Cable Street Directory 1921

The small traders in the street, and some of the larger ones, were mainly Jewish, with a sprinkling of Irish (and a pork butcher!) Notes below provide some detail of the larger companies, and of a few individuals. The transcription is partly based on this excellent website.

North Side
1  Morris Gellman & Sons, walking stick manufacturers [1]
3  Jacob Nyman, tin plate worker
5  Davis Goldstein, ladies tailor
Mrs Minnie Levenberg, greengrocer
9  Thomas Edward Deeks, draper
11 Abraham Markovitch, butcher
17 Joseph Wanscofsky, boot repairer
19 Victor Emanuel, fishmonger
23 Harris Druian, secondhand clothier [2]
25 Jacob Rodinsky, furniture broker
27 Mrs Annie Mason, stationer
31 Sun & Sword, Edward White [3]
... here is Backchurch Lane ...
33 Isaac Shulman, wardrobe dealer
35 Israel Schwartz, watch maker
39 George Farnham, rag merchant
41 Joseph Margelafsky, chandlers shop
43 Mrs Florence Gratton, coffee rooms
45 Davis Bialick, tailor
47 David Levy, china dealer
49 Joseph Bernstein, furniture dealer
57 Enoch Harris, tailor
65 Simon Abrahams, tailor
69 Lazarus Goldstein, tobacconist
75 Harris Greenbaum, boot repairer
79 Samuel Simpkin, boot repairer
81 Joseph Abrahams, tailor
83 F G Walker & Co, bag merchants
85 Lambert & Son, chicory importers
87 Nunn, Ridsdale & Co Ltd, ships lamp manufacturers [4]
87 T Squire, sail maker
91 Simon Marchinsky, clothes salesman
93 Mrs Rachel Stone, tobacconist
95 Abraham Glass, incandescent fittings dealer
99 Jacob Medjebowsky, laundry
101 Samuel Wassersug, cinematograph theatre [5]
111 Gadaliah Hertz, baker
113 Sam Freedman, boot maker
... here is Christian Street ...
115 Samuel Lesses, chandlers shop
117 Morris Marder, confectioner
... here is Grove Street ...
       Charrington, Dale & Co, coal merchants
      (GER coal depot) [6]

... here is Cannon Street Road ...
169 James Steadman, oilman
181 Harris Pepperberg, costume maker [7]
... here is Walburgh Street ...
201A Tobias Rosenberg, boot repairer
... here is Anthony Street ...
209-213 Sly, Dibble & Co Ltd, tent & marquee makers [8]
215 St Georges & Wapping Constitutional Club,
      William Titshall, secretary [9]

219 Morris Kaplinsky & Co, horn handle makers [1]
223 Benjamin Gurner Jones, vaccination officer [10]
229 & 231 John Gibbs, builder [10a]
[235 former Liberal working men's club] [10b]
245 Mrs Jane Isaacs, feather dresser
263 Rosner & Osner, tailors [formerly Salvation Army]
265 Mrs Yetta Freeman, fried fish shop
267 Simon Goorwitz, tailor
... here is Watney Street ...
South Side
2   Miss Mary Ann Withers, stationer
2   Post, Telegraph & Money Order Office & Savings Bank [11]
  Charles Arnold, outfitter
6   Missions to Seamen Institute [12]
8   Barnett Bomzer, tobacconist [13]
10 Horns & Horseshoe, Abraham Arthur Harris [14]
12 Joseph Soll, wardrobe dealer
... here is Well Street ...
16 Charles Dawe, cheesemonger
18 Isaac Taubler, hairdresser
20 Mrs Mary Ann Burholt, baker
22 Thomas Milbank Hasler, pork butcher
24 Mrs Leah Barnett, outfitter
    [22 & 24 in 1963, right]
26 Bricklayers Arms, Walter Charles Rutter [15]
28 Barnet Rabinowitch, boot maker
30 Wilfred Kenney, grocer
32 Harry Lacombe, fried fish shop
34 Mrs Catherine Bell, oilshop
36 (& 132) Berard Nordheim, baker [16]
38 executors of Frederick Tarrant, pawnbroker
40 Samuel Julius & Walter Rose, hairdressers
42 George Green, corn dealer
44 Lewis Hammer, boot repairer
46 Michael Abrahams, dairy
48 Miss Sarah Beland, cats meat dealer
50 Abraham Rudoff, tailor
52 Harris Spivack, mantle maker
54 Simon Soffert, boot repairer
56 Blakeney's Head, Edward Alex Cornish [17]
... here is Shorter Street ...
58 Julius Cohen, haberdasher
60 Abraham Sugar, grindery dealer [18]
62 Simon Goldstein, tailor
64 Myer Cohen, cap maker [19]
68 Reuben Feldman, dairy
72 Alec Goodman, greengrocer
74 Israel Ruben, picture frame maker
76 Sam Miller, boot repairer
78 Harris Berlock, chandlers shop
80 Blue Anchor, Mrs Ann C Munford [20]
.. here is North East Passage ...
82 Isaac Levy, fried fish shop
84 Samuel Yass, wardrobe dealer
86 Alick Morris, baker
88 Patrick Shea, chandlers shop
92 James William Gilmore, undertaker
94 Novsahetz Marks, boot maker
96 Louis Prefer, tailor
... here is Pell Street ...
98 Magpie & Stump, Miss Sarah Jacobs [21]
100 Woolf Salinsky, wardrobe dealer
100 Max Gilbert, tailor
102 Abraham Danzegar, cap maker [19]
104 Michael Davis, tailor
106 Mrs Sarah Schneider, dress maker
108 Charles Cohen, butcher
110 Hyman Kupferberg, chandlers shop
112 Samuel Jacobs, greengrocer
... here is Princes Square ...

