Ida and Louise Cook , who lived in Sunderland, have been honoured for their role in helping Jewish people escape from Nazi Germany. They posed as opera enthusiasts to visit Germany on many occasions, and smuggled out of the country the personal possessions of people facing persecution. The Cooks sold the possessions in England and send the money back to the owners, so that they could pay for emigration papers to escape from Germany. Ida wrote novels for Mills & Boon, and used this income to fund their visits to Germany.  If they had been caught, they would have faced execution. Ida said: “We were careful on detail. We never took earrings for pierced ears, because neither of us had pierced ears. That was the kind of thing they caught you on.”

Sunderland Council is installing a blue plaque on Croft Avenue, to mark the house where the Cooks lived. Read the article here: