London Trivia: The first smog

On 27 December 1813 smog descended upon London, lasting until 3 January 1814, it was said to have spread as far as the North Downs. The worst area affected was the East End where the density of factories and homes burning coal was greater than anywhere else in the Capital. Here people claimed not to be able to see from one side of the street to the opposite pavement. It caused the Prince Regent to turn back from a trip to Hatfield.

On 27 December 1871 the world’s first cat show was held at Crystal Palace, a staggering 200,000 people attended

In 1841 the Metropolitan Police reported there were 9,409 prostitutes and 3,325 brothels known to the police across the 17 police districts

St Pancras station’s bricks are that famous red colour because they’re made from Nottinghamshire clay supplied by the Nottingham Patent Brick Co. Ltd.

St. James’s Palace and its park were formerly the site of a leper hospital for women dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace was secondary in importance

Trafalgar Square was to have been called ‘King William the Fourth’s Square’ architect and landowner George Ledwell Taylor suggested its name

Charles I’s statute in Trafalgar Square stands on the site of the original Charing Cross marking where all distances from London start

Tradition has it that Pimlico is named after Ben Pimlico, a 17th Century Hoxton brewer who supplied London with a popular Nut Brown ale

Running between Old Street and City Road Bath Street recalls the location of London’s first purpose built outdoor facility the Peerless Pool

London has fewer bridges spanning its principal river than Paris but has 23 underwater tunnels more than any other city in the world

Arsenal were founded as Dial Square in 1886 by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, but were renamed Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards

Bank is the only one-syllable station name and Knightsbridge is the only London street name with six consecutive consonants

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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