Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Cornhill Water Pump

The City of London appears to be changing by the day with construction sites on every corner, however there are still some locations that have changed remarkably little over the past 70 plus years. This week’s post is about one such location, centred on the Cornhill Water Pump.

Cornhill is one of the streets that meet at the major road junction adjacent to the Bank of England. Originally the location of the north wall of the first Roman settlement, and later at about the centre of the city as Roman London developed from the original settlement.

My father took the following photo of the Cornhill Water Pump in 1948:

Cornhill Water Pump 1

This is the view of the pump from the same location, 67 years later in 2015:

Cornhill Water Pump 2

I will come on to the history of the pump, but what did surprise me as I was taking the photo is how little has changed. Not just the stonework of the buildings opposite (which have been cleaned in the intervening years), but also the windows, the large lamps either side of the door on the right and the stone decoration on both buildings. The man standing on the right of the 1948 photo could stand in the same position today and (apart from the traffic and the post box) see little change.

The building on the right of the photo was occupied by the Commercial Union Assurance Company, and to the right of this (just out of the photo) is the building originally built for Lloyds Bank.

During construction of the Lloyds Bank building in 1927, the roadway in Cornhill collapsed, with the result that part of the original Commercial Union building also collapsed. The damage was so bad that the Commercial Union building had to be rebuilt. It was completed in 1929 and it is that building we see today.

The collapse of the roadway was put down to the loose condition of the soil due to the Walbrook stream having once flowed across this part of the City down to the Thames.

The following photo from August 1927 shows the collapse of the roadway. It was taken from the main Bank junction looking down Cornhill. The Royal Exchange building is on the left. Note the tripod crane structure occupying the whole of the road at the approximate position of the water pump.

Cornhill Water Pump 7

The pump has been restored a couple of times since 1948, the last restoration was a few years ago, when the stone water trough between the pump and the road was also removed. The pump provides some historical background:

The well was discovered much enlarged and this pump erected in the year 1799 by the contributions of the Bank of England, the East India Company, the neighbouring Fire Offices together with the bankers and traders of the Ward of Cornhill

The view of the pump from the pavement. A real shame that it is also used as a prop for traffic signs.

Cornhill Water Pump 3

The road facing side of the pump provides an indication of the antiquity of the site:

On this spot a well was first made and a house of correction built thereon by Henry Wallis, Mayor of London in the year 1282 

Cornhill Water Pump 4

Sir Walter Besant writing in “London – The City”  in 1910 refers to the origin of the pump, using the original spelling of the mayor, Henry Wallis: “A conduit built by Henry le Waleys in 1282, and there was a standard for Thames water brought their by the contrivance of one Peter Morris, a Dutchman.”

Besant also refers to several conduits and a spring in the area of Cornhill, but it is not clear whether he is referring to the location of the pump. There were many pumps and wells sunk all over the City, typically shallow and reaching a depth of 30 feet. They would have about 14 foot of water in the winter reducing to 3 foot in the summer.

At some point, the well was covered, as the rediscovery in 1799 was caused by “a sinking of the pavement in front of the Royal Exchange, March 16, 1799” according to Springs, Streams and Spas of London by Alfred Foord. This book was published in 1910 and contains a detailed account of the many water sources across London. It also features the Cornhill pump on the front cover:

Cornhill Water Pump 6

Writing in 1910 Foord also states that “The well and pump have been disused for some years past; the water which fills the trough, so much enjoyed by the many horses of passing vehicles, being derived from the New River Company’s mains. The iron case of the pump remains, but deprived of handle and spout. The whole structure would be much better for a coat of paint, which would not only improve its appearance, but would also tend to arrest decay.” 

I am sure that 105 years later, Foord would be very pleased with the condition of the pump today.

Continuing the theme of public water supplies, a short distance away from the water pump is a large and ornate drinking fountain:

Cornhill Water Pump 5

This was erected in 1911 and unveiled by the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir T. Vezey Strong on the 3rd May 1911. It replaced an earlier drinking fountain from 1859.

The current fountain was built to commemorate the jubilee of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association.

The association, originally called just the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association, (the Cattle Trough reference was added in 1867 to highlight the need to provide water for the many animals still on the streets of London), were responsible for the provision of a large number of drinking fountains across London. Another survival can be found at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge (see my post which can be found here)

The fountain today, like the pump, is just decorative without a supply of water and therefore unable to fulfil the intended function, however they are both a reminder of the many water fountains, wells, pumps and conduits that helped provide water to the inhabitants of London over the centuries.

