Sunday, 14 January 2018

Adverts, Census, Maps and Research

BTSport featured an appalling mushy advert the other day featuring a black girl and her mother preparing for her wedding.  The items required, the dress, the weeping mother all were used to sell whatever the product was.  Sadly I had my head over a bucket while watching this but did manage to note that as mum (no dad I notice was this an attack on the descendants of those West Indian men who live in London) as mum walked daughter down the aisle and presented her there the camera changed position to reveal the husband, a handsome white male!  
Have you noticed that in the UK adverts may feature black males with white wives or white males with black girls but never do we see two blacks together, why is this?  An advert for some food product some years ago featured a very happy black family and ran for a while, and I have a faint memory of an Asian family of some sort featuring also but these are rare.  I know that nobody uses gays to sell products because this stops people buying the product but surely black couples do not have the same effect do they?  

I had a great deal of research to do this weekend, it wasn't really a great deal but I kept putting it off and now it requires some work before Tuesday, and I have done little.  One reason was the census!  You see on ancestry it is possible to look at the census returns for the town since 1841.  Therefore numpty here began to search these, downloading lots of them for research later, in the hope of finding people who lived in this building in times past.  Naturally it failed!  
For a start the numbers either do not run as now or they do not exist at all.  This is not unusual as many houses then had names, however most people rented their homes and numbers are seen on some of the census returns, it is that these numbers are 'odd' numbers and today the numbers are 'even' numbers on this side of the street.  I wonder if some cooncil worker in the big office would have details of these?  I must ask around the people that know these things, if the do know these things that is.  
On the latest census returns the numbers go up to 96, with is interesting as I look for 98 next door.  However that does not appear and 92 - 96 does not fit with the housing as it stands just now, some building work has been undergone I note from old maps but in what way does this affect the numbers.  The next number I come to is helpfully 110, which does not exist any longer having long since become a Sainsburys petrol station.  No help to me in any way.
The older census either has no or odd numbers or is somewhat mixed up in the way it lists the homes.  Names are given which sometimes helps, 'Baptist Minister indicates the Manse that once stood up the road (Knocked down by the Luftwaffe in 1941), and 'Mount House Lodge' also indicates a house on the maps from 1875, the oldest available.  

The other problem I find is the need to check 'Old Maps' when doing this as I get involved in the maps.  It is invariably interesting to note the changes, not always noticeable at first, between the town today and how it was laid out in the past.  Obviously maps do not indicate the lack of pavements, unmade or 'rough' roads, or the state of the buildings marked on the maps, then we have to seek out old photographs to compare with what the maps reveal.  Luckily I was too lazy to start searching through photographs yesterday or today.  However just looking at the first map I bought when I came to this town twenty one years ago, then around 30,000 persons, and noting how it has grown with housing estates filling in what once was fields and offering some 40,000 persons to annoy me today.  Each week small corners are filled in and a block raised her and there to really annoy the postman who is expected to deliver there but allowed no more time in doing so.    
All in all the time spent perusing a map, and an ageing won at that, is never wasted in my view.  There is always old industrial sites to note, now housing though I suspect many living there have little idea of what lies in the ground beneath them, old railway lines, buildings that were there soon after the Normans built them and remain solid still, public houses that once filled with men from the industry and are now blocks for those 'over fifty' and oak trees that stood for several hundred years in the middle of the road that have been sacrificed for the motor car, so many interesting changes.
Of course I may just be weird...


the fly in the web said...

I suspect that we both read the same article in 'The Guardian'.

I used to wallow in old maps both in the U.K. and in France...where they were less useful, on the whole.

Adullamite said...

Fly, Advert? Guardian? Not me. Maps are good!