London Trivia: Coming down the chimney

On 8 March 1941, during a German air raid, two bombs hurtled down a ventilation shaft straight onto the dance floor soon after the start of a performance at the Café de Paris in Coventry Street, the venue was described as a ‘sumptuous, subterranean haunt of debs and celebs. A bomb exploded directly in front of band leader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, 33 members of staff, band members and revellers were killed and at least 100 injured.

On 8 March 1934, the London County Council was taken over by Labour, where it remained the majority party until its abolishment in 1965

Wallace Walk traces a 4-mile route that William Wallace of Braveheart fame took from his trial at Westminster to his execution in Smithfield

Oliver Cromwell’s statute outside Westminster Hall depicts him standing without a horse but wearing his spurs upside down

The Monument was erected in memory of The Great Fire of London which 5 people died, 6 people have since fallen to their deaths from the top

Within 2 years of the start of World War II 26 per cent of London’s pets were destroyed, a quarter of a mile queue formed outside a Wood Green vets

Such was its worldwide renown that in the early days of the Savoy Hotel the house orchestra was led by Johann Strauss

Coram’s Fields the remnant of the Children’s Foundling Hospital only allows adults into its grounds if they are accompanied by a child

On Shrove Tuesday charity teams race up and down Dray Walk, Spitalfields flipping pancakes. The winning team receives an engraved frying pan

Queensway Station has its main entrance in Bayswater Road and Bayswater Station has its entrance in Queensway

In 1941 a new 3-mile stretch of the Central Line tunnel – Gants Hill to Leytonstone was given to Plessey for use as an underground factory

Cabbies are permitted to ask a police constable to shield them with his (or her) cape when urinating against the vehicle in a seemly fashion

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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