The sources I used to research this post are:

  • London by George Cunningham published in 1927
  • Springs, Streams And Spas Of London by Alfred Stanley Foord published in 1910
  • The Face Of London by Harold Clunn published in 1932

Hole In The Wall Passage And The Cato Street Conspiracy

London always surprises, I thought the search for this location would be simple, but I found a lost passageway and a 19th century plot to murder the government of the country.

This is one of the photos my father took across London just after the last war showing one of the many locations devastated by bombing.

Hole In The Wall PassageFinding this location should have been easy, the photo provides the name and the borough, however I could not find Hole In The Wall Passage on any of my maps from either before or after the last war.

I found one of the few references to the location of Hole In The Wall Passage in “A Topographical Dictionary of London And Its Environs”, by James Elmes published in 1831:

“Hole in the Wall Passage or Alley, Leather Lane, is about 12 houses on the left hand in Baldwin’s Gardens going from Leather Lane.” 

There was also a pub called the Hole In The Wall at 21 Baldwin Gardens during the 18th and 19th centuries. Was the pub named after the passage or the passage named after the pub?

The only reference I can find to Hole In The Wall Passage being shown on a map is from the National Archives where there is a document from the 26th February 1955  covering the following legislation:

Rights of Way: Stopping up of Highways (London) (No. 13) Order, 1955; Statutory Instrument 1955, No. 352; Location: Hole-in-the-Wall Passage, Baldwin’s Place and Verulam Street in the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn in the County of London

which covered the complete closure, or partial stopping up of a number of public spaces in the area. This confirms when Hole In The Wall Passage finally disappeared. Unfortunately, the National Archives record has not been digitised, so it will have to wait for a visit when hopefully I will finally see a map with Hope In The Wall Passage marked.

Despite the fact that Hole In The Wall Passage had almost certainly disappeared, I still wanted to see the location to check if there was any remaining indication that it had been there. I walked down Baldwin’s Gardens from Grays Inn Road only to find the road blocked and rebuilding taking place where Hole In The Wall Passage would have been located.

Hole in the Wall 4

Hole In The Wall Passage would have been roughly where the middle of the new steel work is located.

Looking back at my father’s original photo, I believe the photo was taken on Hole in The Wall Passage looking towards Baldwin’s Gardens. The mounting of the sign looks temporary and it may have been placed across the passageway to mark the original location. The name sign looks as if it has suffered some damage and may have been the original wall mounted sign.

If you look back at the original photo, you can just see some flats in the background. These are still there. I took the following photo through the fencing surrounding a primary school playground from Baldwin’s Gardens:

Hole in the Wall 5

I walked down to Dorrington Street which would have been the other end of Hole In The Wall Passage through Leigh Place. This is also a narrow alley and gives an indication of what Hole In The Wall Passage may have looked like:

Hole in the Wall 6

One of the other references I found for Hole in the Wall Passage was in “London” by George H. Cunningham, published in 1927, which provided a rather sinister reference to the passageway:

“It was here in 1820 that the Cato Street conspiracy was formed to kill Wellington, Canning, Eldon and other Cabinet Ministers. The arms and powder were kept here.”

So what was the Cato Street conspiracy and what part did Hole In The Wall Passage play?

The later part of the 18th century and early part of the 19th century was a time of considerable change in the country. The industrial revolution was now well underway, the Napoleonic wars had finished, people were moving from the countryside to the towns, there was inflation and food shortages.

In the last decade of the 18th century there were riots and destruction of some of the new industrial infrastructure with the government’s response being the Combination Act of 1799 which outlawed the gathering of working men for common purpose. This was followed by the rise of the Luddite movement which started in 1811 and violently put down with show trials and harsh penalties in 1813.

One of the London radicals who protested against the conditions being imposed by  government was Arthur Thislewood, and it was Thislewood who led the Cato Street conspirators, so named after their meeting place prior to their attempt to murder many members of the government.

Thislewood had intelligence that the Cabinet were meeting at Lord Harrowby’s home in Grosvenor Square. The plan was to burst into the meeting, murder the Cabinet members, behead them and then parade their heads on spikes through London.

Among the group of almost thirty conspirators there was a spy who passed on details of Thistlewood’s plan. A contingent of police later supported by soldiers stormed the conspirators meeting place in Cato Street, resulting in the arrest of the majority, including one named Tidd who lived in Hole In the Wall Passage.

