On 31 May 1669 bad eyesight forced Samuel Pepys to give up his diary. He was just 36 years old. It read ‘And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes of it, I must forbear. . . all the discomforts that my being blind’
On 31 May 1915 a German bomb hit Stoke Newington, the dubious distinction of the first building attacked by a foreign power in 1,000 years
In May 1726 a stand erected at Tyburn collapsed as reviled Catherine Hayes was burnt at the stake six spectators predeceased her as a result
On 31 May 1859 the Great Clock on Big Ben started telling the time. The Great Bell and the quarter bells chimed later that year
Many Londoners died in the Black Death of 1348, it raged in London until spring 1350, and is generally assumed to have killed between one third and one half of the populace
Avenue House in High Holborn stands on the site of the First Avenue Hotel destroyed in WW2 below is built the first Atomic air raid shelter
The Savoy Hotel built by Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1889 on profits from Gilbert and Sullivan operas he produced at the adjoining Savoy Theatre
Old Bond Street predates New Bond Street by only 14 years and became popular after the Duchess of Devonshire boycotted smarter Covent Garden
Every July the Soho Waiters’ Race takes place, contestants run around the streets carrying a tray, a napkin, bottle of champagne and glass
In 1920 the world’s first passenger airport opened in Croydon adding the world’s first airport terminal and airport hotel 8 years later
The Ritz Hotel named after the great César Ritz although he never worked there, actually he was the first manager of the Savoy Hotel
St James’s Park is home to one example of every native waterfowl – the Swiss-style cottage is a hide and has a steam heater egg incubator
Trivial 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.