For Many Bradians, the Club was the most important part of their formative years. Speak to most ex-members and they will have fond memories of the Club, Skeet, Camp, Holidays abroad and the people they shared their experiences with.  Usually those memories involve lots of laughter as well.

If you’d like to post your memories, we’d love to hear from you, and we have a dedicated section of the website ready to include your story. Please use the form below to send us your memories.

We can’t act as a re-union site to put you back in communication with people you’ve lost contact with, there are a number of other sites to help with that, but perhaps by sharing with us your stories, you’ll give yourself the impetus to try and find those friends who you haven’t seen for many years. 

For reasons of space, we need to limit you 250 words, which is about 4 paragraphs, (this article is approximately 200 words as an example), and we reserve the right to moderate the article for spelling and grammar, but not to alter the content. 

You also need to comply with what is known as “Netiquette”, by not posting anything that may be considered rude or derogatory about any former members.


Memories of Brady Club

I came to Brady by mistake. In 1947, though I was a working boy, I was either hanging about the house or getting into mischief with others on the streets of Hackney. My father said I should go and join the JLB. I went to Camperdown House - but it was closed, and the caretaker sent me to Durward St. and Brady Boys’ Club.

Club Leader, Charles Spencer, told me everyone had to do an activity and sent me to the drama group. I wasn’t much of an actor, but was artistic and within a month had painted my first bit of scenery.

The club offered many opportunities to use my emerging skills and I was soon engaged in making stage scenery, producing posters, and eventually taking on editorship of the Club magazine when Manny Robinson became a professional journalist.

The Jacobs family, which had a long-standing connection to Brady, offered me a job at their Head office as display studio manager, and during the next ten years helped me to improve myself with secondment to their advertising company and then to study art and advertising design at college.

During this time my capabilities expanded with experience and the educational opportunities I was given, enabling me to design and produce printed material for the Brady clubs, as well as other organisations such as the Anglo-Jewish Association, United Synagogue, and Jewish Child’s Day.

Then Yogi Mayer encouraged me to take on the leadership of Edgware Maccabi in 1962 and this led me professionally to take my first management role with Dixons (now Currys). Then it was a small company and expanded rapidly while I was with them.

As a youth worker I qualified and moved on to be Leader at Kenton Maccabi, then Middlesex New Synagogue as well as MAL and Hashomer Hatzioni. When the Brady clubs closed in the East End I became involved with others in preserving Skeet Hill House… but that is a whole other story!

But it all started with that mistake!!
— Lou Lawrence
Aged 13, Just Barmitvah, no more Hebrew classes 4 nights a week and Sunday morning. So what next? For me it was Brady, 4 nights a week and Sunday morning! ‘Plus ca change’.

There I found friendships that have lasted over 50 years, shared memories to re-call and re-live, and a realisation on looking back that Brady made me who I am today, and it was at the club I met my first wife, Yvonne Bloom.

What was important? There was football, under 16, under 19 and through to old boy’s; a range of new friendships to make, and since I went to an all-boys school, there were girls. I learnt to socialise with the opposite sex, lose some inhibitions and dance at the evening social, and Sunday dances, including the night Jimmy Hendrix performed.

Then there was Skeet. Half a day to get there, (now 40 minutes by car). Whitechapel to New Cross to Knockholt, with usually a walk from the station to finish the journey. Once there peeling spuds, outside activities, night games, putting on shows, and sometimes just sitting around laughing.

And all this under the guidance of Yogi, leader, mentor and sometime father figure.

Talk to Bradians, and most will remember their time at the Club as the most important and formative of the life, as it was for me, and in case anyone has read this far, I should mention that after nearly 50 years of marriage, Yvonne is still my first wife.
— Paul Brent
For myself, just hearing and dancing to all the great ‘50s Rock n Roll records that were played at the weekend socials, and seeing live bands drummers, changed my life. And through this great Brady time it allowed me to spend the next chapter of my life doing something that has stayed with me even now; touring and recording the great music that I still love - Rock n Roll. Thank you Brady.
— Ray Stock
I remember Yogi Mayer. When the show “My Fair Lady” was showing, Yogi would offer many of the members a ticket to the show. I remember Yogi’s daughters, Carol and Monica, and another daughter, whose name I don’t remember. I remember Skeet House, and went there on many weekends. My friends then were Dinah Hart, Irene Collins and Shirley Mildener (now Shirley Appleby). I remember Dennis Bonley, Stan Arrandel, Harry Cohen, Michael Solomons. Also some of the older members, like Shirley Bloom and her sister Rita Bloom. Some names I’ve forgotten!

I recall when the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Club and I was there at the time. Dinah Hart used to sing in various shows that were put on. I remember Rosalind Goldstein and her sister Elaine. I also remember Larry Levy, Sandra Mackay (who was very tall). Paula Kaye, and her brother. I used to go to her mother’s flat for coffee. I remember Barbara Burbridge and her cousin Sandra, who eventually married Freddie? who became a doctor. Simy Myers and Brian Katz, who were always getting into fights for some reason. The time I am referring to was about 1959 - 1960.
— Mrs Coral Cohen
In my final year at Brady, I won the ‘NABC Writer of the Year 1961’ award, receiving the trophy from Frankie Vaughan and Vera Lynn at the Royal Festival Hall. I was encouraged to submit my tale - set in ‘Petticoat Lane’ - by Yogi Mayer. Olympics gold medallist Chris Brasher invited me to pen stories for publication in a book of youth writing he was compiling.

My Brady activities included film unit, and articles for the club magazine. The Ramblers singing group rings a bell. I was a boy chorister at Duke’s Place synagogue for several years. Later, I was a first tenor in The London Jewish Male Choir for 20 years; and now with The London Cantorial Singers.

After my London University law degree (I wrote prolifically for a college newspaper), I qualified as a Solicitor. During student ‘Long Vacations’ I globe-trotted extensively, inspired by Brady adventures in Switzerland and Italy (not forgetting camping on the Isle of Wight and ‘Skeet’).

I became a government lawyer, advising Ministers and drafting legislation in the field of ‘labour law’. In time, I was appointed a chief legal adviser in Whitehall. After 35 years I retired, moving from London to inspirational Cambridge in 2009. I’ve continued my fiction writing, and journalistic pursuits (especially, from 1996, for Essex Jewish News, including a regular ‘Travel’ page). Since arriving a decade ago, I’ve had five books published - my Jewish short story anthologies and two novels.

I owe so much to Brady.
— Mark Harris

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