The Establishment of Golders Green Synagogue by Lynne Fertleman
The membership of the Golders Green Synagogue Community now numbered 150 residents. Rev Livingstone was asked to compile a list of all these people and visit them personally in order to persuade them all to contribute to the maintenance of the Synagogue, the Religion Classes and the building fund. (30)
In May 1917 a site at the corner of Hodford Road and Dunstan Road became available. The land was offered freehold and was “considered as a Building site.”(31) Unfortunately, Lewis Solomons & Son did not think that the site was large enough for the proposed synagogue if the school was to be in a separate building from the synagogue.
In March 1917 the site at Dunstan Road became available. The size of the site was approximately 27,000 sq ft and the price required was £2390 plus £150 “to cover certain contingencies.”(32) The architects were concerned that the site was too small for their requirements, especially as the Hendon Urban District Council had insisted that the building be set back 25 feet so that it would be in line with the other buildings in the road. In order to rectify this problem and make the whole site suitable for their purposes, it was suggested that they also purchased the adjoining land even though it already had the foundations ready for two semi-detached houses.(33)
Initial plans were to build a synagogue, school, succah(34) and caretaker’s house. There was space on the south-east side of the synagogue which could be used in future if enlargement of the building was required. The Committee wanted to spend no more than £400 on the semi-permanent building, which would hold 200 people, and this price would include heat, furniture and lighting. It was planned that this building would initially be used as a synagogue and classroom, however, once the main synagogue was built, then it would be used only for classrooms.(35)
However, due to the War, the authorities would not allow any building erected that cost over £500 unless it was for War purposes.(36) Therefore, it was suggested and decided to erect a temporary building and then wait until after the War when more money may be available.(37) An application to build a temporary building had to be made to the Ministry of Munitions of War and the architects handled this in March 1918.(38) The Government was concerned as to the quantity of steel to be used and they also felt that £400 was too large an amount of money to sanction in respect of a temporary building.
References (which also appear if you hold the cursor over the number of the note in the text):
(30) Letter dated 2.3.1917 from Mr Drage to Rev Livingstone ‘Correspondence 1916-19 A-E’.
(31) Letter dated 12.5.1917 from Leslie Raymond, Surveyor addressed to B Drage. ‘Building 6-7’.
(32) Letter dated 26.4.1917 from United Synagogue to Lewis Solomons & Son ‘Building 6-7’.
(33) Letter dated 19.3.1917 from Lewis Solomons & Sons to Mr Drage ‘Building 6-7’.
(34) A temporary building with a roof made from leaves for use of the festival of Tabernacles.
(35) Letter from dated 13 July 1917 Mr Drage to Lewis Solomons & Son ‘Building 6-7’.
(36) Letter dated 12.4.1917 from Lewis Solomons & Son to Mr Drage ‘Building 6-7’.
(37)Ibid. dated 30.3.1917.
(38) Ibid. dated 19.3.1918.
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