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?

Turks Head, Butcher row & child poverty

I was adding new records for the Holdens 1811 directory, and came across an entry for the Turks Head, Butcher row in Ratcliff. I actually found quite a few early records for the same pub, and eventually added this to the site.

This makes a good read, with sixty years at least of pub history. My pub history sites cover a whole lot more, but the more I do, the less they seem to achieve. I always presume someone is stealing all of my work over the last twenty years, but I think this is not the case, I just wonder why I keep adding more to the sites.

As an aside, I studied with the Open University, which was fifty years old a few days ago. A brilliant institution, and it changed my life for ever, with my studies in Mathematics, Computers, Economics and latterly European politics.

I certainly had eighteen years work at an Essex University from this; I will let you guess what it was called.

I was never very good at writing essays, or holding conversations, better at using numbers, but I achieved a degree, and always look back at walking onto the stage at the degree ceremony, and telling the lady who handed me my scroll that the previous person was my wife – we celebrated together. Brilliant. And I think we kissed on stage – that’s me and my wife, not the other lady.

Years on, and three children have all worked through the same process, and all at considerably higher levels than I could have ever achieved.

Meanwhile, I watch a lot of Channel 4, with John Snow, and other brilliant reporters. They have been covering a small story recently, the deprivation in England, as reported by teachers and Head teachers, as to their acknowledgment of the increase in child poverty, as seen in the classroom.

In the fifth most privileged, and richest, nation on the earth, we have a Conservative government – naturally, as people tell me there is no alternative to vote for.

In the fifth most privileged, and richest, nation on the earth, we have an increasing number of food banks, and child poverty increasing every year, and funding of schools and colleges decreasing, as is the funding for mental health services.

The funding for anything child related, e.g. youth clubs has been entirely removed. Knife crime is rising exponentially, obviously with no clear relationship to the lack of youth funding.

The benefits system has been overhauled, with the new and wonderful system to put people off of drawing benefits causing the poorest to lose any benefits for a period of about five weeks. Can you imagine living without any money for five weeks, if you have nothing in the first place?

That is enough for tonight. How can people continue to vote this immoral Conservative government into power. I am a massive Corbynite, but I would rather see you vote for anyone apart from the current Tory party – they are just total scumbags.

London gates & modern politic

It is 2019, and the murder of Lyra McKee by whoever the scum was, and I stand by the Good Friday agreement, and implore that this be continued by sensible politicians (of which there do not seem to be many at present), to continue the peace in Ireland, and that we seek a brexit deal which meets everyones will. For the love of god.

The IRA are shit for doing this.

And Trump wants to make a state visit to the United Kingdom as a means of building his new campaign for the next presidency. Has this world gone completely mad? Is it all about mad ideologists, like Trump and May, who care more about their political campaigns, than those who are affected by them.

And in addition to this, we see food banks at an all-time high, knife crime too, and working families unable to feed their families. It does not say much for ten years of Conservative government, but then I always knew they were shite. But others continue to vote for this scum that call themselves caring.

It is all on my London history site

Holdens directories of London in 1805 and 1811

I have a number of pages listing most of the publicans, licensees,wine & brandy merchants of London according to the Holdens directories of 1805 and 1811.

These were achieved by literally working through each directory, and transcribing manually the entries I felt worth recording.

There are a few entries which are not relevant to pub history, but the majority are good.

Once these have been added to the site, as they have been, I slowly work through the many pages, and add links to the relevant pub if it exists, and also the relevant detail to the specific pub in question.

This all takes time. It is very labour intensive; and in some cases can be extremely boring.

A major plus point in doing this has been my addition of the London 1832 Robsons street directory. This directory does not cover ever part of London, but where it is listed and added, it is brilliant. The 1842 Robsons directory is mainly added to many of these pages, which is good.

I will not continue with other examples, but these two are keeping me busy.

Mourning Bush Tavern etc

I suffer with a belief in whether the pages I add to the sites are of any use to anyone. I guess I am just a bit knackered.

The good news is I had an inspiration today, I spotted an anomaly (error), on one of the pages which led me to finding a rather excellent 1830 book on the New Post office in St Martin-le-Grand; and the Mourning Bush Tavern.

This book transcription is now listed on a couple of my pages. It adds to the history of both St Martin le Grand, but also mentions the London Wall in a couple of places.

There is quite a long account of the Ancient Mourning Bush Tavern, in Aldersgate; well, it is half the book, and from a perspective as written in 1830, but could easily have been 1930.

This is later the Raglan Hotel, in St Annes & St Agnes.