London Trivia: Festival spirit

On 3 May 1951 after the devastation and resulting austerity of the war years, the successful forerunner, of the Millennium Dome, was opened on London’s South Bank, aimed to raise the nation’s spirits whilst promoting the very best of British art, design and industry. It remained open for 5 months attracting 8.5 million visitors in that time. Of the buildings constructed only the Royal Festival Hall remains.

On 3 May 1968 the United Kingdom’s first heart transplant was undertaken at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, it was the 10th procedure of its kind in the world

Lady Elizabeth Hatton leaving a ball was found in a yard blood still pumping from her torn body Bleeding Heart Yard commemorates her murder

In the cloisters of Westminster Abbey is Britain’s the oldest door, in good nick, considering it was made in 1050 before the Norman Conquest

In 1739 Thomas Coram supported by Handel set up the Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies it was the world’s first incorporated charity

Christopher Wren built St Paul’s from both ends at same time so funding wouldn’t run out – money would have to be found to join halves up

The Trafalgar Square lions were sculpted from life Landseer used dead lions supplied by London Zoo until neighbours complained of the smell

Elizabeth Taylor spent part of her 7th honeymoon in 17th century Old Battersea House, home of her friend Malcolm Forbes

Wembley Stadium is filled with Middlesbrough FC shirts and scarves. There are also old season tickets, match programmes and various other items of memorabilia, placed in the arch by the steelworkers

And we think everything was so much better back then . . . early Tube maps asked passengers to refrain from spitting in the carriages

When St Pauls Cathedral neared completion its elderly architect Sir Christopher Wren was hauled to the roof by bucket and rope to inspect it

Clerkenwell is named after the medieval Clerk’s Well where Parish Clerks performed Mystery Plays, the well can still be seen

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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