London 1939

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In our blog this week we’re looking again at a publication from the collection of old maps which we hold at PCGraphics. This time we’re off to London and it’s 1939, mostly looking at the areas of north and east London. These are taken from an Atlas of London (the London Pocket Atlas and Guide), produced by John Bartholomew & Son Ltd in 1939. It’s similar in format to the Ward Lock Red Guides which we’ve shown previously on here (indeed it also looks very similar to those books in that it is approximately the same size and also has a red cover). This Bartholomew guide, however, has many more maps (perhaps that’s to be expected, as Bartholomew are a mapping company) and less descriptive text than the Ward Lock offerings and no adverts.

There is still some interesting things to read within the covers and the scans below are an example, particularly the derivation of some London place names.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

A testament to the most popular form of long distance transport at this time is show in the extract below, where there is a listing of shipping companies plus the main docks within London. Contrast this with the much shorter list of civil aerodromes and it is clear that most people travelled by sea.

Heathrow is listed but, at this time, it was only a minor airfield, being upgraded to a larger military airport around 1944. Obviously, when the war ended a year later, it changed to become a civil airport and grew to be what it is today – the busiest international passenger airport in the World.

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Next we move on to some of the maps from the guide book. Firstly, the areas around Rotherhithe, Poplar and Greenwich, much of which has been rebuilt lately.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Now, a look slightly further east to Woolwich and Plumstead, which, again, has undergone a lot of building work since 1939.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Moving north to Tottenham, Walthamstow and Leytonstone, things haven’t changed quite so much.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Below is the area from Highgate up to Wood Green, as it was in 1939.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

North west London now, around Hendon, Neasden and Golders Green. If you looked at a modern map of this area today you’d notice that a lot of the open areas of land in 1939 have disappeared.

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

And, finally, ending with a scan from some of the text, this one informing us of some of the Museums and Art Galleries we could visit along with other places of interest.

It’s quite interesting to look at some of the entries, for example:

•  Bethnal Green Museum – this is now the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood.
•  The Diploma Galleries are now part of the Royal Academy.
•  Home Office Industrial Museum – heaven knows what this was! Can’t find any records of it.
•  Apothecaries’ Hall – The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (you may need to refer to Wikipedia for this one).

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(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

That’s about it for London in 1939. More to come in the future as we make our way through a filing cabinet full of old maps!

 

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Don’t get me started…

if youve landed here

 

Some vaguely articulate ramblings, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger:  Jack Diamond.

 

After the vote

Now that we’ve got the independence of Scotland out of the way we can move on to other matters. How about independence for England? Or, independence for the south east of England? Failing that, may I suggest that the Isle of Wight reforms it’s independence party – I say reformed because there was a movement by the Vectis National Party to change the Island to a Crown Dependency in the 1970s.

An independent Isle of Wight? Is that a daft suggestion? Maybe, maybe not. The Isle of Man is a Crown Dependency and seems to do ok. And the way solar energy farms are springing up across the Island, plus, more recently, the requests for permission to build wind farms off the south coast, it’s not inconceivable that the Isle of Wight will be energy self sufficient in a decade or two. So, maybe independence is not so far fetched after all.

Of course, an independent country will need a leader. We all know that our current political leaders are inept, both locally and in Westminster, so we’d need someone new. Someone untainted by the past fiascos of those in power. Someone intelligent, strong, knowledgable, affable and, most of all, modest.

Now, even though I’m a shy, retiring type of person and not one to push myself forward, I could possibly be persuaded to offer my services as leader of the new Island State. But, and I can almost hear you all saying this already, why stop at simply calling myself ‘Leader’ – why not make me Emperor or King?

King Jack of Wight does has a certain pleasant ring about it, even if I say so myself. I’m also very good at waving and looking haughty, which are, indisputably, requirements for the job of monarch.

And once crowned as King, what would my first decree be? Well, the first one is fairly simple. Reduce the stupidly high ferry fares to and from the Island. Ok, we wouldn’t be reducing them so much that it encourages the riffraff to travel across the Solent – we’re trying to encourage the discerning visitor after all – but just enough so that it doesn’t put off the more desirable elements of society. I mean, we do have some standards. Of course, though, anyone from Basingstoke or Germany would be banned outright, which I’d assume, would be a universally popular decision?

