Johnson’s London Dictionary: Tate Modern

TATE MODERN (n.) Repository of pretentious objects, frequented by visitors each displaying a smug countenance due to not paying to view objects of no value.

Dr. Johnson’s London Dictionary for publick consumption in the twenty-first century avail yourself on Twitter @JohnsonsLondon

London’s oldest ferry

Lately, on CabbieBlog, we’ve had London’s oldest flyover and the oldest bridge still in use.

For many years the medieval London Bridge was the only means to cross the River without using a boat. The footprint of these past ferries remains, Horseferry Road, Westminster, numerous Ferry Lanes, Tottenham, Dagenham, Haringey and East and West Ferry Roads on the Isle of Dogs.

So where are London’s oldest working ferries? Well, there are only two contenders, the free ferry service at Woolwich and Hampton’s ferry.

Since at least the 14th century there has been a ferry service on the Thames running between Woolwich North to the south bank at Woolwich. In 1810 the army established its own ferry that ran from Woolwich Arsenal to Duvals Wharf. In 1811 an Act of Parliament was passed to establish a ferry across the Thames from Woolwich. In 1889 a free passenger and vehicle ferry service started operation. By the early 1960s, increasing demand saw the paddle steamers retire and the ferry service upgraded to a roll-on/roll-off model. It is currently run by Transport for London.

Another still operational ferry service is the Hampton Ferry, which can only transport pedestrians, operating on the Thames about a mile west of Hampton Court Bridge between Hampton on the north bank and Hurst Park, Molesey, on the south bank.

Dating from 1514 it provided a service for agricultural workers and fishermen. It was incorporated by statute, making it one of the oldest British companies. The ferry, which costs £2 for a single crossing, operates from April to October.

Featured image: The Hampton Ferry by DiamondGeezer (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

London in Quotations: Robert Campbell

Earth, yet it is governed with the same Ease, and with less Trouble to the Subject, than many petty Villages in other Parts of the World.

Robert Campbell (1769–1846)

London Trivia: First download

On 14 August 1888 an audio recording of the composer Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph cylinder in London.

On 14 August 2011 the London–Surrey Classic Cycle race took place, starting at Pall Mall and covering 50 miles through Surrey, it was a precursor to the 2012 Olympic Games

The heads of executed traitors were displayed on spikes on London Bridge is now commemorated by a giant white spike on the current crossing

Unusual street names: Ha Ha Road Greenwich; Hooker’s Road Walthamstow; Quaggy Walk Blackheath; Cyclops Mews & Uamvar Street Limehouse

St George’s, University of London was founded near Hyde Park Corner in 1733 and was the second establishment in England to formally train doctors

Stalin, Lenin, and Trotsky met at the Brotherhood Church, Islington for the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party it’s now a Tesco Metro

The Beatles played their last gig on the roof of Apple Corps at 3 Saville Row. It’s now an Abercrombie & Fitch, after 42 minutes the police asked them to turn down the volume

When war broke out in 1939, BBC TV shut down half way through Mickey Mouse cartoon. In 1945 the cartoon resumed with apology for the break

The Rom Skate Park in Hornchurch was built in 1978, and was the first skatepark in Europe to be given protected Listed status

All 22 stations on the Metropolitan Line from Amersham to Liverpool Street have an ‘R’ in their name, only Aldgate hasn’t on the whole line

The plinth supporting the South Bank Lion on the south side of Westminster Bridge has a room for security guards to have a cup of tea

You could fit either the Great Pyramid at Giza or the Statue of Liberty inside the O2 Arena, the largest structure of its kind in the world

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog.
A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.

Previously Posted: Quotations in a Cab

For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.

Quotations in a Cab (04.08.09)

We were told last week that drivers on the London Underground will use their Tannoys to read passengers quotations from Goethe, Gandhi, Sartre and Dostoyevsky. The idea was to help commuters keep up morale when the Tube comes to a juddering stop. Could we cabbies, not known for keeping our opinions to ourselves, take a leaf out of the TfL quotation guide? More roadworks, courtesy of Thames Water and stuck in gridlock, your fare in needs your well timed quotation.

On the two London Mayors:
As Karl Marx once wrote “That history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce”.

On learning The Knowledge:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

On why the fare is so expensive:
“Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.” Lou Erickson (American cartoonist).

If the passenger complains you’ve taken the wrong route:
“Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.” Robert Louis Stevenson.

Or we could resort to the tried and tested “Did you see the game last night?”

Taxi Talk Without Tipping

%d bloggers like this: