London Trivia: London smallpox epidemic

On 5 April 1973, the Department of Health & Social Security declared London ‘a smallpox-infected area’, after a laboratory technician working part-time in the pox virus laboratory at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine became ill on 11 March and saw her own family doctor. A patient at the London hospital subsequently proved positive, he died the next day. Three cases of the contagion were confirmed.

On 5 April 1968 Flight Lieutenant Alan Pollock became the first pilot to fly a jet aircraft (Hawker Hunter) under the span of Tower Bridge

Bollards near Tate Britain were used to tie up barges alongside Millbank Penitentiary used to house prisoners destined for deportation

When tunnelling for the Jubilee Line extension St. Stephen’s Tower – which houses Big Ben – shifted over an inch it had to be shored up

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital was founded in 1123 and is the oldest hospital in England still on its original site

On 5 April 1967 fans of The Monkees walked from Marble Arch to the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square to protest at Davy Jones’ planned call-up

London street artist or graffiti dauber depending on your view comes from Bristol, famously secretive, he could come from, well — anywhere

Birdcage Walk derives its name from the aviary owned by King Charles I containing exotic species including a crane with a wooden leg

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

On Tower Hill is an entrance to the 1870 Tower Subway. You could ride under the river in a carriage pulled by cable

Lionel Logue who cured King George of his stammer had his practice at 146 Harley Street from 1926 to 1952 in the film Portman Place was used

Plaque on house by the Globe Theatre which claims that Wren lived there was put up by past owner Malcolm Munthe who made it up!

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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