114 Aaron Hart, hairdresser
116 Harry Benjamin, chandlers shop
118 Hyman Hydleman, tobacconist
120 Harry House, hairdresser
122 George Wicks, coffee rooms
124 Abraham Ginsberg, boot repairer
126 Samuel Greenman, greengrocer [22]
132 (& 36) Bernard Nordheim, baker [16]
134 Joseph Cohen, coffee rooms
136 Philip Rinder, tobacconist
138 Levy Spielberg, chandlers shop
144 William English & Son, undertakers [23]
146 Jacob Mincer, tailor
... here is Betts Street ...
      Bonallack & Sons, motor engineers [24]
170 James Cliffin, boot maker
172 Crown, Frederick Edward Finch
... here is Denmark Street ...
174 Philip Isenstein, tailor
176 Michael Cohen, gasfitter
178 Joe Caplan, tobacconist
180 Francis Samuel Slater, coffee rooms
182 Woolf Silverstone, tailor
186 Fred Flatau, baker [25]
... here is Cannon Street Road ...
190 Morris Feldman, confectioner
198 East London Nursing Society,
      Miss Agnes M C Burkitt, matron [26]

200 Chapman Estate Office [27]
212 Mrs Matilda Deppe & Sons, carmen [28]
214 George Owen, sealing wax maker [29]
216 Samuel Katanka, manufacturing clothier
218 Charles Barratt, registrar of births & deaths
220 Jewish Infants Welfare Centre,
      Mrs H Irwell, honorary secretary [30]

228 Albion Mills Co, rag merchants [31]
230 Samuel Stein, furrier
232 Britannia, Israel Wasserman [32]
... here is Prospect Place ...
236 Borough of Stepney Public Libraries
      (St George in the East Library)

      Town Hall, James Evans, hall keeper & mace bearer
      Borough of Stepney Rate Collectors Office: collectors
      William George Cue,
Charles Edward Cundick,
      James Thomas Godwin, Charles Ernest Saunders

      Borough of Stepney Museum (Nature Study branch)
      (St Georges recreation ground)

      St Georges Chapel (Wesleyan East End Mission)
242 & 244 W Paros, india rubber waste merchant
... the East London Railway passes here ...
... here is Dellow Street ...

[1] 'Stick makers' made umbrella frames and walking sticks; it was a characteristic Jewish trade. (See here for a stick-maker condemned wrongly convicted of murder in 1885.)  Morris Kaplinsky was born in Poland in 1862; he married Sarah in 1885 and they had seven daughters and two sons; he died in 1934. He lived previously at 45 Christian Street, then at 219 and/or 221 Cable Street. He changed the title of his trade from umbrella stick maker to horn handle maker.

Harris (known as Harry) Druian had become a naturalized British subject in South Africa, where the family were part of the Jewish community; he took the oath of allegiance here in 1927, by which time he was a merchant of 199a Walthamstow High Street. He married in Whitechapel in 1915, and died in 1949.

[3] The Sun and Sword was probably known in the 18th century as the Rising Sun and Sword.

[4] Joseph and Alfred Ridsdale, brassworkers, took George Charles Spurgin, from Helensburgh, into their partnership at 54 Minories in 1874 until his retirement. They later traded as as Binko, Ridsdale & Co Ltd., nautical and general lamp manufacturers, having merged with Binko & Co, electricians and lampmakers, and from 1899 as Nunn, Ridsdale & Co. (taking G.H. Gibson into partnership), still from the Minories address with works at 'Shadwell' (which presumably means the Cable Street premises). They advertised in the Marine Engineer & Naval Architect (1900) as manufacturers of every description of ship's lamps, lanterns, fog horns, ship fittings, Holmes' rescue and distress signals, Colo'moll flashing signals, and Robertson's patent rowlocks &c. They also made railway lamps, and converted oil lamps for electricity. Their marine lights were on display in the naval and marine engineering collection at the Science Museum in South Kensington in 1911. But in 1922 the company was voluntarily wound up. Right are two copper ship's lamps, wired for electricity, and the company's nameplate.

[5] In 1901 Lithuanian Catholics established a temporary church at 101-105 Cable Street (on the corner of Christian Street) - see here for a comment about their settlement in the area around Planet Street. The diocesan authorities assumed that the Polish church would suffice for their needs (since Mass was in Latin anyway), but they continued to press for their own church and when they came one Sunday to Mass with sticks and cudgels the message got through. They moved to their present site at The Oval, Hackney Road in Bethnal Green in 1912 [right], and the site became Cable Picture Palace (1913 to its bombing in 1940), with 350 seats on a single floor. H. Percy Adams FRIBA was the architect - he was an advocate of simplicity, appreciating the quality of plain brick or stone walls, and is remembered for the King Edward VII Sanatorium [sic] at Midhurst in Kent, and the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; his partner, with whom he worked on many projects, was Charles Holden (famous for his tube station designs). The cinema's proprietor in 1915 was Samuel Wassersug, who was found guilty of receiving stolen property. It was much-loved, but a real flea-pit (disinfected with perfumed spray between performances) with hard seating, and was run on a shoe-string. It continued to show silent films, with accompaniment from a solitary pianist of limited repertoire, when most other picture-houses had installed facilities for sound.

