Street Directory of Commercial Road, south side, 1956

Comparison with the 1921 listing shows that the Jewish rag trade had come to dominate the street - its decline, and Asian takeover, lay ahead (as details of bankruptcies show) - but with the difference that companies, rather than individual traders, predominate; owners no long necessarily lived over the shop (as confirmed by the electoral register of the same year, where some are marked as ineligible for local elections, indicating that their main residence was elsewhere; the register also indicates the relatively few who were registered for jury service). Some premises were subdivided into a number of trading outlets, where garments were made up and distributed from pieces made by various specialist makers. Woollen merchants feature in some numbers. Underlining indicates people, or trades, present in 1921 (in some cases a son has taken over the business) - their details are mostly given on the 1921 page.

2   Semel's, hairdressers
4   J McMillan & Co Ltd, fancy leather goods dealers
6  Harvey Katz, wholesale warehouseman
8  Elia Glickman, dentist
8 Levius & Co Ltd, silk merchant [1]
10 Charles Sabel, tobacconist
12 Harry Wiseman & Son Ltd, fancy goods merchant
14 Simpson's Furnishers Ltd, house furnishers
16 H Bellman & Sons Ltd, mantle manfacturers
18 I Fox, gown manufacturer
18 Amhurst Manufacturing Co Ltd, wholesale dressmakers [2] are Plough Street & Braham Street...
30 William Samuel Hillman, ladies' tailor [3]
30 A W Weller, textile merchant
30A Janet Gowns, gown manufacturers
30B William Leonard Liggins, coffee rooms
32 JJ & SW Chalk, timber merchants
34 Myer Eckhardt, tailor
34 J Bander [Bender] & Co Ltd, gown manufacturer
36 B Zane & Sons Ltd, gown manufacturer
38 M & I Franks Ltd, gown manufacturer
38-40 Star Frocks Manufacturing Co Ltd, gown manufacturer
38-40 A Rosener & Sons, mantle manufacturer
38-40 Paulette Fabrics Ltd, woollen merchant
38-40 Cusina Gowns Ltd
42 P Pantell, restaurant
44 Castle, Sidney Grahams is Goodman's Stile...
     British Railways (LMR) Goods depot
46 St Louis Club [details needed]
48 & 50 Gunmakers' Hall
     Worshipful Co of Gunmakers (Proof House) is Gower's Walk...
52 H Cohen, mantle manufacturer
52 Style Dress Ltd, gown manufacturers
52 Alfred Lever & Co, mantle manufacturers
     Improved Industrial Dwellings Co Ltd
     (Morrison buildings south) is Back Church Lane... is Berner Street...
74 Lassle Sassie, children's dress manufacturers
86 Hyman Spector, woollen merchant [4]
88 National Wine & Spirit Co., wine shippers [5]
90 Samuel Brent, gown manufacturer
90A A.E. Magen & Sons, estate agents [6]
92 Morris Angel, hairdresser
92 S Dibner, general merchant
94 Antonio Gonnella, refreshment rooms [7]
96 Albert Kliman, invisible mending [8]
98 Gordon Bros, mantle makers [9] is Batty Street...
100 Abraham Mann, Manchester warehouseman
102 S M Thompson, dining rooms
104 Sitex (Woollens) Ltd, woollen merchants
104 Crescent Textile Ltd, woollen merchant
106 S Chenkin Ltd, wholesale hosiers [10]
108 Charles Connick, woollen merchant [11]
110 J Kanutin & Sons, wholesale warehousemen [12]
112 S Moss & Son, woollen merchant
114 Jack Bossick, refreshment rooms [13] is Christian Street...
116 M Max, pawnbroker [14]
118 Jacob Rosenblatt, tailor [15]
118 Touquet, skirt manufacturers
120 Jacob Perlow, buttonhole maker
120 Brian George Pearsall, sewing machine dealer [16]
122 J W Bland & Sons (Stationers) Ltd, wholesale stationers
124 Bellebelinda Ltd, mantle makers [17]
126 S Ogin Ltd, ladies' tailors
128 King's Head, Cope's Taverns Ltd [Arthur J & Iris Taylor] is Golding Street...

