Synagogue stall renews historic links with town and Jewish community

Shefford Mayor Paul Mackin with Hilary Fox of Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue, at a stall at the town fair.
Shefford Mayor Paul Mackin with Hilary Fox of Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue, at a stall at the town fair.

Links forged in Shefford with the Jewish community more than 70 years ago were renewed once again during the town’s annual fair.

Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue was invited to run a stall in the High Street at the event manned by member Hilary Fox. The stall featured posters and leaflets about the synagogue and the Liberal Judaism movement in a continuation of a membership drive.

Links were forged during the war years when 600 kinder transport children arrived in Shefford during the Second World War, and other youngsters were also billeted at Campton, Clifton, Meppershall and Stotfold. All the children went to school in Shefford, mostly at The White House in North Bridge Street.

Hilary added: “A plaque was recently unveiled in Shefford Town Council offices to commemorate the welcome afforded this special Jewish community of evacuees by this unique part of Bedfordshire. That friendship still endures today. Everyone I encountered was friendly and very interested in finding out more about our community.” Hilary is pictured at the stall with Shefford mayor Paul Mackin.