London Trivia: Frozen out

On 12 January 1789 with the Thames frozen due in part to the river being both broader and shallower than today, a frost fair was in full swing. The ‘Little Ice Age’ lasting from 17th to 19th-century ice fairs were regularly held, the first being in 1608. Frost fairs were often brief as rapid thaws swiftly followed as it did on that day when melting ice dragged a ship anchored to a riverside public house pulling the down and crushing five people to death.

On 12 January 1828 whilst under construction Isambard Brunel’s Thames Tunnel flooded and 6 men died. Brunel himself was fortunate to escape

John Bishop and Thomas Williams who lived at 3 Nova Scotia Gardens, Spitalfields were notorious 19th century body snatchers

The Monument stands on the site of St Margaret’s, the first church to burn down during the Great Fire of 1666

In 1926, suicide pits were installed beneath tracks due to a rise in the numbers of passengers throwing themselves in front of trains

In 1536 in consideration to his wife Henry VIII converted Anne Boleyn’s sentence of death by burning to that of beheading at Tower Hill

A young David Robert Jones went to Burnt Ash Junior School, Bromley in the mid fifties, he is better known today as David Bowie

In 1830 Michael Boai, aka the ‘chin chopper’, gave a concert at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly playing tunes by tapping his chin

Arsenal (originally opened on 15 December 1906 as Gillespie Road) on Piccadilly line is the only station named after a football team

On 12 January 1866 The Royal Aeronautical Society was formed in London, the society’s objectives were “for the advancement of Aerial Navigation and for Observations in Aerology connected therewith”

19th Century Spitalfields was world famous for silk weaving, so much so that Pope Pius IX ordered a seamless silk garment from there

Nineteenth century parish records show Fanny Funk (1859) and Eleazer Bed (1871) as being born In Whitechapel

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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