Web responsive design and London pub history

Says it all. Web responsive design, and London pub history.

I purchased a cheap phone via tesco to check out my sites on a mobile. It was a very bad idea, as the phone is shite, but I have found a rather good app, i.e. Sizzy

So, for the past twenty four hours, I have been updating my London pub history pages. I am mainly removing repetitive text which does not really add anything to the page.

That is mainly what I am doing, but with up to 50 thousand pages on the site, this always takes me some time. and then I have to repeat it as I want to change something else!

I am really not impressed with just a page of licensee on a pub history page, although I do this for a reason, to prove the pub existed at the time. I will continue to do this until I come up with a better system.

Wetherspoons & Free Solo Channel 4

I will work backwards. I just watched Free Solo on channel 4. A fantastic documentary about climbing in the extreme, without any safety ropes, etc. The guy was brilliant, amazing, a complete aspergers nutter.

I could just about cope with watching extreme physical exertions to climb an impassable 2000 foot (or was it meteres?) climb, but started to feel sick as he got to the top. and close to an edge. That’s my limit!

It reminded me of visiting a Wetherspoons pub in Lincoln a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit tired looking, but most Wetherspoons pubs are usually good, reasonably priced food and drink.

I guess the stains on the menus finished me off, and feeling sick just thinking about what they could do to the food, if they cannot even have clean menus, I walked out (before ordering, of course).

Things that make a difference, cleanliness and edges.

Fleet market, London pub history etc

I am totally amazed by the river Fleet, and looking forwards to visiting the new exhibition at the London Docklands museum at the end of May, 2019.

After the river Fleet is boarded over, the Fleet market becomes Farringdon street – circa 1828. I use early pub history to describe some of this – I am a simple person who explains through example. Here is my take on the Crown & Anchor, Farringdon street, ripped off from my very own pub history site, of which I am very proud of:

This area of London starts to get confusing prior to about 1840, or maybe about 1835. In this year there is a White Hart listed at 28 Farringdon street, and a Crown & Anchor listed next door, this is according to the Robsons 1835 street directory. I am now listing the White Hart, they are not the same public house. this is incidental at present.

About 1828, Farringdon street is listed as Fleet market; unfortunately the yearly street directories don’t appear to list all traders at the addresses; and often for these early years, the public houses are not deemed important enough to be specified. I am now starting to list an 1829 list of licensed victuallers, so this is not entirely true. If you try the early Holden directory, which do list these, there are only a couple of these directories available (online). This is where it gets interesting, as in 1811 there is a William Bedford at the Anchor & Crown, Turnagain lane, Fleet market; and in 1805 there is again a William Bedford, at the Crown and Anchor, 4 Turnagain lane, Fleet market – I would presume these are the same pub.

Now, what if this address of Turnagain lane which adjoins Fleet Market at about 28 Farringdon street (as it is now known), are the same public house. I think they are.

1805/William Bedford, Crown & Anchor, 4 Turnagain lane, Fleet market/../../Holdens Directory 

1811/William Bedford, Anchor & Crown, Turnagain lane, Fleet market/../../Holdens Directory 

1829/T Jones/Crown & Anchor, 29 Fleet market/../../Robsons Directory 

1831/../Crown & Anchor, 29 Farringdon Street/../../Robsons Directory 

1833-34/John Gillingham/Crown & Anchor, 28 Farringdon Street/../../Pigot’s Directory 

1835/John Gillingham/Crown & Anchor, near 28 Farringdon Street/../../Robsons Directory 

1837/John Gillingham/Crown & Anchor, near 26 Farringdon Street/../../Robsons Directory 

1839/John Gillingham/Crown & Anchor, near 26 Farringdon Street/../../Robsons Directory 

1839/William Challands/../../../Pigot’s Directory **

1841/Jonathan Hawkins/../../../Post Office Directory **

1842/John Hawkins / Public House Keeper/../../Proceedings of the Old Bailey **

1842/John Hawkins/../../../Robsons Directory  

1848/William Simmons/../../../Post Office Directory  

1850/Mr Simmonds/../../../Proceedings of the Old Bailey **
1850/William Shannon / Pot Man/../../Proceedings of the Old Bailey **

1851/William Simmons/../../../Kellys Directory  

1851/William Simmons/Victualler/33/Hammersmith, Middlesex/Census  
1851/Hannah Simmons/Wife/38/Lincolnshire/Census
1851/Thomas Berry/Visitor, Farmer/25/Croydon, Surrey/Census
1851/Elizabeth Condon/Servant/21/Cork, Ireland/Census
1851/William Saffery/Servant/24/Norwich, Norfolk/Census
1851/Ann Simmons/Servant, Widow/35/Stockwell, Surrey/Census

January 1854/Thomas Phillips/Outgoing Licensee/../../Era  

January 1854/Francis George Colf/Incoming Licensee/../../Era  

1856/Francis George Colf/../../../Post Office Directory  

1862/F G Colf/../../../Post Office Directory  

1864/Thomas Day / Public House Keeper/../../Proceedings of the Old Bailey **

1869/George Peacock/../../../Post Office Directory  

1874/George Peacock/../../../Post Office Directory  

1881/Henry Gilham/Manager Of Tavern/30/Burlescombe ?, Devon/Census  
1881/Elizabeth Connor/Barmaid/24/Coronmore ? Island, Ireland/Census
1881/William Bond/Barman/18/Templeton, Devon/Census
1881/Fanny Smart/Housekeeper/38/Bridgewater, Somerset/Census

1882/Alfred Warren/../../../Post Office Directory  

1884/S A Melhuish/../../../Post Office Directory  

1891/Harry Bennett/../../../Post Office Directory  

1895/George Draper Leale/../../../Post Office Directory  

1898/Charles Padley / Public House Keeper/../../Proceedings of the Old Bailey **

1899/Charles Padley/../../../Post Office Directory  

And there you go,


London 1829 Robsons licensed victuallers and public houses

Yes, the title tells you the story. I was taking another look through what is now available through the Ancestry library, and discovered there was a listing in 1829 in the Robsons directory for licensed victuallers.

