London Trivia: Shock and awe

On 19 January 1917 at 6.62 in the evening an explosion at the Brunner-Mond munitions factory manufacturing explosives for Britain’s World War I military effort in Silvertown, West Ham killed 73 people and injured over 400. Much of the area was flattened by 50 tonnes of TNT exploding causing a shock wave felt throughout London and Essex. The largest explosion in London’s history was heard as far away as Southampton.

On 19 January 1937 The Underground Murder Mystery, a play by J. Bissell Thomas, was the first play to be broadcast by the BBC, it was set in Tottenham Court Road station

During the Jack the Ripper investigation the police paid £100 for 2 tracker bloodhounds but they got lost and needed the Police to find them

Bromley Hall, Brunswick Road, Bow is believed to be the oldest brick house in London, and dates back to 1490

It was in Room 507 at the Hotel Samarkand, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill that Jimi Hendrix died of a drugs overdose in September 1970

Had Hitler won World War II he planned to transport Nelson’s Column to Berlin as he believed it was a symbol of British naval supremacy

Sir John Goss who composed the hymn “Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven” was once organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and St Luke’s Church Chelsea

One of the performers at the 1831 opening of London Bridge played tunes by hitting himself on the chin with his fists

In September 2009 London and the River Thames hosted the world’s largest ever plastic duck race with 205, 000 ducks participating

On 19 January 2009 Pawel Modzelewski travelled the 19 bus for 6 hours unnoticed after dying the previous day and left in the garage overnight

In the 1880s workers at the Bryant and May match factory were forced to contribute one shilling to a statue of former PM William Gladstone

The keys to the vaults of the Bank of England which presumably are kept under lock and key – the real ones, not ceremonial ones – are 3 feet long

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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