It saddens me that in today’s society if we drive into a bus lane a camera records us and we get a fine. Put two wheels in a yellow box and a camera records us and we get a fine. Do a u-turn where we’re not supposed to, recorded and fined. Stay too long in a car park, recorded and fined. Drop passengers off in the wrong place, recorded and fined. Yet a youngster gets stabbed to death in a park and there is an appeal for eyewitnesses and dashcam video because there is no money to be made in monitoring the places where our children socialise. I know it is not financially viable to have cameras everywhere, but it is possible, and that is the sad part.
Monthly Archives: March 2022
Johnson’s London Dictionary: North/South Circular Roads
NORTH/SOUTH CIRCULAR ROADS (n.) Circular barrier around the Metropolis, those unwary to ride within its environs, subject to The Mayor’s tallage
Dr. Johnson’s London Dictionary for publick consumption in the twenty-first century avail yourself on Twitter @JohnsonsLondon
March’s Monthly Musings
Yesterday ride-hailing app Uber has been granted a new London operator’s licence. Transport for London has relented and given the controversial business model a further 30 months in the forlorn hope that the company and its drivers will comply with the regulators’ stipulations.
What I’m Listening
Hazel Baker, London tour guide and CEO of London Guided Walks makes a weekly podcast about London’s history in bite-sized portions. Listening to Number 56 uploaded on 21st May 2021: London’s Black Cab Legacy.
What I’m Reading
Netgalley has allowed me to read the first chapter of Jessie Burton’s new novel The House of Fortune, its narrative continues from The Miniaturist which I loved.
What I’m Watching
The Ipcress File is loosely based on Len Deighton’s first spy novel which I read many years ago. With Putin now trying to expand Russia’s influence (and borders) this remake of the Michael Caine original is strangely prophetic.
Just dispatched the manuscript of my memoir to eBook Versions to be formatted for Kindle and Print on Demand at Amazon. It’s something that is beyond my expertise. At the time of the Falklands Conflict, I was a typesetter producing the House of Lords Hansard Daily Parts, and eBook Versions’ owner was one of the sub-editors. Small world indeed.
London in Quotations: Iain Sinclair
For the bookish, London is a book. For criminals, a map of opportunities. For unpapered immigrants, it is a nest of skinned eyes; sanctioned gunmen ready to blow your head off as you run for a train. When the city of distorting mirrors revealed itself, through its districts and discriminations, I discovered more about London’s past as a reworking of my own submerged history.
Iain Sinclair (b.1943), London: A City of Disappearances
London Trivia: A grave mistake
On 27 March 1953 four women’s bodies were found at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill. The tenant, John Christie told the police he didn’t know how many people he had murdered. Another tenant, Timothy Evans, had been hanged for the deaths of his wife and infant daughter. Christie never did admit to their murder and was hanged by Evans’ executioner Albert Pierrepoint; Evans was eventually posthumously pardoned.
On 27 March 2011 it was established that London’s population had risen by 12 per cent to 8.2 million, the most rapid increase in the census history
A 1839 law requires street organ-grinders to leave an area of The City of London if they annoy householders – failure to comply 40 shillings
The Savoy Hotel’s refurbishment went £120 million over budget – the most expensive in Europe – averaging £800,000 per room for its 268 rooms
On 27 March 1931 novelist Arnold Bennett died of typhoid at his Baker Street home after drinking water in a Paris hotel to prove it was safe
On 27 March 1945 Germany’s last V2 bomb to hit London’s East End fell on and demolished Hughes Mansions, Vallance Road, 130 people died
Immortalised in Keith Waterhouse’s play of the same name, the Spectator’s absentee journalist due to his epic boozing his byline said: Jeffrey Bernard is unwell
The World’s End pub in Camden Town is the site of a hostelry once run by Mother Red Cap known as the ‘old shrew of Kentish Town’
On 27 March 1966 Pickles, a dog owned by Thames lighterman Dave Corbett, found the Jules Rimet Trophy (World Cup) in bushes on Beulah Hill
On 27 March 2008 Heathrow’s T5 opened, at 4.50 the first passenger on the first outbound flight was Paul Walker, a 31-year-old ex-pat working in the flower business in Kenya
Whitechapel Bell Foundry established 1570 was Britain’s oldest manufacturer until its recent closure, making Big Ben, America’s Liberty Bell and St Petersburg bells
Stanley Green (1915-1993) famously walked London’s streets for years in his fruitless campaign preaching against . . . the eating of protein
Trivial 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.