[6] Edward Sells (1721/2-1793) was a lighterman, and astutely specialised in coal, establishing his company at 49 Bankside (on the south of the Thames) in 1755. Although the price of coal fell in the 1820s, and further in the 1830s when the government succeeded in dismantling the complex and archaic monopoly system, introducing sale by weight rather than by the 'chaldron measure' (based on estimates by underpaid, and therefore bribeable, officials), it remained highly profitable, not least because of the advent of gas lighting - hence the building of the now-iconic power station at Bankside. By the 1830s, the firm was Jones and Sells Coal Company, run by bachelor Vincent Sells and his brother Edward Perronet Sells; the area was unhealthy, until it was later drained, so Vincent moved away (but remained closely involved with the restoration of St Saviour's Church) and the Bankside house was let to their clerk, but it remained the company's address for some years until it was let to a scrap metal dealer in 1860. In 1856 they amalgamated as Wright, Sells, Dale and Surtees, but when Wright died 3 years later a further merger took place with their South Bank neighbours Charringtons, who had become prominent in opening up trade in soft Welsh coal from the Rhondda. Charrington, Sells, Dale & Co. continued as a market leader for 60 years, with their main office and depot at Charrington's [later Free Trade] Wharf, 2 Broad Street, Ratcliff [now The Highway] - right in 1978 before demolition.
In 1894 John Charrington senior dropped out of the partnership, which was continued by Edward Perrenot Sells junior, Hylton William Dale and John Charrington junior. See here for an 1898 Old Bailey case where various employees were accused of the theft of coal. Left is their Cable Street depot on Goad's 1899 insurance map, showing the various coal shoots [chutes].
They had their own railway wagons (copied by Hornby Dublo for model railwayers - right); a High Court case Charrington v. London & North Western Railway [1905] 2 KB 437  about 'demurrage' laid  down precedents for what might be 'reasonable' in terms of delay and compensation for railway traffic. The company is mentioned in John Betjeman's poem Parliament Hill Fields which described a young boy's tram ride [the number 7 route?] in 1912 or1913 from Charrington's offices at Gospel Oak station (where there was a request stop - 'stop here if required' - outside) to Highgate.  It includes the couplet

  Shake the floor and smudge the ledger, Charrington, Sells, Dale and Co.,
  Nuts and nuggets in the window, trucks along the lines below.
(The movement of the vehicles is smudging the clerks' writing; coal samples were displayed in miniature trucks in the office window.)

In 1922 it became Charrington, Gardner, Locket & Co Ltd, with Mr Horne as director (he was Mayor of Greenwich in 1922-23, and served on the Metroplitan Standing Joint Committee, the Ministry of Transport's Departmental Committee on Traffic Signs, and the Coal Trade Benevolent Association). See Elspet Fraser-Stephen Two centuries in the London coal trade - the story of Charringtons (privately printed 1952). Their main depot was at Free Trade Wharf - 2 Broad Street, Ratcliff [now The Highway] - right in 1978 before demolition. In correspondence in the Iron & Steel Institute Journal of 1919, they commented on the shortage of beehive coke - only available from three works in County Durham - which foundries preferred for casting work and hoped they would not adopt the making of patent oven coke. They then added these curious remarks about smokeless fuel, which was being promoted as a means of abating London's horrendous 'pea souper' smogs:

With regard to smokeless fuel caution was to be recommended, for the total demand for a fuel of that class in London for domestic purposes was only about 5000 tons, and a good deal of that would merely replace coke. To increase that quantity it would be necessary to reconstruct or build new fireplaces to burn the fuel vertically instead of horizontally, as there was a tendency of such fires to collapse suddenly and so go out. Further, modern houses (such as in garden suburbs) had no adequate provision for the storage of fuel, and most of the new houses could only take ½ ton of coal at a time. If they took smokeless fuel they could only take 5 cwt. - a great inconvenience. A smokeless fuel was not a pleasant combustible unless wood or coal was burned with it in considerable quantities.

In 1923 it was reported that the Tyne-Tees Shipping Company Limited had acquired Charrington's coal wharf adjoining the Free Trade Wharf:

The property has an area of some 45,000 superficial feet,  and, extending as it does from the river to Broad-street, has a depth of 280 ft. and a frontage to the river of 200 ft. A large contract has been secured by the well-known firm of constructional engineers. Brims & Co., Limited, Newcastle and Westminster, for the work of building new jetties and making the road-ways at the riverside. The scheme, which will necessitate the employment of a large number of men, includes two jetties consisting of timber piles. One jetty will be 220 ft. long by 15 ft wide, and will be connected by a 20-ft. roadway to the second jetty, which will be I50 ft. by 30 ft. It is also proposed to construct another road from the jetties to the Free Trade wharf, in order to facilitate the communication with the warehouses on the latter. On the outer jetty, the Hydraulic Engineering Company, Limited, of Chester and London, will put up three hydraulic pedestal cranes, each double-powered, and capable of lifting 30-40 cwt through a height of 90 ft at any rake. The maximum lift will be 123 ft., while the maximum and minimum rakes will be 85 ft. and 20 ft. respectively. The warehouses are expected to be ready for goods within a few months.