From “An Authentic History Of The Cato Street Conspiracy” by George Theodore Wilkinson published soon after the trial of the conspirators in 1820:

“The following account of Richard Tidd was given about the period of his arrest. He was about 50 years of age, and lived with his wife and family in a small and miserable dwelling in Hole-in-the-Wall Passage, leading from Baldwin’s Gardens to Dorrington Street. His family consisted of one daughter and two orphan children, whom he had taken under his care.

He had been esteemed among his neighbours, and those who had employed him in his trade, as an industrious sober man, and an excellent workman. He had earned by his own hands forty shillings a week, and very often a greater sum. During the whole course of his life, he was never known to neglect his work, or become inebriated; but with the last week he had been in a drunken state and his family had been at a lost to account for the extraordinary change in his conduct.

On Wednesday night, three men came to Tidd whilst in such a state of drunkenness as scarcely to be able to keep his legs, and forced him away, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and remonstrances of his wife and family. Nothing was said by the men who took him away, as to their object either to the wife or any one in the house; and during the whole night, and the greater part of the next day, they were in total ignorance of the circumstances since disclosed, and were at a loss to account for the absence of Tidd. In the morning (Thursday), between seven and eight o’clock, two men came to the house, laden with a box of considerable size, and, putting It down on the floor said “they would call in a few minutes for it.” The men refused to answer the interrogatories put to them as to their object in leaving the box, and only repeated, that they would call in a short time, and take it away. Very soon afterwards, two more men came with a large bundle of sticks, some of them of the thickness of a man’s wrist. these were left in a similar manner, and the men also refused to answer any questions, saying only, that they would call again for them in a few minutes. ten minutes had not elapsed before two police-officers entered the house and seized the box and sticks. When opened , the box was discovered to contain a great number of pike-heads, sharpened ready for use. The sticks were also seized, and carried away by the officers. It would appear, from this statement that Tidd was taken by the three men whom we have described to the stable in Cato Street, where he was subsequently apprehended, and carried to Bow Street, together with several others.”

So that is the connection between the Hole In the Wall Passage and the Cato Street Conspiracy.

The book on the Cato Street Conspiracy is a wonderfully dramatic account of the event, the title page gives an indication of what is to come:

cato book 1

The opening paragraphs sets the scene:

“On the morning of Thursday the 24th of February 1820, the metropolis was thrown into the greatest consternation and alarm, by the intelligence, that, in the course of the preceding evening, a most atrocious plot to overturn the government of the country, had been discovered, but which, by the prompt measures directed by the privy council, who remained sitting the greatest part of night, had been happily destroyed by the arrest and dispersion of the conspirators. Before day-light the following proclamation was placarded in all the leading places in and about London ;-


Thursday, February 24, 1820

Whereas Artuhur Thistlewood stands charged with high treason, and also the wilful murder of Richard Smithers, a reward of One Thousand Pounds is hereby offered to any person or persons who shall discover or apprehend, the said Arthur Thistlewood, to be paid by the lords commissioners of his majesty’s treasury; upon his being apprehended and lodged in any of his Majesty’s gaols. And all persons are hereby cautioned upon their allegiance not to receive or harbour the said Arthur Thistlewood, as any person offending herein will be thereby guilty of high treason. “

Later in the book there is an account of the storming of the assembly place of the conspirators in Cato Street:

“The officers, with a resolution and courage which does them honour, considering the desperation and determination of these characters immediately ascended the ladder without securing the persons below. They merely gave directions to those who followed, to keep them secure, and they thought that would be enough, without actually confining them. The first man who went up was a person of the name of Ruthven, he was followed by a man named Ellis: after who came a man named Smithers, who met his death by the hand of Thistlewood.

On Smithers ascending the ladder, either Ings or Davidson hallooed out from below, as a signal for them to be on their guard above, and upon Ruthven ascending the ladder, Thistlewood, who was at a little distance from the landing place, and who was distinctly seen, for there were several lights in the place, receded a few paces, and the police-officers announced who they were, and demanded a surrender. Smithers unfortunately pressed forward in the direction in which Thistlewood had retreated, into one of the small rooms over the coach-house, when Thistlewood drew back his arm, in which there was a sword, and made a thrust at the unfortunate man, Smithers, who received a wound near his heart, and, with only time to exclaim, “Oh God !” he fell a lifeless corpse into the arms of Ellis. Ellis seeing this blow given by Thistlewood, immediately discharged a pistol at him, which missed its aim. Great confusion followed, the lights were struck out; the officers were forced down the ladder, which was so precipitous, being almost perpendicular, that they fell, and many of the party followed them.

