London Trivia: Charlie comes home

On 23 September 1952 Charlie Chaplin returned to England for the first time in 21 years, told reporters it was a “shock” to see Waterloo Bridge – which has been rebuilt since he was last in the capital. Born in London in 1889, to music hall entertainers, at 5 his mother had a nervous breakdown and his father died, he danced in the street for pennies with his half-brother and was then sent to an orphanage.

On 23 September 1814 work began on the original Southwark bridge by John Rennie, it was built as three cast-iron spans over the river

During World War I a baker on Chapman Street was jailed for 3 days after selling fresh bread, the rationale being fresh bread is difficult to cut thinly, and people would therefore consume more if the slices were thick

Fruit Lines Ltd used to own the wharf at Canary Wharf. It was where they imported fruits mainly from the Canary Islands – hence the name

On 23 September 1897 Britain’s first car fatality occurred when 9-year-old Stephen Kempton cadging a ride was crushed to death when his coat was caught in the driving chain

On 23 September 1941 General de Gaulle formed French government in exile in Carlton Gardens, from 1942–44, he lived in Hampstead

Composer Felix Mendelssohn stayed at 4 Hobart Place, Belgravia, whilst staying here he dined with Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Charles Dickens

In 1736 Fortnum and Mason wrapped hard-boiled eggs in sausage meat and breadcrumbs thus creating the Scotch egg

Polo imported in 1870 by cavalry officers serving in India was first played in Britain on Hounslow Heath and then Richmond Park

Finsbury Park station has murals that show a pair of duelling pistols, harking back to a time when men would visit the park after hours to defend their honour

The first parking ticket was issued to Dr Thomas Creighton on his Ford Popular as he attended a heart attack victim (£2 fine – later rescinded)

On 23 September 1959 the country’s first heleport was opened betweeen Battersea and Wandsworth Bridges

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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