London Trivia: The customer is always right

On 15 March 1909 American retailer, H. Gordon Selfridge opened his new store in the unfashionable west-end of Oxford Street. His newly built department store boasted over half-a-million square feet of retail space. Gordon Selfridge coined two mottos ‘Only – shopping days until Christmas’ and ‘Business as usual’. He would later unsuccessfully attempt to get Bond Street Underground Station renamed Selfridge’s.

On 15 March 1824 the first piles driven in to River Thames of coffer dams for construction of Sir John Rennie’s new London Bridge

Suicides (a crime) used to be buried at crossroads – the last one in London (1823) was outside the garden wall of Buckingham Palace (then House)

The Monument a memorial to the Great Fire, the 202ft pillar designed by Wren is a telescope watch the cam on

Conservative MP Sir Henry Bellingham is a direct descendant of John Bellingham the assassin of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812

When Julian Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy those visiting included Pamela Anderson, Lady Gaga, Eric Cantona and Nigel Farage

On 15 March 1932 Henry Hall and his dance orchestra performed the first musical programme from the new Broadcasting House in Langham Place

The short Holywell Street was the centre for the Victorian gay porn trade, with an estimated 57 pornography shops in as many yards

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

Edward Johnston designed the typeface for the London Underground in 1916. The design he came up with is still in use today, named Johnson

Following Prince Philip’s declaration that it was unmanly to do so royal footmen at Buckingham Palace no longer powder their hair

M25: 33 junctions; 6 counties; 117 miles, driving at 70 mph without braking it takes 1 hour 40 minutes to complete one lap of the motorway

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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