Thistlewood, among the rest, came down the ladder; and not satisfied with the blood of one person, he shot at another of the officers as he came down the ladder, and pressed through the stable, cutting at all who attempted to oppose him, and made his escape out into John Street, the military not having yet arrived; and he was seen no more at that time, except with a sword in his hand in the Edgware Road. By the other persons an equally desperate resistance was made.

Conscious of the evil purpose for which they had assembled, they waited not to know on what charge they were about to be apprehended; but instantly made a most desperate resistance. Ings, Davidson and Wilson were particularly desperate, each, I believe, firing at some of the officers or military, who had only come to the ground on hearing the report of the fire-arms and not having been previously directed to the exact spot.

Not withstanding the resistance, however, which they so desperately made, and in which resistance Thistlewood, Tidd, Davidson, Ings and Wilson took a most active part, by attacking the officers and solders, the whole of the conspirators were, at length, fortunately overcome, and eventually eleven of them secured. Not on that night, however, for three out of the eleven for the time escaped, namely Thistlewood, Brunt, and Harrison. The officers, however not only secured on that night the eight men, but various articles of fire-arms, numerous weapons, and certain combustibles.”

The point where the officers storm the meeting place of the conspirators in Cato Street is captured in the following drawing:


The building where the conspirators met and these events took place in Cato Street is still there, now with a blue plaque recording the event:

Hole in the Wall 2Cato Street is still a narrow street with entrances at each end through buildings. The entrance to Cato Street from Crawford Place.

Hole in the Wall 3

The penalty for each of the conspirators was very severe, probably to be expected given their intentions, however I was very surprised that this form of execution was still available in 1820. Again, from the account:

“That you, and each of you, be taken from hence to the gaol from whence you came, and from thence that you will be drawn upon a hurdle to a place of execution, and be there hanged by the neck until you be dead; and that afterwards your heads shall be severed from your bodies, and your bodies shall be divided into four quarters, to be disposed of as his majesty sees fit. And may God of his infinite goodness have mercy on your souls !

The prisoners were then removed from the bar; some of them, particularly Thistlewood, Brunt and Davidson, appearing to be wholly unconcerned at the awful sentence which had been passed upon them, and the whole of them evincing great firmness and resignation.

Tidd complained of the immense weight of his irons.”

The executions was carried out shortly after the trial although some of the sentences were changed.

Only Thistlewood, Brunt, Davidson and Tidd were to be executed, the rest of the conspirators had their death sentence commuted to transportation for life.

The death sentence was also changed so that the part which directed that their bodies be quartered was now removed. The book of the conspiracy provides a detailed account of the executions. Given that my search for the Cato Street Conspiracy started with Tidd, who “lived with his wife and family in a small and miserable dwelling in Hole-in-the-Wall Passage” we can follow his last hour:

“Tidd, who had stood in silence, was now summoned to the scaffold. He shook hands with all but Davidson, who had separated himself from the rest.

Ings again seized Tidd’s hand at the moment he was going out, and exclaimed, with a burst of laughter “Give us your hand, Good-bye !”

A tear stood in Tidd’s eye, and his lips involuntarily muttered, “My wife and –!” Ings proceeded – “Come my old cock-o-wax, keep up your spirits it will be over soon.

Tidd immediately squeezed his hand, and ran towards the stars leading to the scaffold. In his hurry, his foot caught the bottom step, and he stumbled. He recovered himself, however, in an instant, and rushed upon the scaffold, where he was immediately received with three cheers from the crowd, in which he made a slight effort to join.

The applause was evidently occasioned by the bold and fearless manner in which the wretched man advanced to his station. He turned to the crowd who were upon Snow Hill, and bowed to them. He then looked down upon the coffins and smiled, and turning round to the people who were collected in the Old Bailey towards Ludgate Hill bowed to them. Several voices were again heard, and some in the crowed expressed their admiration of Tidd’s conduct.