[7] Harris Pepperberg (c1879-1952) was born in Russia; he married Sarah (1878-1948) and their first child Marks (Max Lewis) was born in Poland; they came to London and had five more children, Eva, Engel (Issy), David, Joseph and Philip. He lived in Cable Street until his death - the children, all of whom married, moved to suburbs north and south (some shortening their name to Pepper). Harris worked as a costume maker, in due course in partnership with Engel as 'H & E Pepperberg, Mantle Manufacturers', until a bankruptcy in 1940. In 1933 Engel, Joseph and Philip set up as advertising and publicity agents and contractors &c as 'Pepper Publicity Ltd', with £100 capital in £1 shares, but it was dissolved three years later. However, Max may have taken on some of their business, as M.L. Pepper (Publicity) Ltd, of Harrow; in 1952 he published the first yearbook of the National Amateur Tobacco Growers' Association, and its other material (it was based in Harrow, but coincidentally its first president was Hugh Cuthbertson, later of St Paul Dock Street) and yearbooks for country cricket teams (Gloucester, Hampshire, Surrey - examples right); after his death in 1963 the firm moved to Chelmsford.

[8] The origins of Sly, Dibble & Co were in a half-timbered house in Jewin Street, where by the start of the 19th century ancestors were sailmakers. In Kelly's Directory for 1875 they were listed as sail makers & ship chandlers, manufacturers of improved railway sheets & dressed waterproof cloths of every description suitable for all climates, marquees, tents, flags, rick cloths, ropes & lines, hop-pocketting, cart grease &c. &c. Tarpaulins, sacks & bags on sale or hire, 1-6 Cornwall-st, London, E. [an earlier address for the Cable Street premises] & 15 Duke-st, London Bridge S.E. Temporary rooms fitted up; marquees, tents & flags on hire. Other advertisements specified all kinds of new and second hand sacks for lime, cement and plaster, and another, mysteriously, loin cloths and nose bags. The partners were Richard Stevens Sly, John George Dibble and Alfred Stone, but Stone resigned. In 1895 J.G. Dibble was appointed a member of a committee investigating the winding-up of Reliance Portland Cement Works Ltd. Left is their 1896 catalogue of tents, and right a receipt of 1897 for linen, hessian and scrim, and Goad's 1899 insurance map showing their premises between Cornwall and Cable Streets.
As the company expanded - they had become government contractors - they also diversified. Their 1891 trade catalogue (locally-printed by Dodsworths) describes them also as nurserymen & seedsmen dealing in horticultural and florists' sundries, with premises at 2 Colonial Avenue, Minories as well as 209-213 Cable Street [as it had now become], and 129 Commercial Street, Spitalfields. The American Florist of 1893 reported that A.G. Dibble visited Boston to drum up trade, and at home they had a representative covering the Midlands, North, Scotland (seeking a petition for cessio - surrender of goods - against James Lindsay of Glasgow in 1893) and Ireland. Right is a presentation clock inscribed with the firm's name, from around 1920. In 1923 they registered the freehold of 203-207 Cable Street; but also in that year their share capital was reduced from £30,000 in £1 shares to £20,000 in 10s. shares, of which only half were initially issued.

[9] St George's & Wapping Constitutional Club - clubs so named were affiliated to the Conservative party, and established all over the country towards the end of the 19th century, providing social facilities, both for working- and middle-class areas. Not all members were overtly political. (The gentlemen's club of this name, founded in the wake of franchise reform, was in Northumberland Avenue, off Trafalgar Square). 'St George's & Wapping' was the name of the parliamentary constituency at this time. Until 1915, a few door along at no.235, was a Reform Club - affiliated to the Liberal Party. Left is a local association badge of this period.

[10] Vaccination against smallpox was regulated by a series of Vaccination Acts from 1840 to 1907 (all repealed by the 1946 National Health Service Act). The older practice of variolation (giving a controlled infection) was banned, and compulsory vaccination of infants came in 1867, with much debate over the years about penalties and provision for conscientious objection (which initially involved a complex process so was rarely taken up). Initially poor law guardians controlled the administration and paid the fees, but in 1871 the office of vaccination officer was created. Many areas, however, failed to make appointments, or combined it with that of relieving officer, and in some cases registrar of births and deaths. See further Deborah Brunton The Politics of Vaccination: Practice and Policy in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, 1800-1874 (2008).

Benjamin's father William had a clock- and watch-making business at 291 Cable Street (formerly 12 Wellington Place, Back Road) from around 1850-1901; Benjamin gave this up when he became Vaccination Officer; the family moved to Ilford, but maintained links with St George-in-the-East, where his son Gurner Prince Jones (born in 1885) was a lieutenant in the Church Lads' Brigade for St George's and St Peter's. Gurner spent most of his working life, apart from the First World War, in Stepney's library service, and was Borough Librarian from 1936 until his retirement ten years later (succeeding Albert Cawthorne, who had held the post for 34 years following the creation of the Borough of Stepney and the merger of its libraries). He was a part-time graduate of the East London College (founded in 1902, becoming Queen Mary College in 1907 and part of the University of London) - which was just around the corner from his base at the Bancroft Road library: he was one of the few pre-World War II municipal librarians to have become a graduate by part-time study, and was Honorary Secretary of the Association of Assistant Librarians from 1920 (in which year be became Chief Assistant), and President in 1931-32 (having become Deputy Borough Librarian in 1929). After his retirement, he commented that those who like him had served in the First World War returned in a somewhat revolutionary frame of mind, very unsettled, somewhat disgruntled, and determined to see that the bad old days should be abolished and a new era inaugurated.

During the Second World War he was Chief Food Officer for Stepney, reponsible for administering food rationing in the borough - so may well have clashed with Fr Groser when be broke open a food store in 1940. (He was upset that his deputy as Chief Librarian was not paid for the extra duties he took on.) The overwork of this period led him to take retirement at 60 rather than continuing to 65; the family moved to Swanage, and he died there in 1960.

