London pub, taverns & coffee houses history random updates

I have been quite busy recently. I am trying to get up the google search for London street directory, with my transcripts of the complete Robsons 1832 directory, plus images of the 1842. This site is fantastically useful and I refer to it all of the time. I am at about 6.2 out of all the millions at present, and climbing.

Another thing I have been up to is getting more detail on some of the early taverns, and coffee houses. I can’t always find which London ward to add these to, especially if they are 1666 or thereabouts, so started adding these to another new site:

My favourite is the last entry on the index, the Red Lion, near to Fleet ditch. It makes fascinating reading. I could add more, but this will do for now.

A lot of this detail is in books which are freely available to use and download, and some of them, in fact most of them are actually transcribed on line already, under various guises. I just want the relevant bits to add to a page / s.

I have recently upgraded the server as I was running low on space. I have not seen any main benefits to this yet, but it allows me to add as much stuff as I see fit.

I have probably been up to loads of other things, like redesign of the sites etc. One day the site will be mobile friendly, and I will get there eventually.

My friend Ewan at pubology has just sent me a large Marylebone pub history update, which has been added. I believe there is an even larger one for St Pancras to come soon.

Meanwhile, I spent a little time this evening working on the Seven Dials area of London. I am getting the hang of this area slowly. My examples are those public houses in Monmouth street until about 1846, then the street disappears and reverts as Dudley street for a while, or Broad street for the Kings Head.

All of these streets eventually become part of Shaftesbury avenue. I have not worked this bit out as of yet.



Changes to the London history sites & pub history

I am never really clear where I am going with any of my web sites. I don’t post a lot on the blogs, as the sites do speak for themselves. I have spent many years of obsessive hours building the sites and getting them to where they are today, and although the revenue from this is menial, the actual placements in online search makes up for this.

I occasionally go through a sudden inspiration in opening new web sites, and a year or tow down the road, I drop these same names. I am thinking about this at present. My main site is about pub history, and largely identifies London and its surrounds. It is also being upgraded as a historical London street directory.

Why do I not add the records from the LCC for 1918 to this site? These are the 10,000 people who worked for the London County Council during the first world war. I am moving towards this idea.

I also have 55,000 pubs listed in the 2018 directory for the whole of the UK. I doubt if I can match many of these to actual pub history pages. What shall I do with these?

This blog will be going fairly soon. It is expensive rubbish that I can do without.

I have also been looking at upgrading my server, this can wait for the time being.

My pub history site continues as is for a while longer.


London street directory & pub history & google adverts

I am please to say that my two sites are doing well for the search term ‘London street directory’. They should be considering the amount of effort and time I have spent on my sites. I doubt they are the most exciting thing for most people to visit, but I am not looking for an outstanding site, just one that tells the truth. Two of my sites are in the top ten in google, pretty impressive.

I often search on pub history and the top search returns, and see some of the stories told by ‘usually newspapers’ who advertise the ten or fifteen oldest pubs in London. It is the usual regurgitated b###s with little proof of anything they can actually prove.

I am slowly adding the London 1940 directory at present, but occasionally take some time out to research other areas. I have spent the last couple of days in Banbury, Oxfordshire. I am quite amazed about the numbers of pubs, beer houses and hotels that existed in this market town at one stage in its life.

One mistake I made, well I think it was a mistake, I tried out an alternative to google ads to pay for the sites. I run my own server, and a number of individual web sites. Occasionally I add a new site, as I did recently with the site which is doing OK. The ads on this site do not appear to work any longer, hey ho, I can deal with this for the time being; but in my normal (or abnormal) presence, I will just drop the site if this continues forever, and move the content to a different site. This is one of my downfalls in planning, or lack of it. And as I say, hey ho!

So the new London 1832 street directory site is now my pubs history site; I have moved all of the pages. I was told by a certain advertising provider that the london 19 site broke rules, and was a doorway to my pub site, which I guess is true!

I am also the owner of which is well known, probably for the number of links to the site. This is a mish mash of stuff these days.

Onwards & upwards. Oh, and a flu jab costs less than a tenner at Tescos chemists and the service was great. I reckon  that was a good investment.

London street directory, London pub history & Ubuntu linux

Well, the London street directory has been growing over the past hours, days, weeks and months. I am slowly adding more 1940 street directory as I find the time and patience in adding this. There are about 1000 pages, each of which takes a day, so you can see why it takes time!

In the meantime, I do not entirely ignore the pub history sites. Although these are well placed in the google search engine, it often surprises me as to how little feedback I get about the pages. There are in excess of 50,000 pages on my sites, probably a lot more. I get lots of annoying emails, as we all do, most are deleted. What often gets me upset is that many of my images, and sometimes content suddenly appears on twitter, pinterest, facebook or other random sites, often just because people think that researching something means copying someone else hard work, or just plain ignorant, whatever.

I have no control over other peoples ignorance.

As part of the London street directory, what I have achieved over the last couple of days is to build a new index to my London pub history site. In fact I have added a little more detail than previously. I am even moving slowly towards adding postcodes! One day, the site will be much more prolific in its history after 1940, but this will be as I find the relevant detail.

Moving on, I purchased a second hand PC & monitor a couple of weeks ago. It has windows on it. It also has a terabyte of storage, and a decent monitor. All for about £200. The machine does not have MS software, just openoffice which is the same as google apps. My son tells me he only uses this, as it does what is necessary, and is also free.