The rope having been put round his neck, he told the executioner that the knot would be better on the right than the left side, and that the pain of dying might be diminished by the change. he then assisted the executioner, and turned round his head several times for the purpose of fitting the rope to his neck. He afterwards familiarly nodded to some one whom he recognised at a window, with an air of cheerfulness. He also desired that the cap might not be put over his eyes, but said nothing more. He likewise had an orange in his hand, which he continued to suck most heartily. He soon became perfectly calm, and remained so till the last moment of his life.”

Mr Richard Tidd of Hole In The Wall Passage. Drawn at the time of his trial:

Tidd 1

I wonder what happened to the family that Tidd left behind? How did they survive and did they still continue living in Hole In The Wall Passage?

I really did not expect to find such a story when I first started researching the location of my father’s original photo. Hole In The Wall Passage has left no trace, but fortunately we can still follow the story of one of the inhabitants.

The sources I used to research this post are:

  • London by George Cunningham published in 1927
  • A Topographical Dictionary Of London And Its Environs by James Elmes published in 1831
  • An Authentic History Of The Cato Street Conspiracy by George Theodore Wilkinson

London Maps

To help research London’s history, I have a collection of London maps, built up from when my father purchased his first map of London in 1941, along with collecting maps issued to mark special events in the city over the years.

Maps provide not only street plans, they also show how the city has developed, what is important at the time and how the approach to map-making has changed over the centuries.

As well as being functional, many London maps are also a work of art, with some fantastic design being used to also make the map a pleasure to look at and use.

I also find it fascinating to take some of these old maps out when walking London, to try and follow the streets on these maps, to understand the changes and the London we see today.

For this week’s post, I present a sample of the maps I use which I hope you will find of interest.

If you click on any of the following maps on the blog, a much larger version of the map should open.

My first map is a reproduction of the 16th century map of London by Ralph Agas, included in the 1904 book “London In The Time Of The Tudors” by Sir Walter Besant.

Map 1

The Agas map is the most comprehensive map of London in Tudor times, drawn probably between 1553 and 1559 when the population of London was not more than 100,000. The map is rich in detail and shows a city still bounded by the city walls with mainly fields beyond. There is a single bridge over the Thames leading to the south of the river which was a place of entertainment.

To the west of the city the Fleet River extends a considerable way in land with the Fleet Bridge at the bottom of Ludgate and further upstream a Holburne Bridge over the Fleet.

Although named the Ralph Agas map, there is no certainty that he was the artist who drew the map. Agas was a map-maker, originally from Suffolk where he was also a land-surveyor. Born in the mid 16th century he died in 1621. The period of his birth also being around or slightly before the assumed period when the map was drawn would also argue against Agas being responsible.

Despite the uncertainty of who created the map, it is a superbly detailed view of London from a time when London had yet to expand in any degree beyond the original city walls.

The next map is the Ogilby and Morgan map from 1676. My copy is again from Sir William Besant, but this time from “London In The Time Of The Stuarts”.

Map 2

This map shows in considerable detail the city rebuilt after the Great Fire which had occurred 10 years earlier. The section shown above is centred on Spittlefields with the Old Artillery Garden to the left below which is Petticoat Lane. The wide street running from bottom to top starts off as Bishops Gate Street Without, then becomes Northern Folgate (note the difference in name from Norton Folgate as it is now), and then becomes Shore Ditch.

John Ogilby was born in 1600, originally from Scotland he moved to London and had an unusual career, first as a dancer, then running a dance school, a theatre and a publisher in Whitefriars which was lost during the Great Fire. It was at the age of 69 that his short career as a map-maker started, although he died in 1676, just before the map was published.

Ogilby worked with William Morgan who drew each house and garden on the map. It is this level of detail which makes the map so interesting.

In the late 17th Century Richard Blome produced a series of maps of the City Wards. These were published with the 1720 edition of John Stows Survey of London. My example below is Tower Street Ward.

Thames Street Map

Originally published in black and white, many examples were later hand coloured. They provide a detailed view of each individual ward as it appeared at the end of the 17th century.

In the map above, the Customs House is lower right with Billingsgate Dock to the lower left. The church of St. Dunstan’s is to the centre left and Allhallows Barking to the centre right with the Navy Office to the top right.

It is fascinating to walk around the London Wards with these maps, trace the outlines of the wards and see how much remains from the time they were drawn.

A series of Ward maps were also drawn for William Maitland’s History of London published in 1756. My following example is the map of Cordwainer Ward.

