Posted: January 1st, 2008
Norman Pearlman, who worked in the Circulation Department of the Daily Mirror offices in Manchester from the early 1950’s until his retirement, has died from cancer aged 80 years.
His wife, Toby, whom he met on a Kibbutz prior to his Mirror days, had unfortunately passed away some years ago. After Toby’s demise, Norman had found a new partner Sheila who must now bear his loss. Norman had two sons and a daughter of whom he was extraordinarily proud.
I remember Norman as a very gentle man who had two absorbing passions; the stage and the Sport of Kings, horse racing.
He was a very talented singer possessing a warm baritone voice but it was his delicious sense of humour that made him unforgettable.
He was of the Jewish faith and I think it was his upbringing in that faith that made him the absolute master of the one-liner, his banter and repartee were truly amazing and the quickness of his wit made him extremely popular.
He appeared in a number of shows and performed on the stage as a singer / comedian at various venues throughout the North West, but his major triumph was undoubtedly playing Tevyeh in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” at the UMIST Theatre, Manchester, in the early seventies. Playing to packed houses through the duration of its run it is perfectly true to say that he completely overshadowed Topol”s version , and I saw them both.
His other love was horse racing, known by many of us as Pearljax, after the Daily Express racing tipster Marajax, his knowledge was encyclopaedic, given a spare moment his head would be buried in the form book and his selections were invariably very astute, selecting some extremely long odds winners which he assured us were “good things”. A trip to the races with him became almost an endurance test, his long legs would propel him over the ground at the speed of light , I”ll swear no faster human over ten yards ever existed. When he spotted the odds he wanted at a particular bookmaker”s stand his slipstream almost blew you away.
It is difficult to draw the line under the life of such a person as Norman; his gentleness, his warm sense of humour and his complete lack of malice towards anyone made him an extremely affable person and one whose company I thoroughly enjoyed.
I am deeply saddened by his passing but I also knew Norman well enough to anticipate what he would have said about this sad event.
Alan A. Hallworth
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008
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