This is basically the public houses of the time, there is also an additional listing of hotels, inns and taverns – just to be clear.

Anyway, this is a particularly useful listing. It is earlier than most I have listed, even by just a few years. It does not give a great amount of detail, but linked to all of the other records I list, it continues to build a picture of an early public house, and its occupants, and is also amazingly useful for tracing some of the early addresses in London.

I have not yet added any of this to the pubs history site, but there will be the first few entries tonight, as I have been building this over the last few days.

Watch the London pub history index page.


Apology to Shell energy

I wrote a damning report on Shell energy, which has been deleted as it was incorrect. I spent most of this morning chatting to an online assistant at Shell energy, and very helpful it was.

I was previously with SSE, for both electricity and gas. They are useless, well their online help is. They probably owe me hundreds of pounds in overspend on the bills, I know they have done this to me before, where they just let the credit build up.

SSE installed smart meters into my house a short while back, and one of those online thingeys that let you see your usage etc. I presumed the data on this was correct, and took my meter reading from this wonderful device.

It turns out, it is not that useful, as the meters still store the meter readings, and there is a button A, which tells you your meter reading. Just for the record, the gas meter installed by SSE had a gas leak, and this has already been fixed, as an emergency callout. It now seems the electricity meter has a flashing red light, and I await to find out what this actually means.

Anyway, the online assistant at shell energy was very heplpful, and patient. Thank you.


Homeserve, Lloyds insurance, bank overdrafts ppi & pub history

I am still missing one of my favourite topics in this post, but this will do for now.

I had Homeserve insurance for may years, what a waste of money. Homeserve is one of the older companies aimed at older people, and a pile of shit. They never actually fixed anything, and always used excuses for not completing a task.

For a fraction of their cost, this is now all incorporated into my home insurance with my car insurance, i.e. Churchill. Their service has been good so far, and at a fraction of the cost.

A similar story goes with Lloyd Insurance. It is worth looking at who your insurance company actually is, and what it is costing. I spent thousands in buildings insurance over the years, and this is just a stupid thing to do – it was expensive and a complete waste of money.

In 1887, my wife and I moved properties. We had purchased out first property for a few thousand pounds, and were making our first move. We purchased another property, and as our first property had not yet sold, we took out a bridging loan for £50,000.

So, we had two properties, a massive bridging loan, a massive debt on credit card to cover the deposit on the new house.

Telephone calls to the Nat West have seen zero knowledge of this bridging loan, and although they have suggested where we can get detailed documentary evidence of this, it has never been forthcoming. There was no reply to my letters regarding this.

I do not know whether to follow this up. I did make a claim about unfair pension selling, and this is history ….

Pub history is less of an issue in my life …

Walks around London in pdf format

OK, this is just an idea, but I think this will work. I obviously need to test it, but this is what makes having your own web site extraordinarly useful.

I have been looking at the London wall, again, obviously in London. It was built by the Romans, and I believe it was built close to their demise of 390 AD, bu many other sites quote it to be between 190 and 225 AD. This is not important at present.

What is important, is that I have found early records, which list where the wall may have been. These are difficult to map in modern times, although the London Museum did create a number of plaques which mapped to the relevant site, many of these have been removed over the years.

Moving on, we now have a brilliant google maps which not only gives a street view, where it is accessible, it also gives a satellite view, and this is often much more useful.

Some of the google maps rely on a vehicle being able to visit a site, but where this is a side lane, or a pedestrianised area, this does not work.

My plan is to build a number of street walks using the satellite view and locally taken pictures of a zone to show the area.

That’s it really.

London 1833 Pigots pubs listing

In case you are not aware, I have added all of the London 1833 Pigots directory to my pub history site. I note this as 1833-34 and the directory I list it in in 1832. I have valid reasons for this as 1833 directories are usually about one year out of date, and therefore relates to 1832.

I think the important fact to remember is that this information is amazingly brilliant, and unless someone has already stolen this data, it is unique on the pub history site.

This also maps well with the London 1832 street directories I have been adding, which are the most exciting thing I have ever added to the sites, but hey ho, you need a blog to advertise this to the world! This is crazy, but true.

London 1899 pubs and beer houses

In case you are not aware, I have a listing of all of the public houses and beer retailers for 1899, in London. That is 1899, not 1989, and it is a couple of years before Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901) ends her reign and passes the crown onto Edward VII (1902-1910); then it is George V (1911 – 1935).

I made a special effort to add not only these listings to the pub history site, I also have a page of information about each building, whether a pub, a beer house, or whatever it was.

Over the years, this is now pretty much complete, for this section of the site. I am currently working through 1836 at present – that’s William IV, the King before Victoria.

London 1836 Pigots pubs

This is one of the earlier pub listings on the pub history site for London, in 1836, and just prior to Queen Victoria being on the throne; so this would have been William IV on the throne (1830 to 1837).

The first major census of the UK was in 1841, and every ten years subsequently afterwards. I would have killed for this listing ten years ago, but the age of the internet has made many more records accessible. In fact, there are now listings for all the major roads and streets of London listed in 1832 and 1842, although some are excluded from this listing at the time, I don’t know why.

There are also listings about this time in 1833-ish which are rather brilliant, and complete; and as these extra records are added, you can see the efforts of the directory listings in getting the addresses correct, as they appear to regularly change. They do an amazingly fantastic job of all of this, nearly 200 years ago, and no internet, no computers, and no mobile phones, or even a telephone. Can you imagine?