London Trivia: Writers’ block

On 11 February 1862 Elizabeth Siddal died from an overdose. Her grief stricken husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti touchingly placed his notebook in the coffin before internment and buried her in Highgate Cemetery. Seven years later, and presumably suffering from writers’ block he exhumed the body to retrieve his notebook. Her body was said to have no trace of decomposition, probably as a sop to poor old Dante.

On 11 February 1987 at Cynthia Payne was acquitted of 9 charges of controlling prostitutes at her home, in 1978 a police raid had found elderly men exchanging luncheon vouchers for sexual entertainment

Beneath an unmarked alleyway off Sans Walk, Clerkenwell hides the labyrinth that was the House of Detention

Holborn’s Dolphin Tavern contains an old clock with hands frozen at the time when the pub was hit during a 1915 Zeppelin raid

Covent Garden is haunted by William Terris who met an untimely death nearby in 1897 Farringdon has the Screaming Spectre a milliner

It was at The Garrick Club, 15 Garrick Street that Stephen Ward met Soviet Captain Yevgeny Ivanov implicated in the Profumo Affair

Actress and singer Dame Gracie Fields (born Stansfield in Rochdale) once lived at 72A Upper Street, Islington

The Garrick Club was founded in 1831. Many legendary actors, writers and artists have been members, from Charles Dickens to Lord Olivier

Alexandra Palace once famous for its horse racing at ‘The Frying Pan’ it was the last racecourse in London until its closure in 1970

The former poet laureate John Betjeman created Metroland series, a homage to the people and places served by the Metropolitan line in 1973

Baring Brothers, the former merchant bankers on Bishopsgate, helped William Pitt the Younger finance the Napoleonic Wars

The very first Salvation Army hostel was opened by General William Booth at 21 West India Dock Road in February 1888

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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