His son Peter was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1991 for his work with the Inland Revenue, and we are grateful to his for information about his father and grandfather.

[10a] John and Walter Hearle were builders at these premises until Walter's death in 1891, when William John Hearle and George Farrow continued the business; John died in 1895, at Carolow, Sprowston Road, Forest Gate. The premises lay between Cable and Cornwall Streets.

[10b] formerly the premises of the New Liberal Working Men's Club and Institute, a friendly society (no.1082) set up in 1906 but dissolved in 1915 - one of a number of such societies which came to an end during the war years. In 1917 the Carnegie Trust reported on the Physical Welfare of Mothers and Children trhoughout the land, and listed activities at these premises, along with those at the Congregational Chapel, Watney Street; St George's  Mission Hall; Planet Street Institute; the Wesleyan Chapel in Cable Street; and St Mary's Mission Hall, Johnson Street.

[11] As this picture shows, the Cable Street sub-post office was among the last building to be cleared from Cable Street in the 1980s. In 1910 George Vincent was acquitted of a postal order fraud (despite having 'form' for similar offences), including one for 8/- purporting to be from this office; the postmistress Cecilia Sarah Montford gave evidence that it was falsely stamped.

[12] Alongside the various local institutions for seafarers, in 1856 the Church of England established the Missions to Seamen with hostels and institutes all around the world, offering accommodation, recreation and spiritual and practical help. In 1919 they ran the following institutes in Docklands: 6 Cable Street (for men only); 154 East India Dock Road (for officers only; about 1/-; literature, billiards), Victoria Dock Road, Custom House E16 (for officers and men; billiards); Tilbury Docks (35 cubicles at 1/- per night and 5/- per week, billiards and other games, concerts during winter months). Renamed the Mission to Seafarers in 2000, its headquarters are at St Michael Paternoster Royal in the City. The flying angel symbol comes from Revelation 14.16.

[13]  Barnett Bomzer (Bomze) (1880-1935), from Poland, tobacconist & hairdresser, was naturalized in 1924; his wife was Augusta.

[14] The Horse & Horseshoe's address was formerly no.3; it closed as a pub in 1997 [right in 1987 and 2007].

[15] The Bricklayers Arms' address was formerly no.10.

[16] Bernard Nordheim was the third of four children of Cecilia Nordheim (1820-1906), they were born in Prussia, and established a bakery business in Oxford Street, Mile End, with several local shops. In 1905 Bernard hit the headlines; according to Lloyd's Weekly

Tho East London coroner held an inquiry at Stepney recently concerning the death of Henry Frederick Sautter, aged 41, a journeyman baker, late of 23, Clive-street, Mile-end, who died from the effects of overwork. Emma Sautter stated that the deceased was her husband, who for the last three weeks had suffered from shortness of breath. On Monday last he left home at night to work at Mr Nordheim's in Oxford-street. Shortly after madnight she was sent for, and found him lying dead in the bakehouse. He had complained of being overworked for some time past. On Fridays he had worked from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the Saturday, and every other Sunday 9 o'clock in the morning until 1.30 baking dinners. The Coroner: They must have done a big business; are these hours usual ?— Witness: Mr Nordheim had four shops to keep going, but this is the only bake-house. Witness added that the deceased was not a union man. Sometimes he got 2s. extra, and then his master wanted to stop the allowance of a loaf. Deceased continued working because they had five children, and he didn't know where else he might get employment. His wages were 32s. a week.
George Aitcholer, of Durban-road, West Ham, said he was the foreman baker. Deceased started work at nine p.m. and appeared in his usual health. About 11 p.m. he had some fried fish, and started work again. Shortly afterwards he fell forward on his face and expired. Witness had noticed the deceased beating his chest with his hands twice during the night. Witness had been away ill himself for three months. A Juror: That is not surprising. What are your actual hours ? — Witness:  We start at 9 p.m. and loave off at noon the next day. On Saturdays the hours are longer still. They got their meals the best way they could whilst the bread was in the oven. ('Shame!' from the jury.) Deceased had frequently complained of too much work. Ten hours was the union time. A Juror: This man has been putting in about 15 hours every day except Saturdays, and then he put in about 23.
William Bick, a fellow worker of deceased, said there were four men at work, and they could often do with more hands. Witness had been working l5 hours a day and 23 on Saturdays, and six hours on Sunday. Sometimes on Saturdays they had to wait three hours for their money (sensation). The Coroner:  I thought 48 hours a week was the average for the working man, but you seem to get in nearly all in a few days. In reply to questions witness said they had all complained. There was a dusthole in the bakehouse, and they had to put some sacks up to keep the rain out. Witness had belonged to the union, but had 'chucked it' as the contributions were too much.
Bernard Nordheim, tbe proprietor, of 256, Oxford-street, E., gave evidence, and in reply to the coroner, said the men's hours 'varied'. They had a rest and went to sleep inside the troughs.— The Coroner: You don't provide couches? You don't employ union men, do you? Witness: I don't study the point; they are mixed. Witness added that the bakehouse was large and lofty. (A voice: 'Rot!')
Dr John Normile deposed that having heard the evidence and the history of the case, he was satisfied that the deceased had died from heart failure accelerated by overwork and long hours. The coroner remarked that there was no doubt about too long hours and the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.

The following year he sued the Daily Express for a trade libel in their reporting of this case. It went to the Court of Appeal, where the jury awarded damages of a farthing. The House of Lords allowed his appeal against this award, on the ground that the amount of damages was against the weight of evidence. But in 1907 (living at 141 Commercial Road) he was declared bankrupt. However, he appears to have re-established his business, with two premises in Cable Street.

