London Trivia: A whitewash

On 1 April 1860 people throughout London received the following invitation: “Tower of London: Admit Bearer and Friend to view annual ceremony of Washing the White Lions on Sunday, April 1, 1860. Admittance only at White Gate.” By noon a large crowd had gathered, they were disappointed to find that lions hadn’t been kept in the tower for centuries. After several animals escaping they had left the Tower in 1832.

On 1 April 1980 the BBC reported that Big Ben clock would be converted to a digital in order to modernize the tower’s look. BBC Japan offered the clock hands in a contest to the first four callers

Living in Cheyne Walk Keith Richard once had his Bentley Flying Spur fitted with Turkish flags to fool the police he had diplomatic immunity

The precarious nature of Albert Bridge, known as The Trembling Lady, forced authorities to order troops to break step when marching over the structure

It was once illegal to die in The Houses of Parliament for to do so the deceased would be entitled to a costly and undeserved State funeral

After the Dissolution much of Westminster Abbey’s revenues were transferred to St Paul’s hence the phrase ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’

The Underground roundel was taken and adapted from one used by the London General Omnibus Company, it was modified by Edward Johnston

At Twickenham on international match days fans consumed 120,000 pints, an advanced dispensing system can pour a pint of beer in under three seconds

Saracens are the world’s first rugby union club to play competitively on an artificial surface, come the end of the season the edges are rolled back for athletics

The Jubilee Line is the only one to connect with all the other Underground Lines. The Jubilee Line was named to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 – but the line did not open until 1979

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was the first opportunity the public got to glimpse a rugby ball, even though the manufacturer, leathermaker William Gilbert had supplied pigs’ bladders to Rugby School since 1820s

Georgian London used the farmland that became Belgravia to dump its excrement in such volume asparagus was said to have an undesirable taste

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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