London Trivia: Naked Tamils

On 17 February 1987 Tamils from Sri Lanka seeking asylum in Britain protested at Heathrow by removing their clothes as they were being deported, stripping off on the tarmac in freezing weather conditions. Amid a frenzied scuffle with security personnel, they were forcibly placed onto the awaiting aircraft which was bound for Dhaka. They were removed soon afterwards after their loud protests onboard drew complaints.

On 17 February 1932 the Twit Club at 18 Piccadilly advertised for new members: ‘wishing to partake in the delights of the Capital’

Bells are rung at Grays Inn and The Tower of London every evening to warn citizens to extinguish their fires. Ritual dates from Norman times

Brydges Place named after Catherine Brydges daughter of 3rd Baron Chandos at 15 inches at its narrowest point is London’s tightest alley

In an attempt to clean up London, an Act of 1829 means that you could be fined £200 if beat your carpets outside in the street before 8am

Frederick’s Place is an 18th century house where Disraeli once worked, now home to a pop up repertory season

In 1938 the first 1,000 miles of motorway was planned by surveyors using a crayon on a map given away with the saucy men’s magazine Tit-Bits

From the top of the London Eye you can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions (that’s as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day)

A race by ‘running footmen’ from Clerkenwell to St. Albans in 1618 was said to have won the Duke of Buckingham £3,000 in bets

Cabs have to be designed with adequate headroom enough for a gentleman passenger sporting a top hat should you get a job for Ascot

In 1812, the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company became the world’s first gas company, chartered to light the City, Westminster and Southwark

The nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel refers to the act of pawning one’s suit after spending all one’s cash in the pubs of Clerkenwell

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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