The Thames estuary is one of the world’s great deltas, providing passage in and out of London for millennia. It is silted up with the memories and artefacts of past voyages. It is the habitat for an astonishing range of wildlife. And for the people who live and work on the estuary, it is a way of life unlike any other, and one which most would not trade for anything, despite its dangers.
Rachel Lichtenstein has travelled the length and breadth of the estuary many times and in many vessels, from hardy tug boats to stately pleasure cruisers to an inflatable dinghy. And during these crossing she has gathered an extraordinary chorus of voices: mudlarkers and fishermen, radio pirates and champion racers, the men who risk their lives out on the water and the women who wait on the shore.
From the acclaimed author of Brick Lane and Rodinsky’s Room, Estuary is a thoughtful and intimate portrait of a profoundly British place. With a clear eye and a sharp ear, Rachel Lichtenstein captures the essence of a community and an environment, examining how each has shaped and continues to shape the other.
Historian David Rosenberg’s talk will focus on life for Polish Jews in the 1930s and the fight against antisemitism and fascism before the Nazi invasion, as well as aspects of the resistance in the ghettos – especially the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. He will be identifying some individual stories. David will also reflect on helping to lead a trip of anti-racist activists and trade unionists to Auschwitz in November 2017.