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In 1966 Sidney received a CBE and in 1981 a knighthood for services to the National Health Service and Charity Work.

Sidney’s impact, however, extended beyond Manchester’s Jewish communities. In 1946 he was elected to Salford City Council under the Labour interest. As chairman of the Planning and Finance Committees of Salford City Council between 1949 and 1967, he played a central role in post-war construction of the city. He was also the first chairman of the North Western Regional Health Authority between 1973 and 1982, which was critical in the transformation of British public health administration, and mayor of Salford from 1968 to 1969.

Sidney is widely acknowledged as a ‘leader’ of Manchester’s Jewish communities from the 1960s. Following in the footsteps of Nathan Laski and Abraham Moss, he became an acknowledged spokesman for Manchester’s Jews. His preference was for unity, centralisation and co-ordination. He worked, in the most part, through two organisations – the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester (of which he became president in 1960) and the Zionist Central Council (president from 1963). Sidney saw himself as an agency of radical change to some 200 existing community organisations which by the 1940s were no longer representative of the Jewish communities in Manchester.

Sidney left Salford Grammar School in 1930. His early career was as a travelling salesman selling radios around Greater Manchester. It was this experience which drove the young Sidney into politics. Witnessing the living conditions and high unemployment in some areas of Salford, he joined the North Salford Branch of the Labour Party in 1932, aged 18. Sidney would later establish Searchlight Electrics, using his army demobilisation payment to purchase a small factory in Salford in 1945.

Sidney Hamburger was born in Higher Broughton in July 1914. Both of his parents had recently arrived in Manchester from the Russian Empire. The family home was liberal in its politics, Zionist, traditionally orthodox in its religious persuasion and ‘English’ in its cultural aspirations.

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