The Establishment of Golders Green Synagogue by Lynne Fertleman
By now the local Jewish community were getting rather annoyed at the obstacles of the various authorities in holding up the building plans for the new site. (46) It was decided to still consider the site at Dunstan Road so arrangements were made to test the soil after the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were willing to sort out the legalities with respect of the agreement to purchase the land.(47) The results of the soil test were found to be satisfactory and Mr Solomons wrote to Messrs Cluttons for a draft building agreement.(48) Now the plans were starting to take shape. It was decided to increase the seating accommodation to 500 and it was also decided to construct the whole of the permanent foundations so as not to affect future costs.(49)
The proposed cost of the first portion of building was £17,000 and included the main structure, drains, sanitary work, heating and light. However, it did not include the internal plasterwork, decoration or seating.(50) On 21st April 1920 the Building Committee passed a Resolution instructing Lewis Solomons & Co to prepare working drawings and to obtain tenders.(51) Under the terms of the Building Agreement, the drawings also had to be approved by the freeholders, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.(52)
In September 1920 the Jewish Community were concerned yet again at the delays in starting the building.(53) Eventually, the work began in early 1921.
The laying of the Foundation Stone was planned for October.(54) However, there were several last minute hitches. There were concerns that the roof would not be finished and that the floor would not be laid. There was another major problem; this was due to the fact that there was a coal strike, which meant that coal was not being delivered to the brick makers. So in June 1921, bricks were imported from abroad.(55) There were serious concerns that this would mean that the synagogue would not have a reasonably attractive interior in time for the laying of the foundation stone. Mr Solomons suggested that they postpone the date until the end of November. This did not go down well with the Committee and Rev Livingstone advised Mr Digby Solomon that the proposed date was not going to be changed.(56)
(46) Letter dated 8.1.1919 from Mr Drage to Lewis Solomons & Son. ‘Building 6-7’.
(47) Letter from Lewis Solomons & Son to Mr Drage dated 14 January 1919. ‘Building 6-7’.
(48) Ibid. dated 17 February 1919.
(49) Letter from Lewis Solomons & Son to Rev Livingstone dated 3 December 1919 ‘Building 6-7’.
(50) Letter from Mr Digby Solomons to Mr Goldberg dated 29 March 1920 ‘Building 6-7’.
(51) Letter dated 22.4.1930 from Lewis Solomons & Son to Mr Drage ‘Building 6-7’.
(52) Ibid. dated 14.1.1919.
(53) Letters dated 17.9.1920 from Mr Drage to Digby Solomons and 5.11.1920 from Rev Livingstone to Solomons & Son. ’Building 6-7’.
(54) Letter dated 12.8.1921 from Rev Livingstone to Digby Solomons. ‘Building 6-7’.
(55) Ibid. dated 22.6.1921.
(56) Ibid. dated 30.8.1921.
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