London Trivia: Belt up

On 31 January 1983 drivers and front seat passengers were required by law to wear seatbelts. There were be some exceptions to the new law. Taxi drivers were exempt because of the possible threat to their safety from dangerous passengers, though curiously London cabbies were required to belt up if they were plying for hire, only when they had a fare could they unbuckle. Drivers of milk floats were also exempt.

On 31 January 1606 Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ against the English Parliament and King James I

Banker Henry Fauntleroy’s public hanging for defrauding the Bank of England of £250,000 attracted the largest ever crowd with 100,000 people

At 202ft The Monument is the tallest unsupported stone column in the world and is 202ft from the seat of the Great Fire of London it depicts

London’s first gas-powered traffic lights on Parliament Square in 1868 blew up killing a policeman and caused cavalry horses to stampede

Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli speaking in Parliament, referring to taxis said of them: “The Hansom cabs are the gondolas of London”

Landseer copied the forepaws of a domestic moggie for his lions at the base of Nelson’s Column, if you look carefully they are too dainty

The world’s first jigsaw was created in 1761 by London engraver John Spilsbury by cutting them out by hand and naming them ‘dissected maps’

The University Boat Race from Putney to Mortlake has taken its crews from Oxford and Cambridge since 1829 and 30 per cent have been Old Etonians

On 31 January 1915 Warwick Avenue tube station opened, prior to its opening the proposed name for the station was Warrington Crescent

The upper class bank situated on the Strand, Coutts and Co. has handled the accounts of every British monarch since King George III

A mulberry tree in Buckingham Palace gardens is said to be the last of 4 acres planted by James I attempting to start England’s silk industry

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.

2 thoughts on “London Trivia: Belt up”

  1. Gibbo I know you are always up for ‘updated history’. Allegedly Guy Fawkes was not executed but committed suicide by jumping off the scaffold & breaking his neck to save the horrors of being hung, drawn & quartered. I say ‘allegedly’ as I wasn’t there at the time. The way some academic historians assert their version of history you would think that most of them had jumped in Doctor Who’s TARDIS & gone back to the event.


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