Leman Street Directory 1921

This gives a snapshot of a changing street in a particular year, with some glimpses backwards and forwards in the notes below. Large offices and warehouses, and various public buildings, were interspersed with residential premises with small shops and workshops (predominantly Jewish) below. Many of the firms went out of business before or after the Second World War. The transscription is partly based on this excellent website.

West Side
2   Mrs Sadie Max, milliner
4   Joseph Moshinsky & Son, tobacconists
8   Jacob Semel, blouse maker
10 Jacob Lazarus, fried fish shop
14 Cushi Albert Punter, farrier [1]
... here is Beagle Street ...
     J Landau & Sons, government contractors (Beagle Street) [2]
16 Baker & Basket, Henry Levy Steingold [3]
18 & 20 Charles Wills, saddler
22 Browne & Eagle Limited, wool warehouse keepers
... here is Duncan Street ...
26 Marks Rubin, cooked beef dealer
28 Henry Rodney Foakes, dairy
30 Abraham Korinsky, confectioner
34 Manor Laundry (Camberwell) Ltd [4]
36 H Ginzburg, printer
38 Kritz Barnett & Son, wardrobe dealers [5]
... here is Great Alie Street ...
40 Black Horse, Mrs Sarah King [6]
42 & 44 P Mellis & Sons Ltd, india rubber waste merchants [7]
46 Harris Hart, tailor
48 Solomon Berman, confectioner
50 Lewis Leibson, woollen merchant
58 Morris Berkin & Son, hat manufacturers
60 Aaron Moses, wholesale haberdasher [8]
62 Philip Leslie, loan office
[66 - details here]
70 Garrick, Edward Eugene Wherley [9]
74-78 Police Station [10]
82 Jews' Temporary Shelter
100 English & Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Societies [11]
... here is Great Prescott Street ...
110-118 (& 99) Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd
110 Minesweepers Co-operative Trawling Society Ltd [12]
116 & 118 (& 99) Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd
... here is Chamber Street ...
130 James Seaford, wholesale clothier
      John Pound & Co, dressing case manufacturers
      (2 to 12 Imperial Buildings) [13]

... here are Royal Mint Street & Cable Street ...
East Side
1   Julius Farbstein, hairdresser
3-7 Barthes-Roberts Ltd, cork merchants [14]
9 Barnett Kachar, kosher restaurant
... here is Colchester Street ...
11 Matthew Beer & Co, rope manufacturers
13 Walter Francis Reckitt, surgeon [15]
15 Israel Jacobovitch, hairdresser
15 Lazarus Pearlman, confectioner
17 Jewish Working Girls Club, Miss Isabel Harris, superintendent [16]
19 Seamen's National Insurance Society [17]
... here is Buckle Street ...
    Eastern Dispensary, George W Ilsley, secretary
... here is Little Alie Street ...
21A (& 61) John Robert Siddall, carpenter
21A Mrs Sarah Lindsberg, tobacconist
23 Tooths Extract of Meat Company [18]
23 Mace, Rainbow & Stone, costume manufacturers [19]
23 Minerva Manufacturing Company [20]
25 Jacob Galinsky, butcher
27 Nathan Jacobs, grocer
29 Jack Alteresko, dining rooms [21]
31 Solomon Petergorsky, gasfitter
33 Morris Fordonski, waterproofer
37 (& 41 & 57) Anchor Co-operative Society Ltd [22]
39 Jacob Josopovitch, fruiterer
41 (& 37 & 57) Anchor Co-operative Society Ltd [22]
43 White Hart, Ralph Cartoof [23]
45-51 Crane-Bennett Ltd, engineers [24]
53 & 55 Penny & Hull, printers [25]
53 & 55 Roman & Needlestitcher, tailors
53 & 55 Weinstein & Cohen, tailors
57 (& 37 & 41) Anchor Co-operative Society Ltd [22]
59 Andrew Golebiewski, boot maker
61 Mrs Esther Solomons, wardrobe dealer
61 (& 21A) John Robert Siddall, carpenter
63 Davis Beigel, hairdresser
... here is Leman Passage ...
65-73 Charles Hughes Cousens & Co, wool warehouse keepers
99 & 110-118 Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd
... here is Hooper Street ...
119 East End Mission to the Jews, David Openshaw (?), secretary [26]
121 Morris Baranovsky, boot maker
123 Jacob Shimansky, watch maker
125 Marks Goldberg, clothier
127 Leman Street Drug Stores Ltd
129 Mrs Elizabeth Blake, coffee rooms
131 Morris Segal, hairdresser
133 Charles Ernest Upshall, newsagent
135 Simon White, fruiterer
137 Midland Railway (London, Tilbury & Southend Section),
       managers office, goods depot
139 Brown Bear, Joseph Davis [27]
141 Hyman Hoffman, tobacconist
143A William Wesson Ltd, coopers
       Great Eastern Railway Station [Leman Street]
155 George Carter Ltd, grocers & tea dealers

