London Trivia: The meridian line

On 13 October 1884 despite opposition from the French, Greenwich was finally adopted as the meridian of Longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calibrated. Because the Earth is not perfectly round, and because different locations on Earth have different terrain features affecting gravitational pull, traditional ways to measure longitude have proved inaccurate, it’s now 334 feet east off the original.

On 13 October 1905 Emmeline Pankhurst and Anne Kenney we’re arrested and charged with assault when protesting for women’s suffrage at a meeting in London

On 13 October 1660 Major-General Thomas Harrison, one of the commissioners to sign King Charles I’s death warrant was the first person to be found guilty of regicide, was hanged, drawn and quartered

On or around the site occupied by 61-63 Kings Cross Road was once Bagnigge House the home of Nell Gwynne, mistress of Charles II

Winsor Castle had a trapdoor cut in the floor of Queen Anne’s rooms to hoist by means of pulleys her obese frame into the state rooms below

Churchill called the Thames “the golden thread of our nation’s history”, MP John Burns described it as, “The St. Lawrence is water, the Mississippi is muddy water, but the Thames is liquid history”

At St Pancras Church the caryatids supporting the roof didn’t fit the space and had to have several inches removed from their midriffs

Fortnum and Mason was started by Queen Anne’s footman having sold part-used candles from St James’s Palace to fund the store with Hugh Mason

In 1926 Kitty and Leslie Godfree from 55 York Avenue, East Sheen became the only married couple to win the mixed doubles at Wimbledon

There are 412 escalators on the Underground, Waterloo has 25; the longest at 197ft is at the Angel; Chancery Lane the shortest at just 30ft

Horseferry Road commemorates a 16th century ferry which took men and animals across the Thames until 1750 when Lambeth Bridge was built

Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, the 23rd Lord Shrewsbury is the only earl to have a car named after him they were manufactured in Ladbroke Grove

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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