London Trivia: A St. Paul’s workman

On 2 December 1697 after nearly three decades spent rebuilding since The Great Fire of London the first service was held in Sir Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. The saying to be ‘a St. Paul’s workman’ denoted a lazy tradesman principally as the cathedral had taken so long to be re-built. It was not finished until 1710 by which time Wren would have to be hoisted up to the dome in a bucket as age prevented him from climbing.

On 2 December 1887 A Study in Scarlet was first published the first time Sherlock Holmes was featured solving a crime and the first ‘serial’ detective novel

On 2 December 2009 ‘Lord’ Edward Davenport of Portland Place was jailed for 7 years, the self-styled aristocrat offered bogus loans for cash-strapped investors, but never paid-out

The City of London is the historical core of the English capital. It roughly matches the boundaries the Roman city of Londinium and of medieval London

8 people drowned and 15 buildings were destroyed in the Great London Beer Flood of 1814, a brewery vat burst just behind what is now New Oxford Street and 30,000 gallons of beer flooded the area

As early as 1841 The House of Commons gained its first Asian member when David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre became an MP

The rusty bollards on Bellenden Road were sculpted by Antony Gormley whose studio is nearby, 4 shapes oval, snowman, peg and err . . . penis

Soho was once home to a shop called ‘Anything Left Handed’ selling – you’ve guessed it – household products specifically designed for left-handed people, it is now closed

The 1908 London Olympics 400m final American John Carpenter blocked Wyndham Halswelle, disqualified the other American finalists then refused to re-race, Halswelle jogged alone round the track taking gold

Established in 1890, the City and South London Railway was the first deep-level underground railway in the world, also the first major railway to use electric traction, it became the Northern Line

Clerkenwell was famous for its gin distilleries – Stone’s, Tanqueray’s & Gordon’s – setting up here, they were probably attracted to the region as thirsty cattle drovers passed by en route to Smithfield

Prince Albert did not introduce the first Christmas tree into London, the first was Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, wanting to recreate the German Christmases of her childhood

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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