[17] Blakeney's Head (previously no.25) was also known as Admiral Blakeney's Head. William Blakeney (1672-1761) led the defence of Minorca in 1756 during the Seven Years' War, eventually forced to surrender on honourable terms to the French. 84 years old at the time, he is said not to have taken to his bed during seventy days' fighting. The pub featured in Peter Love's 2009 novel Ambidexterity.

[18] Abraham Sugar was born in Zborov, Poland in 1879; he married Rachel Marks and had 9 children. He died in Leeds in 1944.

[19] Cap making was a specific tailoring skill. In the previous century, they made night caps, morning caps, dress caps and widow's caps for women, cloth caps and uniform caps for men, and fancy caps for boys. A study of the 19th century Jewish cap makers of Whitechapel is here.
[20] The Blue Anchor was previously numbered 35.

[21] The Magpie & Stump's original address was 7 New Road, when parts of Cable Street were so numbered.

[22] In 1888 this had been the address of Severin Klosowski, known as George Chapman, a Polish barber who was convicted of serial wife poisoning and executed in 1903; he has been considered as a candidate for Jack the Ripper, though his methods were very diferent. The premises (boarded up) are shown in 1943. 

[23] The funeral directors W. English & Son were established in 1880; they remain in business, as part of the Dignity group, and have premises in Bethnal Green and South Woodford.

[24] Jacob Bonallack came from Cornwall to London in 1825 to build horse wagons, which became renowned for their quality and were exported all around the world. In 1846 he went into partnership with Joseph Briggs as coach makers and coach and cart wheelwrights, at Hanbury's Field, Brick Lane, with a shop in John Street and a shop and counting house in Church Lane; Briggs became an insolvent debtor (as was common with wheelwrights and coachbuilders - few survived for more than ten years). The Engineer & Machinist's 1850 list of 'registered designs for articles of utility' includes Jacob Bonallack, of Whitechapel and Holloway, for staves and stays for vans and cart bodies. In 1869 he was living at 67 Church Street, Whitechapel, and was one of 19 signatories to a lease on the vaults under the Brick Lane chapel, then in Methodist hands - being Cornish, presumably he was a Methodist? (The National Sunday School Union in 1874 lists his grandson William John as  Superintendent at Whitechapel.)
That same year, Jacob left the partnership, handing over the running of the business to his grandsons William John and Walter, as Bonallack & Sons, wheelwrights, of 149 Cable Street [the 1878 Vestry map, right, also shows premises on the other side of the road; far right are their premises, between Betts and Denmark Street, in Goad's 1899 insurance map). Jacob was then in partnership with James George Manning as Sheffield Ware Fancy & General Dealers at 107 Mile End Road, but this was dissolved in 1871 and Frederick Jacob Bonallack stepped in; by the end of the century he was a fancy goods importer, with shops in Sydenham, West Norwood, Bromley and South Norwood, but went bust in 1904.

Meanwhile, in 1886 Bonallack & Sons had taken over Stephen Gowar & Co, a long-established coachbuilding firm in Stratford, and in 1891 Walter bought out his brother William John. They were now van builders, wheelwrights & contractors, of Cable St and The Broadway, Stratford, making motor vehicle bodies. By 1921, Who's Who in Engineering records that Walter's co-directors were Francis and John; they had four branches, and produced commercial motor bodies to any design, horse-drawn vehicles, artillery and plain wheels and wheel components, motor roofing. They moved their factory to Nursery Lane, Forest Gate, and had a showroom in Romford Road. In 1927 the Municipal Journal & Public Works Engineer (vol 36, p164) describes one of their specialist vehicles:

This ambulance Is the direct result of considerable war-time experience on the part of the senior partner in the firm, Mr. Walter Bonallack, M.I.A.E., and embraces features not to be found in other ambulances on the market. The loading arrangements include a sliding stretcher frame which enables a patient to be loaded without first lowering the stretcher into the roadway, as is the case with the standard type of vehicle. The rear doors also are the full depth of the vehicle, and are so constructed that they shut right back against the side of the vehicle, leaving an absolutely undisturbed loading way. This is a convenience which will be appreciated by every ambulance man.Another special feature of the ambulance is the panelling, which is constructed of a jointless composition specially designed to withstand both sound and changes of temperature. It will be readily appreciated that this feature is an immense comfort to very sick people for whom the exclusion of noise coupled with even temperature means a very gret deal. The internal equipment includes two stretcher carriers, one long seat for sitting cases, a large locker for appliances, and a handsome mahogany fall down washing cabinet with water reservoir. It should also be mentioned that the mahogany-lined interior is finished in white enamel, and that all joints, mouldings, &c., likely to harbour dust or germs have been eliminated. The driver's compartment is very comfortably upholstered with spring cushions, &c, so that both the driver and attendant are able to travel quite as comfortably as in an average touring car. The whole vehicle is painted in the standard colours of the Dagenham Council, a deep cream embellished with the Council's coat of arms, and suitable lettering. the general effect is very pleasing.The chassis on which this ambulance is mounted is the well-known Morris ton chassis, with special additions to the spring suspension to render it smooth and easy running for ambulance purposes. Tho general combination between the Morris chassis and the body certainly represents an alliance between one of the most go-ahead chassis builders and also one of the oldest and best-known body builders in the country.