Cordwainer Ward Map

Drawn by Benjamin Cole who was an engraver working near Snow Hill. As well as providing a detailed street map, Cole’s maps are also illustrated with pictures of important buildings within the wards (mainly churches) along with the Coat of Arms of prominent inhabitants.

We now move forward to a series of maps published between 1744 and 1746 by John Rocque which covered a very wide area of London, including much that was still mainly agricultural.

Two examples from John Rocque’s map. The first shows London north of London Wall, the street running left to right along the lower part of the following map.

Map 3

Above London Wall are the Lower and Upper Walks of Moore Fields, with to the left of the Upper Fields is the New Artillery Garden which contains ranks of Artillery Men and Tents.

John Roque was of Huguenot ancestry. He lived in Soho where he practised his career as a surveyor. For the time, his map of London was a massive undertaking. It was not just drawing the streets and ground plans of the buildings, but measuring these as accurately as possible.

The streets were measured with chains or with a surveyor’s wheel, an instrument which can still be seen in use today and consists of a wheel of known circumference on the end of a handle. The distance walked is simply the number of turns of the wheel multiplied by the circumference.

Roque also used a theodolite to measure the angles of street corners (again an instrument still in use today).

The map took nine years to complete and was partly funded by Hogarth.

The following extract shows St. Paul’s Cathedral with to the left the Fleet still running up past Ludgate at the Fleet Bridge, although the name in Roque’s map has now been relegated to Fleet Ditch rather than river. A sign of the decreasing importance of this waterway and that it was probably considered a nuisance rather than an asset to the city.

Map 5

My next map is from the 19th century and is Cruchley’s New Plan Of London Improved to 1835 and shows the advance of London to the east. The extract shows the Isle of Dogs.

Map 4

This was at a time when much of East London, north east of Limehouse was unbuilt. The two West India Docks had been built and below these are shown the proposed Collier Docks which was probably a mistake for Cruchley to include as these did not get built, the South Dock and Millwall Dock being constructed instead.

The Lea River is to the top right with Westham Abbey Marsh alongside (note also the “marsh land” just above the East India Dock) which gives an indication of the condition of the land in this area at the time.

The next map comes from the atlas which, although not that old, is my personal favourite. This is Bartholomew’s Reference Atlas of Greater London, this edition published in 1940. It is my favourite as this is the one my father purchased during the war from Foyles in Charing Cross Road. He was about 13 when he got hold of this copy and he had to get a neighbour who was in the Home Guard to purchase the atlas as only those in uniform could purchase maps.

Map 11

I use the Bartholomew’s Atlas as a reference to compare London as it was just before the last war with the redevelopment after. Significant bomb damage, along with future reconstruction resulted in the loss of many streets. In the above extract, the area between St. Paul’s and Newgate Street (consisting of the area around Paternoster Row and Square) was obliterated by bombing, mainly the fires created by incendiary bombs on the 29th December 1940. These streets were not rebuilt and a whole historic area was lost.

Along with street maps, there are also many maps for special events that have taken place across London. The following map is of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924. A work of art as well as a map, created by Kennedy North in 1923.

Map 10

As well as providing a plan of the exhibition, the map also shows Motor Bus and Rail routes to the Exhibition, with a ring of stations centred (stations and lines which would form the Circle Line) around Nelson’s Column, described as “The Heart Of The Empire”

The next map shows the locations across London for the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Map 7

As well as the main site on the South Bank, the map also includes;

– the Festival Pleasure Gardens at Battersea

– the Exhibitions of Science and Books at Kensington

– the Exhibition of Architecture at Poplar

A functional map, but also with some artistic design with the flags showing the location of the festival sites, the colours, and the border extending around the plan of the South Bank site.

Maps were also produced for many of the major ceremonial events during the first half of the 20th century. The following map was produced jointly by the London Transport Executive and the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for the Coronation of Elizabeth II on Tuesday 2nd June 1953.

Map 6

The map shows the route of the royal procession, bus and coach routes, entry to viewing points, which stations are open all day and which will be closed until after the procession, or closed all day etc.

The colour coded Processional Route  has individual boxes at the bottom of the map to show the best way to get to that part of the procession.

The other side of the map contains detailed written instructions and advise for travelling in London, a map of the London Underground and details of interchange stations.

The map was issued free and shows the degree of planning that went into the event.

I always pick up new editions of the London Underground maps, but in the past there have been maps showing other forms of transport across the city. The following is the Trolleybus and Tram Map of London issued in 1940 by London Transport.

