London Trivia: Bowled over

On 17 December 1849 the world’s first bowler hat was sold by James Lock & Co., hatters of St. James’s Street. Created for Edward Coke, younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester for his gamekeepers. It was designed by hat-makers Thomas & William Bowler. To ensure it fulfilled his brief of protecting the wearer from low hanging branches Coke is said to have twice stamped on the hat’s crown before parting with his 12/-.

On 17 December 1983 an IRA bomb exploded outside Harrod’s, killing six and injuring 90, the car containing the bomb was projected onto the 5th floor of an adjoining building

In 1952 a Nigerian visitor was fined £50 for committing an indecent act with a pigeon in Trafalgar Square and £10 for having it for tea

Caxton Hall has been the venue for celebrity weddings including Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland. Diana Dors liked it so much she used it twice!

Suicide victims were once buried at crossroads to bring absolution, last person was Abel Griffiths interred at Grosvenor Place/Lower Grosvenor Place 1823

In December 2005 the London Eye was lit pink in celebration of the first Civil Partnership performed on the wheel

The Proms came to the Royal Albert Hall in 1941 from the Queen’s Hall in Marylebone which was bombed in the Blitz

Before the statue of Nelson was placed on top of the 17-foot-tall column in Trafalgar Square in 1842, 14 stonemasons had dinner at the top

The place name Millwall originates from the windmills that previously lined the western embankment of the Isle of Dogs

There was great opposition to the building the London underground from Victorian Churchmen because they thought it would ‘disturb the devil’

Kenneth Williams was once employed as an apprentice draughtsman at Stanford’s Map Shop at 12-14 Long Acre, Covent Garden

Before he got the part of James Bond, Roger Moore moved into a new house where he inherited a telephone number ending ‘007’

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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