Basil Jeuda

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Chat
Tags: , ,

Every few months the local town has a special artisan market.
Sunday 28th February was one of those times.
We called in.

There were stalls selling Ukrainian food, wild mushrooms (they were delicious), local honey, cheeses. There were knick-knack stalls selling… knick-knacks (you may have to google that one).
There were also ‘Frozen Charlottes’ –  a whole tray full of tiny bisque dolls.
“Found in the ruins of a German toy factory.” our jovial host informed us. He was jovial. Was he our host? A matter for mulling over mulled wine, perhaps.
– An American ballad tells of a young girl who mithered her mother to let her go to the ball. It was bitterly cold, a real East Coast winter. Her mother relented and assented. The girl was so vain, though, she took her warm coat off to show off her wonderful dress.
She never got to the ball.
She was found later (when the snow melted?), frozen to death.
All on account of her vanity.
Hear ye, children all!

These little Frozen Charlottes are all naked, though. We hunted through the tray to find one still whole. Found one!
You’ll never be cold again, little one!

But the stall we were looking for was a Second-Hand and Rare Book stall.
It was run by Anne-Marie Pond, for Hameston Books.And jointly staffed by Basil Jeuda.

Basil Jeuda moved into the area in the 1970s. He is a train and railways enthusiast; he must have published over twenty books by now.
Most are on railway, canal, transport themes, but he also covers much of the twentieth-century from the inside, with titles like WORLD  WAR ONE AND THE MANCHESTER SEPHARDIM.
His background is Sephardic father and Ashkenazi mother.

His latest book is the one we were after:

The new book charts, identifies and explores the Jewish families who moved into the local area shortly before and during the Second World War.
They were, of course, escaping the Nazi regime, and the London blitz.

He has carefully investigated his subjects, sought out photographs, business histories and family histories. It is indeed a work of love.


Much of great interest emerges: by nineteen forty-one there were sufficient numbers of families in the area to warrant setting up a local synagogue. I had tried to investigate this myself some years ago, but with no success: I did not have his connections.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of that synagogue.

The place they chose was part of Charles Roe House: 62, Chestergate, Macclesfield.
The building is named after a local silk industrialist  and evangelical preacher (1715 -1781), and as usual in the period, was probably a patron of the arts.

Charles Roe House today:



The middle floor was the site of the synagogue. It existed as such during the War years.
Kosher food was shipped in from the city, then more locally sourced.
Many of the Jewish families returned to their families in London’s east end after the War. A few stayed in the area, and thrived.

Charles Roe House is now the focus of Incubation Arts. It houses an important collection of photographs and memorabilia dedicated to local guys, JOY DIVISION.
It is also an arts space for exhibitions of work: paintings, sculpture, talks.

But Basil Jueda is worth looking up. Basil Jueda is one very interesting man.

Further Information:

Basil Jeuda:


Courtesy of Macclesfield Express

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