11: From margarine to the Mediterranean: the emergence of modern kosher retail
Address: At the junction of White Rose Court with 12 Widegate Street, London E1 7HP.
Directions from the previous stop: Face The Astronomer pub and walk around it, keeping its wall to your left, then stop before the next building. Cross over Middlesex Street and turn right down Widegate Street, just to the left of the prominent building at 114 Middlesex Street. Walk about 30 feet down the road and stop at the junction of White Rose Court with 12 Widegate Street, where you are outside the building with white faience tiles.
Widegate St looking towards Artillery Passage, 1912
Over a century ago, C.A. Mathews of Brightlingsea in Essex, took a series of photos of Spitalfields. A newshoarding in one of the pictures blares news about the tragedy of the Titanic, so the photos can be dated to spring 1912. Nobody really knows what Mathews was intending to capture – possibly he was surveying streets or buildings for redevelopment – but seemingly inadvertently he captured men and women and children on a Shabbat morning, often in fine clothes. The pictures only went on public display for the first time a few years ago, and they are of great social interest for contemporary historians of the mass of the Jewish community. The picture used is taken from roughly your location, and is used Courtesy of Bishopsgate Institute.
Levy Brothers advert, Jewish Chronicle, 19 March 1897, p7