London Trivia: First Blitz

A plaque marks the spot where on 24 September 1917 the old Bedford Hotel stood on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, recording that on the day a 112lb bomb was dropped from a German Gotha in one of London’s first night air raids, killing 13 people and injuring a further 22. The airships were vulnerable to the vagaries of the wind and British fighter aircraft, to counter these the Germans developed powerful twin-engined Gotha bombers.

On 24 September 1842 a bronze statute of the Duke of Wellington astride his horse, Copenhagen was conveyed to Hyde Park Corner

The Boundary Street Estate London’s first council estate was built on the rubble of the Old Nichol, once a notorious criminal area

In 2003 Temple Bar Trust bought the gate for £1 it was returned to London stone by stone and re-erected as an entrance to Paternoster Square

William Blake (who wrote the lyrics to Jerusalem) married Catherine Boucher at St Mary’s, Battersea in 1782

Nancy Astor, the first woman take a seat in Parliament after a by-election in December 1919 and was elected as a Conservative for the Plymouth, once lived at 4 St James’s Square, Westminster

In 1891 Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, penned his first 5 short stories at 2 Upper Wimpole Street then known as Devonshire Place

A red, white or black flag was flown outside the Globe in Shakespeare’s time to denote a history, comedy or tragedy

London’s oldest sports building still in use for its original purpose is the Real Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace, one of its walls dates back to 1625. Today the court is listed Grade I

The Central line introduced the first flat fare when it opened the tuppence fare lasted until the end of June 1907 when a threepenny fare was introduced for longer journeys

Elephant and Castle is named from a pub whose sign was the symbol of the Cutlers who made cutlery with ivory handles

It costs £4 million a year to advertise your firm on Piccadilly Circus’s neon sign which measures 21.1 metres by 4.8 metres

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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