House Numbers (Oddities; Mysteries; Etc.)

The_Discordian

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#1
You might consider this a minor thing, but I'm confused enough by it to merit thinking of it as Fortean:

The other day, my mum needed to know some friends' postcode in order to send them a congratulations card for their new baby, so I looked their place up on Google maps. I double-checked the photo of it on Streetview, as I wasn't entirely certain she'd remembered their house number right, and sure enough it was 13 higher than she thought it was. As she was naturally concerned that the last birthday card she'd sent them might well have gone to a house further down the road and on the other side, I offered to drop it round by hand - and when I got there, I found that the number on the house *was* exactly what my mum thought it was.

So, in the three years since the Streetview photo was taken, the road must have been at least partially renumbered, with the numbers changing sides of the road as well!

Is this common practice? It's the first time I've heard of it happening.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#2
I think there is a known issue with Google's street numbers.

Trying it out for the first time, I viewed my brother's street and the numbers were well out! None of them had changed. :)
 

The_Discordian

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#3
JamesWhitehead said:
I think there is a known issue with Google's street numbers.

Trying it out for the first time, I viewed my brother's street and the numbers were well out! None of them had changed. :)
What, meaning that they've changed the numbers in the photos? Kind of odd in itself...
 

krakenten

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#4
A side note, Napoleon Bonaparte was the inventor of the numbering system in use today-it was his idea to put even number on one side, and odd on the other.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#5
I meant the street numbers which appear as you navigate around those eerie streets.

Perhaps we are not takling about the same thing. Is Google Street View the same as the street views I accessed via Google Earth? Having used it once and been duly amazed, I'm afraid it has sat unused, like a fat, unloved toy on my desktop. :)
 

The_Discordian

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#6
We're obviously at ccross-purposes here.

I meant that the house number, which you can see screwed onto the wall to the left of the door in the photo, is different from the number which is now screwed to left of the door.

I'd post an image, but obviously I respect my friends' privacy.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#7
OK, I found the folllowing on Sefton Council's website (http://www.sefton.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=3136). I would imagine the same rings true across the country so I think we can safely say that if the number HAS been changed, it would be an unusual occurence....

5. Can I have the name of my street changed or the properties renumbered?
A street name is only changed or all of the properties in a street renumbered as a last resort when:


the name or the numbering is causing confusion for the emergency services or the Royal Mail.
The property addresses have names only and no numbers.
The sub-division or construction of properties in a street leads to a confused numbering scheme.


It will be appreciated that changing a street name or renumbering all properties causes a great deal of inconvenience for residents and some temporary confusion for visitors and those making delivering to that street. The Council is therefore reluctant to make changes without good reason.

The Council will consider requests from residents for a change but only if the request has the support of the greater majority of the residents and is for a good reason.

Before making any changes we would consult all of the residents to seek their views. It is unlikely that the Council would proceed unless at least two-thirds of the residents supported the change. The renaming of a street does involve a legal process that gives any resident who may object the right to appeal to a Magistrate Court.

The Council may require residents requesting a change of street name to pay the Council's costs for the process.

If you have any other Street Naming or Numbering queries please contact us at the above address.
 

Peripart

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#8
Re: Perhaps this is too obvious ...

garrick92 said:
Why don't you just ask your friends if they have been renumbered and (if so) why?

I hate to sound unhelpful, but if anyone's going to know the answer it's more likely to be them than us!
I may be wrong, but it appears that the OP is sure that this has hapened, but wonders how widespread the practice is. It's certainly an odd thing to happen, though. I know of roads without a no.13 (a large proportion of them still don't have one, as far as I can tell), and ones where the numbers are so haphazard that you imagine they've been stuck to doors at random, but can't think of an example of the numbers actually changing.

There's a residential road near here, with probably over 50 properties, that has no numbers at all, only names. A nightmare for the postman, I should think. Which makes me wonder (partly because I can't be bothered to Google) - just how long have house numbers existed? They're an urban thing, I guess, but were they invented because of the postal service?
 

liveinabin

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#10
Well my folks live in a small village, about 50 houses, just one street. All the houses have name and not numbers. The problem is that there are 4 houses with the same name. Luckily they have all live there for about 30 years so the postman knows which post is for which house.

Also I used to live in a street with 4 houses in it and I lived at number 6. Never worked that out.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
A side note, Napoleon Bonaparte was the inventor of the numbering system in use today-it was his idea to put even number on one side, and odd on the other.
Apparently not ...

The first documented use of the odd / even differentiation between sides of a street is attributed to Clement Biddle of Philadelphia, who oversaw compilation of the city's 1791 directory. This was years before Napoleon came to power.

Systematic attempts to give each building in a city a unique address began in Europe in the eighteenth century. London’s municipal authorities ordered the numbering of buildings in 1768; France followed suit three years later to abet the billeting of soldiers. Such reforms reflected both the growing power of government and the Enlightenment penchant for classification. ...

City directories and census-taking provided an impetus to street numbering. The editor of the other 1785 directory numbered houses sequentially on one side of a street then continued the sequence back down it (a “clockwise” method commonly employed in Europe). Six years later, Colonel Clement Biddle(1740-1814) compiled a city directory that adopted a different approach. Biddle assigned odd numbers to the north and east of a street and even numbers to the south and west, with numbers on both sides of the block moving in the same direction. He had overseen the first census of the United States that same year, and just as the federal government’s head count helped Americans understand their new republic, the street numbering system aided them in navigating their biggest city. As Biddle put it in explaining the new system, the “stranger” could now find “any house whose street and number is known.”
SOURCE: https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/street-numbering/
 
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