Griver Family

Griver Family

Leslie Griver was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine, in 1897, and came to England with his parents in around 1903. They settled in the East End and started a cabinet-making business, which lasted until 1930.

Leslie was a good ballroom dancer and, in the late 1910s and early 1920s, he worked as a dance promoter. He used the name Leslie Fox, because his religious father did not approve of dancing.

Leslie was also an amateur boxer and weightlifter. A small man, he was known as the 'Mighty Atom', breaking the British weightlifting record for the 8-stone (51 kilograms) class even though he weighed only seven stone. He also set the world record for the deadlift, lifting a weight of 400 pounds (181 kilograms) to knee level.

In 1931, Leslie married Ada Wolfers. They took over a draper's shop in Well Street, Hackney, which Ada suggested they turn into a sweet shop and caf. Leslie established a gymnasium in the back, known as the Hackney Herculean Club. The club was bombed during the Second World War, but the caf stayed open until the 1950s. Leslie also became involved in the Hackney Boys' Club and Clapton Maccabi club, where he coached weightlifting.

Leslie and Ada had five children. Their son Alan was an amateur boxer, who trained as a printer. His brother Harry boxed professionally and was known as the 'Hackney Hurricane'. Later, he became a boxing coach and second, and was given the Joe Bromley Award for services to British boxing. In the 1960s, Harry set up a youth club with a gymnasium, known as the Colvestone Boxing Club. It produced two professional world champion boxers: Maurice Hope and Dennis Andries.

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