Category: Robsons directory

London history mobile app

I get bored very easily, so I thought I would build a mobile app for the London history site using the latest 1832 street directory of London.

I have made a start. It’s very late at night, and I am just setting up the environment. It’s OK, as it is the weekend, but I don’t work any longer so I may have done this during the day. Old habits ……

I have a number of simple tasks to complete. These include making sure I have the latest version of Java development kit installed, and the  Android development kit, and then some idea of what I want to achieve. Here is a brief of steps so far:

Installation :

I am setting up an environment to build mobile webapps

First install java 8

set JAVA_HOME to C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_181

java -version in a cmd window, this is not intuitive but get the latest version whatever it is.

Go to Androids developer site – link from above.
Download 32 bit version (for me) – I stayed with Windows 32 bit as I have a number of older programs I wished to continue with. It was a relatively fast machine once.

If you downloaded a .zip file, unpack the ZIP, copy the android-studio folder into your Program Files folder,
and then open the android-studio > bin folder and launch studio.exe (for 32-bit machines).

This takes a while ……. 30 minutes, maybe less or a lot more ??

What am I planning to do with this?

Well, I have a number of simple files / pages which are the entire street directory of London in 1832.

I want to simply be able to offer users a quick app into finding and viewing these pages. That’s it really. I currently have between 50 and 100 thousand pages on my various sites, and I need a mobile usage / entry into the site. I really do. I need to attract the newer generation into old historical stuff!

These pages may then lead users back to my pub history site, which needs lots of TLC, but that is another story.
Simple stuff.

The Android development kit is a bunch of java apis which should be no different to developing for tomcat or other java server applications. Lets see how we go.  Installation 92% complete … the easy bit.

More tomorrow.

Seven dials in London, what do we know about it

As part of the London Robsons 1832 street directory, which just for you information is nearly complete, I came across Monmouth street, Seven dials, as part of my research.

I have to admit I am a bit of a novice to London history, and I thought Seven dials was near to the Bank of England, and all of the streets which link there. I knew it referred to seven streets making an impact in London, I was completely wrong, but hey ho, I know now.

Seven dials is in St Giles, and near Covent garden. What I could not work out was why I could not find anything about the number of pubs in Monmouth street which were listed in 1832. I could find details about them until 1842, maybe a little later, but not much else.

I also searched in the great search engine, and came across a page on the area which mentioned that Great St Andrew street & Little St Andrew street later became Monmouth street – I have yet to decide whether they are correct, maybe it is true.

Back to Monmouth street, I then searched on the relevant pubs, and driled down looking for similar named pubs in an un-named street in the Seven dials area, and I came across a couple of matches, these were in Dudley street, Seven dials.

I was correct, although these pubs were both only open until about 1882. I then looked again at the mapping, and discovered that this street became part of Shaftesbury avenue at some stage, maybe in the 1880s.

So, we now know that Monmouth street was renamed Dudley street, about 1847. Then sometime in the 1880s, this was to become part of Shaftesbury avenue.  The pubs had already closed by this time, but they were extremely helpful in the search.

There are other pubs in Monmouth street, and I think these may have declined at an earlier date.

And finally, I think the page I read which suggested that Great St Andrew street was later renamed Monmouth street is probably also correct; but it is not this Monmouth street in 1832. Is this clear? Probably not.

Kevan

It’s what I do with my retirement. It makes me happy.

The London 1832 street directory & pub history

It has been four days since I put pen to paper, well it is actually fingers to keyboard these days. In the meantime, I have been rather busy building the London 1832 and London 1842 street directory. It is nearly complete! Just a few more weeks work, or maybe just a few days.

The sites are getting well spotted in google search, and increasing the numbers of visitors to the sites. At the same time, they (google) have decreased the pennies per click considerably, bastards. That just reminded me of “penny for the guy”, or “bob a job” in Scouts.

I have just  realigned the navigation for this site to make it more interesting for mobile users, i.e. most people these days. I will roll this out onto all of my other sites shortly. It uses lots of dropdowns which seem to work, although I am yet to test it out properly.

Back to the London street directory pages, they are looking really good, I think. If you don’t like them, show me a resource which is as good!

Actually, I will go slightly further and say they are blooming marvellous.

 

 

 

A London Robsons 1832 and 1842 street directory is building fast

A new site listing the entirety of the  London 1832 street directory with an alphabetical index of all the streets linked to a page for each street is building very fast, and close to completion – well stage one is nearly complete.

Each individual page lists a complete transcription of the traders living along that street as listed in the Robsons directory. Where appropriate, if a trader is a licensee or tavern keeper, there will also be a link from that person, and their address to an entry on the historical pub history site which is brilliant for London and many other areas.

In addition to the listing in 1832, in  which there is not a great amount of detail about the trades of those named, there are in many cases, an image on the same page which corresponds to the 1842 Robsons London street directory. This is very useful, as the information is much more detailed. The 1842 images are just that, they are not a transcription, and therefore a visual check of each images is required. The search engines have so far made the  inference that these images relate to the 1832 trade directory, which they do in road name only!

As an added bonus on one or two pages, the 1842 London street directory has also been transcribed. There is not a plan on doing this for every page, although if anyone wishes to help with this, it may happen eventually,

The 1842 London street directory transcriptions have been added with a simple bootstrap code which allows the text to be viewable or hidden, which is the default.

A good example, the second page to have this addition is on the Star street, Shadwell page. This page was chosen as this early historical detail is currently missing from the pub history site, with details back to about 1851 only, at present. This will change very soon.

Enjoy this new concept, and any suggestions on making the pages even more useful would be very welcome; there is a plan underfoot to link each page to a mapping, but this has yet to be decided. The pages which do link to the pub history site already offer a lot more detail about the specific road / street through a period of time, sometimes up until modern days, and other times for just a few years or decades.

And an addition to the site just recently has been the 1818 Johnstones  London commercial guide, this is in its infancy and lacks detail about pub history, and will therefore be completed as I see fit.