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Jonny Freedman


‘I am a GP in St Albans and have lived in the area for 30 years. The picture I'm holding is of my paternal grandparents, Miriam and Henry Freedman. They met in Petticoat Lane in February 1929, when he was 22 and she was 18. My cousin Andrew Miller has captured their lives beautifully in his book The Earl of Petticoat Lane.

Colour photo of Henry and Miriam Freedma

'These are my grandparents.  My grandfather Henry Freedman was a barrow boy and my grandmother Miriam was a milliner’s apprentice. Both were raised in east London but his family had emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, hers from Poland.

Henry started what became the successful lingerie business S. Newman, making the first samples on his kitchen table. During the Second World War,

he moved the business, to the old Victoria cinema in Harpenden, later establishing a factory in South Shields.’

Ark Wall with letters.jpg

‘In the mid-1950s my grandfather presented some stained-glass windows to what was then Brondesbury Synagogue, in honour of his parents. When the synagogue closed, these were retrieved and stored by my uncle, and later refashioned to fit the St Albans Masorti Synagogue ark wall, completed in 2013. The ark is a special cupboard housing the Torah scrolls. The service leaders read from the scrolls during synagogue services.’

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