London Trivia: Flying high

On 14 March 2008, The Queen officially opened Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, in her speech she described it as “a 21st Century gateway to Britain”. The opening followed a major security alert after a man with a rucksack scaled the perimeter fence and ran into the path of an aircraft. Ketheeswaran Uthayakumar, of no fixed abode, was charged with endangering aircraft security, not to mention himself.

On 14 March 1885 Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado premiered at the Savoy Theatre running for 672 performances

It’s against the law to roll or carry a cask, tub, hoop, wheel, ladder, pole, showboard or placard upon any footway unless loading a cart

Southwark Street laid out in 1862 by Sir Joseph Bazalgette was the first street in London with water and gas pipes in the middle of the road

Accused of murder John Williams committed suicide, his body was buried with a stake through his heart at New Road/Cannon Street Road

The American Declaration of Independence was printed in Caslon typeface designed in Chiswell Street by William Caslon, it’s now a Tesco

On 14 March 1805 fourteen-year-old William Betty played Hamlet on the London stage. The House of Commons was adjourned to enable Members to watch the performance

Opening in 1910 with 2,286 seats the London Palladium had its own telephone system, so patrons could talk to each other

In the 18th century at the Cat & Mutton, Broadway Market hosted the Soapy Pig Swinging Contest, drovers lathered a pig’s tail and hurled it

Sir Christopher Wren sat on the Parliamentary Commission regulating hackney cabs knowing nothing about them, nothing has changed then

The last executioners were Harry Allen and Robert Stewart. A scaffold is reputed to exist at Wandsworth Prison and still used for practice

Twice the Channel Tunnel’s length, deeper and wider than the Tube the Water Ring Main’s could fill The Royal Albert Hall in under 3 hours

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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