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Item of the month - May 2017

Routleff's Annual Uxbridge Directory, 1929

Street directories are available to anyone in our search room without prior appointment. They were issued annually, and name local residents both private and commercial. There are gaps in coverage, but they are invaluable for family historians and those tracing business premises over time.

However, there are more to directories than lists of names. Take a look and you'll find advertisements for shops, factories, even motor traders. Routleff's 1929 Uxbridge Directory - one of the more entertaining examples - has an advert for Gumbrell & Son, grocers, 134, High Street. It shows the so-called golden canister which was displayed above the shop front. We have that very canister in our museum collection.

Cover   Gumbrell and Son, grocers, 134, High Street

In this particular volume you can get an idea of what interested or amused people in the 1920s. There are tips on cooking hare and pigeon, and on whitewashing ceilings; there are helpful astronomical symbols and a selection of Albanian proverbs.

There's The Humorous Companion - 16 pages of jokes possibly for the bored Metropolitan commuter. Here's a favourite (though no reflection of my own European views) -

'Had a nice trip?'

'Well, rather.'

'Been doing the Continent?'

'Yes, if you like to put it that way, but when I look at my expense account it rather seems as if the Continent has been doing me.'

Perhaps I am a little ghoulish, but the page that most intrigued me was 'What to do in cases of poisoning'. It has detailed recipes to counter everything from sulphuric acid and arsenic to laudanum and rat poison, mostly emetics to purge the system - though it does begin with the useful tip 'send for the doctor at once'!

Routleffs 1929 Uxbridge Directory   Routleffs 1929 Uxbridge Directory

Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service holds directories for the Uxbridge and Ruislip areas ranging broadly from the 1860s to 1970s.

 

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 04 Aug 2017 at 12:09