Things To Do On A Rainy Day

“Mummy I’m booooooorrrrred.”

Horrid out, isn’t it. Which, of course, means that today I’ve been looking for things to do on a day like this – a day for staying home and making paper windmills out of the Enid Blyton Holiday Book For Good Little Children Everywhere. 

Wet weather means that I’m far more likely to go back through the starred items in my inbox, so I’ve been looking today for things people have told me about that you can do from the comfort of your own computer.

Firstly, a couple of fun websites for Greenwich history fans. SoC reminded me of the British History Online site – an excellent source – I don’t even want to think how many hours that took to put together. The link here is mainly culled from Edward Walford’s Old and New London, published in 1878 (so hardly up-to-date but very good for old stuff). The books themselves come in six volumes and if you’re flush, you can find sets for about £350. They’re much cheaper singly, though, especially if you don’t mind ‘reading copies’ – i.e. you actually want to use them rather than have them looking very handsome on your shelves. The cheapest way to do it is to just buy a slightly tatty copy of volume six which covers Greenwich – the rest are fascinating, but not Greenwich-oriented. If you live in Charlton or further east, you’ll be better off with volume two of Walford’s companion set Greater London

Moving on, Richard alerted me to Charles Booth’s Online Archive. You’ll probably know his poverty maps but his notebooks have also been put online, which is handy, since his report stretches to many volumes (I own the very last one, the summary – worth having but not paying more than a fiver for since this is already online.)

Thirdly, Robert’s just told me about History Pin, where you upload old pics of – well, anywhere in Britain, really, and then give a streetmap reference so people can see what it looks like now. I’m guessing it’s a new site, since there aren’t many pics of Greenwich on there, but Pelton Road fans might enjoy the photos of The Standard. More locally, for pictures and maps, oldie but goodie Ideal Homes is still a Phantom favourite.

Lastly, John has reminded me about Greenwich Historical Society, which I’m guessing is a descendent of Greenwich Antiquarian Society (shame, really, I’d love to be part of an Antiquarian Society…) I confess to not being a member; I don’t tend to be a ‘joiner’ of things, but I am tempted – the website is extremely attractive and so is the programme of events. They also have proper historians writing about things I just mess about with. It’s £15 per annum – and goes from January to January so now’s the perfect time to join.

Sadly, none of that for me now. Work awaits. :-(


5 Comments to “Things To Do On A Rainy Day”

  1. scared of chives says:

    Love the Charles Booth archive

  2. tintinhaddock says:

    The Booth archive is fascinating. I particularly like his list of the prices for tea and a roll at the guest houses on King William Walk.

    He also mentions General Wolseley living in Chesterfield Walk. Wolseley seems to have been the inspiration for Gilbert & Sullivan’s Modern Major General.

  3. OldChina says:

    Ta for ther links, all now bookmarked. They’re just my sort of thing when I have five minutes to spare.

    Are there any higher res versions of Booths poverty maps online? The only ones ‘ve been able to find are often too low res to make out small individual streets with any clarity.

  4. her_welshness says:

    What do you mean, you are not a proper historian? Your blog has got to be the most dynamic, thorough and exciting guide to the history of Greenwich that I have read in a long time. Long may it continue!

  5. Aw gee, thanks (blushes.) But I really am history-lite (and often inaccurate, though lovely Phantomites put me right.) But don’t you think that ‘Antiquarian’ is one better? And as for ‘Antiquary’ – blimey – that’s off the ‘historian’ scale!