That's a map!
One of the difficulties of trying to write something set during the Blitz is that modern maps of London aren’t always that helpful. Areas such as the Barbican complex were so badly bombed that their redevelopment led to the disappearance of certain roads. Of course, in some cases it’s these very roads that I want to know about in order to weave accuracy in a subtle fashion (I hope) through the story.
Thankfully, Cassini Maps have just saved me many more hours of trawling the internet for old maps. This afternoon this little beauty dropped through my letterbox:
It’s a facsimile of an A to Z Atlas and Guide to London and Suburbs from around 1938/9. I have a modern version of the exact same book stuffed in my car somewhere. The company that first produced these map books - Geographer's Map Company - was founded in 1936 by Phyllis Pearsall MBE. Since then, they've become a household brand and although the Art Deco style cover has long since disappeared, the logo is still a common sight in bookshops.
I’ve just opened my new old copy up and breathed a deep sigh of happiness to see the accurate location of roads like Paternoster Row (near St Paul’s) and Redcross Street (now somewhere below the Barbican) carefully marked on page 51.