London Trivia: A sparkling idea

On 9 February 1792 German-Swiss entrepreneur Johann Jakob Schweppe arrived in London to set up his first Seltzer water factory at 141 Drury Lane. Despite an unpromising start with his Swiss partners pulling out, Johann Schweppe persevered, his Soda Water became the colloquial term for sparkling water within a decade cementing his business name in the popular lexicon and creating the worldwide brand.

On 9 February 1996 an IRA 500kg bomb in a truck exploded at South Quay, Canary Wharf at 7pm, killing two and injuring 39, causing over £100 million damage

In 1992 driving a Porsche 911 a driver clocked up 147 mph, the highest speed recorded by the police on the M25 needless to say he got banned

The oldest surviving Blue Plaque is Napoleon III staying at 1c King Street in 1848 it’s the only one installed during a candidate’s lifetime

On 9 February 1915 Only Fools and Horses actor Lennard Pearce, who played Grandad in the TV show, was born in Paddington

The Connaught Hotel was called The Coburg, but like the Royal Family changed its name during World War I to avoid anti-German sentiment

In 1851 Britain’s greatest painter J. M. W. Turner bequeathed the contents of his studio to the nation the Tate holds 39,389 pieces

In 1912 the first Royal Variety Show took place at the Palace Theatre. Queen Mary was shocked by male impersonator Vesta Tilley

Only 14 men have run each and every one of the 34 London Marathons, one is former head teacher Mike Peace his best time is 2:37.12 in 1991

Over 47 million litres water are pumped from the Underground each day, enough to fill a 25m swimming pool every quarter of an hour

The man appointed by Charles II to put out the Great Fire of London was his brother the Duke of York – after whom New York was named

The statues of Livingstone and Shackleton outside the Royal Geographical Society have given rise to cabbies calling it “Hot and Cold Corner”

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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