London Trivia: Dirty Gertie

On 20 October 1927 in celebration of the Battle of the Marne, when the German army was stopped before capturing Paris in August 1914, Emile Guillaume’s 16ft statue of a naked woman holding a sword aloft – ‘La Déliverance’ – was unveiled at Henly’s Corner on the North Circular Road. A gift from press baron Lord Rothermere, the statue has had a number of local names including ‘Dirty Gertie’, and due to corrosion ‘Gangrene Gertie’.

On 20 October 1862 serial killer Catherine Wilson was the last woman to be publicly hanged in London, was thought to have poisoned six victims

The narrowest house in London lies next door to Tyburn Convent and was built to block a passage used by grave robbers, it is one metre wide

The 15th Century Crosby Hall once home to Thomas More was moved from Bishopsgate to current Chelsea riverside location in 1910

Lionel Logue who cured King George of his stammer had his practice at 146 Harley Street from 1926 to 1952 in the film Portman Place was used

The first bomb to be dropped on London by Zeppelins is commemorated by a plaque at 31 Nevill Road, N16

The Trafalgar Square lions were sculpted from life Landseer used dead lions supplied by London Zoo until neighbours complained of the smell

On Tower Hill is an entrance to the 1870 Tower Subway. You could ride under the river in a carriage pulled by cable

On 5 March 1870 the first ever International Football match was held at The Oval – England vs Scotland – the first of many England draws 1-1

London Bridge became so congested that in 1722 it became the first place in Britain where it was made compulsory to drive on the left

The weathervane on the Royal Exchange in the City is a grasshopper not a cock, the former being the crest of its founder Sir Thomas Gresham

The Queen’s jewellery collection is so extensive it has to be stored in a room the size of an ice rink, 40ft below Buckingham Palace

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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