Con­cern over plans to move war me­mo­rial

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

A JEWISH his­to­rian has ex­pressed con­cern that a war me­mo­rial which “re­flects the Jewish com­mu­nity’s unique place” in the history of a north­west Lon­don sub­urb could be moved to make way for road­works.

The me­mo­rial in Gold­ers Green is a well-known land­mark, in­cor­po­rat­ing a clock tower and sit­ting on an is­land in the mid­dle of the junc­tion of four roads, next to a tube sta­tion.

But it could be re­lo­cated if plans to cre­ate a new in­ter­change to im­prove traf­fic flow are ap­proved.

A con­sul­ta­tion is be­ing held by Bar­net Coun­cil on a pro­posal Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL), and the coun­cil has not ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of mov­ing the me­mo­rial.

Gold­ers Green has a large Jewish pop­u­la­tion and, ac­cord­ing to his­to­rian Alan Dein, the me­mo­rial, which was un­veiled in 1923, recog­nised this by not fea­tur­ing a cru­ci­fix typ­i­cal of mon­u­ments built in the pe­riod.

Mr Dein be­lieves it was in­tended to be an “all faith” me­mo­rial. “There is noth­ing in writ­ing say­ing this but it ap­pears from when it was built, how it was funded and where it was placed that this me­mo­rial was non-de­nom­i­na­tional.

“There are Jewish peo­ple named on the me­mo­rial — Jewish peo­ple died in the war, and there were mem­bers of the Jewish com­mu­nity in Gold­ers Green who lost friends or fam­ily mem­bers in the tragedy.

“This is our her­itage — it can’t just be pushed around.”

The Jewish com­mu­nity was so well es­tab­lished in Gold­ers Green by 1923 that Rev­erend Isaac Liv­ing­stone, the first min­is­ter of Gold­ers Green Sy­n­a­gogue, in Dun­stan Road, spoke at the me­mo­rial un­veil­ing. Jac­ques Weisser, the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Jewish Ex-Ser­vice­men and Women, said: In gen­eral, any­thing to do with our memo­ri­als in this coun­try is sacro­sanct.

“A lot of war memo­ri­als have Jewish names on them. It is about cit­i­zen­ship and sac­ri­fice for your coun­try.

“To con­sider mov­ing it, we would want to know more about where it would go and how they would make sure it was still con­nected to the com­mu­nity.”

Bar­net Coun­cil leader Richard Cor­nelius said he recog­nises the im­por­tance of the “much-loved” tower, while a coun­cil spokes­woman in­sisted “some peo­ple have jumped sev­eral steps ahead” with spec­u­la­tion over the po­ten­tial move.

She said mov­ing the me­mo­rial “wouldn’t just hap­pen with­out proper con­sul­ta­tion. There has been no con­sul­ta­tion on any­thing spe­cific about the site.”

Graeme Craig, com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment direc­tor for TfL, said: “We are keen to see sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment take place that im­proves the trans­port net­work, cre­ates lo­cal jobs and pro­vides homes that Londoners can af­ford.

“We look for­ward to work­ing in part­ner­ship with Bar­net Coun­cil and the lo­cal com­mu­nity as pro­pos­als emerge.”

The six-week con­sul­ta­tion will end on May 11.

The me­mo­rial

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