Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nellie and Barney Newmark - 1900s - The London Dining Rooms

Sign: The London Dining Rooms - Good Breakfasts & Teas

On the right is my great grandfather, Barney Newmark. On the left is his sister, Nellie. They are standing in front of The London Dining Rooms. This is the only photograph I have seen of anyone from the Newmark family before they arrived in America.

I'm not certain when the photograph was taken. Judging from the apparent ages, and looking for a 'special event' to explain the photo - I might guess May of 1907, or October of 1908.

In May of 1907, Barney and his father, Samuel, left England to explore America. Barney would have been 21, and Nellie 18.

Barney and his father returned to England in June of 1908. In October, Samuel, Barney, and another son, Sol, left again. The rest of the family followed in March of 1909.

After this photo, the next photo I have of Barney is from his wedding on August 27, 1911.

The photograph came this past weekend from a grandson of Nellie, who in his email says he is scanning in several family photographs, so maybe there will be more.

London Dining Rooms
Another institution was the London Dining Rooms, opposite New Road in Church Street. One could obtain an individual meat pudding for one penny. Many other small independent premises served the working man around the town. Sadly, few if any of the type described survive, for they were an institution in themselves. At some of the shops you stirred your tea with a spoon chained to the counter - fancy not trusting us! -- Tim Wren - Flying Sparks, ©1998.
Tim Wren above writes about The London Dining Rooms in Brighton, UK, about 50 miles south of London. I've found references to a London Dining Rooms in Dunedin, New Zealand. There may have been multiple locations in London itself, but in The multum in parvo guide to London and its environs, 1872, p. 21 - there is a reference to one at the corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street. This would have been about a mile from 56 Wells Street, where the Newmark family lived in 1901.

Another Angle

The corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street was somewhat famous for a time, though erroneously, as where Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, lived.

According to Walter George Bell, in Fleet Street in Seven Centuries, 1912, p. 374:

None of Old London's buildings is more familiar by illustration than the glorious old timber house at the Chancery Lane corner erected in King Henry the Eighth's reign, or earlier, and not destroyed until 1799, when the Corporation widened that thoroughfare. It was constructed entirely of oak, the heavy frames filled in with lath and plaster, and with overhanging storeys, gable roof, and elaborate carving covering the front, made a most picturesque pile. This is said to have been the famous King's Head Tavern, though in its last years the sign borne was The Harrow. It is best known as " Izaak Walton's house," which certainly it was not.

Many books upon London repeat this misdescription ; its persistence is doubtless due to the fact that an engraving of this delightful corner house appears in every edition of The Compleat Angler. Walton's shop was at the more modest building adjoining, two doors west from Chancery Lane.
In a footnote, Bell wrote: "The site is definitely fixed by a deed bearing date 1624, cited by Sir John Hawkins in his Life of Walton. Ed. 1792, pp. viii, ix, as next door to the old timber-built corner house. I note that the misdescription is repeated in the London Museum."

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