Tiny and Jack Goldberg
But their real name was Chait

Tiny and Jack Goldberg

Tiny and Jack Goldberg

It is a generally held belief in the Goldberg family that immigration officers adopted the policy, ‘if you can’t understand the immigrants’ name, call them Goldberg’. This is, indeed, what happened when the Chait family arrived in this country in the early 20th century. They were registered as Goldberg and so that became their name. Many years later one of the members of the Goldberg family changed his name to Cheyette and the rest of the males joined him but the females remained Goldbergs. Thus the Cheyettes were the Goldbergs who were really the Chaits and yes, it is confusing.

Abe, better known as Tiny, and his brother Jack had a factory in the East End of London making ladies suits and coats. Jack was a skilled cutter and he and Tiny worked with their father until the factory was bombed out during the war. Part of the family was evacuated to Kislingberry in Northamptonshire. Tiny and Jack set out to look for suitable premises for their relocated business and chose a place on Leicester’s New Walk at the back of Wilsons Printers. They sent for the family and settled in Leicester in 1941.

Once the business was established in New Walk, Tiny encouraged many tailoring families to join him. This is how the Besbrode family came to arrive in Leicester. By this time Jack was working as a wartime fireman but also continued his work as cutter and designer in the factory. Tiny ran the offices but at the same time he became highly involved in the Synagogue. He became Treasurer and President and was the Cantor. He ran the overflow services for the High Holy Days which, in the early 1950s, were held at the Little Theatre. He even officiated at the wedding of Stella and Geoffrey Louis because Leicester was ‘in-between’ Ministers at that time.

After the war, although many evacuees returned to London, the Goldbergs decided to stay in Leicester. They moved their factory to Western Road and, with a change in market demands, they changed direction, making windcheaters for Marks and Spencers and British Home Stores.

This story was narrated by Pauline Estrin nee Goldberg in 2015