Post Office Directory of London, 1927 – East End Streets and Synagogues.

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This huge book is not Anglo-Judaica but it is packed with thousands of pages of information.  As a sample, I’ve chosen some streets in the East End of London, including several with synagogues, which establishes their addresses.  There are hundreds of small shops and businesses.  These scans also demonstrate the large numbers of Jewish families, often living over the shop, who were in the East End before the bombing of the Second World War dispersed the community.

This was also a time when the Federation of Synagogues, mostly based in the East End, had grown to 12,565 families – more than 50,000 people, and a revolution in leadership was about to bring a new President of the Federation, Morry Davis, into power in 1928.

The streets below are a representative sample.  They include Artillery Lane, Black Lion Yard, Brick Lane, Commercial Road, Duke Street – Aldgate, Dunk Street, Great Alie Street, Great Garden Street, Middlesex Street, Nelson Street, New Road, Philpot Street, Scarborough Street, and Sidney Street.

1.  Artillery Lane.  Sandy’s Row is between 30 and 32.  The Artillery Lane Synagogue is between 50 and 52.

 

2.  Black Lion Yard On the left is Black Lion Yard. the famous Shtiebel at No. 14 is not listed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Brick Lane.  Brick Lane, once the heart of the Jewish East End, is now battling for its life against  developers who wish to build a shopping mall on the sight of the old Trumans Brewery – out of all proportion to the architecture of the area and destructive to the tradition of small shops.  You can read more about this here.

The list below is Brick Lane as it was in 1927, with the Spotalfields great Synagogue – the Machzikei Hadath – at Fournier Street between Nos. 57 and 61.

 

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4.  Commercial Road.  This is a long road, built right at the beginning of the nineteenth century, starting at Gardiners Corner on Whitechapel Road (which was the site of Gardiners Department Store, and going all the way down to the docks.

On the second page of the list you will see the Kings Head Public House and Fanny Bloom as the tenant.  She was my great-grandmother.  My great-grandfather, David Bloom had been the tenant from 1901 until his death in 1925.  He was a member of the New Synagogue in Great St. Helens until it was demolished, and then was a member of the Great Synagogue in Duke Street.

 

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5.  Duke Street.  This is the heart of the old area of Jewish settlement.  The Great Synagogue was the Cathedral Synagogue of Anglo Jewry, founded in 1690, and destroyed by bombs in 1941.  Click to read  more about the Great Synagogue in Cecil Roth’s classic history.

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6. Dunk Street.  there were two Synagogues in Dunk Street, at Nos. 30 and 39.

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7. Great Alie Street.  Rabbi Lewis Levene was at the Great Zionist Synagogue between No. 38 and 39 below, from about 1916 until his death in 1927.  he wrote several books, including one which you can click here to read about, called Seventy Faces of the Torah

 

 

 

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8. Great Garden Street.  the Great Garden Street Synagogue, between Nos. 5 and 11, survived until relatively recently.

 

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9. Middlesex Street.  this is the famous Petticoat Lane market.

 

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10.  Mile End Road.  253 Mile End Road was the Spanish and Portuguese Jews Hospital.  The building is still standing and you can click here to read more about it.  459 Mile End Road (now demolished) was the home of my great-great grandfather, Gershon Harris.  He bought the house with a mortgage, hand-written in beautiful copper-plate script, which is now in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library.

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11. Nelson Street.  Note the two Synagogues.  Nelson Street Sefardish Synagogue is still there, and was functioning until quite recently when the ceiling collapsed.  Hopefully it will be repaired.  Nelson Street Synagogue was at No. 64.

 

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12. New Road.  The New Road Synagogue was behind No. 115.  The Rabbi was Morris Pinsker, and you can click here to read more about him and the New Road Synagogue.

 

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12. Philpot Street.  The Philpot street Sefardish Synagogue was by Varden Street.  The Philpot Street Great Synagogue was after No. 44.  This was a large and important Synagogue that was destroyed in the bombing of London.  Rabbi Aaron Jacob Singer was there for many years.  You can read more about him and the Philpot Street Great Synagogue by clicking here.

 

 

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13.  Scarborough Street.  The congregation at the Scarborough Street Synagogue dated back to 1792.  You can read an article about it here.

 

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14. Sidney Street.  The houses between Hawkins Street and Sidney Street (now demolished) were the site of the famous Siege of Sidney Street in 1911.

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