Charles E. Goad was a civil engineer based in Toronto. He began producing Fire Insurance Plans in 1875 and opened his London branch in 1885. The original purpose of the maps was to help insurance companies assess fire risks in buildings.
The detailed plans included the following information:
- Size of building, no of floors and usage i.e. commercial, educational, residential.
- Construction materials i.e. concrete, brick, wood, glass.
- Particular fire hazards such as chemicals, kilns or ovens.
- House numbers and in the case of larger premises the business name of the occupier.
Plans were updated on a regular basis, by revision sheets which were cut out and pasted over the original plan. This has the disadvantage that the original use of the building is hidden underneath the update. The dates of the updates are all noted on the key sheet which should enable the user to work out the date of each plan.
The revision sheets were coloured, each colour indicating the use of the building, which allowed the principal use of an area to be seen at a glance.
As technology developed to make buildings safer and the risk of fire was reduced, the plans evolved to be more about the development and management of property.
Goad fire insurance plans ceased production in 1970 and were replaced by the shopping centre plans which had been introduced in 1966.
These show town centre retail occupancy, details of retail category, floor space and fascia name.
Hull History Centre holds a collection of Goad Plans for Hull. Up to the end of the 1960s these are the Fire Insurance plans and are contained in bound volumes which are quite heavy and cumbersome. The plans have been updated but there is a folder of ‘spare updates’ which have not been used. The maps cover the principal commercial areas of the city which expand as the City develops.
From the 1970s the shopping centre plans come in a single format of black and white drawing and are updated by replacement plans. With the change in scope the modern maps do not necessarily cover the whole of the commercial district but just the ‘shopping centres’.
The Hull City Centre maps cover the main shopping streets alongside the modern shopping centres, i.e. St Stephen’s, Prince's Quay and Prospect Centre. All shops within the complexes are named, along with any car parks with their capacity. Crossing points are also shown.
Copyright is held jointly by Ordnance Survey and Experian and copies are limited to A4 size.
Hull History Centre holdings
The reference for the collection is L MAPS/11 and the History Centre holds the following:
Bound volumes: Fire Insurance Plans:
1886 updated to 1934 and incorporating changes in 1925, 1929 and 1931
1886 updated to 1922
1934 updated to 1943
1934 updated to 1962
Black and white sheets: Shopping Centre Plans
1967-1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1985-1987, 1989-1994, 1996-1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011-2016.