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Addlestone & District Jewish Congregation

Addlestone, Surrey

 

              

         
     
 


Page created: 28 December 2007
Latest update or revision: 5 March 2013
 

Reminisces of the Kalisky Family

My Recollections of the time I spent
as part of the Jewish Community in Addelstone

by Anita Phillips (ne้ Kalisky)

Most of the Kalisky family were evacuated to Addlestone in 1940, my mother and an aunt were both pregnant at that time and my cousin Ralph and I were born in the maternity hospital in Woking, four days apart.

Many other Jewish families were also sent or went of their own accord to Addlestone, I will mention the names of the families I remember at the end.

My Grandfather,  Mr. Moishe (Morris) Kalisky and his wife Zelda were prominent members of the community, and their house in Jubilee Crescent always had an open door for anyone who needed assistance or just a cup of tea and a chat.  As we started to grow up, my cousins and I spent more time at "Boobah's" house than our own as we were the apple of her eye and really spoilt.

During the war, my Dad (Leslie) was in the fire service in Stepney and spent a lot of the time there, only managing to get to see his family on his rare days off. After the war he got a transfer to the fire station in Addlestone for a couple of years and then returned to his profession as a tailor and travelled up to London every day.

The church that we were all using as a shul was the Baptist church, situated in Crouch Oak Lane (not Church Oak Road as in the Jewish Chronicle excerpts). My uncle David, who was a watchmaker by trade had the responsibility of maintaining that church clock as well as others in Addlestone and nearby villages.

It was impossible to get Kosher meat and poultry in that area, so we and other families used to keep chickens in our back gardens, and the the ladies of the households would take the live fowls up to a butcher in the East End with just their heads sticking out of their shopping bags, have them slaughtered and then return and de-feather them in the gardens in front of all the live chickens still running around and watching.  I didn't like that bit. 

My maternal grandfather was a keen gardener and loved to grow his own vegetables in our garden and his garden and he also had an allotment. So all in all we ate very well during the war years, even though there was rationing.

Another way of getting kosher food was to phone the butcher (from the local phone box, no-one had their own phone at that time) and order meat, it was then sent down by train and one of my jobs to was go and collect it from the station, it was usually quite heavy and I would take my old pushchair, often it would miss the expected train and I would have to wait an hour for the next one.

When we stopped holding services in the church, we all went to a boys boarding school  called FIinnart House between Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames.  The headmaster there was Jewish, as were some of the boys and, as they were holding services every Saturday and on the High Holy Days, we were permitted to join them. It was a fair walk from Addlestone and I can very clearly remember as all taking a short cut along the river banks of the River Wey, the adults all walking briskly along and us kids playing games and dragging behind, always getting told off with words like 'can't you kids be good for the New Year.'

Most of the Jewish families I remember well all lived on the Bois Hall Estate.  In Jubilee Crescent were my grandparents (the Kaliskys), the Berchinskys, the Levinsons, the Martins, the Kulawskys, the Bangles and the Klingbines. In Bourneside Road were my maternal grandparents (the Kaufmans ),  the Abrahams, the Starrs and the Mirskys.  We lived in Beverley Close and our next door neighbours were the Bowman family.  Another family I recall were the owners of a small drapery shop in Station Road called Brachmans.

There were quite a lot of other Jewish families in the area, but I didn't know them personally. Most of them moved back to London after the war.  My parents and I remained there until 1960. The older members have since passed on, but I believe there are some offspring still living there today.

Photograph taken in the back garden of 10 Jubilee Crescent, Addlestone

The shorter man at the back is Morris Kalisky (the author's grandfather) and the other man is Leslie Kalisky, her father. The large lady on the right is Zelda, her grandmother, and her mother is next to her holding the author's cousin, Ralph.Anita Kalisky is in the arms of her Aunt Ettie, further to the left.  At the extreme left on the end is Aunt Polly. In the front row are Aunt Ettie's two eldest boys, Uri & Dov. Morris and Zelda had three other children, Ben, Percy and David.

 

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