London Trivia: Europe’s first travelator

On 27 September 1960 Europe’s first travelator was ceremonially opened. Bank Station, which had been in service since late Victorian times had only one exit down a sloping corridor. By the 1930s the increased passenger volumes had made its use impractical. The war and post-war austerity had stopped the project, finally construction began in 1957 taking three years for completion.

On 27 September 1968 the musical Hair, containing nudity and drug-taking, opened after the abolition of theatre censorship, ending the Lord Chamberlain’s powers of censorship dating back to 1737

In 1736 gravedigger Thomas Jenkins received 100 lashes for selling dead bodies from St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney High Street

There are still 1,600 operating gas lamps in London examples are found in the charming Goodwin’s Court, Covent Garden

During the Great Fire of London in 1666, charred leaves of burning books were blown as far as Acton, an astonishing 20 miles distant

On 27 September 1940 during the Blitz, an astonishing 117,000 people slept sheltering in the Underground, authorities had tried to ban the public at night from the stations

First crafted in 1951, James Bond’s aftershave was Floris No. 89 – so-named because Floris’s shop is at 89 Jermyn Street, Mayfair

As a bet, Lord Lyttleton slept in the attic of 50 Berkeley Square in 1872, with his shotgun, he apparently fired his gun at several apparitions throughout the night

London has more functioning public baths and indoor pools that date from prior to 1939 than any city in the world – 18 public; and 5 private

The Victoria Line that runs between Brixton and Walthamstow Central, and is coloured light blue on the Tube map, is one of only two lines on the Underground that is completely underground

On Albert Bridge, a sign asks soldiers to break step as synchronised marching caused too much vibration! Wags change the sign to ‘break wind’

Gas street lights widely used in 1850 each with a luminousity of a 25 watt bulb, but by the 1930s only half of London’s streets had electric

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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