Someplace to live would be next on the list. There’s nothing wrong with where I live at present, but would it really be suitable for a Head of State? Probably not, in my opinion. So, I’d need somewhere more in keeping with my new-found prominent position in society. My tastes are fairly modest as far as this requirement goes, so a small residence such as that once so loved by another monarch, Queen Victoria, would perhaps be suitable.

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(Osborne House, once the summer home of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight)

Osborne House fits the bill admirably – not too ostentatious, an extra bedroom or two for guests and room in the grounds for a vegetable patch – and I could possibly be persuaded to relocate there. There is the slight problem that Osborne House is run by English Heritage at present but that can be sorted fairly easily. After all, once we become independent, English Heritage wont be on the Island and the property will be looking for a suitable resident. I am willing to be that tenant – though, obviously, I wouldn’t want to be saddled with the running costs of the monstrosity so that would have to be paid from local taxes. But I’ll leave the subject of taxes to another time. Some people get upset at the thought of paying taxes to keep monarchs, Prime Ministers and even Members of Parliament in the style to which they think they deserve to be kept, so I’ll wait until I’m King and settled in to my new abode before levying the taxes upon my subjects.

Next, there’s an awful lot of elderly folk on the Isle of Wight and that’s all very nice and proper but I do think it would be best for them, and for everyone else, if they were moved  to a remote, unvisited corner of the Island. Or Chale, as it’s known locally. Better for them and better for the visitors who come across. I mean, no-one who goes on holiday wants to have to fight their way through hordes of dribbling grannies to get to the beach or be run over by mobility scooters being driven by demented OAPs. So, better for everyone if they are moved to Chale, out of harm’s way.

And that’s just for starters. I’ll keep all my other plans up my sleeve until after independence and until I’m crowned King of the Island. I think that’s the way it’s done, judging by what I’ve seen elsewhere. It’s never best, apparently, to tell the general public too much or, as in the case of our current politicians, anything truthful at all.

So, you see, what could possibly go wrong with independence? I’m all for it.

 

(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics. We would also like to point out that we have no grievances against grannies, OAPs, people from Basingstoke, Germany or even those from Chale.)

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Career Choices

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Author – Sally Cooney, Production Director at PCGraphics (UK) Limited

Some Thoughts about Career Choices
(or  How I Became a Cartographer)

It was back in 1995 and I can remember sitting in the Careers Office of Southampton University in the January of my final year. They say that any student who reads Geography at University doesn’t know what career they what to go into, and they were right!

I’d had a great time at Southampton, including an expedition to the Arctic for a month (you can read more on that topic here), but I was looking for a career. I knew that I’d always loved geography, maps and drawing and set about trying to find something which combined all three. I had a flash of inspiration when I thought about the Cartographic Services within the University Geography Department, maybe I could make a career out of that?

I was accepted on an accelerated Masters course at Glasgow University which would “convert” me in to a Cartographer. As this was my second degree, I had to fund myself with a Career Development Loan (£6000 at that time) to pay for course fees and living for 12 months. Believe me, there’s nothing like paying for the course yourself to concentrate your mind! I had to be pretty sure that I’d get a job at the end of it all. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy much of my time in Glasgow, for me the spirit of being a student didn’t really apply as a postgraduate.

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Just before I finished my course in Sept 1996 I was offered my first job at ESR, a cartographic company in Byfleet, Surrey, as a Junior Technician. I was amazed that I could be paid for something I loved doing. It hardly seemed like work!

As a junior, the pay wasn’t great but I was making some headway in paying off my Career Development Loan. I spent most of that year drawing town plan maps for Thomson Directories, 400+ of them all over the country! I loved it, and the in-depth knowledge of that project would become very useful to us in the years that followed.

In October 1997, ESR was falling apart and a select few were invited from ESR to join Lovell Johns in Oxfordshire. This was a big step for me with a steep learning curve, but I advanced from a junior technician to be running some significant projects.

