A few days ago I confessed that I was grateful to Facebook for proving a means of reaching lots of new people who have knowledge of the Riverhead. I am even gratefuller (!) now, because I’m even getting some international collaboration, from an ex-pat in Thailand! Paul checks in on the Louth Histories and Memories Facebook group, and through this made contact with Mapping the Riverhead. He’s using Google Maps to locate the places I’m asking questions about, then tells me how things used to be. I can’t get Paul’s handwriting on the map, unfortunately, but I am cutting and pasting from his Facebook responses instead.
A view from Navigation Warehouse, a listed building, towards some others that aren’t!
Of course, even Google Maps is out of date as soon as it’s created. You can still see Louth Swimming Pool as was (until a few weeks ago) on Google. This picture, taken this morning, shows the empty plot that is now being built on, with the ABM maltings building in the distance behind, which is currently being demolished.
Names of people living in 1881 on Riverhead Road
Names of people living NOW on Thames Street
Thank you to Mick and Richard who brought in these wonderful images of houses on Riverhead Road. They were demolished around 40 years ago and much of this area has never been redeveloped, so these pictures really help show what used to be here. Mick said, about his house No. 8 (set back, to the left of the two little girls in the photo) that it was gas-lit and that the one bedroom was reached by a staircase that was little more than a ladder. Water was collected from a flowing spring in the backyard.
Another view of these cottages, with No.1 Riverhead Road (on the site of the now recently-demolished Louth Swimming Pool) on the left. The built landscape is changing almost as fast as we’re recording it!
If anyone has other photographs that they would be willing to add to the map (scans, not originals) then please get in touch.They really bring the past to life!
Marion Bramwell (Mee, as was) and Mick Parrish were delighted to meet after a gap of more than 60 years at Mapping the Riverhead exhibition today. Both lived on Riverhead Road, in houses that are no longer there, and had lots of memories to share. Both remembered attending the school in the tin hut, the orchard that lay opposite the canal-head behind a tall wall topped with broken glass, and much more besides…
I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me, but I never thought I would be meeting people during the exhibition who could point out their ancestors on the 1881 census that I’m using to populate the Sail Map! Brian Brook came in with his wife (Chris Jackson as was) yesterday and we located the Brook family at 22 Commercial Road who were sailors. The Brook family, including Brian, lived on Commercial Road well into the 2oth century. Chris Brook comes from another local family and shared yet more information. The layers are beginning to build…
One of the Brooks family’s pleasure boats on the canal, from an article written by Harold Jackson (Chris’ father)
I never thought I’d say that (being a little bit of a social-media technophobe) but, courtesy of Louth History and Memories and Louth Pictures Old and New facebook groups I have had some really knowledgeable visitors. Only this morning I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t place all of the people from the 1881 census who lived on Riverhead Road (as it now has hardly any domestic dwellings on it compared to the late Victorian period) and a lady turned up in response to my facebook query about a tin-roofed school, to tell me she lived at No.1 Riverhead Road, adjacent to the school. Now everything is falling into place and I can start pinning more name labels on the map. Thank you Marion (and facebook!)
Names of people living at the Riverhead in 1881, I plan to cover the whole map!
If anyone out there fancies doing a little bit of back-stitch (it’s REALLY easy) then I’d love you to help out stitching names from the census. I’ve got quite a few to do….
Over the first couple of days that Mapping the Riverhead exhibition has been open, my interaction with visitors has given me lots to think about. Firstly, I’m really delighted by the way that people are engaging with the idea, using the map as a springboard for remembering how things used to be, and engaging in conversation with each other as a result. One great idea that came up on the first day was to add photographs to the map, rather than just written comments. The comments are great, with people adding layers of information (for instance one couple had heard that two terraced houses on Thames Street used to be a pub but didn’t know its name, a visitor today, who happens to be a local historian interested in the pubs of Louth, knew that it was known as The Lock Tavern). Adding images, however, is going to help transform the map into an environment that is instantly recognisable, and much richer as a document of this local place.