Film ID: NEFA 20883 Video of NEFA 20883 Scenes at Maccabi Youth Club, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne 5 (1937) SCENES AT MACCABI YOUTH CLUB, WESTGATE ROAD, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE 1937 Visitor TabsDescription Amateur film of activities at the Maccabi Youth Club, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, probably in the late 1930s. Includes footage of gas mask and protective clothing practice sessions. This film is one in a collection of films recording life in the Jewish community of Newcastle, made by five independent film-makers between 1937 and 1962. Adult meetings and speeches at Maccabi Youth Club, Westgate Road. Boys show off their skills on parallel bars, in boxing, vaulting and other sporting activities at the youth club. In the late 1930s, there are preparations for war. Young men are in full gas protection clothes and masks. First aid exercises take place. Three men practice putting on and taking off the gas masks and protective clothing, and making blackouts. Close-up on the legs of a youth football team as they exercise, running on the spot. A football match takes place on a pitch under heavy snow. St John’s Ambulance Brigade men are inspected. A tea dance takes place at Tilley's Restaurant and Cafe on Blackett Street, Newcastle. Couples dance to a live orchestra at the annual Board of Guardians Ball at the old Assembly Rooms in Fenkle Street, Newcastle. Back at the Maccabi Youth Club, table tennis and snooker are played. A drama rehearsal is in progress. A group is singing. Holding competition prize shields, younger children dance the traditional circle dance, the Hora. A choir practice takes place. Boys play chess and darts. They drink lemonade and eat sandwiches in a canteen. Group shots inside the Maccabi Youth Club. There is a visit by a group of footballers. Portrait shots follow, then shots of the Hora in progress. Context Sport and gas masks at Newcastle’s Maccabi club An evocative snapshot of Jewish life at the Maccabi club in the West End of Newcastle as the community prepares for World War Two. The Jewish families of Newcastle upon Tyne embrace life at the West End Maccabi club in the late 1930s and prepare for the dark days of war with Nazi Germany. This blurry amateur footage is a poignant record of the sport, entertainment and defining institutions that glue together a vibrant community – Sunday League football in deep snow, boxing, the annual Board of Guardians ball, dancing the Hora, and ARP civil defence training with gas masks during World War Two. In 1934 a Jewish Sports Club was formed in Newcastle in the basement schoolroom of the Leazes Park Synagogue. When the Westgate Road club was then opened in 1936, it was affiliated with the Maccabi Association youth movement dedicated to ‘responsible citizenship and loyalty to Jewish tradition tempered with high ideals of sportsmanship’. Both boxing and football were seen as a means of assimilation into English society and a way to assert Jewish identity and counter fascist and anti-Semitic sentiment. During World War Two, the premises were used for civil defence, and later as a forces canteen. This film is believed to be by Monty Rosen, owner of Fenham’s photography shop of Grainger Street in Newcastle.