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Tales from a Jewish Hotel



‘Tales from a Jewish Hotel’, the story of an iconic Jewish holiday destination, gives a unique look at British Jews during their critical years of integration. It looks at tradition and friendship, Jewish humour out of the ashes, waves of Jewish immigration, hard work rags to riches, and assimilation. Its story is driven not by its chronological decades, but by the soaring and dipping of emotion, accentuated by fashion and music of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, interspersed soulful Jewish music chanted in the synagogue.

Tales from a Jewish Hotel charts the evolution of culture in Britain and by inviting the audience into this intimate setting, appeals to a broad audience whilst appearing to appeal to niche. Almost every British Jew will know of the Green Park Hotel or know someone who would happily tell the tales of its time. After all, it was the place to be, and, more importantly, it was the place to tell people you’d been.

About the Hotel

From it’s opening, until the day it closed forty-three years later, The Green Park Hotel represented the pinnacle of Jewish cultural aspirations. It was a Jewish ‘Claridges’ on sea. More than just a place to sleep and eat three enormous meals a day, it was somewhere you reconnect with your Jewish life
and a place to show off your clothes, your jewellery and of course your children. The Green Park became known as the place to make a Shidduch (an introduction, designed to lead to marriage). Incredibly, many couples met there, married, and returned years later to make Shidduch’s for their own children. 


Background

From its opening, until the day it closed forty-three years later, The Green Park Hotel represented the pinnacle of Jewish cultural aspirations. It was a Jewish ‘Claridges’ on sea. More than just a place to sleep and eat three enormous meals a day, it was somewhere you reconnect with your Jewish life and a place to show off your clothes, your jewellery and of course your children. The Green Park became known as the place to make a Shidduch (an introduction, designed to lead to marriage). Incredibly, many couples met there, married, and returned years later to make Shidduch’s for their own children. 

The Green Park Hotel opened in Bournemouth in the last two years of the Second World War.

The hotel was owned by the charismatic Ruby Marriott, his wife Sarah, and her four unmarried sisters. They all lived together in a single flat opposite the hotel. Knowing that Jews had a great capacity to eat and to complain, they made sure that both the food, and the service, were of the highest standard. They created an environment where, even for a weekend, their guests were able to touch Jewish life, go to synagogue, eat, sing, dance and, most importantly, laugh, with people of the same faith, culture and background.


Participate

This film needs to be made in order to chronicle and build an archive of this most important century of Jews in the UK and we need your help to make it happen.  If you'd like to be a patron please make a donation.

If you'd like to help and be a part of the project  or if you have photographs, cine footage or some priceless stories to tell
please email us at info@greenparkmemories.com

Meet the Filmmakers

The unique team behind Green Park Memories have been working on the project over the last five years researching and interviewing key characters, many of whom, sadly, are no longer with us. Over this time we've built a unique archive and understanding of Green Park and what it meant not just to the staff and the guests but to Jewish Culture in Britain.




Algor Lieman, Gramafilm

“Since I joined the project as a producer 6 years ago I've dedicated a huge amount of time to research and learn more about the last 100 years of Jewish history in Britain to help compile enough stories to re-tell the last century in a personal and captivating documentary film.

Through time we've managed to build up a huge amount of interest revolving around this film with a remarkable number of people now sharing their stories with us organically which has created a fast growing community of people engaging with the project.

This film is as much about re-telling the history of Jews in Britain over the last century as it is about bringing people back together to share their memories for generations to come. Now, with the wonderful support offered to us we aim to be going into production very soon with plans for distribution across multiple international territories”.


Marsha Nuriya Lee

“For years I heard tales of the Green Park Hotel. It is a subject that often comes up when people recall the past as Jews in Britain. It didn't matter whether they went there or not. It just sparked stories of another time, another era. This was a time of important change for the Jews of Great Britain. Of immigration, integration and assimilation, of rags to riches, of holding onto past traditions while reaching out to become British, of questions of identity. The hotel opened its doors in 1943 and closed them in 1986. And it's scope brings in from the turn of the century to WW11, the creation of the state of Israel, the elegant 50's, the swinging 60's and finally to the 70's and 80's when Britain's seaside resorts wilted as cheaper air travel brought holiday guests to sunnier climates. This tale follows of the evolution of a culture and the testimonies are priceless and need to be reserved and retold. 

We started off making a documentary film and ended up creating as an important document of history and Jewish Education which will be housed in museums and libraries.

That is why I began this project years ago, and that is why I continue to believe in its value to society”.

James Morton-Haworth, Gramafilm

"This has been an incredibly rewarding project and an opportunity to meet so many brilliant people who have talked so eloquently about Green Park and shared what they deem to be the fondest moments of their lives. It's a real honour to be able to document this and bring everyone's memories together to tell the remarkable and true story of The Green Park Hotel."


Copyright 2013 by Definition Films & Gramafilm Limited