Battersea pub history, it just keeps coming

I run the pub history site which covers All of London and its suburban bits, i.e. the parts of London which were previously in the home counties, and now parts of London, and also were at times also listed as part of London. Confused?

Well, I am confused most of the time as to where I am researching, as there is very rarely a clear strand between random records of census, trade directories etc.

I have spent a lot of time researching this area, as have many others who have supplied records along the way and over the years. As I also cover most of the rest of the United Kingdom in some shape, I tend not to spend a lot of time in just one area, but recently I thought I would try and finish off Battersea pub history! I am always very confident in that a few more days will do this, even though I have been doing the same for the past 18 years – hey ho.

Now, I believe, I am getting close. And I keep finding new pubs which could not have existed for more than a few years, and then I find a pub named in 1853 and next in 1881, what’s going on.

And then there is the Red House, a pub in the middle of nowhere along the Thames, and opposite Chelsea. I closes about 1853. it is then covered over to remove all existence, a normal tale for many parts of London!

That’s Battersea pub history, covered in three sections, with most in the north west section, some in the east, and a bit in the southwest

Enough for now.


Building a truly remarkable site about London history

I have been building a truly remarkable site about London history for some years. Well, I think so.

The site started with an update to an Essex pub history site, then I began to add bits of London, and its pub history.

Then I slowly added large swathes of the rest of the country, but also continued to add more detail to the London public houses and buildings. Then I started adding street directories for large parts of London in 1921, then in 1832, and latterly in 1940.

And the updates continue. And although each page on the site is probably quite personal to a small subset of people in each instance, it is also an estimation of where these records can be found if you wish to research a particular address, or street, or wherever.

And there are always new resources being made available which far surpass my efforts, but this does not negate what I have added to the internet search engines, where a search will often find my page rather than a multi-million pound estate agents page on how the building is now a major piece of real estate. Who cares.

I will leave this out there for the time being. I build a site, or sites, which actually cost me more to run than I receive revenues, but it is the collection of data which inspires me. Sad, but true.


Every Mind Matters

Tonight, an advert on Channel 4 (and apparently on many other channels) triggered a response. It was a number of celebrities talking about something that mattered, and I was certain it was to do with stand up 2 cancer. I was wrong.

My wife has been looking this up all evening on the internet, and the relevant web site has been crashing all evening. Perhaps there are more people out there who actually want to talk about mental illness. I do.

Both my wife and I have a number of casualties in our families to mental illness, or just call it suicide, or whatever, mostly historical; it still hurts to say you only ever had one grandfather, for example.

I have suffered twice from serious depression, both times when coming close to leaving a long term work place. The latter was probably worst, when after eighteen years, they want to get rid of you. The causal effects are always the same, i.e. insignificant little morons whatever their status, using mind games to cause a person to want to give up; with sleepless nights, then just plain blankness and blackness – that was horrible. I was never suicidal, I was in a far worse place than that.

Fix :

I had two important groups on my side, my wife, and my old friends (they don’t know this).

After being away from my church for at least ten years, I returned for a Sunday service. I was shaking incontrollably as I sat by my wife in our church, the bells were too loud, as was the singing, I was a complete mess.

Our Minister, Ken started to talk, he changed his talk at the last minute, he does not know why he did that, I do. I still to this day do not remember the talk, maybe I do, but I was fixed (sort of).

As you are now aware, I am a Christian, and have been for all of my life. I don’t always practise, but when I need a friend I know where to find one.

It turns out that I have been going to this church for some time, it is St Andrews in Hornchurch. I started to go there in about 1989 when I wanted to get my first daughter into the local C of E school, which you only got into for good attendance at church. After we had achieved this, I actually realised that I actually liked the people and the church; and hence all my friends are here. I did also spend quite a number of years as a governor of this primary and also secondary school during my political years.

Going back to St Andrews, in Hornchurch – in 1995 there was a massive Passion play in the area. It was staged by the Queens Theatre, in Hornchurch, and was an extravanganza to many thousands of people in the local area.

I played the part of one of the nasty priests (somebody has to play the part), and followed by being Matthew, a disciple in 2000. I do not remember being in the 2005 play. My children also played parts, as children, in both of these performances.

My wife, earlier a member of the choir, took on the role of Mary mother of Jesus, in about 2011 and 2015 whilst I stood back as a steward.

And 2020 is coming, and the Passion play, which is probably the biggest event in London, if not in the UK, is about to happen again.

Judge for yourself, come and see it, it is about April next year.

Mentally, I am fixed due to my church family and friends.

I forgot to say. I visited my GP in the first instance when I was unable to control my work life, and was offered counselling. I had actually left the work place already by this time which was a good move, although not everyone has this option.

When I returned to see my GP after the above return to church, I made a point that I had now received counselling, as I had started to go back to church. I now go regularly again – it is important to me. I see my friends, old and new.


