London Trivia: I’m a banana

On 24 May 1989 Private Eye editor Ian Hislop declared: “If that’s justice, then I’m a banana”, after Sonia Sutcliffe, the wife of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, won £600,000 damages – £100,000 more than the previous record British libel sum, and 100 times larger than that awarded to three of Sutcliffe’s victims – the magazine claimed she had profited from her notoriety by selling her story (it was later reduced to £60,000 on appeal).

On 24 May 1906 the Ritz Hotel opened, today it serves between 400 and 500 afternoon teas a day costing up to £79 per person

The notorious 18th century highwayman Jack Shepherd gained historic fame from jailbreaking and escaping not his robbing stagecoaches leaving London

North Ockendon is the only settlement within the Greater London boundary to poke outside the orbit of the M25 motorway

If Dutch ships land cargoes in the Pool of London the harbour fees are waived as they were the only ones prepared to come during the plague

Westminster Bridge is painted green and Lambeth Bridge painted red they mirror the seats’ colour in the Chambers of the Commons and Lords

Queen Victoria’s Memorial outside Buckingham Palace is called The Wedding Cake by cabbies as it still retains its whiteness after 100 years

In 1998 William Allen, aged 84, when driving the few miles to his daughter he inadvertently joined the M25, and spent two days going round in circles

On 24 May 1966 Cassius Clay fought Henry Cooper at Arsenal’s Stadium in front of 46,000 people Cooper’s cut eye gave Clay the match in Round Six

The Routemaster bus first appeared on London’s streets in 1956 and Transport for London still run the iconic red double decker bus on two routes

Part of modern Camden Market was once a horse hospital patching up animals after having slipped on London’s cobbled streets

Known as eyots, or aits there are 190 islands dotted along the Thames from source to sea, most are uninhabited

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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