130 Grossman Bros, tailors
130 Conroy Tee & Co Ltd, wholesale mantle makers
132 Ritwear Ltd, wholesale mantle manufacturers is Golding Terrace...
134-36 H Landau Ltd, caterers
138A A Jelosky Ltd, woollen manufacturers
138 J Koslover Ltd, trousers manufacturers
138 Samuel Bolzman, tobacconist [or Botzman] is Umberston Street...
140-42 Barclays Bank Ltd
144 Simon Biher, woollen manufacturer
144 M Toffel, mantle manufacturer
146 Harry Lord, hosier [18]
Isidore Jacobs, hairdresser
[148  Sylvia Wolfryd]
150 Charles Levy, woollen merchant
152 Michael Werner, wireless engineer
152A Stebbing & Co, boot & shoe factors
152B Herbert S Walker, dentist is Hessel Street...
154 Perkins Dyers & Cleaners Ltd [19]
156 David & Co, tobacconists [20]
158 Mackworth Arms, Bernard J & Mrs Ann Kaye [21]
160 H Singer, sewing machine dealer [16] is Cannon Street Road...
162 L Frumkin & Co Ltd, wine & spirit dealers
164 P Sidelkowsky, ladies' tailor [22]
164 David Bass Textiles Ltd, woollen merchants
164 Percy, ladies' tailor [22]
164 Curwin Taylor Ltd, dressmakers [23]
164 Rensite Ltd, gown manufacturers
166 A Rosner & Sons Ltd, shirt manufacturers
168 D & L (Mantles) Ltd, wholesale mantle manufacturers
170 M & J Selby, tailors [Louis Selby]
170 Mark J Silver, tailor
[172  Isaac & Lily Moscovitch]
174 R & L Radio Ltd, television [Jack Temple] is Rampart Street...
176 Freeson Models Ltd, wholesale mantle makers
[178  Fanny, Neil Y, Percy J Scott]
180 Klein (Men's Wear) Ltd, tailors [Michael Klein]
184 J Zaltsman, tailor [24]
186 Lucienne Modes Ltd, gown manufacturers [25]
188 L Thei & Son Ltd, manufacturing clothiers [26]
188 Lazarus Thei, wholesale draper [26]
190 Emanuel Shermatt [or Sherman], woollen merchant
190 I Dudack & Co, woollen merchants
194 Beau Brummell, hairdresser [Angel Nyman] is Richard Street...
[196-200 site of the former Blakesley Street School]
204 J Dudack & Son Ltd, trimmings merchants [27]
[206 Hannah Spindle]
208 The Tolvin Press, printers is Jane Street...
210-16 Lloyds Bank Ltd
210 Clements, Hakim & Co, incorporated accountants [28]
218 Gulistan Restaurant, dining rooms [29]
220 Joseph Cyril Stock, optician [29]
222 Collins & Bowman Ltd, mantle makers
224 C & M Goldstein, tailors' trimmings [30] is Anthony Street...
228 Palaseum, cinematograph theatre is Fenton Street...
230A Kavella Ltd, gown manufacturers
230 Lord Nelson, Mark David is Buross Street...
232 Michael Fisher, tobacconist
236 Abraham Rappaport, woollen merchant [Rapoport]
238 M Glickman & Sons Ltd, ironmongers
      [trading elsewhere in 1921 and today]
240 William James Bevan, beer retailer [Hungerford Arms] is Hungerford Street...
240A N Goldstein & So Ltd, woollen merchants
240A I Wasserman & Sons, mantle manufacturers
240A [& 164] Holray Gowns Ltd, gown manufacturers
242-46 Blue Star Garages Ltd, motor engineers [31]
242-46 Brown Phillips & Co (Fashions) Ltd, mantle manufacturers
248 Diamond Bros, wholesale tobacconists
250 Bernard Solley & Co, solicitors [32]
250 S & N M Fox Ltd, woollen merchants is Planet Street...
252 Victor Knopp Ltd, clothing manufacturers
258-60 H Skolnik & Sons Ltd, woollen merchants
258-60 Arthur Curtis & Co Ltd, mantle manufacturers
258-60 Max Goldstein, ladies' tailor
258-60 Henry Harris & Co, mantle manufacturers
258-60 M & A Harris, ladies' tailors
258-60 Philip Glicksman, mantle manufacturer is Winterton Street...
       Commercial Road Great Synagogue [33]
266 Mrs Letitia Mary Margaret Newberry, beer retailer is Watney Street... is Deancross Street...
      [right - 300-304 in 1974]
Michael O'Toole, physician
304 J Macdonald, chiropodist
308 Thomas O'Carroll, physician & surgeon
314 Maurice Batey LDSHOB, dental surgeon
320 Philip Steinberg MB, physician & surgeon
324 Berg & Hecht, ladies' tailors
326 F J Hill (Dunstable) Ltd, transport contractors [34]
328 B Pela, tailor
330 S Neuburger DMD, dental surgeon
334 Ellis's, florists is Sutton Street...
       St Mary & St Michael's Roman Catholic Church is Lukin Street...
348 Reginald William Simpson, beer retailer
350 Scott Bros & Co, wholesale druggists
352 Ali Sayd, dining rooms
354 E R Goodrich Ltd, oil & colour men
356 J Zaltszyrer, boot repairer [35]
358 David Shutz, grocer
360 Alfred Simons, hairdressers
362 J Platman & Sons, mantle makers is Johnson Street...
      [right - 368-374 in 1974]
368 London Trustee Savings Bank
370 St Mary & St Michael's Presbytery
374 G I Frankel, printer [36] is Hardinge Street...
378 G Murphy, fried fish shop
380 Launderette, launderers [37]
382 Miss Rose Coleman, newsvendor [37]
384-398 East End Maternity Hospital
400 Church House
402 Edward Fall & Co, solicitors
406 Arthur Tolsipi & Sons, refreshment rooms
408 H A Kendon, estate agent
410 Morris's Products (1933) Ltd, cake flour manufacturers [38]
412 Metropolitan Water Board (District Foreman's depot) [39]
414 Mrs Ethel K Daniel, beer retailer is Devenport Street, Havering Street, Albert Gardens...

