London Trivia: Taxi!

On 19 August 1897 the first electric taxi hit London’s streets. The Bersey taxis were the first self-propelled taxis and were nicknamed ‘Hummingbirds’ because of their low engine noise. Built by the Great Horseless Carriage Company, powered by 3½ horse power Lundell type motors with a range of 30 miles, and a top speed of 9 mph. Breakdowns and the high cost of batteries and tyres made their use unprofitable.

On 19 August 1842 saw the last suicide from the top of the Monument-the sixth before railings were put up. Curiously many victims were bakers

More people were executed at Tower of London in the 20th century than in all other centuries combined 15thC-1; 16thC-5; 17thC-1; 18thC-3; 19thC-0; 20thC-11

According to one estimate, there are a staggering 8.3 million trees in London with 47 per cent of Greater London physically green

At 9 Curzon Place where Cass Elliot of Mamas and Papas died in 1974; Who drummer Keith Moon also died from drugs in the same flat – both aged 32

When Lenin was in London reading Marx’s work some believe they first met in the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green

Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street famous sax riff was played by Raphael Ravenscroft and was reportedly paid £27.50 for the work – the cheque bounced

Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre dubbed ‘Piccadilly Circus of South London’, Europe’s first covered mall was voted London’s biggest eyesore

Plucky minnows Walthamstow Avenue FC famously held both Arsenal and Manchester United to draws in the FA Cup during the 1950s, lasting 88 years before merging into non-existence

At Whitechapel station something ludicrous happens: the London Overground passes underneath the London Underground

Before Roy Hudd went into comedy he studied art and design – one of his teachers was Harry Beck, creator of the London Tube map

In 2003 the Environmental Agency ship the Thames Guardian had dropped onto its deck a red-bellied piranha no doubt by a very stunned seagull

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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