[1] Cushi Punter was born in Harpenden, Herts in 1867. His unusual forename was originally the Hebrew for someone from the land of Kush (Ethiopia/Sudan), traditionally descendants of Noah's grandson - though in an age when Christians gave their children used a wide variety of Old Testament names this does not imply that he was Jewish. He married Elizabeth Mary Butcher and they had ten children. He was at some stage a licensed victualler; he died at Sandy, Beds in 1923.

[2] Marcel Mayer Landau & Joseph Landau traded as government contractors and warehousemen as J Landau & Sons from this address (with a warehouse at 20 Whitechapel High Street) and at 46 Rue de Sevigne, Paris. Their first reported breach of contract case was in 1911. They supplied the armed forces in Britain and India with equipment and clothing and sundries (including 'general service buttons') - in one quarter of 1920 they were credited with £2,600 for men's and women's clothing and £280 for marquees. According to the 1922 All India Law Reports, Ahmed Ayub had entered into a written agreement with them to buy the whole stock of old clothing lying in Karachi ... at stated price and also to buy 500 bales at ruling prices in London during the season ending with the 31st of January 1915. The agreement further provided that Ayub was to be their agent for a period of one season certain with an option to continue for two seasons more. They failed to deliver, and he sued successfully for Rs.8,000 (being 10% of the value of the goods) and Rs.4,000 for breach of contract, a finding that was upheld on appeal. The firm had recurring liquidity problems, including a receiving order in 1923, and a discharge from bankruptcy in 1937; it was dissolved in 1949. In 1994 Christie's sold an erased Victoria sovereign, the reverse engraved My First Week's Salary at Messrs. J. Landau & Sons, Govt. Contractors, London, Feb 5th 1916, suspended from a gate-link fob.

[3] The Baker & Basket's original address was 12 Red Lion Street, and from 1851-71 8 Leman Street; it was sold in 1852 with a number of other pubs. The publicans Ernest Edward and Mary McHard died on 19 April 1941 in the Blitz.

[4] The original Manor Laundry (in existence before 1895) was in Lomond Grove, Camberwell, and had various branches. It joined with the London & Brighton Laundries Ltd., also originating in Camberwell. Right is an advertising postcard from this period. It later became part of New Age Linen Services (London) Ltd, a non-trading company within the Sunlight Service Group.

[5] This corner site is shown left in 1977 - this block (32-38) is now Frazer House, including White's Gentleman's Club offering 'adult entertainment'.

[6] The Black Horse's address in 1810 was 20 Leman Street; the present building dates from the 1840s. Sarah King was landlady from 1911-29. It became the Bar Bed in 2002, closing six years later and re-opening as Zeppelin Shelter [right].

