London Trivia: Windy city

On 17 September 1091 a tornado which subsequently was estimated at 200 mph badly damaged London Bridge and demolished 600 houses. It laid waste to the church of St. Mary-le-Bow reports stated that four huge rafters were driven deep into the London clay so that only 4ft of their 26ft lengths remained visible. Incredibly, only two deaths are said to have been caused by the event. After the Tornado William II rebuilt the bridge, but a fire destroyed it only 40 years later.

On 17 September 1993 the British National Party won its first seat, lorry driver Derek Beackon beat Labour by 7 votes in Millwall by-election, he held seat for 8 months

After execution at Tyburn Highwayman Jack Sheppard was buried at St-Martin-in-the-Fields in front of 200,000, some protecting his corpse

Kensington Olympia’s Grand Hall famed for its barrel-roof made of iron and glass was the largest building in the country covering 4 acres

Rule, Britannia! composer, Thomas Arne, is buried in St Paul’s, Covent Garden, he also wrote a version of God Save the King, and the song A-Hunting We Will Go

Women’s Rights Campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst once lived at 120 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea it was little more than a rest stop between her numerous countrywide tours for the Women’s Social and Political Union

Wimpole Street was once home to poet Elizabeth Barrett, author Arthur Conan Doyle and Paul McCartney who wrote Yesterday there

The Palace Theatre opened in 1891 as the Royal English Opera House by Richard D’Oyly Carte wanting it to be the home of English grand opera

Old English skittles, once popular in pubs across the South East, is confined to a single alley at the Freemasons’ Arms in Downshire Hill is thought to be played in London and nowhere else

According to Transport for London Underground trains travel a total of 1,735 times around the world (or 90 trips to the moon and back) each year

In the 1800s London prostitutes were sometimes referred to as ‘Fulham virgins’ during this time there were probably about 30,000 street sellers

Kew Gardens holds the largest and most diverse botanical collection in the world, including around 7 million dried plant specimens and a living collection of over 19,000 plant species spanning two sites

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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