London Trivia: Villain’s funeral

On 11 August 1982 Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed out of prison to attend their mother’s funeral. The service was attended by Diana Dors who arrived wearing a fetching black dress and sunglasses. Ronnie was brought from Broadmoor for the criminally insane, Reggie from Parkhurst where he was held as a Category ‘A’ prisoner. The brothers were not allowed to attend the graveside service at Chingford Mount Cemetery.

On 11 August 1897 Enid Blyton was born at 354 Lordship Lane, she would go on to sell more than 600 books and have been translated into 90 languages

Marc Brunel invented a tunnelling machine to bore the first Thames Tunnel after watching the common shipworm while in a debtors’ prison

The site of the previous New Scotland Yard was originally to be an opera house, after spending £103,000 they couldn’t afford the roof and it was pulled down

In 1878 Britain’s worst river disaster happened on the Thames when the paddleboat Princess Alice was struck by a collier with the loss of 640 lives

Fearing its gold would illuminate Kensington Palace at night the Albert Memorial was painted black during World War I, it wasn’t restored until 1998

In 1970 Dan Crawford founded The King’s Head Theatre, Islington the first pub theatre in the England since the time of Shakespeare

In 1905 millionaire George Kessler flooded the Savoy’s courtyard to float a gondola, a birthday cake on an elephant’s back and Caruso singing

Wisden were one of the original office tenants above Leicester Square station their name is still there in Cranbourn Street side of building

The 1695 London to Harwich Roads Act allowing country justices to collect tolls is to be repealed – traffic cameras have made the law obsolete

The former headquarters at 1 Cockspur Street of The White Star Line, owners of the Titanic, is now a US restaurant the Texas Embassy Cantina

In one of our favourite derivations, Chiswick is Old English for ‘cheese farm’, and was first recorded as Ceswican around the year

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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