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The European Presence in Edwardian Harrogate

4th November 2020

Via Zoom

The Society’s first online Zoom talk took place on 4 November. Thirty members, and guests signed up in advance to hear Dr Jennings, a social historian who spoke about his research into the many European workers who came to Harrogate in the Edwardian period. Migrants from Germany and Austria were prominent in the hospitality business, with 40-60 recorded working in hotels in the early 20th century census. In the 1911 census at least one third of the Crown Hotel staff were from the continent. European staff were reputed to be well presented and professional and spoke several languages. A boarding house for Jewish migrants was set up on Cold Bath Road in the building now occupied by the William and Victoria restaurant. Italian workers had also come to Harrogate. Some worked as lowly street performers (such as organ grinders and pierrots). The 1911 census shows several living in Knaresborough, where rents were cheaper. Some Italian families became established in commerce in Harrogate such as Fattorini the jewellers, and the Krollers (ice cream makers).

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