As you may know, I write sites about pub history. I am always looking to find new ways to advertise this, and to be honest, I often struggle to find the pubs I am searching for. This is not the fact that they are not on the site, just with a differing address; or sometimes the search engine just cannot find the pub.
Over the past few weeks or so, I have been looking at early street directories of London . My idea of an early directory was in 1839, now I am looking at 1833, 1811 and 1805 etc. All these directories are pre-Victorian, i.e George III was on the throne from 1760 to 1820; then George IV until 1820; and William IV until 1836.
And with this in mind, and the fact the search engine on the site often struggles to find early addresses in London, why not create an early street directory? It is a great idea, and keeps me busy in my retirement! Plus, there are very few sites in which you can search by pub or address, usually just surname.
As usual, most people would think this is mad, but this is what I do.
So, the site is building slowly, and it will take a few weeks / months / years; but here is an excellent example – Borough High street, Southwark.
More in a few weeks.
Well, it is 1.53 in the morning, and I usually fall asleep on the computer about this time of morning. I think, I don’t actually know the time I fall asleep!
The Holden directories of London are rather special. They are really early, and also list lots of victuallers, wine and brandy merchants, named pubs etc etc. This is quite rare for early directories.
The only thing I am not sure about at present is whether the year is actually correct. I know most directories are a year out of date. The Holden directories are strangely organised, and I do not have an answer to this at present.
What has become apparent when searching on some of the very early entries, is that Whitechapel can mean Aldgate; there is no special code to work out where a public house or victualler is; and the addresses are also often quite short in detail.
The beauty of my pub history site is that there is masses of detail already added by myself, and Stephen and Ewan – particularly for these early entries, and this new detail can be compared to see if there is a pattern.
And life goes on, but with a better understanding of early London publicans and licensees, and also I am always looking to add those long lost streets and pubs that disappeared two centuries ago.
Anyway, i am still awake, and its 2.01 am; and enough for tonight.
There is a new site which is building, along with many other sites. It is simple, it is a street directory of London from the 1921 directory, which is always a year out of date, so about 1920; and next year is 2019.
So, a site is growing, which is london19.com which lists street detail for the last hundred years, and should be ready by 2019. That is the background detail.
This new site will initially list street directories, and links to pubs and previous pubs in that timeline or earlier. Then it will move on to list details of street name changes over that time period. Well, that is the current plan.
Excited? Every time I research any of this form of data, it is nearly always on a purchaseable ebook. This is all very well, as people have spent their own time creating this data, but it is NOT in the public domain. There are also many freely available ebooks which are sold by people, I should do this too, but I cannot be bothered.
I am aware that everything I post is stolen by others, hey ho, it’s the internet age.
BUT, I am certain that this site will make a difference, eventually, somewhere. And one of the people I have helped out will come back and click on some of my advertising links. You can only live in hope.
I run a few sites, including a major pub history site and others. These all have a search the PUB … entry at the top of the page. Simple, but true.
My colleague John often complains that these search pages are riddled with advertising, and also that he can never find what he is looking for, even if he know what he is searching for! John is one of my major contributors for the site, and has many pages and images attributed o him.
Simple answer. The search engine is powered by google, and covers multiple sites which I choose, and is pretty amazing in this fact. BUT, it is a simple search, which first looks at the latest pages added to the site/s. So, for example, if I added a whole host of pages for the entire London 1843 directory, some hundreds of pages, this would overload the new search engine as the latest pages added to the site/s – which it does.
The fact is any and all older pages are virtually ignored by the search, this is rubbish.
The point I am attempting to get to is that one page on a blog, written well, can equate to 50,000 web pages, in the google search engine, and this is entirely wrong, and seriously warped. I think google needs to look at is search parameters carefully. In the meanime, I will be writing lots of blogs , methinks.