Following the request by reader Mike Hawes, here’s another delve into the cartographic archive for the denizens of Aldridge, our posh neighbours to the south. Mike asked for some mapping from around 1940, and sadly, there is none. I’ve found plots – based on the same 1920’s survey – from 1938 and and 1955. They are clearly plotted from the same baseman, and in reality, were probably hand-traced. I’ve done this to illustrate a point really, about the mapping history of the UK.
Note that the map above – the 1938 issue – is exceptionally vague in the area of Anchor Road. At a guess, the buildings had been spotted from an aerial survey, but not ground surveyed. This map hadn’t changed much – more, it had evolved – since the second survey, around 1915-1920. This is referred to as the ‘Second Epoch’. This map base persists until the sixties. There are few complete larger scale maps of this period, too: nothing at 1:2,500 really exists. There’s a reason for this: there had been a couple of wars on.
Our mapmakers had been busy for the military, and the growing mapping needs of commerce, local authority and development were not being met. It takes a long time to resurvey a country, and new survey sheets only started to appear in the mid-sixtes. I’ve mentioned this before in my posts ‘last of a Generation’ and ‘Time Passages’. Quite simply, there’s a gap in effective mapping between about 1930 and 1965.
Of course, there is that other resource, the aerial imagery dated from 1945 in Google earth. I showed how to access this in a previous post, too. A quick note to Mike – if you’re having trouble with the overlays, make sure you’ve downloaded the files, then check you have the very latest version of Google Earth installed by going here. When you have, just double-click the overlay files and they’ll load automatically.