Before winding up with the prominent ones I mention a few families who, though early Members, did not remain here.
Mr Smollan was one of the 'Old Originals' but about the 1890's he left the town with his family for good and emigrated to South Africa. To distinguish him from the other Smollans, (but no relation) in the town who are described further on; the late Mrs Annie Hyams of Cambridge Road is a daughter and Fred the furniture dealer of Stockton, is a grandson.
What I remember of Mr Smollan was his figure. He was of good height, heavy, fair and wore a beard. His wife was of medium height, stoutish and matronly. He had a second-hand clothes shop in Marton Road, which stood on a site in the block between the Star & Garter and the Freemason's Hall. Later he opened a Pawnshop at 108 Cannon Street at the corner of Farrer Street and this Jacob Levy eventually bought and passed over to his son Lionel. At that time they lived in St Paul's Rd, then select, and a better class quarter.
I grew up with the family and the sons were my companions and very fond I was of them. We always got on well and I was sorry when they left. Julius and Abe played the violin, and Moss was an accomplished pianist, so we had much in common. They did well in South Africa, far better than they would have done herer and there's no doubt he did the best for his children by emigrating. The youngest daughter married a wealthy Rhodesian trader.
However it was in Middlesbrough where he reared his family. They never forgot it and always had a warm spot in their hearts for it!
These Bernstones lived in Gilkes Street, prior to their departure for another part of England. It was with one of the sons Futchi I went to South Africa in 1901 and we met his brother Joe in Beaufort West on the Karroo, where he had a general store. Beaufort West constituted one long straggling street on the sandy desert.
I mention this family because we were friendly with the three grown up daughters. Fine young women they were. They were attached to the late Louis Smith's daughters and often came to the house to dress for the Balls and Parties. I know nothing of their parents. I never saw them. It's possible they were orphans.
Isaac Reubens (1836-1901)
In my opinion I consider Mr Reubens an important person, owing to the fact that he was instrumental in presenting the world with one of the most inimitable, spontaneous, funny comedians of the present day, for he is the grandfather of Dave Morris through his mother, who vas soaked in humour. So there you have it! Fun and drollery percolating through his children to his grandchildren.
His son the late Noah Reubens was a popular amateur actor and comedian in the district in his day. He told me his father was a clown in his younger days, which accounts for Dave Morris's talent. Hut some of it is inherited from his father, a tailor by trade, who like his son had a spontaneous humour. His ordinary conversation sparkled with drollery and he had one rolling on the floor with laughter. Thus he was double blessed.
I remember the old man seated at the window of his small workshop in Wilson St West, working away industriously making slippers. For that's what he was, a slipper-maker in later years. He was then frail and thin, borne down with age.
His wife was blind. They lived like Darby and Joan and led a quiet and secluded life, no doubt happy and proud in the thought they had brought into the world sons and daughters of worth, respectability and talent, a credit to any parents.
Urrchick Kaufman (1859-1916)
I saw a lot of him in my day and a more amicable man would be hard to find. He was easy going, enjoyed company and had a warm spot for friends. He enjoyed a trip into the countryside, which he often took for at one period he possessed a horse and trap - a high two-wheeler.
It was a lanky nag. Perhaps it served its purpose so long as it didn't collapse on its journey. But I imagine it was more partial to its stable and its corn than it was to its load of passengers it found itself lugging into the pastoral quiet of the country-side. For Urrchick revelled in giving his fogeys a trip, but whether they relished it is a matter for conjecture. However it was all in the day!
He was in a small way of business in Cannon Street; carried on a second-hand furniture business and travelled in drapery and clothing. His wife had a small boot shop opposite, which she personally conducted. They lived on these premises and I don’t remember them living elsewhere or in any different business.
She was an exemplary type with a good nature. Kind, sympathetic, pleasant and agreeable. Very sensible and rational. A good business woman and a hard worker. One of the best of mothers, who brought up a family of four daughters and one son respectably. Bella, the wife of the late Percy Doberman, is one of the former and Louie of West Hartlepool is the son.
Urrchick is connected with the Kaufman's, former jewellers and pawnbrokers of Old Hartlepool and with the late Jacob Levy, former pawnbroker and jeweller of Newport Rd, previously described. One cannot say much of people of this stamp because their lives are so stereotyped, conventional and uneventful for a biographer. There is little sun to light up the promontories and the placid sea below is the only visible object. But if one is content that is the glory! There is a joy vouchsafed to most in the possession of children, to see them grow up day by day, week by week, year by year, from the all absorbing state of innocent childhood into adolescence and useful citizenship. Life is worth living for that alone! and if there's greater joy I'd like to know it!