London Trivia: First Poll Tax riot

On 18 April 1988 in a heated debate on the Poll Tax Scottish Labour member Ron Brown, grabbed the mace and angrily threw it to the floor. Parliament cannot lawfully meet without the Mace, representing the monarch’s authority, being present in the chambers. Afterward he agreed to read out a pre-written apology to the House, attempting to add his own comments. Suspended from Parliament for 20 days, he was ordered to pay £1,500.

On 18 April 1930 during its 8.45 bulletin, a BBC announcer said: “There is no news.” The rest of the programme featured piano music

According to tradition, the Bowyer Tower was where the Duke of Clarence, troublesome brother of Edward IV and Richard III, was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine

On 18 April 1968 London Bridge was sold to entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for £1,029,000 at Guildhall

Domestic servants with visible smallpox scars were preferred to those unmarked, proof that they would not bring smallpox into the household

Smoking was banned in the House of Commons as early as 1693. It was still smokey though from candles and fires that lit and warmed the place

Since 1768 the Royal Academy has been housed in: Pall Mall; Somerset House; and the National Gallery. Its present site dates from 1868

The Bedford on Bedford Hill, Balham hosts the regular Banana Cabaret it has hosted acts such as Jack Dee, Catherine Tate and Eddie Izzard

Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard and Henry Cooper have all sparred at the Thomas à Beckett boxing gym on Old Kent Road

Swiss visitor César de Saussure in 1725 recorded being knocked over four times by sedan chairs during his visit to London

Samuel Morse the American painter and inventor of the Morse Code lived at 141 Cleveland Street between 1812-15

There have been ghostly reports of drivers picking up a young hitchhiker at the mouth of Blackwall Tunnel only disappear by the other end

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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