London Trivia: The first Miss World

On 19 April 1951 Eric Morley, an executive with Mecca Ltd., held the first Miss World Beauty Contest, called the Festival Bikini Contest, to coincide with the Festival of Britain. Curiously although it was promoted as ‘Miss World’ only five girls were foreign, the other 25 contestants were British. Even so Miss Kiki Haakonson, a Stockholm policeman’s daughter, won. It’s the oldest running international beauty pageant.

On 19 April 1012 Archbishop of Canterbury, Ælfheah, was killed by Viking raiders at Greenwich after they had held him captive for 7 months

Formed to stop the Stuarts bankrupting the country one of the Bank of England’s first directors embezzled £29,000, it was never recovered

In 1918 Philip Tilden designed a monumental tower to put atop Selfridge’s so tall and heavy if built it would have squashed the store flat

On 19 April 1881 British Prime Minister, statesman and author Benjamin Disraeli died at 19 Curzon Street, Mayfair

When the Victoria Embankment was constructed its 37 acres was claimed by Prime Minister Gladstone to build offices their revenue used to cancel Income Tax

London’s largest collection of Buddhas can be found in Soho’s Fo Guang Temple Margaret Street formerly All Saints’ Church

Market Ouvert meant that until 1995 any stolen goods purchased between sunrise and sunset at Bermondsey Market became the buyers property

The first lawn tennis sets were launched in 1874 by Major Walter Wingfield at £6, 1,050 were sold from 46 Churton Street in the first year

Demonstrating Trumph’s latest car to Princess Margaret at the Motor Show chairman Sir John Black pulled the wrong lever and incinerated the vehicle

WH Smith whose first newsagency was on the Strand was also the First Lord of both The Admiralty and Treasury and commissioned our first sewers

On 19 April 1935 actor, composer, musician and comedian Dudley Moore was born in Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith

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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