Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How a street cleaner gave a family back its memories

Photo albums feared lost were returned after being found in a rubbish bin.

    Mamie’s elder son Prof Alan Shenkin, wife Leonna and daughters Susie and Trudi
    Mamie’s elder son Prof Alan Shenkin, wife Leonna and daughters Susie and Trudi

    Five family albums dumped in a rubbish bin in Western Scotland have been returned to a delighted family - who now live in Israel.

    The photos, which include the wedding and barmitzvah pictures of the Shenkin family, were found in Ardrishaig, Argyllshire, around 90 miles from Glasgow, and traced back to relative, Yaron Soifer, whose mother is originally from Glasgow.

    Tel Aviv businessman Mr Soifer hopes to receive the photos in time for his mother Lorna's 70th birthday on New Year's Eve - but snow may prevent the albums reaching Israel in time.

    The albums might have been lost forever had it not been for a street cleaner discovering them and handing them in to the local police station.

    Inspector Neil Wallace alerted the local newspaper. STV reporter Karen Greenshields then ran an appeal on Scottish Television to track down the owners. Mr Soifer's relative Pamela Freedman, 60, recognised her late aunt Mamie Shenkin in the photos and contacted Mr Soifer in Israel.

    Lorna and Zvi Soifer
    Lorna and Zvi Soifer

    He is Mrs Shenkin's grandson. His mother, Lorna Soifer, née Shenkin, made aliyah as a young woman and married an American.

    Mrs Shenkin, the grande dame of Glasgow Jewry, died last year aged 93, and the albums were lost while sorting through her belongings. Her family lives in Liverpool, Israel and America.

    Ms Freedman said: "It was quite a shock at first. A friend saw pictures of my family on TV but the sound was down. She thought we'd been in an accident or something.

    "I watched the report online and it was really lovely, so touching to see that someone cared that the albums were returned.

    "It's very strange they ended up in Argyllshire. The family went on a little holiday around Scotland after Mamie's stonesetting this summer, so they might have been lost then.

    "Mamie Shenkin was an amazing lady. She was very well-known and had fantastic energy.

    "I spoke to my cousin Lorna when the photos were found and she was overjoyed. I haven't held the albums in my hands yet but I'll be having a really good look through - and copying a few pictures for my collection."

    Mr Soifer, who is a vice-president of marketing and sales for a finance company, said all the family's history was in the five albums.

    He said: "We looked for those albums over and over and did not find them anywhere. This is a great gift to my family, a wonderful deed."

Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

UJS presidential candidate abused for pro-BDS s...

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, December 1, 2016

UJS presidential candidate abused for pro-BDS s...
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

CST urges Rudd to ban neo-Nazi group

Lee Harpin

Thursday, December 1, 2016

CST urges Rudd to ban neo-Nazi group
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86
Uk News

Genetic testing charity plans screening rise

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Genetic testing charity plans screening rise