The Twiasschor party lodged at Langdale Mansions in the slums of Whitechapel

Paintings of Langdale St. neighborhood in the 1930s by Hester Mallin

The Twiasschor party lodged at Langdale Mansions in the slums of Whitechapel

I neglected to mention one important fact gleaned from the Twiasschor-Ringel marriage certificate that I wrote about yesterday. The marriage did not take place in a synagogue or in any kind of Jewish ceremony. 

The certificate quite clearly reads "Married in the Register Office" and the following phrase, "according to the rites and ceremonies of  ______," is crossed out. In a religious rite, the blank would have been filled by "the Jewish faith" or something similar. There is a further notation that the marriage was licensed and was performed by the registrar. 

I did mention that the residence at the time of marriage for both Pinkas and Pessel was at 125 Langdale Street. I looked that up and was able to find right away that it was in the heart of the heavily Jewish slum area of Whitecastle.

Langdale runs for one long, narrow block between Burslem and Ponler Streets, with four-story tenement buildings packed in on both sides, These buildings, plus more on the adjacent Wicker Street, were the so-called Langdale Mansions. In this usage, "mansion" refers to an apartment block, because the Langdale Mansions were anything but an elegant English estate.

Think more of the Lower East Side in this same time period, around 1910. Langdale was a residential street but it was just around the corner from the shop-lined Hessel Street, the London equivalent of Orchard Street. The slideshow features the paintings of artist Hester Mallin, who grew up in the neighborhood in the 1920s and '30s, when it was a hotbed of social unrest. The images are courtesy of a blog called Spitalfields Life.

Contrary to my earlier idea that our German travelers might have been hosted by someone they knew in London, there is no indication from the marriage certificate that this was the case. Otherwise, they could have managed the whole escapade on their own, arranging the travel from Berlin to London, lining up their own lodgings in a Jewish tenement building, and following to the letter all the local marriage requirements.

In England and Wales, there is no citizenship requirement to marry. However, prior notice of 28 days must be given by both partners to their local Register Office, allowing time for objections to be heard. In addition, they each must be resident for seven days in England or Wales before notice is given.

That is the law today, but I believe it was similar in 1911 (I'll do further research). If so, our group from Berlin would have needed to arrive in London and establish residence at least five weeks before they could be married. They would have needed to find suitable lodging for that period, and it makes sense that we find them at an address in the heart of London's Jewish district. 

At Langdale Mansions, they could evidently rent rooms by the week instead of paying nightly rates at a hotel. However, the slum conditions may have been a comedown for the upwardly mobile Berliners.