The World’s first telephone directories were published in the 1880s, but it was not until the early 1900s that they became widely available to the public. Unfortunately very few of these early directories have survived to the present day.


The collection of old British and foreign telephone directories held by the Gooderson Archive dates back to the 1940s and is therefore a valuable source of information for family history research. It is our intention to transcribe, from these directories, all of the entries for the surname Gooderson (and its variants) and to make the transcriptions available on this website.


Work on the project began in November 2003 with the London Region telephone directory of 1953, transcriptions from which are now available on the website. This particular 50-year-old directory was chosen because, unlike modern London telephone directories, it covered the whole of the area from Welwyn in the north to Dawes Green in the south and from Egham in the west to Stanford-le-Hope in the East and it’s been estimated that nearly a quarter of the entire population of the UK lived within this area in 1953.


N.B. We have deliberately transcribed all of the directory entries exactly as they appear in the original telephone books. Consequently the majority of the road descriptions employed in the earlier directories (eg. avenue, close, lane, path, road, street, way, etc.) do not begin with a capital letter, bold type is often used in a somewhat unusual manner and the columns containing the telephone numbers and exchange names are generally aligned to the right.


In addition to transcribing entries from the old telephone directories that are currently held by the Gooderson Archive, work is also in hand to transcribe the relevant entries from other directories that are held by individual people and by organisations such as Telecom Heritage Groups, the IBTE Museums and the British Telecom Archives. Such directories are marked "#" in the index and (since copies of these are not held by the Archive) it is not possible to look-up other surnames in them.


The whole project will undoubtedly take many years to complete because there are thousands of directories to be searched. However, as each section of the work is completed the transcriptions will be added to those already available on-line.


[This page last updated 5 December 2003]


Back to Old Telephone Directories Menu