Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 30 November 2013 (Page 4)
Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2014 I work in the Mayor's Office here in Middlesbrough and I, along with my manager, Nigel Sayer have been asked to make arrangements for the Holocaust Memorial Service in Middlesbrough for 2014. The Service is at St Barnabas Church in Linthorpe on the 27th January at 1.00pm. The church is the host for the service, and has been used for several years, however the service is open to everyone who wishes to attend.
Sadly, before David Simon passed away, the Mayor of Middlesbrough went to visit him, who made a promise that the Council would ensure the memorial service would continue. I understand David kept in contact with you from articles I have read on your website. The website is very informative and I am fascinated by its contents. My family originate from the Netherlands and my grandma (Oma) used to hide Jews during the war, so the journey of those who suffered the Holocaust is close to my heart.
We are currently trying to put together the order of service for the 27th January, however would very much like to link into past Jewish residents and those currently residing in Middlesbrough if at all possible. As the theme for this year is 'journeys' we would like to include stories of those who survived through the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and genocide. Your help, would be greatly appreciated in any way possible.
Would you happen to know of any Middlesbrough residents who may like to be involved? and would it be possible for us to include a short story within the service , or in the order of service.
Any help, no matter how small would be greatly appreciated. Susie Blood Executive Officer Middlesbrough Council
[Ed note: We replied as follows:]
Thank you for your email regarding the forthcoming HMD in Middlesbrough next month and for your kind words regarding the website. May I suggest you contact Gwen Lamb email@example.com as she still resides in Middlesbrough and is in contact with the remaining Jewish residents there.
With regard to your request for a short story, you are welcome to use any of the letters written by the former Kindertransport children which are on our website. This would fit in well with your theme of "journeys". One of the most poignant is that written by Martin Fleischer http://kmbro.weebly.com/n05a.html where he writes movingly about his time in Middlesbrough. Perhaps one of these items may be suitable for your service. [Ed note: Martin Fleischer's letter was read out in full at the service.]
On 27 January 2014 Gwen Lamb wrote:
Just got home from very nice service at St Barnabas - there were more than 100 people there. The Mayor said I spoke wonderful and cried noch!! But I was delighted that Rev/Canon Wilson read out loud at the beginning the whole of Ruth Posner's letter [see below] It was very nice!! Very pleased it went so well!! I will be in tomorrow's Evening Gazette!
This is the letter Ruth Posner sent to Canon Wilson:
Dear Canon Wilson,
I read with great interest a recent correspondence with my friend, Gwen Lamb, and this urged me to write you these few lines.
I was raised and educated in Middlesbrough together with Gwen. In fact my late parents, Rose and Morris Saville owned the kosher grocery shop on St Barnabas Road for more than 25 years. As a child my family lived nearby at Ayresome Park Road, the same street as the football grounds at the time!
My parents were dear friends with the late Canon Wareham, and used to bring him some traditional symbols of the Jewish festivals to show to his St Barnabas Church congregants (like matza, the unleavened bread which we eat for the Passover)
I now live in Israel since 1970 and Gwen keeps me updated with news of Middlesbrough, so I was very proud to see she is a participant at the Holocaust Memorial Service which you are organising at St Barnabas Church next Monday. I am sure that Gwen's and my parents would feel the same - had they been around today - as we had never come across a hint of antisemitism during all the years we lived in M'bro. We were blessed with true friendship, respect and admiration for each other.