[1] Elias (Elick, or Alec) Moses Levius [right] was born in Latvia in 1889. In 1921 he worked with one Altman as job buyers at 45 Commercial Road; he was naturalized in 1927, described as a Manchester warehouseman living at Cleveleys Road, Upper Clapton. His wife Fay's brothers were directors of Houndsditch Warehouse; in 1938 he lent a relative £50 as a guarantee for bringing family members from Germany. In 1970 his business was at 19 Leman Street; he died in 1974.

[2] Amhurst Manufacturing Co Ltd was established in 1946 and wound up 1985.

[3] British-born Samuel Hirshbein, of Claremont Road, Forest Gate, changed his name in 1945 to William Samuel Hillman.

[4] Chiel Spector, Russian-born Manchester warehouseman of 35 Church Lane, was naturalized as Hyman Spector in 1928.

[5] Living on the premises were Tinni Georgiou, Antriani Kriakides, Kery and Zacharia Papadopoulos and  Isaac Harry Woddis. In 1935, living at Darenth Road, Stamford Hill, and described as a wine merchant, Woddis had renounced by deed poll the names Isaac Harry Wodislawsky and Isaac Harris Wodeslawski; he married Dora Magen (daughter of A.E. Magan - see next entry) who became Dora Woddis Wodislauski [sic]. Isaac died in 1974 in Edgware.

[6] Abraham E. Magen had been a Councillor in the 1930s: 'Councillor Magen Lodge' (no.14) was named after him. (Apparently Masonic ethics forbid exclusive membership, but Jewish lodges can have by-laws allowing alternative meeting dates when they clashed with festivals, and observe the dietary laws.) He had been active in Jewish affairs since the 1920s: he was a delegate to the Federation of Synagogues, and attended the Anglo-Jewish Conference on the Jewish Agency in 1929. In the 1950s he was treasurer of Stamford Hill Beth Hamedrash; when in 1959 it was hoped by some to earmark the proceeds of the sale of the Philpot Street Amalgamated Synagogue to erect a Jewish day school on the site, he reported to the Executive that attendances at the Commercial Road Talmud Torah had dropped from 400 to 80, and a recent canvassing campaign ... had resulted in only three promises to attend. He therefore doubted whether the proposed Day School would attract many children. This was the period when many Jews were leaving East London, and the local synagogues were closing and merging; Magen himself lived in north London.

[7] Antonio Gonnelli ran this with Lena and Raymond Santi.

[8] Albert Kliman was registered for jury service; his wife was Fanny.

[9] Was this run by Abraham Ogrodovitch, who lived on the premises? A Russian-born tailor, he was made bankrupt in 1926 (living then in Hoxton Street); by the time he was naturalized, in 1953, he was living at Westcliff-on-Sea. Marks Ogrodovitch was a job buyer in Mulberry Street.

