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Dover Area This section presents seven extracts, displaying variations in presentation or content of what is fundamentally the same material. Four of the extracts are from the engraved one-inch New Series, and the other three are from the New Popular Edition. The four New Series extracts have various annotations, illustrating the interaction of users (broadly defined) with mapping: the mapmaker may anticipate the readership; the readers may comment on the map. The New Series one-inch map is fully described in Roger Hellyer & Richard Oliver, One-inch Engraved Maps of the Ordnance Survey from 1847, published by the Charles Close Society in 2009, and the New Popular Edition is described in Richard Oliver, A Guide to the Ordnance Survey One-inch New Popular Edition, published by the Charles Close Society in 2000; both are available via this website. 

New Series sheet 290, 1890. The one-inch New Series was intended to replace ‘the original Ordnance map’, now known as the one-inch Old Series. As with the Old Series in the 1800s and 1810s, the priority was the ‘invasion coasts’ of south-east and southern England, and a group of six sheets covering east Kent were published in ‘outline with contours’ form at the turn of 1878-9. These are in the established style for this form: contours are shown by fine dotted lines and the only clear indication of road classification is the ‘shading’ to emphasise the turnpikes. For ‘security reasons’ contours are omitted over most of the sheet, as are the fortifications around Dover. Rural parish church dedications are given, and windmills and lighthouses are indicated by ‘descriptive name’, to use the Survey’s official term for what most people would simply call a ‘description’. This particular copy dates from about 1890, and has been hand-coloured by Stanfords to enhance the turnpike roads, parkland (though one bottom left is missed), railways, county boundaries (pink vignetting) and the sea. The customer was charged extra for this, nd for mounting and sectioning the map.

New Series (revised) sheet 290, 1895. A revision of the New Series was begun in 1893, partly so as to incorporate or enhance details of military interest, including landmarks and postal facilities. Sheet 290 was one of the first to be republished, in 1895. Although much of the engraving is carried over from the ‘first edition’ New Series, the appearance differs radically in a number of respects: contours are shown by dot-dash lines, there is a four-fold road classification, paths appear (pecked lines), double-track railways are distinguished by a ‘chequer’ symbol, post and telegraph offices are shown by ‘P’ and ‘T’ appended to village names, letter-boxes (‘L.B.’), inns and smithies are indicated, churches with towers and spires are distinguished (and parish churches are annotated ‘Ch’), and windmills and lighthouses are indicated by sign. This particular copy has had numerous names of woodland added by an earlier owner: does this denote an interest in hunting and fox-covers, or something else? As the original is a paper-flat sheet, it was evidently for indoor reference rather than for outdoor use on the ground.

New Series, Third Edition, sheet 290, 1905. A further revision of the New Series was begun in 1901, as a matter of routine maintenance: in theory there was to be a fifteen-year revision cycle, but in practice this could be much shorter, and sheet 290 was republished after ten years. The design is unchanged: a symbol was introduced for windpumps, and one appears bottom left adjacent to the western suburbs of Dover, between ‘Buckland’ and ‘Tower Hamlets’. Contours around Dover are still omitted on security grounds. More striking is some of the revision, notably two groups of roads added between Ringwould and St Margarets at Cliffe, presumably in anticipation of building development. This particular copy was formerly in the collection of John Bartholomew & Son, the Edinburgh map publishers, and was perhaps used for checking updates to their half-inch maps. The folds that cause ‘shadow’ on this image are perhaps evidence that the map was a ‘traveller’, folded for transmission by post in an envelope: a roller would not leave such evidence, but would be more expensive to post. This copy, after a period in private hands, is now in the Charles Close Society Archive.

New Series, Fourth Edition, sheet 290, 1911. One of the apparent eccentricities of the development of the one-inch map is the inauguration of the ‘Fourth Edition’, to be based on the ‘third national revision’ of the New Series. It was begun in 1909, when considerable areas of Britain had yet to be revised and published in the Third Edition, with the object of aligning large-scale (1:2500 and 6-inch) revision with that for the one-inch, which in turn supplied updating material for the half-inch and smaller scales. The concept was that, as soon as the updated six-inch mapping for an area was available – which might be two or three years after fieldwork – a further quick revision would be made for the one-inch, to record any subsequent relevant changes (large areas of building, yes; trivial additions at the edge of building, no). It was hoped thereby to save fieldwork effort: whether it really did so or not is unknown, and in 1911 all regular revision was suspended in order to provide rapid revision of the 1:2500 for a projected land-tax, which failed to materialise. Only seven ‘Fourth Edition’ sheets, covering east Kent, were published for England, and one for Scotland. Generally the Fourth Edition follows the style of the New Series revised and Third editions, but a few small changes were made: ‘Ch’ was omitted, railway stations were shown by symbol rather than description (a change also introduced on later Third Edition sheets), and lifeboat stations were now indicated by abbreviation (‘L.B.S.’). A change in security rules in 1907-8 means that contours and spot-heights are now shown throughout the sheet, as are fortifications. A conspicuous addition is another road layout for prospective development south of St Margaret at Cliffe. This copy was formerly in the collection of John Bartholomew & Son, the Edinburgh map publishers, and has been annotated by or for them with graticule lines and ‘Dover Patrol Meml’ (erected 1919-21). This map, after a period in private hands, is now in the Charles Close Society Archive.

New Popular edition sheet 173, 1945. The original design for the one-inch New Popular Edition was for a five-colour map: outline in black, water in blue, contours and second-class roads in orange or orange-brown, first class roads in red, and woods in green. This style was adopted at a time when most of the Ordnance Survey’s presses were still single-colour, and when the predecessor Fifth (‘non-relief’) Edition was printed in six colours, contours and second-class roads being separate. Eleven sheets were printed in the five-colour style in 1940-1, but were withheld from sale, and when printing resumed in 1944-5 the stipple infill for water areas was replaced by a separate tint. Sheet 173, though in preparation in 1939-40, was one of the batch printed in 1945. The colour-scheme, dominated by the orange, is certainly effective in communication, though some might consider it over-assertive, or even crude. A problem with the use of a less aggressive shade of orange was that the contours were often not ideally legible, though the use of a weaker red and a lighter green might have helped this. It is worth noting that a ‘utility’ four-colour-scheme, differing from the five-colour in that all roads are on the contour plate, has been used successfully for a variety of mapping, including the Second War Revision one-inch of England and Wales (GSGS series 3907) and the 1:25,000 Second Series (‘Pathfinder’). (It should be noted that acidity in the paper may have slightly distorted the original colours and the colour-balance on the extract here.)

New Popular edition sheet 173, 1948. The problem with the showing of both second-class roads and contours in orange was addressed by reverting to pre-1940 practice, and printing the roads in yellow and the contours in brown. The material used for the 1945-8 printings of sheet 173 was somewhat lacking in sharpness, being several generations away from the original drawings: the contrast with extra colour helped offset this. During World War II the Ordnance Survey had acquired several two-colour presses, and this explains why it was possible to contemplate adding a colour without proportionate increase in cost.

New Popular edition sheet 173, 1952. Between 1947 and 1950 the early New Popular Edition sheets were subject to ‘road revision’, and most had the reproduction material refurbished. The ‘road revision’ in practice included adding other revision that was to hand, not least from RAF photography of circa 1946-7, and this explains why, though there are no obvious changes to roads on this extract, there is noticeable suburban development on the north and west sides of Dover. The black outline plate was renewed, and the image is noticeable more crisp on this 1952 printing as compared with those of 1945 and 1948. (The changes to the shades of infill to the roads reflect those used on the original, rather than effects of paper acidity.)

See also our collection of Rare Maps online that complement these.