Page 2 - HGS Suburb News 138 - Spring 2019
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Keith Sambrook 1925-2019                                                         Free Church Night Shelter

      Publisher  and Suburb  resident                       little, the pain I feel at losing a   The Night Shelter project ran in   On average 15 guests, mainly   Now  the  last  cycle  of  the
      Keith Sambrook died peacefully                        friend, a great literary editor, and,   the winter months from October   men and a few women arrived   2018/9 Winter Shelter is coming
      in hospital on New Year’s Day                         for me, a literary mentor.  to the end of April, with each   at  the  Free  Church  Hall  for  a   to an end we have been asked if
      2019, following a short illness.                         Keith’s years at HEB were full   venue hosting one night a week   hearty 3-course meal prepared   we are willing to help the
         Born in Birstall, Leicester, in                    and rewarding.  Keith and Hana’s   for  10  consecutive  weeks,  in   and donated by volunteers. We   Homeless through the summer
      1925, Keith was educated at Lough-                    daughter Katie remembers the   three cycles.         provided a range of small sized   months with a new ‘Light Shelter’.
      borough Grammar School, where                         family home as a frequent    The HGS Free Church started   toiletries, tissues and sometimes   This entails offering the space for
      he remembered fire-watching                           gathering place for authors and   its nine Tuesday nights of the   socks for the guests to take away   the night, with two volunteers
      from the school tower as a                            publishers from all over the   middle cycle of the winter shelter   with  them.  After  eating,  some   sleeping over as before, with no
      sixth-former during the War.  University in 1946, staying on in   world and Keith made numerous   on December 18 last year and   enjoyed scrabble or table tennis   arrangements for meals, but
      Keith served in the Royal Navy   Scotland after the Communist   trips abroad, particularly to   completed on February 19, when   and then settled to sleep. We   with the usual transport of
      from 1944-47, first on Russian   coup of 1948 in her homeland.  Africa, the Caribbean and the   we sadly said goodbye to the   served them  breakfast before   bedrolls. At the time of writing
      convoys (which he hated) and   Keith and Hana enjoyed   Far East.               people  we  had  got  to  know  a   they left.        the Free Church has offered the
      then  in the Mediterranean,  an   their life in Edinburgh, where   After retirement Keith lectured   little  and gave them  our  best   During  the day volunteers   premises and will organise this
      experience of seminal importance   they had a wide circle of friends,  in publishing at University   wishes for the coming months.   from the previous night shelter,  again at the hall, and the
      in his life. Although he saw   but in 1963 Keith was invited   College London and in book   A total of 22 different guests   in our case it was the New North   volunteers are being canvassed
      little action, the war in the   by its chairman, Alan Hill, to   history at the Institute of English   had stayed with us. Being in the   London Synagogue, delivered the   for their help.
      Mediterranean being largely won   take up a senior position at   Studies, University of London,   Suburb on the first night some   bedrolls to the Hall. These rolls   If anyone else can offer to
      by that time, he gained a lifelong   Heinemann Educational Books   where he was an Associate Fellow.   guests inevitably got lost but all   were a thin mattress, sleeping   sleep overnight in the hall on a
      affection for the  Navy  and  his   (HEB) in London, and he and   With characteristic generosity   eventually arrived, wet, cold   bag and pillow all in a bag with   Tuesday night or can help with
      first visits to Italy and France   Hana moved to the Suburb.  he refused to accept any fees for   and very glad to find a friendly   the client’s name on it. The   bedroll transport during May,
      inspired  him  with  a  love  for   Alan was himself a Suburb   his teaching, asking instead   welcome, a hot meal and a   following day our volunteers   June and July then please email
      European landscapes and culture.  resident (in Northway) and   that the funds saved be put   warm, safe place to sleep.  took these rolls by car to the
         Demobbed in 1947, Keith   Keith and Hana took an instant   towards supporting student   It was a salutary experience   Islamic Association of North   Volunteers must be over 18
      went up to Cambridge to read   liking to the area and moved to   bursaries. The university  has   but for the 50 volunteers who   London in North Finchley, which   years old, you do not have to be
      English Literature, graduating in   their house in Farm Walk.  honoured his wishes by creating   came forward to help from all   was hosting Wednesday night.   DBS checked but you will have
      1950. Here he took his first steps   As overseas director at HEB,  a bursary scheme in his name.  communities within the Suburb,   We have since been advised   to attend a training session (a
      in publishing, via one of the   Keith was instrumental in the   Keith loved living on the   and a few beyond, it was a   by the organisation Together in   couple of hours) at Housing
      university’s literary magazines;   firm’s international success, setting   Suburb. A keen gardener, he was   pleasure to be doing something   Barnet, who sent the guests to   Action for Barnet.
      he remembered travelling to   up Heinemann companies around   a member of the Horticultural   to help, however little that felt.  us through Homeless Action in   To our existing volunteers we
      Oxford to interview the young   the world. Perhaps his greatest   Society and won prizes for his   Each Tuesday night a new team   Barnet, that a total of 13 people   offer our very warmest thanks
      Kenneth Tynan. His first job after   achievement, however, was to   roses. He was also a competent   bonded over a fine supper   using the shelters this winter   for all of their help and support.
      graduation was with Manchester   oversee, in partnership with the   cook,  with  home-made  ice-  shared with the guests.  have been rehoused.         JO MORRIS
      University  Press,  where  he   novelist Chinua Achebe, the   creams a particular forte, and
      worked on academic titles in   transformational African Writers   enjoyed playing tennis.
      the social sciences.       Series. The inspiration of Alan   Keith retained throughout
         In 1954 Keith moved to   Hill, it aimed to provide students   his zest for life, his intellectual
      Edinburgh to  take  up a  post   in African schools and universities   acuity and his keen interest in
      with the leading educational   with imaginative works by their   the world around him. In the
      publishers,  Thomas  Nelson  fellow Africans and to introduce   last days of his life, though in
      where he worked on school and   African writers to an international   intensive care with pneumonia
      university textbooks. His work   literary audience. On his first day   and heart failure, he engaged the
      now often took him abroad and   at HEB Keith found the manuscript   hospital staff in conversation
      he experienced at first hand the   of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s first   about Brexit and made sure that
      ‘Wind of Change’ blowing over   novel,  Weep  not,  child,  on  his   he was up to date with the
      Africa, spending much of 1957,  desk, and Ngugi, Achebe, Wole   fortunes of Leicester City football
      the year of Ghanaian independ-  Soyinka and Kwame Nkrumah   club. A devoted husband and
      ence, establishing a university   were among the many leading   father, a supportive mentor to
      press there and much of the   African writers whose works   authors, publishers and students,
      following  year  in  Lagos,  were published in the series.  Keith was an unassuming man
      establishing a Nigerian office   At Keith’s funeral at St Jude’s   of  unfailing  courtesy  with  a
      for Nelson.                his former colleague James   keen sense of humour. He will
         While in Edinburgh Keith   Currey read out a moving   be much missed by his family
      met Hana, who shared Keith’s   tribute from Ngugi wa Thiong’o:  and friends.
      love of the world of books, and   Keith Sambrook contributed to the   Keith is survived by his wife
      they  married  in  1956.  Born  in   brook that streams through literary   Hana and daughter Katie.
      what was then Czechoslovakia,  Africa … He is part of the soul of a   KATIE SAMBROOK
      she  had  come  to  Edinburgh   continent. And this ameliorates a   (with contributions from James Currey)

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