Yes, I have a London wiki, and it is slowly building, very slowly
Yes, I have a London wiki, and it is slowly building, very slowly
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.
I have new blogs building on my site, but for now this one seems quite popular. The pub history site which relates heavily to London and surrounds just gets better every day. I have been adding the 1836 London Pigots directory, and also just completed a first run through of Holdens 1811 directory. Both are good. See the London pub history pages.
These complement my street directories for London in 1832 and 1842 which are a major boon for looking for early pubs in London.
Also, I have just upgraded the server which the sites run on, It is now twice as fast, and has twice as much space. Lots more room for updates.
That’s all for now
Well, I now have two sites in the top ten in google search for London street directory. Most people would envy this, and not a bad start.
I moved much of the London streets listings back to my London19 site, and also the massive 1843 street directory. I have only just done this, so it will take a while to feed through in search terms. Actually, I have already changed this, and the 1843 street directory is back on the pubs history site, this is the only change, all 255 pages of it.
I also added my London19 site to the adsense program (nothing to do with rehab!). Their site blanked it as a copy site, I think; and therefore their advertisers do not get the chance to advertise on my great London pub history site. Their loss.
Just added are a few roads in Fulham area, i.e. Fulham High street, Fulham road and Fulham Palace road – all in 1940.
But, I am still looking for a good sponsor.
Being my normal self, I thought I would have a bit of a change today. So, the london19.com 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.
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.
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.