London Trivia: Jurassic junket

On 31 December 1853 celebrating the installation of life-sized dinosaur models at Sydenham Park. A 20  strong dinner party was held inside the stomach of the partly completed a concrete iguanodon made by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins of the Crystal Palace Company. The model was surrounded by a tent decorated with a chandelier and four plaques honouring famous palaeontologists. Guests were served by waiters, what was on the menu is unknown.

On the 31 December 1923 the chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC and every evening since are transmitted live via a microphone

On 31 December 1919 the first woman law student was admitted to study at Lincoln’s Inn which had been in existence since at least 1422

Westminster Catholic Cathedral, Victoria Street stands on the foundations of Tothill Fields Prison demolished in 1884

In 1952 pollution was so bad a theatre performance at Sadler’s Wells had to be abandoned as smog crept into the auditorium

The Palace of Westminster has 8 bars, 6 restaurants, 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards, a hair salon, and rifle-shooting range

The harrowing battle scenes in the last hour of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket were filmed at Beckton Gas a latticework and appropriate advertising hoardings added make it believable

Russian for railway station ‘vokzal’ derives from Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens as its first track went from St. Petersburg to a pleasure garden

Arsenal are the only football team to have a Tube station named after them, called Gillespie Road it was renamed in 1932 when the team went to Highbury

Heathrow Airport is so named because the land it was built on was once a sleepy hamlet called Heath Row

Cock Lane didn’t get its name due to any association with poultry, but because it was the only street to be licensed for prostitution

Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg who lived off Farringdon Road predicted there would be a special part in heaven reserved for the English

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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