[10] Selig 'Aaron Lev' Chenkin [first right] was born in Russia in 1882, and naturalized in 1926; he was a wholesale hosier. He married Esther in 1913; their children were Sarah (Cissie), Samuel, and Eric. He married a second time, to Rachel, a widow, and died in 1974. Samuel [second right] took over the business; he lived at 104, as did Sidney Reitman. Eric's wife Evelyn (whom he married in 1948) wrote children's books to explain the Jewish faith, including Dina and Dov's Adventures in Israel. In 1946 she went on a secret mission to France to search for hidden Jewish children; in 1983 they moved to Israel, where she chaired WIZO's Liaison Committee of English-Speaking Groups.

[11] The Wintrop family lived above - Sidney (Russian-born as Solomon, naturalised 1937, then living in Liford), Sadie, Rebecca and Norman.

[12] Joseph Kanutin was born in Russia and naturalized; he worked previously as a woollen merchant at no.118. J. Kanutin Ltd, general merchants, was wound up in 1965.

[13] The Bossick family was Jacob (registered for jury service), Doris, Mary and Ellen.

[14] Sidney & Woolf Max ran the business.

[15] Jacob, Philip and Solomon Rosenblatt lived here, as well as Joseph Kanarek.

[16] Brian George Pearsall was the secretary of the Sewing Machine Trade Association, established in the 1930s to challenge the monopoly of American and German supply of machines and parts to the trade - relaxed during the war effort, after which the Association had sufficient clout to prevent a return to former practice. During the war he served as a second lieutenant in the Royal Army Pay Corps. His own firm, B.G. Pearsall (Sewing Machines) Ltd, was established in 1951 and wound up in 1978.
H. Singer Ltd, with its West End office in Mortimer Street, exemplified the American dominance - it was the parts and equipment arm of the giant Singer corporation, originally founded in 1851 as I.M. Singer & Co. (In 1911, following a strike, Singer fired 400 of their 11,000 workers at their Clydebank factory, including members of the Industrial Workers of Great Britain, among them Arthur McManus who became the first chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1920.) See further Ruth Brandon A Capitalist Romance: Singer and the Sewing Machine (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins 1977).

[17] Bellabelinda went bankrupt in 1965.

[18] Herman Lord and Samuel Cohen ran the business.

[19] Perkins Dyers & Cleaners was a family firm founded in 1925 with various branches and still active. Louis, Michael and Woolf Kolsky lived over the shop.

[20] David Harrisberg was registered for jury service; Leah, Ralph, Solomon and Theresa Silverman lived on the premises.

[21] Ethel & Percy Kaye lived next door at 160.

[22] It's unclear why Percy (Peretz) Sidelkowsky is listed twice at the same address. He was a Russian-born ladies' tailor of Philson Mansions, Philpot Street, naturalized in 1947 and died in 1957. David Schneider also lived on the premises.

[23] Curwin Taylor Ltd went into liquidation in 1966.

[24] Jacob Zaltsman, tailor 'of uncertain nationality', living at Richard Street, was naturalized in 1940. In 1948 the local authority referred him to the Jewish Tribunal, established in 1938 under s.7 of the Shops Act 1936 and later s.53 of the Shops (Sunday Trading Restriction) Act 1950: members were appointed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, subject to approval by the Home Secretary, to determine whether a shopkeeper registered as holding conscientious objections on religious grounds to trading on the Jewish Sabbath was indeed of the Jewish religion and genuinely held such objections. If the Tribunal held against the occupier, his registration was revoked and he was precluded from trading on Sundays. The outcome of this referral is not known.  (Joseph and Sheila Thomas also lived on the premises.)

[25] Lucienne Modes went bankrupt in 1981.

[26] Lazarus Thei, born Lejzor Thaj, draper from Poland, of Langdale Mansions, Cannon Street Road, was naturalized in 1926. In 1951, Hetty and Jack Thei were living at no.180. The 1963 photo [right] shows 'Textile Clearance' at no.188; 'Rockman Fashions', with 'Atlas Sales Promotions Ltd' (gift stamps) above at no.190; 'H. Segal' - Aggie's turf accountants with coats and suits above - at no.192; and 'H.R. Textiles Ltd' at 194.

[27] Joseph Dudack was at 204 in 1921; by the time of this 1963 photo [left] his premises were enlarged to cover 202-208. In 1980 J. Dudack & Son (Dryers) Ltd went bankrupt. Israel Dudack's business was at no.190.

[28] Clements Hakim was founded in 1929, originally serving the local business community in Surrey. Following a merger in 1966 it became Badger Hakim, and moved its main office into London, and specialised in American taxation advice.

