Thursday, 11 May 2017

Lost and forgotten streets of Salford ........... nu 55 standing on Greengate with the help of Mr Goad

Now yesterday we were on Greengate in the winter of 1949 and today we have moved forward almost a full half century.

Of course by now there are a bank of photographs to call on to recreate what Greengate was like.

But instead I have fallen back on a map.

And it is a very unusual map in that its main purpose was to assist insurance companies.

“Goad’s fire insurance plans had a number of features that distinguished them from the available commercial maps, notably the Ordnance Survey town plans. 

First and most importantly, the plans were produced to meet the needs of a specific customer, the fire insurance companies, providing a range of information that would enable them to assess more accurately the risks associated with insuring properties. 

To that end the plans, surveyed on a scale of 40 feet to the inch, covered all properties in a town or city centre, recording information on the materials used in the construction of each building. 

This was achieved by means of a colour code (red: brick and stone; light blue: skylights on one/two storey buildings; purple: skylights on taller buildings; yellow: wooden buildings), a feature which gave the plans their distinctive appearance. 


Details were provided of the internal layout of buildings, particular attention being given to the construction and flammability of party walls, skylights, windows and doorways. 

Thus roofs were identified as slate, tile, metal, cement and felt with tar. The entrances in warehouses distinguished such features as hoists and the crane doors.”*

Now that is pretty impressive.

More so because the plans were regularly updated although instead of printing a new plan correction slips were produced and just pasted on the original section of the map.

All of which means that the original sheet became a multi-layered document and dating the map can be a bit difficult given that the first surveys were undertaken in 1886 and were still being issued in 1901.

That said they are a fascinating guide and just leaves me to trawl the directories to match the names on the maps with the street lists.

Picture; Greengate 1886-1901, from Goads Fire Insurance maps, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://digitalarchives.co.uk/

*Introduction to Goads Fire Insurance Maps, Digital Archives Association

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