In September 1998 an opportunity became available to be more than just an employee. At 25, and with only 2 years cartographic experience, Paul, who had been my manager at both ESR and Lovell Johns, asked whether I wanted to be involved with his newly setup company, PCGraphics. I didn’t take long to decide. I wasn’t especially happy living away from home all week at Lovell Johns and this meant that I could move back to Surrey permanently where I’d bought a house in 1996.

Being a Director took some getting used to, especially in the early days of the company, but now we’re master of our own destiny, as they say, and life is a bit easier.

Cartography has been a great career for me but whether it’s so easy to get into these days is open to question. One of the previous articles on this blog talked about the demise of many of the larger cartographic companies over the past 15 years or so and, while there are still a number of mapping companies around, very few of them are the size they used to be, which does cut down the number of opportunities. But, if you’ve got a degree in Geography and, like me, don’t quite know what to do with it, then cartography is probably still worth considering.

 

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Don’t get me started…

if youve landed here

 

Some vaguely articulate ramblings, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger:  Jack Diamond

 

Back to school

Yes, it’s that time again. Now that the long summer holidays are drawing to a close, all our little angels are marching proudly back to school this week.

New uniforms have been bought. New shoes purchased or old ones polished to make them look respectable for the start of the new school year. But one piece of uniform you can’t have at our local Primary School is a scarf.

No, not even when it’s the middle of winter and there’s three inches of snow on the ground are the children allowed to wear scarves inside the school grounds. Why? Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s Health and Safety. Children can get strangled by scarves. I’m not sure how many children lose their lives each year because of scarves, but the school isn’t taking any chances.

And there’s other crazy rules too.

Come Christmas time, little Wayne or Chardonnay (or whatever the latest chavvy names are) will possibly come home one day from school and be delighted to tell you that they are appearing in the school play at the end of December. They might be one of the shepherds, or an angel or, if they’ve been really good all year at school and not been excluded from too many classes, Mary or Joseph.

And how brilliant, with modern technology and communications, that you could catch the little darlings on video and send copies to your friends and relatives to watch them too. And, of course, in years to come, you’ll be able to look back at them and see how little Harry or Britney started their careers on the stage.

Except you can’t, at least not in our local Primary School. Why? No photography or video is allowed on the school premises – and this includes school plays, sports days etc. No, seriously, it’s not. Or, to be accurate, no photos or videos are allowed to be taken by parents.

School staff take some photos and will sell those pictures to the parents should you wish to buy them, but you can’t take photos or videos of your own children yourself.

And why is that? The reason is that if any parents, at the start of the school year, state that they don’t want photos of their children taken, then a blanket ban is imposed on every child in the school. Yes, the wishes of the minority outweighs those of the majority – hardly democracy in action.

But, perhaps best of all, was one Christmas time the class teacher was asked by a parent if she could write down the first names of the boys and girls in the class so that their child could send everyone a Christmas card. You would have thought that would be straightforward, but no, you would have been wrong. The Head Teacher had to be consulted in case it broke the Data Protection Act or, God forbid, infringed someone’s Human Rights (Ok, the Human Rights bit was an exaggeration, but you get the drift). In the end, common sense did prevail and the child was able to send cards to all her friends and get the names spelt right, but what madness that the teacher actually had to ask if it was alright to give out the children’s names to another parent.

When exactly did all this nonsense start? I know we have to protect children, but sometimes it just seems to go a bit crazy.

 

There’s something wrong…

Isn’t there something wrong when a footballer, and one unknown to many of us in the UK, can be paid £280,000 per week – yes, that’s £280,000 every week –  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2740187/280-000-week-Britain-s-best-paid-footballer-Colombian-star-Falcao-signs-Manchester-United-loan.html) when we as a country can’t, it seems, even afford to offer a little five year old boy cancer treatment costing around £65,000 (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/01/ashya-kings-parents-remanded-custody-judge-considers-extradition).

Words, for once, fail me.

 

(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not necessarily reflect the views of PCGraphics

 

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