London Trivia: Stone of Scone returned

On 3 July 1996, it was announced in the House of Commons, due in part to the growing dissatisfaction among Scots at the prevailing constitutional settlement, that the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland. The handover was made on St Andrew’s Day.

On 3 July 1935 the Geological Museum at South Kensington opened, it was originally derived from a Museum of Economic Geology based in Whitehall

In 1597 Ben Jonson was charged with “Leude and mutynous behavior” and jailed in Marshalsea Prison for co-writing the play, The Isle of Dogs

To allow for high winds the skyscraper One Canada Square (Canary Wharf Tower) is able to sway 13.75 inches

Tomb of poet Edmund Spenser in Westminster Abbey contains unpublished works by admirers possibly Shakespeare who threw poems into his grave

Prior to 1707 Scotland was a foreign country and had an embassy in London. This was on the site of Great Scotland Yard

Manette Street in Soho is named after the character from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens describes the street having a golden arm

Dando the Notorious Oyster Eater’s trick was eating 30doz oysters a sitting ‘with proportionate quantity of bread, porter, brandy and water’

Millwall Football Club were formed in the summer of 1885 by workers at Morton’s Jam Factory on the Isle of Dogs mostly Scottish hence blue & white colours

There’s only one Tube station that doesn’t have any of the letters from the word mackerel in it: St John’s Wood

Howard House, 14 Fournier Street, Spitalfields is where the silk for Queen Victoria’s coronation gown was woven

The Great Fire of London 1666 raged for 5 days despite Mayor Thomas Bloodworth’s doubts when he declared, “Pish! A woman might piss it out!”

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: Flying dead cats

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.

Flying dead cats (26.06.22)

Just off Piccadilly is a row of tiny Georgian shops virtually unchanged since 1819. Burlington Arcade was built to cover a narrow alley that ran alongside the London home of Lord Cavendish. As he sat in the garden of Burlington House he was constantly being hit by items thrown over the wall from an alley alongside his home. Having grown tired of oyster shells, apple cores, old bottles and the occasional dead cat landing on his head he decided that a row of shops would put paid to this nuisance. The shops remain almost unaltered to this day with the famous beadles on hand to stop you running, whistling or carrying an open umbrella.

Test Your Knowledge: July 2022

Sadiq Khan has recently been proposing that Havering should become an inner-city borough and Romford’s character as an Essex market town subsumed into the Metropolis. So this month’s quiz is about my home London borough, where curiously I still have an Essex address, despite paying council tax to a London authority. As before the correct answer will turn green when it’s clicked upon and expanded to give more information. The incorrect answers will turn red giving the correct explanation.

1. There are 32 London boroughs. How many, including Havering, begin with the letter H? (No need to list them – just need the number)
Three
WRONG Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
Seven
CORRECT Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
Nine
WRONG Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
2. The London Borough of Havering was created in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Romford, and which Essex urban district?
Upminster
WRONG Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
Hornchurch
CORRECT Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
Rainham
WRONG Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
3. What is unusual about the village of North Ockendon in the London Borough of Havering?
It’s the only inhabited area in Greater London outside the M25
CORRECT It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
Traditionally cabbies won’t go there as it’s regarded as bad luck
WRONG It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
A U.S. President’s wife was born there
WRONG It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
4. The small village of Havering-atte-Bower is home to a stocks and whipping post – a very rare survival in London. Which famous politician visited in 2010, as attested by a nearby plaque?
Boris Johnson
CORRECT Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
Gordon Brown
WRONG Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
Ed Milliband
WRONG Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
5. At the entrance to Upminster Bridge Station, there is an unusual symbol on the floor. What is it?
Swastika
CORRECT The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
Pentagram
WRONG The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
Treble clef
WRONG The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
6. Romford was granted a market by which Monarch?
Queen Victoria in 1847
WRONG The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
Henry III in 1247
CORRECT The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
Edward VI in 1547
WRONG The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
7. Ferry Lane, Rainham gave access to a ferry that once crossed the river, primarily for what purpose?
Taking cattle to better grazing on the south bank
WRONG For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
To pick up Hansom carriages assembled in Erith at a factory located on Bronze Age Way
WRONG For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
To transport pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral
CORRECT For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
8. What unique fixture can be seen at the east end of St Andrew’s Church roof, Hornchurch, where you might usually expect to find a cross?
A globe
WRONG A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
A pineapple
WRONG A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
A bull’s head
CORRECT A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
9. What stopped at Maywin Drive, just north of St. Andrews Church, Hornchurch?
The Ice Age advance
CORRECT In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
The Peasants’ Revolt
WRONG In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
The first Green Line bus
WRONG In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
10. What unusual event occurred at Gallows Corner in 1932?
A meteorite landed
WRONG In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.
A cow was executed
CORRECT In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.
The locals declared self-rule for Romford
WRONG In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.

Who would have guessed?

Apparently, tax checks on private hire drivers renewing their licenses are said to be killing the Private Hire Vehicle industry. Before the checks started, there were on average 3,500 renewals a month.

The Tax checks are reducing these numbers in their thousands.

1st April started the rot, followed by May and June. Nearly 7,000 fewer Private Hire Vehicles in London alone.

This should be wonderful news to the taxi trade, but it’s gone virtually unheralded. So, why is the take up of The Knowledge at its lowest point for many decades?

A £70,000 vehicle monopoly and a 12 year age limit across the board on the horizon, plus massive road restrictions across the capital, could be a major part of the problem. Oh! And giving up three to five years of your life to get a qualification that might be considered useless.

I honestly do not know what we have to do for drivers to wake up and smell the coffee. Take-up of the Knowledge of London will only improve if the cab trade is an attractive business proposition.

Johnson’s London Dictionary: Shakespeare’s Globe

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE (n.) Eponymous playhouse that’s neither owned by the Bard, nor doth appear spherical.

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

Taxi Talk Without Tipping

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