Thursday, January 14, 2016

Burnett's Patented Layers Of History App

I had an idea for an App yesterday. It came to me as I was aimlessly wandering down Sharrow Vale Road in Sheffield trying to fight off the cold and occupy myself whilst the GLW was looking in shops. Passing the splendid Lescar Hotel and cursing fate which meant that I was driving and thus unable to sample it's beery comforts, I started to ponder on the fact that buildings are layered in history. And the layers are rather like layers of paint on an old wardrobe: you can scrape layers off and discover the ones hidden below. The wondrous App of my invention would allow you to do this - you would simply point your mobile phone at a building (which would be identified by GPS which would then initiate a database search etc etc) and the layers would be revealed. Here is what happened when I pointed my phone at the Lescar Hotel.

TUESDAY.—Before the Stipendiary Magistrate. 
Charles Jackson, carter, Brincliffe Hill, was charged with stealing £20, the property of Arthur Collins, the landlord of the Lescar Hotel, Sharrow Vale Road. Mr. A. Muir Wilson appeared for the prosecution, Mr W. E.Clegg defended.
On November 13 the money was in cash box in the prosecutor's bedroom and at night was found to be missing, the room having been broken into. During the evening the prisoner, a friend named Needham, a man who is unknown, were in the house, and adjourned to the clubroom upstairs. Prisoner offered to pay for a quart for anybody who would play a "lively rough tune" Beer was supplied, and as the waiter was coming downstairs he turned round and saw the prisoner trying the door of the landlord's bedroom. Not long afterwards the stranger disappeared, and Needham went out with the prisoner, who was called away by a message - which proved to be false - that his daughter was ill. They joined the stranger, who had sent the message, and the three walked away together. The Stipendiary said there was a good deal of suspicion, but evidence was not sufficient to justify him committing the prisoner for trial, and he would be discharged.

Take your eye away from the screen of your mobile phone for a second and glance up at the pub. That must be the landlord's bedroom up there, on the left - the one with the burglar alarm next to it. How fascinating you say to yourself, pleased as punch that you invested a few pounds in purchasing Burnett's Patented Layers Of History App.


  1. You'd be on a winner, Alan!

  2. I would love that app!

  3. Such your idea for an app for that! :)

  4. My own house has had so many changes. Two porches became rooms, I added large room and a kitchen added on sometime after the main house was built. 1904 with a house of many porches. I like the analysis of the pub and you can see the it has had changes.

  5. Notice how the spelling has been changed. Maybe to be polically correct.

    And if you want to work on the app I may know someone who could help.

    1. Modern Lescar, Old clipping Lascar

  6. Shame about the nasty plastic windows. They ruin a nice old building.

  7. What a great post, Alan, combining the law and jazz. I say that because I have played many gigs over the years at the Lescar. Good to see that the burden of proof was properly applied in this case. A great app!


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...