[29] The 1963 photo [left] shows 218 as 'refreshments', but 220 as 'Albion Book Centre' with Cyril Stock apparently moved next door to 222.

[30] Cissie Goldstein was registered for jury service.

[31] In the 1950s Blue Star Garages had many branches across London, with its head office in Hampstead High Street; they made and sold batteries, and their development arm Coronet Cars Ltd promoted 3-wheelers, such as the plastic-bodied Coronet [right], and the Powerdrive.

[32] Bernard Solley & Co also had a West End office, in Cavendish Square, and he instructed counsel in a number of significant cases. His son Leslie Judah Solley (1905-68) was a London University science graduate; in 1940 he set up a private company 'Physico-chemical Processes Ltd', for research physicists and chemists, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers, metallurgists, inventors etc. with £100 capital in £1 shares, mostly taken up by himself and his father. Leslie then trained as a barrister and joined the Labour party, and was elected MP for Thurrock in 1945. In 1946 he and two other MPs wrote an eye-witness report Tragedy in Greece for the League for Democracy in Greece. In 1948 he signed a petition in support of the Italian Socialist Party, in defiance of Labour Party policy, and was warned not to contravene the party line in future. He was one of six Labour MPs to vote against the NATO treaty (caling instead for a united Europe and work through the United Nations), and as a result of this and his previous warning was expelled from the party in 1949, together with Konni Zilliacus; 5 Parliamentary Private Secretaries were also relieved of office. He became a founder member of the Labour Independent Group, and contested Thurrock in 1950 under this banner. In the 1945 parliament, out of 640 members there were 29 Jews - 26 Labour, plus Solley, the Communist Phil Piratin and anti-Zionist Conservative Daniel Lipson; the Board of Jewish Deputies asked them to report on any fascist or anti-Semitic incidents in the 1950 campaign. Leslie was not re-elected and returned to the law, but also became prominent in the Songwriters Guild of Great Britain writing, among other things, the songs for The Adventures Of Twizzle, a children's television series, under the pseudonym Leslie Clair. (An early song, of 1933, was Hot-dog, with ukelele accompaniment.) His magnum opus, an orchestral fantasy Music For Orchestra, was written in 1948 but lay undiscovered for sixty years. Left is no.250 in 1963.

[33] Commercial Road Great Synagogue was established in 1920 (though does not appear in the 1921 listing) - it was possibly a successor to another one nearby. Its first rabbi was Samuel Melnick; its last, when it closed in 1969, was Schlomo Halstuk [left].

[34] After the war there was a partial nationalisation of the road haulage trade, under the British Transport Commission, with the establishment of British Road Services (BRS) in 1948. F.J. Hill, of The Old Brewery, Chiltern Road, Dunstable was among the firms that continued to trade, and gradually increased their fleet over the coming decade, taking over some ex-BRS lorries, which were offered for sale in the mid-1950s.

[35] Josef Zaltszyrer, boot and shoe repairer 'of no nationality', living in Jubilee Street, was naturalized in 1950.

[36] Gustavus Isaac (Gershon Yitzhack) Frankel, known as Gussie, was born in London in 1892, and lived at no.374 with his wife Millie and family; here in 1903 his father-in law Morris Jacob Koenigsberg, together with Abraham Schwalbe (later Selby) had founded the Congregation of Jacob Synagogue, whose premises remain across the road at no.351. He established a printing and stationery shop, G.I. Frankel, and died in 1945; his son Maurice David took over the business. Jeremy Frankel [right], resident in California, recalls travelling to the shop with his father from their home in Edgware every Saturday morning when he was a boy. He trained as a cartographer and surveyor, and used these skills in various jobs, with a particular passion for waterways and canal boat restoration, writing a guide to the New York State canals and acting as consultant to the Glen Falls Feeder Canals Alliance. In 1985, prompted by a comment from his grandfather at a Passover meal in London about his great-uncle's previous marriage, he took to family history, researching his own family's Lithuanian and Polish roots; he is now president of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, and a professional reasearcher, writer and speaker and partner in a family history service Frankel & Fisch.  He and Victoria Fisch are also members of the
Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks in the West. [We're grateful to Jeremy Frankel for checking the accuracy of this information, and for his good wishes!]

[37] Both still here in 1973 [left].

[38] Morris Products was dissolved in 1963.

The Metropolitan Water Board, under local authority control, supplied the capital's water from 1902-74; its successor is Thames Water. 

Back to Commercial Road 1921 Street Directory  |  Back to Commercial Road 1899 Street Directory