London Trivia: Pomp and circumstance

On 28 October 1215 the first Lord Mayor was presented to the monarch during the reign of King John and that tradition in the form of the Lord Mayor’s Show continues to this day. The first Mayor of London in 1189 was Henry Fitz Alwyn, but it was William Hardell, who went in procession from the City to Westminster to swear the oath of allegiance to the King. Hardell was one of the enforcers of Magna Carta.

On 28 October 1958 the State Opening of Parliament was first broadcast on BBC Television, Richard Dimbleby commentated on the first time Parliament allowed the cameras in to watch the ceremony

There is no place called Euston Square because of the 1878 murder of Matilda Hacker who was found dead in a cellar at No 4 having been strangled, it was subsequently changed to Torrington Square

The world’s first public street lighting with gas was installed in Pall Mall, London in 1807. In 1812, the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company became the world’s first gas company

In 1952, the Great Smog of London was so bad that blind people led sighted people home from the train stations

The two bollards at the end of Boundary Passage are French cannons from the Battle of Trafalgar. They have a cannonball bunging their muzzle

1970’s ITV sitcom On The Buses starring Reg Varney was partly filmed at Wood Green bus depot as well as Lavender Hill cemetery

The Museum of London, which retraces the history of London from Prehistoric times to the present day, is the largest urban history museum in the world

The badge of West Ham United Football Club is a reminder that their nickname ‘The Hammers’ comes, not from their location, but from their origins as the works team of the Thames Ironworks shipbuilders

In the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Hogwarts headmaster has a scar that resembles a map of the London Underground on his knee

Busking has been licensed on the Tube since 2003. Sting and Paul McCartney are both rumoured to have busked on the Underground in disguise

Berry Bros & Rudd on St. James’s Street have an 18th-century coffee scales, once used Lord Byron (13 stone at the age of 17)

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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