Birmingham – as it was 60 years ago

if youve landed here

Birmingham, the UK’s 2nd city with a population of around 1.1 million, has changed enormously over the years. The maps here date from approximately 60 years ago, which was around the time that a major redevelopment of Birmingham was planned to start.

From our library of old maps at PCGraphics, we’ve scanned some extracts from Geographia’s map of Birmingham and, as a comparison, the same area as shown on Google Maps today.

birmingham cover

You can click on any of the maps to view a larger version of the image.

First we’ll look at the area around Bournville, built by Cadbury in 1879 as a model town to house workers from their chocolate factory.

birmingham 4
birmingham 4 google
(Top: extract from 60 year old Geographia map of Birmingham. Below: Google map of the same area today. © Google 2015)

Next, an area covering Aston Park (next to Aston Villa Football Club) across to Gravelly Hill (now a major motorway junction, nicknamed spaghetti junction).

birmingham 1

The next four images form four quadrants around the central area of Birmingham.

The north west, Snow Hill station to Hockley.

birmingham 3.1

Going eastwards to Saltley.

birmingham 3.2

South west quadrant, New Street station to Ladywood.

birmingham 3.3

The south east, Moor Street to Bordesley and Small Heath (Small Heath being the original name for Birmingham City Football Club).

birmingham 3.4

This Geographia map of Birmingham is just one of many old maps we hold at PCGraphics. We originally acquired full coverage of the UK in 50 year old, royalty free mapping to give us a base to work from when creating copyright free maps.

You can find out more about how we create our maps at PCGraphics by following this link to our website.

There are also other pages of old maps here on this blog:

More old maps
London 1939
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Edinburgh
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Glasgow

If you pop over to our Pinterest boards, along with loads of samples of up to date maps produced by PCGraphics, there’s also a whole board dedicated to old mapping.

More old maps…

if youve landed here

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We’ve taken our lives in our hands once again, ventured into the dusty corner of the office and raided the filing cabinet to bring you some more scans of old UK maps, this time it’s from a book called ‘The Popular Road Book of Great Britain’.

The Popular Road Book is undated but, judging by some of the information on the maps, it must have been published just before the Second World War, so the late 1930s is our best guess (apparently, it was after the war that the Western Avenue in west London was changed from the A403 to the A40; the London map shown here has the Western Avenue as the A403, hence our rough guess for the map being mid to late 1930s).

The original book is quite battered and brown/grey now (after about 80 years it’s not surprising) but we’ve cleaned these scans up a bit in Photoshop so they look somewhat better.

If you look back through this blog you’ll find lots of other old maps and guide books which we’ve put online from time to time.

We originally purchased our library of old maps to help us create royalty free UK mapping. Going back a few years, Ordnance Survey was very restrictive, and expensive, to base any new mapping upon, so we were forced to go to great lengths (buying maps more than 50 years old plus street checking every town and city and, more latterly, using GPS to plot motorway alignments around the country) to make new maps.

Since April 2010 however, a lot of the restrictions have been lifted and it’s easier and cheaper to use Ordnance Survey data as the basis for any new UK maps.

The maps shown here are Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester,
Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth,
Sheffield, Southampton and Stoke.

Click on any of the maps to enlarge them.

Birmingham BradfordBristolCardiff Coventry EdinburghGlasgowHullLeedsLeicesterLiverpoollondonManchesterNewcastleNottinghamplymouthPortsmouthSheffieldSouthamptonStoke

Remember, you can find out about all our NEW maps on our website.

If you’ve landed on this page and wish to go to the first page of the blog, click here

 

PCGraphics on other social media:

PCGraphics website – customised digital mapping
Pinterest boards – currently over 500 samples of our work
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Linkedin – PCGraphics showcase page

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