[7] Although listed as india rubber waste merchants, P. Mellis & Sons had diversified. Their 1921 advertisement [right] in Das Echo: Mit Beiblatt Deutsche Export Revue. Wochenzeitung Für Politik, Literatur, Export und Import (vol 40) states:
Old established firm with warehouse and own salesmen and agents in Great Britain and colonies. Will act as main supplier for chemicals, drugs, technical articles, hardware, &c. We only deal with manufacturers. Best bank and commercial references. The listings recorded Well established agency, which also operates all over Spain on commission. Reliable agency for German firms. Correspondence in German, French and Spanish. Impeccable references can be provided.
In fact, according to the Rubber Journal, during 1921 they moved to premises at 60-62 Bunhill Row, EC1 (telegraphic address Epemelliso, Finsquare, London). The Chemist & Druggist for 1922 announced that they had been appointed sole agents for the British Empire for Waeger & Eichler, Brno (Czechoslovakia), Warsaw, Vienna, and Budapest, for the sale of all kinds of crude drugs and chemicals. By 1928, according to the Perfumery & Essential Oils Record, they were dealing in synthetic and aromatic chemicals, perfumes for cosmetics, compound soap, flower oils, Eufixides [=?] - samples and lowest offers at your disposal. They went into voluntary liquidation the following year, but seem to have continued trading for a few years, with a five-day week in opration from April-October 1937. The company name survived as an invesment trust, liquidated in 1973.

[8] In 1914 a bankruptcy receiving order was made against Aaron Moses of 54 Leman St, lately carrying on business at 22 Middlesex Street, fur & skin merchant.

[9] The Garrick was attached to the adjoining Garrick Theatre (also known as Garrick's Subscription), opened in 1831; it was named for the actor David Garrick, who had made his début at the Goodman's Fields Theatre in 1741, as Richard III. Early proprietors were Edward Gomasal and William James Bennett and its manager was Benjamin Oliver Conquest (1805-72), a 'low comedian' most famous for his rendition of Billie Barlow [right]. When the theatre burned down in 1846 he took over the Grecian Theatre, where he organised pantomimes featuring his son George, the most spectacular acrobatic  performer of his day. The Garrick theatre was rebuilt between 1852-54, as the The Albert and Garrick Royal Amphitheatre. Lawrence Levy, the proprietor, managed it off and on until 1868, when he put it up for sale - grossly exaggerating its capacity. Empty for several years in the 1870s, after the bankruptcy of its actor manager J.B. Howe, it limped on as the Garrick Hall of Varieties under May Bulmer, until closure and demolition in 1891.
The pub, whose original address was no.35, was also rebuilt at some stage. By the end of the 20th century it was re-named Mr Pickwick, and in 2010 the Oliver Conquest after the above.

[10] Leman Street Police Station previously existed a few doors away - 1868 map right - but was rebuilt on the site of the theatre in 1891 [far right - then and now]. It was associated with the Ripper murders and the Cable Street riots, but is no longer a local station - it is used for special operations. Many of the police used to drink at the Brown Bear.

[11] The English Co-operative Wholesale Society (established 1863, taking its present name by 1872) and the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society (established 1868) were separate organistions - they merged in 1973. This presumably was a joint office within the larger CWS complex in the area.

[12] In 1919 a government scheme was announced to help ex-servicemen who had been engaged in mine-sweeping (and shore hands and others) by making available nearly 200 steam trawlers built during the war for the Admiralty as fishing vessels. According to the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution (vol.66 p344) the Minesweepers' Co-operative Trawling Society Ltd. was registered on 13 August 1920, and at its first meeting in Grimsby ten days later messages from the Prime Minister and Lord Beatty were read by Dr Macnamara, the Minister of Labour, who explained the scheme. Lloyd's surveyors were commissioned to supervise the repairs and conversion; it was also planned to include some steel and wood drifters. In October questions were asked in Parliament - had government funds financed the printing of the prospectuses? had Admiralty staff gone to Milford Haven to promote the scheme? was the CWS (their neighbours in Leman Street) giving financial support? The answer to the last was no, and other queries were referred to the office. In the event, the necessary working capital of £100,000 had not been subscribed, and in January 1922 the scheme was abandoned for lack of interest.

