On 29 December 1940, the largest area of continuous Blitz destruction anywhere in Briain took place. The Luftwaffe dropped over 24,000 high-explosive bombs, times to coincide with a very low tide, making it difficult for firefighters to get water. The famous picture of the church surrounded by smoke and fire was taken by photographer Herbert Mason from the roof of Northcliffe House, the Daily Mail building on Tudor Street.
On 29 December 1860 HMS Warrior an armour-plated warship, the biggest in the Navy was launched and froze on the slipway, six tugs were need to pull her off into the Thames
The term ‘clink’ is derived from the Clink Prison in Southwark a private lock-up owned by the Bishops of Winchester
Under Cleopatra’s Needle, a Victorian time capsule contains railway timetables, bibles, newspapers and photos of beauties of the day
Great Ormond Street was the first hospital in England exclusively for children when it opened in 1851 42 per cent of deaths were children under 10
Queen Victoria’s Coronation Ring was jammed on to the wrong finger by the Archbishop of Canterbury and as a result got stuck
Carving Handel’s statue for Westminster Abbey the artist objected to the size of the maestro’s own ears and modelled them on a young lady’s
Opened in 1881 the Savoy Theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit throughout by electricity, fitted out with 1,200 incandescent light bulbs
To make balls more visible early tennis courts were painted red using lampblack and oxblood the animal being slaughtered on the floor itself
Daimler made the first petrol-driven cab in 1887 but it was 17 years before the vehicle was licensed to ply for hire in London
When escalators were first installed at Earls Court Bumper Harris a one-legged man was employed to demonstrate their safety and ease of use
When weddings take place at Bevis Marks, London’s oldest synagogue, the building is lit by candlelight as it would have been in 1701
Trivial 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.