London Trivia: Elevating Nelson

On 30 September 1840 the first stone of Nelson’s Column was laid by Charles Davison Scott, son of Nelson’s secretary, John Scott, at a ceremony conducted, according to the Nautical Magazine, “in a private manner, owing to the noblemen and gentlemen comprising the committee being absent from town”. Prior to the installation of the statue in November 1843 a banquet took place on the plinth.

On 30 September 1967 BBC’s Radio 1 was launched at 7 am with Tony Blackburn’s Breakfast Show, the first record played was Flowers in the rain by The Move

Karl Marx once narrowly avoided arrest for drunkenly smashing street lights in Tottenham Court Road after an all-day bender

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is based as close as it can be to the address of 221b Baker Street, the house is government protected, due to its ‘special architectural and historical interest’

During World War II suite 212 at Claridges was declared Yugoslav territory by Sir Winston Churchill so that Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia could be born on home territory

When Suetonius, the Roman General, defeated the uprising of the Iceni tribe led by Boudicca, he slaughtered 80,000 Britons on the site of what is now Kings Cross

Many people think the London Palladium is London’s biggest capacity theatre, but in fact the Coliseum Theatre just pips it, having 2,358 seats to the Palladium’s 2,286

The Serpentine is London’s oldest boating lake (1730) but it is artificial, created to look as if it has evolved naturally, part of the old River Westbourne was dammed to help create it

Wembley Stadium has 2,618 toilets, more than any other venue in the world, and the total length of the escalators is the same as a 400 metre running track

Adverts in tube carriages are known as ‘tube cards’, they are very good value; in 2009 they cost £10 per week, and travellers spend an average of 13 minutes per journey viewing them

By the end of the 18th century, London was the centre of the watch-making trade, with more than 7,000 men in Clerkenwell assembling 120,000 watches a year

There are 46 places on six continents named after London, the United States alone has five in: Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, Texas and West Virginia

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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