This blog tells how in 1938 the volunteer fire brigade at Borough Green in Kent bought a 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost for £26 from press baron Lord Kelmsley, and Walter Bonallack (who had a house in the village) converted it for their use; it became Matchbox 'model of yesteryear no Y-6 [left]. In 1951 they made an experimental 3-wheeler car, the Bonallack Minnow [left]. Powered by a 250cc Excelsior Talisman twin cylinder 2-stroke engine, it had a vertical windscreen, a front seat bench and a convertible hood and side curtains, but it was not a success and production ceased the following year.

The next year they moved to a new factory in Basildon. Here they made specialist bodies, including fire tenders, refrigerated vans, ambulances, outside broadcast vans, ice cream vans, and took out several patents. An example of one of their conversions is shown left - a former US Army vehicle converted into a snowplough for Aberdeenshire County Council. Right is an Armstrong Siddeley Eighteen chassis with custom-built shooting brake/utility coachwork. There are still a few who remember 'Mr Walter', who was a member of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers (whose founding predates its present charter of 1688, and in recent years has moved from quality control of coachbuilding to supporting both the heritage craft and contemporary trade developments in the aerospace, automotive and rail industries - arms right). He died in 1961, aged 90; his son Basil became chairman of the company. In 1963 they formed a new company, Bonallack Mann Egerton (Refrigerated Vehicles) Ltd., and in 1971 they merged with Freight Development Company as Freight Bonallack Ltd, part of the Alcan Group of companies (originally James Booth Aluminium Ltd), with Sir Richard Bonallack (1904-96), described as a mechanical engineer, as chairman, running divisions in Basildon, Lancing, Norwich and Wakefield. It became known as Alcan Transport Products, but reverted to the Freight Bonallack name in 1985 following further company restructuring. They were involved in container trade exchanges around Europe, including Russia.
The family lived at Thorpe Bay in Essex and Sir Richard was active in the development of Basildon New Town. A keen golfer, present when a new course was opened there in 1967, his son Sir Michael Bonallack OBE was the most prominent amateur golfer of his generation, winner of five British Amateur and five English Amateur championships, and nine times a Walker Cup player.

[25] Flatau is a Polish/Russian Jewish name; Fred, born in Russia, was naturalized in 1899. His family is currently researching his history

[26] According to the archives of the Royal London Hospital, where its records are kept, the East London Nursing Society was established in 1868 to provide trained nurses for the 'sick poor' in their own homes in East London. One of its founders was the Hon. Mrs Jane Stuart-Wortley. Three private nurses were initially engaged to work in Bromley, Poplar and St Philips, Stepney Way. The Society merged with the Metropolitan and National Association for Providing Trained Nurses for the Sick Poor (formed in 1874), becoming its Eastern Division; but in 1881 the East End Branch assumed its original, independent position. Princess Christian became President of the Society in 1883, and in 1891 the Society became affiliated with Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute for Nurses. From 1912 the Society's nurses began to attend the School Centre in Poplar. The London County Council and Borough Councils increasingly supported the Society's work, and in 1943 the LCC asked the Society to take responsibility for District midwifery training in the area. See The History of a Hundred Years: East London Nursing Society 1868-1968. by Edith Ramsay MBE [right] who was a key figure in local nursing and other affairs; sheltered housing in Duckett Street is named after her, and she figured in Fr Joe Williamson's slum clearance campaigns and in a 1970 documentary about the Battle of Cable Street. The ELNS continues - a member of our congregation is one of its trustees.

[27] The Chapman Estate office had a builders' yard behind, in what is now Hawksmoor Mews. One of the staff there was Harry Costin, born at 197 Cable Street in 1895; he lived with his parents in Tait Street, and served with the Royal Fusiliers in the First World War - his eyesight was affected by mustard gas. He married Lillian Newman at St George's in 1923, and later worked as a security officer for Bonallack and for Truman's Breweries on the corner of Cable and Betts Street; he died in 1974. Another was William Whiting, father of the late Edith Wyeth. The estate manager in the early years of the century was Walter Belcher, who was also a Stepney Borough Councillor, and gave evidence in favour of immigration controls to the 1903 Royal Commission on Alien Immigration (which led to the 1905 Aliens Act). Like others, he conflated issues of welfare with the 'Jewish problem'. More extremely, in Ichabod, a nasty anti-semitic novel of 1910 by James Blyth (which advocated deporting Jews to Mexico and Latin America) a character says Of course there are two or three large estates, such as the Chapman estate, the freehold of which the grasping vermin have been unable to get. But even in those estates, they have, in many instances, managed to secure a leasehold interest by dirty, underhand subterfuges .... See here for more on the Chapman estate and the Winterton family.

As Denys Munby thoroughly details in chapter 3 of his 1951 report Industry and Planning in Stepney, in the inter-war years the large private landlords failed to match the London County Council in terms of slum rebuilding, though in 1934 the estate did build Turnour House. Hence Lord Winterton's comment to his biographer (Near to Greatness p188), referring to 1920 or so: Phyllis [Brooks - a close friend] had some not very pleasant rumours to tell me emanating from social workers on the condition of the Chapman Estate ... Chapman Estate concert for women ... I got a very good reception at both entertainments (concert for men in the evening), rather surprising for an East End landlord in these days, especially as the Labour Mayor of Stepney proposed my health amid acclamations. The area of the Chapman estate was badly blitzed and has since been more or less entirely rebuilt.

