Book reviews — December 1990
MONTAGUE BURTON. THE TAILOR OF TASTE. By Eric Sigsworth
Manchester University Press. Price £29.95
In 1885 Moshe David Osinsky was born in Kurkal, a small town in Kovno, the most northerly part of the Pale, now in Lithuania. He left Russia in 1900 and came alone to England. Starting work selling laces door to door he changed his name to Montague Burton arid opened his first shop in Chesterfield in 1903. By 1914 his business included bespoke tailoring and he had 14 shops with several small workshops supplying them and outside customers. Mr Burton became Sir Montague in 1932 and his empire had increased to 600 shops by 1939, with several factories and 20,000 people employed. The factories were shining examples of both efficiency and the provision of welfare for the workforce. He was a staunch Zionist and engaged in considerable charitable work. During the Second World War a quarter of the clothing for the British armed forces was made by Montague Burton's and by the time of his death in September 1952 there were 635 shops. As a retailer he was very advanced for his time and this study by Eric Sigsworth will appeal to many GLIAS members. If the purchase price is too high it would be worth trying a local library for a copy. BOB CARR
DOCKLANDS — LONDONS BACKYARD INTO FRONT YARD. By Ted Hollamby
Docklands Forum, August 1990. (ISBN 1 872453 05 8) Available from Docklands Forum, 192 Hanbury Street, London E1 5HU. Tel: 071 377 1822. Price £2.00 including postage
In London the Docks closed 1967-82. The Local Government, Land and Planning Act 1980 defined the task of the new London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) as 'the permanent regeneration of Docklands' and Mr Edward Hollamby was appointed LDDC Chief Architect and Planner in 1981. He left LDDC in 1985 because of his concern over the Canary Wharf project and here, following a useful historical introduction, he airs his misgivings about the current Docklands scene and in particular the second generation of Docklands development. In ten years some 17,000 new homes have been built, many overlooking water and Mr Hollamby describes the restoration of the Courage Brewery/Butler's Wharf buildings as an outstanding achievement. However in discussing the fate of the Grade I listed Gwilt warehouses on the North quay of the West India Docks he deplores the fact that even if good conservation work is to take place here the historic buildings will be overwhelmed by Canary Wharf and later one reads: 'If Docklands had been in Paris, the French Government would have ensured the provision of great public buildings for the cultural and civilised life of the people.' This is a document worth the attention of all interested in the recent history of London's East End and can be recommended to GLIAS members. There are other publications in the same series. BOB CARR
The July 1990 edition of Business History carries a number of specialist articles on mining: 'Issues in the History of Mining and Metallurgy' by Charles Harvey and Jon Press; 'Serendipity or Economies'; 'Tin and the Theory of Mineral Discovery' by Derek Matthews; and 'Copperopolis — the Rise and Fall of the Copper Industry in the Swansea District' by Edmund Newall. MARY MILLS
KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIEW
The Autumn 1989 issue contains a very interesting article by Derek Garrod about the Deptford Potteries. This has involved a dirt archaeology exercise on the site of the (sadly remembered) Deptford Odeon. Derek has established the Upper Pottery dating from 1701 (this site is now a nature reserve), the Lower Pottery, Church Street Pottery and some potteries by the Deptford Tide Mill and in Tanners Hill.
GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY'S JOURNAL SPECIAL — No. 5. SUMMER 1989
Readers of the Recording Group Reports will recall interest in the Eastern Counties Railway Romford Factory. Our attention has been drawn to an article on this by E J. Taylor in the above Journal. This also contains an article on the locomotive engineering history of the LCR and on the Stratford Erecting Shop.
© GLIAS, 1990