Category: London directories

London street directory & create a sitemap

Being my normal self, I thought I would have a bit of a change today. So, the site became important again, it should, what a great name.

I have added the street directories for 1818,1832, 1842, 1843, 1940 and I think that’s all to this site. I have kept all pub stuff on the pub history site, and the 1921 street directory too. I am not sure why I made this decision, but anything can be changed.

The good thing is that the pub history site now has just under 50,000 html pages, which all fit on one sitemap for google. Good old google.

If you are ever interested, i can tell you how to create a site map of even this magnitude in a matter of a minute. Lets do it.

You first need to login via ssh to your linux web site hosting, I use putty which is a free ssh utility. You need to know the correct login details, too.

You then change directory to the top folder for your website, something like :

/var/www/vhosts/p**/httpdocs , e.g. cd /var/www/vhosts/p**/httpdocs

You then run a simple script which finds all files in the folder/s:

find `pwd` > foundthislot.txt

You then need to pick the specifics from this file, i.e. all of the .html pages

cat foundthislot.txt | grep shtml > findjusthtml.txt

Its quite simple.

Download this last file via ftp as you would normally, then do a grand edit of this file so that each line is relevant to the web page you are visiting.


Sitemaps are very important, and although this is easy; it took me a couple of years to get this right!

Don’t laugh at me for posting such a ridiculously simple way of creating google sitemaps. It really is that simple, it just took me a long time to realise the potential of linux power against the weakness of running in a Windows environment, which is good for desktop applications only.

You also need to use google webmaster tools to upload the sitemap at some stage, and see how your site is doing in desktop and mobile visibility, but this is another story.





Maybe I’m a Londoner

My last blog sounded a bit desperate. sorry, I spend a lot of time getting my sites updated with lots of interesting data content, even if it s all a bit nerdy. Perhaps I have rather a lot of different web sites running under the same name, and I could split them all up into separate entities.

But, no, I will concentrate on what I think I am trying to do, and explore the possibility that what I am trying to achieve is something different from other conventional sites.

Lets see what is on offer on my main site. It covers pub history of some sort for London and most of the South of the country. It is stronger in the London areas, but it does have the restriction that most data is before 1944. Excepting the complete listing of all pubs and bars in 2018.

Then there is more detailed data just on London, mainly to do with pubs from about 1800, and also complete London historical directories for 1832, 1843 and parts of 1921 and 1940.

Then there is a small site I built a while back as nogobritain, which demonstrated the difficulties which people with disabilities have with public transport, and this includes a complete listing of the entire tube network, and links to the relevant detail. some of this may be out of date, but still a damned good try.

More recently, well, the Christmas before last, I built a site or two about the 1918 armistice. As part of this, I honed in on a publication by the LCC which listed every Londoner who worked for the LCC (London County Council) who was involved in service in World War One. All of them, about 10,000, I think. I also added some other records of similar nature.

Then there is the Cosford database of Suffolk, this is part of Suffolk where my early agricultural labourer descendants started. They ended up in London, as did many others as agriculture was overrun by cheaper imports from America, and country folk moved into London to find work. I did quite a bit of research on my Suffolk ancestors by visiting record offices, but this database far outweighed any detail I could find at record offices or online. I saved a copy for merit, from the time machine, it’s brilliant.

I think I have summarised my main site, although I have others which research other areas of pub history and early taverns, coffee houses etc etc.

All my sites are searchable by one search engine, it is far from perfect, but I use it a lot.

One last point, I had a drive into London on the second day of the new year. It was an enjoyable drive, and I photographed a number of pubs which were useful. Obviously, driving in London is not conducive with taking photographs, and I got my first £65 fine through today for this! Whoops.




Happy New Year 2019 – a London street directory year

Its about 10 minutes before midnight of the new year in 2019, and I am watching Freddie mercury live for the very last time. Well, maybe it is not live, sadly. Brilliant man.

About a year ago, I was in quite a dark place. I have long moved on, and looking forwards to 2019 after retiring from the workplace earlier in the year.

I now spend an inordinate amount of time updating my pub history sites, and others. Not that I did not do this previously, but now I do not need to hide this activity.

I obviously do not get paid for any of this apparent activity, so feel free to share the sites with your friends, etc. They are not brilliant, but they are also a labour of love in the making; and I use them all of the time in my research of London streets. The pages are actually brilliant if you know how to search them.



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.


Camden pub history in London

I am currently working my way through the Camden pubs, and in particular those that I list in the 2018 directory listing for the Borough of Camden. I have identified most of these as in the St Pancras region of London, but a few appear to be in outlying areas of Middlesex, i.e. Kilburn and Hampstead. This is obviously according to my very outdated system of adding pubs to a feudal system of church parishes, rather than concentrating on modern postcodes, etc.

This has always been a difficult concept. Anyone can list the modern pubs, and where they are now (with a considerable amount of work involved in just doing this),  but to add all of the historical pubs in and around London gets more difficult by the day, as they close, or are renamed, or change church parish, or become a London borough, or for many other reasons.

So, I am currently updating anything I think  that should be listed as a Camden pub, which includes bits of Hampstead, Kilburn, and all of the St Pancras region.

I will get this right eventually, and I am adding a number of older pictures I have been storing away for this update! I think this latest update is correct for the Old Black Lion, in Camden – I have probably got this entirely wrong.



slightly more London modern pub history & London street directories

Well, as you may have noticed, or not, I have moved all of the London street directory detail back on to the main pub history site. Alongside this I have also been looking on adding some up to date listings of pubs that are still open, just in London so far, and which were listed in August 2018 as being open and in business.

I did receive an interesting email about the Bricklayers arms in Devons road, Bromley; as it was not listed as being open when their relatives ran it in the 50s and 60s. Correct, I checked some of the later directories I had access to, and confirmed to myself that it had closed around 1938, and it was now under a block of flats – Bramble House. I also checked that it was correctly identified as the Bricklayers Arms, at 145 Devons road in 1911 for example. Again, correct. Interestingly there is the Devon stores at about 173, and this is not listed in 1938; this is incidental at present.

I then took a look at the BT Telephone directories, these run up until 1984, and to search for a pub you reverse the name, and search for Arms Bricklayers. Hey presto, in 1968 and 1984, a Bricklayers Arms is listed at 173 Devons road. Maybe the license was transferred. Later, armed with additional detail, I also searched the same directories for G L Thompson, and pinned this down as being the very same from at least 1950. so, there you go. The Devon Stores is rebuilt in the 1930’s and becomes the Bricklayers Arms by at least 1950. Apparently also known as Kitsons.

On to another story, looking for the Bloomsbury Tavern, a historic pub apparently, with an address of 236 Shaftesbury avenue WC2. Some hunting around my site, and with the use of some older street directories, it became aware that this was indeed correct, previously numbered 226 Shaftesbury avenue, and various other addresses prior to this, it was originally the Black Lion.

Just two pubs of the many thousands I have listed on the pub history sites, and that is just in London. Here is a modern listing of Camden pubs I am working through at present. All modern pictures welcome so that I can add those which are modern.



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.