. It was the Salad Bowl in Leicester Square London. As a student I was able to eat as much as I wanted for five shillings. Did Newcastle have an equivalent?
I gather that the Reform Rabbi is leaving Newcastle, but I am not sure that the Stokesley Congregation is ready for a move from orthodoxy after all these years.
I hope everybody had a happy Passover. My daughter, Gail, came from Cheshire, where she had been organising her golf club, to disorganise me and she produced items unknown in Stokesley, but perhaps they exist in Newcastle - chocolate coated matzo, matzo sticks and the new Concise Hagadah. The Hagadah is veryReform, very anglicized, with phonetic Hebrew large print and washable pages, so that I can clear up wine spilt accidentally, or deliberately, a la the plagues. Amongst other differences, it tells me that I need not hide the afikomen which means I would not have to buy a present for the finder. It is very concise, so I must show it to Martin and Brenda. It would enable them to finish somewhat earlier than 12.15 am. David Simon Stokesley April 2012