London Trivia: River Tragedy

On 3 September 1878 at about 7.40 pm the largest loss of life on the Thames occurred when the paddle steamer Princess Alice with over 800 day-trippers, mostly women and children, returning from an excursion to Margate was rammed by the collier Bywell Castle many were thrown into the Thames one-hour after the twice-daily release of 75 million gallons of raw sewage from sewer outfalls at Barking and Crossness had occurred, over 650 died.

On 3 September 1939 the first World War II air raid sirens were heard over London just 7 minutes after Britain had declared war on Germany

In 19th-century London, fake ice cream was made from mashed turnip, there is no record of any convictions for its sale

When the statue of Eros, Piccadilly Circus, was put back up after World War II it was erected the wrong way, originally it faced Shaftesbury Avenue

There were claims the first baby born on the Underground was called Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor (so that her initials would have read TUBE) but this story later proved false – her name was Marie Cordery

On 3 September each year members of the Cromwell Association hold a service in front of Oliver Cromwell’s statue outside Parliament

The only true home shared by all four Beatles was a flat at 57 Green Street near Hyde Park, where they lived in the autumn of 1963

In the Mitre Tavern stands the trunk of a cherry tree that once marked the boundary between the Ely Palace estate and London beyond

Pathé News didn’t have rights to 1923 Cup Final – so smuggled camera into Wembley disguised as a large wooden hammer (West Ham one of teams)

The longest distance between stations is on the Metropolitan line from Chesham to Chalfont & Latimer: a total of 3.89 miles

Rotherhithe once known for its shipbuilding industry, in 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on the Mayflower on the first leg to New England

In the 19th century those said to have enjoyed a Spitalfield’s Breakfast had actually eaten nothing as Spitalfields was an area of poverty

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.

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