London Trivia: The first computer

On 14 June 1822 the Astronomical Society in Bedford Street received a paper from mathematician, philosopher and mechanical engineer, Charles Babbage, entitled ‘A note respecting the application of machinery to the calculation of astronomical tables’. It was an automatic mechanical calculator the precursor of the computer, little did this son of a Walworth banker realised how his thesis would develop into the present digital age.

On 14 June 1971 the world’s first Hard Rock Café opened in Old Park Lane, it contains London’s only rock n’ roll museum tucked away in an old Coutts Bank vault

At Westminster Abbey traces of skin from a 14th century thief who attempted to steal the church’s valuables are still nailed to a door

Westminster Abbey was built on what was a remote island called Thorney Island situated in the middle of some marshland to the west of London

Dirty Dicks PH comes from dandy Richard Bentley whose house was on the site, on their wedding eve his bride died after which he lived in squalor

On 14 June 1380 revolting peasants occupied London and decapitated Archbishop Simon of Sudbury his skull is on display in Sudbury in Suffolk

Little St Pauls Cathedral is a sculpture on the side of Vauxhall Bridge and only visible from the River Thames

Henry VIII’s Wine Cellar a 40,000 cu. ft. cavern weighing 800 ton was moved more than 40ft to preserve it during the rebuilding of Whitehall

Tottenham Hotspurs deliberately set Jimmy Greaves’s 1961 transfer fee from AC Milan at £99,999 to avoid putting him under the pressure of being the first £100,000 player

The longest gap between stations is 3.89 miles from Chesham to Chalfont and Latimer; the shortest Covent Garden to Leicester Square 0.25 miles

The Mercers Livery Company is the oldest of London’s Guilds with ordinances dating back to 1347 and are No. 1 in the list of precedence

Estimated distances Bow Bells could be heard from City in olden days (definition of true Cockney) – 6 miles to east, 5 north, 3 south, 4 west

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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