Most people are sorry to see old friends go. So it was in the l970's, when the much loved and respected 1"to the mile ordnance survey maps disappeared. The new metric maps which have re-placed them went through several editions and are now called 'Landranger' maps. They are l¼" to the mile or 2 cm to 1Km. There are differences. Older people could visualise on the 1½' maps how high 241 feet was but not 73 metres on the new maps.
The l" map was a great help to walkers and local historians. The new one is probably just as useful for map and compass work but for local history it has its limitations: the faint, black dotted lines on the 1" showed the parish boundaries (often the same as manor boundaries) and with a magnifying glass could be seen clearly: they are not clear now because they are not there. Historic sites have sornetimes been omitted on the Landranger series, e.g. the Roman Settlement near Tiddington, shown on the old map, is now disregarded.
What are these changes for? The answer is clear - tourists. Blue blocks and blue symbols show us where caravan sites are, where picnic sites and car parks are, where 'selected places of local interest' are. And greatest horror of all, where 'viewpoints' are The new maps do not really want us to use our intelligence and imagination. but the ordnance survey, in cahoots with the tourist trade, seems determined to point us to the places it thinks are good for us. The only snag now about using the old 1" maps is that they do not include the many new roads. Three cheers for the 1" maps. may we continue to hang on to them.'
Autumn 1991 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991