[28] Matilda Caroline Redman was born in Ash-next-Sandwich, Kent, in 1843; she married Hermann Heinrich Christian Ziegenbaum (born in Germany c1832) at All Saints, Mile End New Town in 1867. He died in 1894, and she married Henry Deppe (also of German ancestry). Henry died around 1906, and Matilda in 1912, but the business (which today would be a car hire or minicab service) was continued in her name by sons of her first marriage Henry (1875-1950) and George (1877-1941): in 1926/7 their partnership (as Henry and Charles Ziegenbein, commonly known as Deppe, haulage contractors of 212 Cable Street - but also with an address at 3 Sage Street) was declared bankrupt [Gazette]. There were other children of the marriage, including Charles Paul, or Powell (1880-1943) - an executor with Henry and Charles of his mother's will - and Matilda Caroline (1884-1955).
Henry married Margaret Donoghue, and was known as the 'Animal Man of Sage Street', keeping elephants, birds, monkeys and other creatures (compare Jamrach and others). They had four children: Charles Henry, Margaret, Gertrude and Percy. Margaret married Ernest Bullen at St John the Evangelist in 1922 and emigrated to Australia in 1929, with two daughters. Percy's son Lawrence married Jackie Bufton, who was t
he last landlady of the Crown and Dolphin, on the corner of Cable Street and Cannon Street Road. Margaret ('Grandma Deppe') died in 1965, aged 92.
Thanks to Elizabeth Bullen, of Australia, for much of this information.

[29] Right is the shop doorway of no.214 in 1948 and today.

[30] The Association of Infant Welfare and Maternity Centres, of which the Jewish Infants Welfare Centre was a branch, was founded in 1911. In 1926 the London Workers' Section of the Association resolved to beseech the Ministry of Health to remove the embargo on the giving of information on birth control at infant welfare centres by the medical officer in charge to cases when he or she considers it necessary, cleverly adding and draws the Ministry's attention to the danger of the indiscriminate sale of birth control literature and the display of contraceptives. The issue was debated in the House of Lords that year, churchmen and others voicing their opposition. (The Association changed its name to The Association of Maternity and Child Welfare Centres, and in 1938 amalgamated with the National Association for the Prevention of Infant Mortality (founded in 1906) as the National Association for Mother and Child Welfare.)

Henrietta Irwell (c1870-1941), secretary of the Cable Street centre, was the Chairman [sic] of the London Workers' Section. In 1922, having been unable to chair the Association during a campaigning trip to the USA, she entertained its members to a social afternoon in Kew Gardens. Born Henrietta Fuerst in Germany, she was twice-widowed and rich, living at 8f Bickenhall Mansions, Gloucester Place: she married her second husband, Mecklenburg-born wool merchant Hermann Irwell, in 1901; he was over 30 years older than her, and died in 1910. She was one of the leading Zionists of her generation, and a feminist. In 1905 she had endowed Alice Model's Jewish Day Nursery in Whitechapel, enabling it to employ a kindergarten teacher, and in 1922 was a founder member of the Council for the Amelioration of the Legal Position of the Jewess. In 1918 she was involved in the creation of the Federation of Women Zionists, which in 1920 became the Women's International Zionist Organisation, of which she was co-treasurer and one of three vice-presidents (Lady Beatrice Samuel was president). WIZO worked for child welfare in Palestine, and its headquarters was named for her in 1936. She went to Australia and New Zealand (with her niece Miss Forrester) to promote its work in 1929. She was also a council member of the Jewish Health Organisation, an active supporter of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology, and an elected member of the Royal Asiatic Society, and helped finance the Ahad Ha'am Lectureship in Modern Hebrew at the School of Oriental Studies (now SOAS). None of this stopped her from spending the season in Cannes in 1937, staying at the Grand Hotel! During the Nazi era she was active in fundraising for German refugees. Right  are two WIZO projects in Haifa: the Henrietta Irwell School for Women's Handicrafts, and the weaving department of the Henrietta Irwell Professional School in Haifa.

[31] Joseph Simon Hymans & Abraham Simon Hymans traded as rag, waste and general merchants under the name of the Albion Mills Company from 56 Lochnagar St, Poplar, with other premises in Brighton Mills, Heckmondwike and Albion Mills, Batley as well as Cable Street. (There were spinning mills in Yorkshire and the north west with the same company name.) The Ministry of Labour Gazette for 1920 reported proceedings under the 1896 Conciliation Act and associated statutes:

Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union v. The Albion Mills Company, General Merchants and Shippers, London.
Difference — Application for a minimum wage and other working conditions. Agreement — Minimum rates of £3 10s. per week for males over the age of 19 and £1 I7s. 6d. for all females, with overtime at the rate of time and a half for all hours worked beyond the normal work day. The wage of piece workers to be 25 per cent, on the current rate. Working week should consist of 47 hours: other conditions fixed. Signed 22nd April 1920 [W.A. 2370]

In 1919 they appointed Seymour S. Lappert & Co, paper stock (rag) dealers of New York, to represent the company in the sale of all papermakers' supplies which they exported to the United States. In 1922 they sued an insurer for £30,000 on stock destroyed by fire at a wharf. The claim failed because it was held to be fraudulent, based on falsified stock books (Albion Mills Company v. H. Babington Hill (1922) 11 Ll.L.Rep. 54). This was presumably what led the company into liquidation, with a receiving order that same year and a final dividend of 3¼d. in the £. 

[32] At 232 Cable Street adjacent to Library Place, is the former Britannia Arms/Tavern [left], a locally-listed building, a private dwelling since 1996 and carefully restored in 2011, now offering bed and breakfast accommodation. (Not to be confused with The Britannia off Watney Street!)

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