Map 8

A detailed map showing Trolleybus and Tram routes across central London and also out into the suburbs, also showing Underground and Mainline Rail Stations.

The reverse of the map has a timetable including details of all night trams and trolleybuses.

This is one of my father’s maps and when going through his map collection the following ticket fell out:

Map 9

His ticket from the Last Tram Week in July 1952. (See the photos he took of the event here).

London is constantly changing and maps provide a snapshot of the city at a point in time. They show how London has expanded out from the original walled city, they show the significant development of the London Docks, they show how transport has been provided across the city and they show how London has marked significant events.

It will be interesting to see how long paper maps continue to be published with the growth in on-line mapping and the easy availability of a map on a smart phone. Whilst they are, I will continue to collect them to keep a record of a changing city.

London Streets In The 1980s – Part 2

Back in May I published a number of photos we took showing London streets in the 1980s. Judging by the number of page views they were very popular (and can be found here), so for this week’s post, please join me in another walk along the streets of London in 1986.

We will start in East London.

In the mid 1980s, London still had very many independent corner shops selling a wide variety of goods from premises that had not really changed for many years. This is Fowlers Stores in Old Ford Road, off Cambridge Heath Road between Bethnal Green Underground and Cambridge Heath Overground stations.

1980s - 17

A general stores in Fordham Street, one of the many side streets between Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road.

1980s - 4

Corner shop in Parfett Street, again one of the side streets between Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road.

1980s - 1

Hessel Street at the junction with Commercial Road. The wall advertising has long gone and the café has been replaced by the Shalamar Kebab House.

1980s - 2

Not sure the exact location, but a side street off Commercial Road.

1980s - 3

There was always plenty of colourful graffiti to be found whilst walking round East London in the 1980s.

I like this one as it was obviously important to get the spelling correct:

1980s - 5

Back in 1986 Rupert Murdoch was well on his way in building up his reputation as a controversial character. This was the time of the printers strike when News International had built a new printing plant in Wapping and started the move of newspaper publishing out of Fleet Street.

1980s - 22

A quick hop across the river to Deptford. Graffiti on the side of a house in Grinstead Road:

1980s -18

Now back to Bethnal Green and the railway arches leading out of Liverpool Street Station, doing what railway arches always seem to do and host car maintenance businesses.

1980s - 19

Railway arches alongside Three Colts Lane, Bethnal Green:

1980s - 20

This is G.J. Chapman, located at 10 Penton Street, just off the Pentonville Road. The type of general hardware store that had an early morning and evening custom of moving many of their goods for sale out and then back into the shop. Closed I beleive about 20 years ago and now replaced by flats.

1980s - 14

Another corner store.

1980s - 13

Despite the very poor condition of the building that is home to the Boleyn Pet Stores, the building is still there. Fully repaired although the pet shop has long gone and the last time I passed was a café. The location is on the corner of Bradbury Street and Boleyn Road, Dalston.

1980s - 7

Cannot remember where this was, but typical 1980s posters.

1980s - 15

Street sign advertising the butchers….

1980s - 18

…. and a café. There were many of this type of pavement advertising. I included a number in my previous 1980s street photos post.

1980s - 16

The Nobody Inn. A pub in Mildmay Road, Islington. Last time I walked past it was a completely refurbished pub and restaurant with a new name.

1980s - 21

An upholstery business on the corner of Alfearn Road and Millfields Road, between Clapton and Hackney. Established 1950, but no longer there.

1980s - 12

Allen Road, Stoke Newington / Newington Green. You would not find a scrap metal dealer on this road now, although the building is still there.

1980s - 11

Florists in Dalston.

1980s - 10


1980s - 9

French’s Dairy in Rugby Street, Holborn. The plaque on the wall states that in the rear is the White Conduit (circa 1300), originally part of the water supply to the Greyfriars Monastery in Newgate Street.

The dairy has gone, but the plaque and building are still there.

1980s - 8

Whittington Park, Islington.

1980s - 23

An old shop front, brightly painted for a furniture business which seems to have gone out of business.

1980s - 24

Many of the buildings featured above are still there, but they now provide a very different function and the days of the individual general store, pet shop, dairy etc. are now mostly long gone or disappearing fast as the process of gentrification moves from one London street to the next.

Whilst the streets of London are now in a much better state of repair, they are loosing much of their individuality and colour (but I still enjoy walking them !).