London Trivia: Brakes, you need brakes?

On 22 April 1760 history was made this day by Belgian Jean-Joseph Merlin. The instrument maker demonstrated his invention much loved by children ever since. At a masquerade at Carlisle House in Soho Square, while playing a violin he roller skated across the polished floor. Unfortunately he had not mastered the art of stopping – with or without – a violin and crashed into a large wall mirror severely injuring himself.

On 22 April 1884 an earthquake centred in Essex was felt by workmen at the top of Victoria Tower as it swayed 4 inches

On 22 April 1737 William Hicks Wallingford’s MP was attacked by highwayman Dick Turpin in a coach travelling to London through Epping Forest

Richard Rogers’ Lloyds building was completed in 1986 and Grade I listed in 2011, the youngest building ever to gain that level of protection

In Charterhouse Square are the remains of a monastery where monks prayed for the souls of those who died in the 1348 Black Death

Huguenots (French Protestants) fled to London in the 1680s because of religious persecution in France, with many settling in Spitalfields

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (he of Sherlock Holmes fame) once described Putney as the ‘cultural desert of South London’

The BBC’s Maida Vale Studios started life as Maida Vale Skating Palace and was the largest roller skating rink in the world

The highest temperature recorded at the London Marathon 21.7C degrees on 22 April 2007: coldest 13 years previously in 1994 at 7.6C degrees

Tufnell Park is named after landowner William Tufnell who’s manor (since demolished) stood on the site occupied by the Holloway Odeon

Before the BBC pips, Ruth Belville made a living by setting her chronometer at Greenwich, then touring London’s watchmakers selling the time

On Good Friday a bun is put on the ceiling of Bow’s Widow’s Son pub in memory of one baked by a widow for her drowned son

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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