The History of Kit and Jim Sabel’s
Branch of the Family
Exactly as with Hannah and Louis, Kit (Louis’s sister)
and James (Hannah’s brother) were first cousin Sabels, who grew up next door to
one another in Gladstone Avenue.
Kit never spoke much about the early years, but James (Jim) worked in the
booming cinema industry and became a fairly senior person in Stoll Theatres
(which continued to operate under that name until maybe 20 years ago), with a
number of cinemas under his management.
Both sets of Grandparents at Gladstone Avenue, East Ham Jim
Joan was their first child, born in 1921, followed by
Clive in 1924 and later, by David. During this time, the family moved around
the London region a fair amount, as Jim’s
responsibilities changed, but ended up in Croydon, Surrey.
By the start of 1940s, Jim was suffering from heart disease and he died
suddenly while giving evidence during the trial of someone who was accused of
stealing money from Stoll.
The family doctor who treated Jim Sabel was Dr. Ansel
Fry, whose son John was training as a doctor, and he married Joan in 1944, and
did his national service as a navy doctor in a hospital in Croydon. Clive
served in the 7th Armoured Division in the liberation of Europe and
remained for a while in the army of occupation in Germany after the war. David was
still at school during the war.
Kit had to take a job after Jim’s death and became a
secretary in the Civil Service and bought a flat in Croydon, where she lived
with David. She remained in Croydon till her death in 1980.
Meanwhile, Joan and John Fry had two children, James
and Dimity, born in 1946 and 1947, respectively. John was a general
practitioner in Beckenham, near Croydon, and Joan helped with the practice
(which was in their home) and was very active with West
London Synagogue. John became one of Britain’s most distinguished GPs.
Clive, James, Kit , Joan and David in the 1950s
Clive married Sonia Shine in 1953, whose father Harry
Shine was one of the senior officials in the JPA, and so knew Harry Sabel well.
Sonia and Clive met through Margaret Fry, John Fry’s sister. Clive became a librarian
at Harwell, Britain’s leading atomic research station, near Oxford, and they
first lived in a very old house in the centre of Oxford, and the old City wall
ran through their basement. They had three sons, Jimmy (year of birth, 1954),
Colin (1956) and Kenneth (1962). Clive was a born politician and became a town
councillor in Abingdon and Wallingford, where they lived, helping to establish
a large Labour Party group on both councils, where there had been little or no
representation before. He stood as a parliamentary candidate in 1966 for an
unwinnable seat (Bournemouth East and Christchurch)
and his nephew James and a number of students from Oxford went to canvass for him.
Clive died young from cancer of the pancreas in 1968,
leaving a young family, and Sonia, who spoke many languages fluently, became a
teacher at Carmel
College. By the time of
Clive’s death they had moved to Reading,
slightly closer to London on the River Thames. Jimmy studied mathematics at Oxford University
and after getting his MSc from Imperial College London joined the Civil Service
Department, working at the Home Office and the Treasury, which should have been
the start of a very promising Civil Service career. Very sadly, he developed a
degenerative form of heart disease from which he died at the age of 30.
Colin went to Leeds University
and later to art college. After Jimmy died Colin was diagnosed with
schizophrenia and returned home to live with Sonia in Reading. After Sonia’s death in 1994 he moved
into a smaller house near the river in Reading
and he still lives there, but is more or less housebound.
Kenneth married Maria Holt (and they will both be
present at the reunion). Kenneth works as an archaeologist, specialising in
historic buildings and landscapes and Maria, an artist, then a playwright, has
just been awarded her PhD in Middle East
Joan suffered from the same heart ailment as her
father and eventually died in 1989. John then remarried, marrying Trudie Amiel
(an old family friend who had recently been widowed), a re-marriage that Joan
actively tried to bring about. John died in 1994.
James (Fry) married Susanna Pressel (who will be at
the reunion) and they had two daughters, Xanthe, born in 1970, and Abigail,
born in 1972. Both James and Susanna were university lecturers in Africa. When they returned in 1975, Susanna became a
modern languages schoolteacher, and was head of department in a large
comprehensive school. She became a Labour councillor in Oxford in 1996 and has just become Deputy
Lord Mayor of the City. James first taught at Oxford University, but then
founded an economic consultancy, which is based in Oxford, where they live.
Xanthe (who will be at the reunion) studied English at
and then did an MSc in Health Education at Edinburgh University.
She has lived in Scotland
ever since and married Neil Robertson in 1999, but recently they separated. She
specialises in working with people with drugs problems and, having worked for a
while with teenagers, is currently working as a counsellor with adults.
Abigail (who is in Australia
for a year and so will not be able to join us) studied medicine at University College,
became a GP, like her grandfather. She married Oli Rahman, a paediatrician, now
working as a Flying Doctor in New
South Wales. Their son Zia was a year ago in Brighton, where they will return in August.
Dimity married Mick Dawson, a doctor, but they
divorced after having two sons, Charles (born in 1966) and Oliver (born in
1970). Dimity, who lives in Bromley, Kent, studied education at Goldsmiths
College, London, and is Early Years Manager at a primary school in Lewisham,
London. She will be at the reunion, but her partner, Mike Page, a former
university teacher, is unable to do so.
Charles studied Engineering at Cambridge University, and then joined the
world of advertising and marketing, originally with Saatchi and Saatchi. He now
runs his own firm, The Foundation. He lives in Tufnell
Park, London, with Nicola, who works in market
research, and their three children, Gina, Josh and Millie, born in 1995, 1997
and 2000, respectively. They will all be coming to the reunion for the day on
Oliver studied at the University of East Anglia
and now works for “Awards for All”, distributing Lottery money to a wide variety
of recipients. He lives in Streatham, London,
with his partner Rachel and they will both be at the reunion.
David married Beryl Harris and their two children are
Andrew (born in 1969) and Rachel (born in 1972). David worked in local
government as an officer for the Greater London
Council and Beryl was a teacher. They lived in North
London, near Beryl’s parents, but David had a stroke and died in
Beryl, who now lives in Felixstowe, in East Anglia, but will be in the US at the time
of the reunion. However, her children Andrew and Rachel will be joining us.
Andy currently works as a project information and communication administrator
at a community centre in Bristol and is planning to move to Spain in the near
future with his partner Mariola (who will not be able to come to the reunion).
Rachel works for Camden Social Services as a Team Manager and lives in North
London with her partner Leslie, who is a Road Crossing Attendant.
James Fry, July 2004