[13] Pound and Tasker was established in 1823, making trunks and packing cases. When Tasker died in 1857 Henry Pound took on his son John, who after Henry's death established John Pound & Co. as a manufacturer and retailer of high quality luggage and luxury dressing cases. By 1871 they had three factories, eight distributing warehouses and five shops in central London - Regent Street, Oxford Street, Piccadilly, and Tottenham Court Road as well as Leadenhall Street. They also made and sold hunting bags, hat cases, writing cases, purses and other high-class items. John Pound was Lord Mayor of London in 1904, and control passed to his sons John Lulham and Percy Albert. They continued to trade until after the Second World War, when they were taken over by John Lewis. (See here for earlier and later occupants of Imperial Warehouses.)
[14] Barthes-Roberts, founded in 1779, were cork merchants and manufacturers, brewers' and bottlers' agents and sundriesmen, and manufactured both utilitarian items (such as the metal one-third and 1-pint jugs used at London docks for collecting samples of imported wine, left) and more classy items, such as silver-plated spirit dispensers. Their stamp, and a royal seal, are also pictured. In 1930, when they amalgamated with Beal, French & Son, Thomas Peet & Son and Todd & Peet, The Record produced 'A Short History of 150 Years Trading - Barthes-Roberts Ltd.' Latterly their trading address was 59 Lant Street SE1; the company was wound up in 1983.

In 1903 Walter Reckitt was listed among the medical staff assisting at the Leman Street Provident Dispensary, at no.19, which was a branch of the Metropolitan Provident Medical Association. Charitable dispensaries had been advocated from the 1870s by Sir Charles Trevelyan (see here for a collection of letters to the press), and was supported by the Charity Organisation Society, whose philosophy they matched. In 1888 a meeting at the Society of Arts passed a resolution in favour of establishing dispensaries all over London. This was resisted by some in the medical profession, who set up a committee (including a doctor from Shadwell High Street). Their objections were (a) charity, and the efforts of GPs, already provided for those who couldn't pay the ordinary fees; (b) schemes promoted by lay people had led to unhealthy competition detrimental alike to the best interests of the profession, and subversive of its influence with the general public and (c) the distribution of handbills. The matter was aired in the columns of the British Medical Journal for a time, but dispensaries were established, including Leman Street in 1898. Doctors received between 4d. and 10d. per patient treated.
In 1905 Reckitt's watch and chain were stolen in the street by John Johnson, who for this and other similar offences was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 18 months' hard labour. Reckitt died in 1937 at Carshalton. 

[16] Among the many local Jewish institutions of this period was the Jewish Working Girls Club, founded in 1886, the same year that the Jews Temporary Shelter moved into the street. It is said to have done much to limit prostitution (there were estimated to be 2,400 prostitutes working in the area) and help girls avoid the 'white slave trade' to South America. Later known as Leman Street Girls' Club, it was also nicknamed 'The Lady Magnus'. Katie Magnus, wife of Sir Philip Magnus, was treasurer of the organisation (there were branches elsewhere); she was also involved with the Jews' Deaf and Dumb Home and various committees at Berkeley Street Synagogue. Born in Portsmouth in 1844, she wrote prolifically on Jewish topics both for adults (e.g. Outlines of Jewish History, Jewish Portraits and Charity in Talmudic Times) and children (e.g. Little Miriam's Bible Stories), and in the periodicals. 

[17] The Seamen's Pension Fund was set up under s48 of the National Insurance Act 1911 to provide pensions and other benefits for those with long service at sea. At first it was administered by the Seamen's National Insurance Society, but it was reconstituted under s27 of the National Health Insurance Act 1918, with a governing body representing both shipowners and seamen. In 1931 it was incorporated by Royal Charter as the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund.  The SNIS amalgamated with the insurance section of the National Union of Seamen in 1945.