I agree, I never use MS Office apart from an old copy of Sharepoint designer 2007 which crashes all of the time, and am looking for something a lot better. I do use textpad, a free text editor, and for which I purchase a license for about £10. This software is invaluable.

So far, I have resized the partitions on the disk of this new PC following online instructions, and installed a free copy of Ubuntu as dual boot, and I have added a couple of bits of software, i.e. gimp, netbeans, Apache web server, and also logged into my google account which has copies of most of my current Windows desktop files.

My web server also runs on linux, and I am fairly OK with what I need to do to mirror my files on various different environments.

To my amazement, opening some of the files I am transcribing, in google docs on my linux machine, are immediately transcribed for me, and this will save me hours of work, I am at a new stage in my life where I decide whether to make the plunge away from the rubbish Windows environment (which is generally expensive and shit) to one where I am a lot more productive. In Linux, you can also run a small script to build or edit an entire file system or a whole bunch of files in a matter of minutes, e.g. I can create a entire sitemap in a matter of minutes. It is just a no brainer, I just need to take the jump. I probably never will, but the option is NOW available.

That is where I am at, whilst the UK as a whole goes through the brexit progress, of which I will not post any personal response.

London 1940 street directory & pub history

The London street directory is slowly building, and that of 1940 is slowly being added. I have posted on the 1940 index a reason for doing this, which mainly ties up with the London blitz and also the excellent 1939 electoral register – the latter has dates of birth which are incredibly useful for anyone researching their family history. I am also adding links back to the relevant pub and its history.

I will shortly be adding Hackney road in 1940; the 1832 and 1842 listings are very near completion, and there are random 1921 streets. The 1940 directory also lists a far greater selection of London, i.e. all of it. Many of the more outlying parts of London were listed in suburban directories, e.g. in Battersea, Greenwich etc.

Another interesting fact is a new trend in google search. As google knows who I am, and the names of some of my main web sites, it actually tells me the average trending position for my sites, e.g. if I type a search for ‘London street directory’, my sites are averaging at 6.2 and 19.2 although in the top ten positions, I have entries at 7, 8 and 9 for various pages. The same goes for the words ‘pub history’ as a search, where three sites are listed as at 2.7, 6.4 and 8.5; there are many major sites out there that do not trend as well.

It is also interesting to note that writing a simple blog post like this gets noticed in search engines specifically as more interesting than any individual page on a site where there may be 50,000 pages. I guess because the wordpress posting is very recent, it is also in a more interesting readable format than many of my pages on pub history or street directories.

This is one of the better 1832 street directory pages, i.e. Great Ormond street ; 

I chose that page as google showed an early interest in it, and using it showcase how all of the other pages on the site could look as I find the time. There is never enough of it.

Spitalfields, Gravesend, Venice & London 1842 directory

Lots to report in this new post. I took a short trip to Venice, the Italian version, and had a wonderful break for a few days. During this time, I started to read a rather brilliant historical book by Dan Cruickshanks on Spitalfields. I had a book token to use, and this book took my fancy! It is rather excellent so far, and more.

I did not know that Spital comes from the word hospital, apparently it does. The book on Spitalfields is quite heavy reading, and more a textbook rather than a light read. That’s OK, it is pretty brilliant so far, after about the first few chapters. Interestingly, amongst the credits are a favourite of mine, Sarah Wise; and also the Spitalfields Life website and many more.

A quick aside, my wife and I had a long, drawn out discussion about the words utmost & upmost; we both use different words, as we were both unaware of the other word. Look these words up if you want to know the general outcome!

Once home from a break, I answered an interesting email on Gravesend. It took me two days of my research time to update Gravesend pub history in about 1851. For the record, Gravesend is not in London, it is fairly near, but in Kent on the southern borders of the River Thames. It made a splash in the news recently because of a Beluga whale from the Arctic spending some time here.

Finally, I am back to updating the London street directory for 1842 / 1832 etc. By tomorrow, all of the letter B should be complete with 1842 street directory images, e.g. Brook street, Ratcliff.



London 1832 streets directory and mapping early London

I am a bit out of sync with most normal working people, but this has little bearing on the work I am continuing with. The London 1832 streets directory is now almost complete. I have been saying this for a while, and then I find another tranche of streets which are not yet on the site.

I think withe the completion of the letter B, I am complete, but I will check again!

The second part of this brilliant project is to add the 1842 images; and this is taking a lot less time than the first part and is slowly building.

Part three is now to add a mapping link to each page to one of the excellent NLS mappings. NLS is short for National Library of Scotland, and they do have a rather enviable maps project which is rather brilliant. The best part of this, after some research is the mapping of an area in, say 1895, and modern days, both on the same page.

Here is a very simple example, Ducks foot lane, Upper Thames street.

I am next to start looking at indexing of the streets in London, and possibly add a local search engine just for this. This is not hard, as most web sites have their own mysql database which I am very familiar with.

The major part of the hard work has already been completed, and this London historical street directory could be amazing one day, if this is of interest.

The remit is to describe London without using maps, but with a few mappings along the way. So, yes, with old maps.

I think the most important part of this, to me, is to be able to describe early street addresses in London, and have some form of clarification on explaining where it may have existed; or what it may now be named.