London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London

An East End tailor's workshop circa 1949/1950

Dear Philip

I attach my photo
below) of the workshop where my grandfather worked. It was taken about 1949/50 - a typical East-End sweatshop making gents' clothing. The dapper looking tailor wearing a waistcoat, collar and tie at the back and by the window is my maternal zaida (grandfather) - Harry McKay (nee Makolsky!). He died in 1954 at the age of 53. He suffered from coronary heart disease but continued to (needed to) work and in this respect it can be said that the workshop killed him.

Against the wall at the back is the besuited boss who I think was called 'Tubby' Goldman but don't quote me on that. To his right the white shirted figure is my zaida's younger brother my great uncle Mick (Itzik) Makolsky- he never changed his name. He was a presser and managed to eventually leave tailoring and died at about the age of 70 from lung cancer courtesy of Woodbine cigarettes: 'sweet woodbine' as the innocuous packet stated. The workshops were filled with heavy smokers - men and women - and one can only wonder at the toll that this took in heart disease and lung cancer.



website copyright of Philip Walker