The new pub history and pub wiki site

Well, it has finally happened. I have moved my pubs history site for the last time, for the time being, to the pubwiki.co.uk site.

I did make this move recently, then rescinded it, but have now made the move for good. I am also working through each London pub history page and making sure that firstly it has an postcode of some description, and latterly, as I work through Holborn, that I actually know where this pub was!

That’s it really. The pub history site, well a pub wiki site, now continues on with some idea of where it is heading.


Random pub history blog post

I have actually cancelled this blog and the relevant web site url, but as it is still working, why not post a bit of stuff about the many changes on the pub history sites.

I have been suffering with reduced revenue from advertising to cover the costs of running this site, I spend about £60 a month on a server (a vps server). I also spend my entire waking life updating the same at zero £ per hour, and have been doing this for the past 20 years!

Why do I do this then? Because I enjoy doing it!

Am I good at researching pub history, and the older pubs, YES I am. Is it relevant today, probably not in most cases, but it is a study on early life in London, particularly in Victorian times and earlier. My later records often phase out after about 1937 – 1944.

I did spend the day reading an SEO report on all of the google search changes that are happening these days, and that older sites like mine are penalised as they try and cover too much. They are thin sites, with little detail on many pages, whereas you are better to build fat sites (like a blog).

Age of a site has little preference over a brand new site.

So, what I have done today, and this is not yet complete, is to move anything not related to London and the immediate home counties to another of my sites. This has halved the number of pages on the pubshistory site, but they are tending to be the better pages.

There is still much more room for improvement, and this will continue over the coming days, weeks and months, and years – hopefully.

Kevan – here is to a long life.

Battersea, Clapham & London suburban areas

I continue my pub history updates for Battersea, which have been monumental to say the least. All of the Battersea 1871 census added, and earlier records too. But, I am still missing some of the 1851 pubs which existed.

I thought I would try out some of the areas nearby to see if I could fill these gaps, and hence Clapham pub history updates.

I am very lacking in this area, even if I have been researching the entirety for many years. I do not ever get the time to research any areas properly, but my sites are still significant, and probably better than you will find anywhere for early research!

That’s it really, for now. I am still working through the last parts of Clapham in 1871, then onto another locality.

As a sideline issue, I broke a rib, I think, about 10 days ago, and this is slowly mending. It is painful, but apart from the problems with breathing, and the pain levels, this is slowly getting better.

The reason I mention this, is my trips to London have stalled for a few days. I made it to the British Library at Kings Cross, and will be visiting again fairly soon, and the same goes for the London Metropolitan Archive. I now have readers cards for both.

Lots more to come as usual.


Licensed Victuallers Association

The title says it all. The Licensed Victuallers Association was formed as a form of insurance against hardship for the lucky few, well actually, for the not so lucky.

The Society of Licensed Victuallers began in 1793 as a friendly society for the mutual benefit of publicans, and the relief of members of the licensed victualling trade and their families. It was incorporated by royal charter in 1836. A daily newspaper, the Morning Advertiser, was soon established to promote its interests. In 1802 the Society set up a school in Kennington Lane for boys and girls of deceased or impoverished fellow traders.


I have spent the day adding links to the various years of records which I currently have transcribed on my site, the pub history wiki. It all adds to the history of a Victorian pub, as many of these records are in the 1860s, although I also have records from the 1830s.

The useful detail is when I confirm a change of address for a public house, and thus making it a little more interesting. One of the better examples is in St George Hanover square – and the Grosvenor Arms.

This is just one of many examples.

pub history in Victorian London

I guess I need to clarify what I know, and what is insignificant to my knowledge.

I do know lots of pubs are continually closing, and others are opening, e.g. Wetherspoons and the like.

I also know I don’t really have a lot of knowledge about pub history since 1944, which is quite a long time ago. For most people, this is like the dark ages!

Now it’s said, my sites are largely aimed at pubs that have existed since, or during the Victorian era, maybe a little later.

So, the question is who really cares about this era of pub history? Well, simple answer, I do. That’s it. Early Victorian pubs may have little interest to most people, but it is one of my main interests, especially in London. I can use the early London pubs to traverse an area, explain street name changes, map a pub to a specific London parish, and list licensees and residents at a specific address.

And to make it a slightly bit more interesting, some of these addresses do not get listed in the google search engine unless I list them. What could be better than this.

Advertising on the pub history wiki site

I have moved the pub history site to pub wiki, i.e. pubwiki.co.uk for a number of reasons, including the fact I like the name.

Currently, there are now 58 thousand pages, and probably 10 thousand plus images on the site. Apart from this, the advertising revenues from adsense are still about £1 a day, and I think I can live without this. It helps, but it is also taking the piss! All ads are to now to go.

It’s a bit like the new prime minister being selected by the Tory party, a bit crap! At least with Nigel Farage you know where you stand, ‘they come round here’ attitude.