[18] Robert Tooth, fluid and solid beef manufacturer, began making meat extract in Queensland in 1866 following the method of Professor Liebig: trim the fat from fresh meat, comminute (pulverise) it and boil with a lot of water to yield a liquid of 6-8% solids, and finally stir it into an open shallow pan fired from below to concentrate to an 80% solid paste of characteristic flavour and texture. It was widely sold in Australia and New Zealand, where fresh meat was sometimes scarce, in tins containing 2oz, 4oz, 8oz or 1lb. The Press (NZ) advertised in 1867 (with 1897 advertisement added)
LIEBIG'S EXTRACT OF MEAT  Manufactured on the Establishments of Mr. Robert Tooth, Sydney
contains those valuable nutritious constituents of fresh meat which are peculiar to animal food. In the words of Professor Liebig, it is "solid Beef Tea"—that is, beef tea from which the water has been evaporated. It dissolves immediately in hot water, and is thus a most convenient as well as efficient and economical substitute for meat in making beef tea, soups, and gravies; in fact, with the addition of bread or other farinaceous food, it has the full nutritive effect of meat.
"It contains the essential and important constituents of meat which are lost by salting. Hence, if added to salted and smoked meats, it imparts to them all the nutritive qualities of fresh meat."—See Times, Oct. 27th, 1865. It is therefore peculiarly valuable at sea. It does not spoil by keeping even in a loosely covered jar. One ounce of the Extract contains the soluble matter of about two pounds of fresh meat, free from fat.
And a series of recipes followed.
The Food Journal 1871 p673-4 includes a report on 'Food in beseiged Paris', sent by balloon post the previous December. After various comments on eating dogs, cats, horses and salami of rat, it adds
... It would be unfair not to say a few words respecting the service done to the people of Paris by the Extractum Carnis. I and some of my friends have made large use of Tooths' preparation and the various others and we have found them excellent. There is little, if any, of the English extracts left in stock now. A French company, having adopted the absurd title, "Of Meat", which pronounced in French "Of mėá"  becomes exceedingly ludicrous to English ears, has pushed its extract with great assiduity for some time, and tells the world that the extract made by the Of Meat Company is infinitely superior to that prepared on Liebig's plan. It had a considerable stock at the commencement of the siege, but its retail establishment is almost empty now. An Italian company has lately made its appearance with an extract which is also Liebig perfectionné, and as it makes a good show it will not want for customers.
 The feeding of the poor is indeed a serious matter under the circumstances in which we are placed and the Government has set aside an additional sum equal to 20,000l. for the establishment of new economic kitchens for the supply of the indigent. It has allowed 7½d. a day to the wives of all the men in the National Guard who may apply for it, in addition to the pay of 15d]. to the men themselves. Now that the thermometer is several degrees below freezing, and the ground is covered with snow, all the aid that public and private charity can supply is, as may be supposed, fully required ...

There were many disputes with other firms claiming to use Liebig's or other methods. J.E.H. Coleclough was the company's London agent for a time.

[19] Mace, Rainbow & Stone made ladies' outwear, or costumes, here; their registered office was at 25 Berners Street W1 (later 8 Upper Grosvenor Street W1). In 1928 they featured in a High Court action under the 1893 Sale of Goods Act, as part of a chain of suppliers:  they had bought collars made of dyed rabbit skin from a furrier, attached them to coats and sold them to a supplier, who in turn sold them to a draper. Miss White bought one of these coats and developed 'fur dermatitis' from the antimony in the fur, and sued for damages; how far down the chain should these be passed? In 1949 they were one of three clothing firms to relocate to Cornwall - to 'Ormadale', New Portreath Road, Redruth, extending their premises in 1958 [right].  In 1963 they patented the 'Naehmaschine', an automatic sewing apparatus. They employed 95 staff, and in 1975 R.G. Brett became an Associate of the Institute of Directors. Yet the following year the company - along with others in Cornwall - went into voluntary liquidation.

