Letter: Missing numbers

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Sir: Having, not for the first time, paraded up and down a London street today trying to find where I was, may I raise the question of names and numbers? As I understand it, the Towns Improvement Clauses Act of 1847, Section 64 compels an occupier of a property within one week after notice from the local authority to put a number on his house, or to replace it if it has been obliterated. If he fails to do so, he can be fined, and must repay the expense of the local authority for doing the job for him. The same Act, I believe, requires the local authority to 'cause all houses and buildings to be marked with numbers as they think fit'.

The English seem to regard the marking of street numbers and names with complete indifference. I can think of no other civilised country with the same attitude. Finding a building in New York is so simple a child could do it; here, it is often next to impossible.

The question with regard to London is, of course, who is now responsible, since it is a city without a governing body.

Yours faithfully,


London, W14

6 April