[20] Walter Dagnall & William Henry Nuthall, trading as Minerva Manufacturing Company in Orchard Road, Kingston-on-Thames, were makers of black and brown burnishing inks, white, brown and black wax harness and other dyes and heel balls and fake quick black and bottom stains; the partnership was dissolved in 1899 and Dagnall took the name and the business. In 1902 they made a gift of supplies to the Imperial Yeomanry Committee. In 1904 they promoted a petition for cessio (surrender of goods) against a creditor, under Scots law. It is not clear when the business moved to London.

[21] Jack Alteresku (1866-1926) came from Braila in Romania and slightly anglicised his name.

[22] Co-op staff wanted to buy Co-op goods on privileged terms. Until 1895 they were allowed to purchase at the wholesale prices, but committees of the retail societies objected that this was diverting others and the practice was banned. Various strategies were employed. In Manchester, the Bewsick Co-op arranged for employees to buy CWS goods in its own name, and this became a separate retail department, with its own office and team of clerks, and an annual turnover by 1920 of £136,645. In London, employees formed their own retail society, the Anchor Co-Operative Society (membership was also opened to staff of the tea department), becoming a CWS member in its own right, with 2127 members in 1917, with trade of £66,362, and paying a sixpenny dividend on purchases. They also had premises at 583 Commercial Road (including a bootmaker), Stepney (where there was a bakery) and Poplar, and some branches elsewhere. It went into liquidation in 1969.

[23] The White Hart was present at the beginning of the 19th century, with 51 Leman Street as its original address - it was 126 by 1856; now demolished.

[24] Crane Limited was a Canadian firm of heating and sanitary engineers, and Crane-Bennett Ltd. its British subsidiary. Their foundry was in Ipswich, and they had showrooms in various locations, but the grandest was at 120 Pall Mall [left], designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and built in 1929–31 (with delays to secure the foundations of the neighbouring buildings). The basement, ground and first floors were designed as showrooms, with a visitors' lounge in the mezzanine at the back. The other floors were to let separately as offices. Lutyens also designed two model bath-rooms for the displays and furniture for the visitors' lounge. But in 1932 the firm vacated the premises, which were later taken over by the Holland America Line (London) Limited - it is now Banco Sabadell.

[25] Penny & Hull, listed in the 1880s as steam printers, were all-purpose printers, but seem to have had a number of interesting local specialisms:
Among other things they printed were The Political Libel Actions of Gatty v. Farquharson, And, Gatty v. The Western Gazette and Pulman's Weekly News Company, Limited (verbatim report), and Ursula Hutchinson Many Happy Returns, a discursive history of the Haslemere pantomimes 1898-1927. By this time they had moved to 2 Church Street, Minories. The company was dissolved in 1948.

[26] The East End Mission Mission to the Jews was one of several small non-denominational missions to Jews operating in London - see here for some details of the larger ones. It was founded by David Oppenheim in 1890, and offered medical and relief work as well as testimony, and probably closed in 1931. ('Openshaw' in the directory may be a misprint for Oppenheim.)

[27] The Brown Bear was in existence by the 1790s and was rebuilt in 1830; its address was then no.89, and no.77 in the 1850s. From 1848-66, when William Brand was the licensee, it held a music hall licence, and was described as the scene of orgies and murderous assaults; but by 1908 London in the Sixties (with a Few Digressions), by 'One of the Old Brigade', says its rooms were filled to their utmost capacity with canaries sending up songs to heaven purer far than those of the long-ago sixties. From 1917-26 its landlord was Joseph Davis, an orthodox Jew born in Minsk in 1868, previously a boot and shoe maker, one of the founders of the Cannon Street Road synagogue and of Talmud Torah in Christian Street. The family previously lived in Langdale Street, off Cannon Street Road, where Jewish and Irish settlers had co-existed happily (this was to change by the 1930s). His son Morry (Morris Aaron, or Harold), also for a time a publican, was both President of the Federation of Synagogues from 1928-44 and Mayor of Stepney, Labour Leader of the Council and member of the London County Council.

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