London Trivia: First female minister

On 5 June 1929 Margaret Bondfield, women’s campaigner and MP, became the first woman to be a minister, under Ramsay Macdonald, as Minister for Labour, and the first woman to become a Privy Councillor

On 5 June 1963 John Profumo resigned as Secretary for War after admitting he had lied over his affair with Christine Keeler

Bow Street was the only police station to have white lights outside instead of the traditional blue – they were ordered by Queen Victoria

The golden flames on top of St. Paul’s lean in the direction the wind was blowing on the night of the Great Fire

In 1637 playwright Ben Jonson was buried upright in Westminster Abbey as he couldn’t afford to pay for a larger space

London’s epic Parliament Square peace protestor (no one else can permanently stay there) Brian Haw, born 1949 stood there since 2 June 2001 until his death in 2011

Harry Potter’s magic luggage trolley sticks out of a wall between platforms 8/9 not 9/10 because J. K.Rowling was thinking of Euston

Until recently Londoners consumed a prodigious amount of champagne, by volume they equalled the entire amount exported by France to America

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

The colourful benches on the Southeastern High Speed platform in St Pancras are the five chopped-up Olympic rings once hanging there in 2012

Isaac Newton lived at 87 Jermyn Street, St. James when he worked at the Royal Mint where he was tasked with prosecuting counterfeiters

On 5 June 1939 an assassin attempted to shoot the Duchess of Kent she didn’t realise what was happening and went to see Wuthering Heights

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.

Previously Posted: Time Gentlemen, Please!

For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.

Time Gentlemen, Please! (12.06.09)

Pubs are quintessentially English as scones, cricket, Marmite or Stephen Fry. In Ireland or America most bars have mundane names, Murphy’s or Clancy’s, while English pubs have historic and often funny names; Cat and Fiddle, Hare and Hounds, The Red Lion, The Cricketers, The Battle of Trafalgar, The Rose and Crown, The Royal Oak (commemorating the time Charles II as a boy hid from Cromwellian troops after the Battle of Worcester), The Lamb and Flag and The King’s Head.

These names are centuries old, from the time when most of their customers were unable to read and pictorial signs could be readily recognised and even now English pubs have beautifully painted signs above their doors.

Over the centuries, the English Public House has been a place to drink with friends; magistrates would hold court in pubs; people have been hanged in them.

In the eighteenth century the Tyburn Road what has become Oxford Street was the route prisoners would be taken to be hanged. At The Mason’s Arms, a pub in Seymour Place its cellars still have the manacles on the walls, which show that prisoners enjoyed their last pint in very unusual conditions. As they left the pub and were loaded back onto the cart, prisoners would shout to customers “I’ll buy you a pint on the way back!”

The “Ye Olde Man and Scythe” in Bolton, Lancashire is the third oldest pub in England, dating back to the 1200s. In 1651, the Earl of Derby had a last drink and meal inside the pub before being beheaded in the street right outside the pub for his part in the Bolton Massacre. His head supposedly missed the basket and rolled along the street. To this day, the wooden chair which he sat on during his last meal and the axe used to behead him and on display inside the pub. On the chair is an inscription which reads: “15th October 1651 In this chair James 7th Earl of Derby sat at the Man and Scythe Inn, Churchgate, Bolton immediately prior to his execution”.

But, unfortunately, the Great British Pub is in danger of becoming a dying breed. Each week in the past six months, an average of 39 of the nation’s 57,000 pubs have closed.

Most pubs have become restaurants or television rooms, after centuries in which they were the social focus of British life. “There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves as well as at a capital tavern,” Dr Johnson in the late 18th century. “At a tavern, there is general freedom from anxiety. You are sure you are welcome; and the more noise you make, the more things you call for, the welcomer you are.”

Urban pub numbers are declining even more steeply because the city- dwellers enjoy such a choice of restaurants and coffee shops.

A survey of 227 out of 936 North London pubs that have closed since 2002 shows that 84 have been turned into flats, while 143 have become businesses or voluntary projects.

Test Your Knowledge: June Jubilee

To commemorate the Jubilee, this month’s London quiz is shamelessly Royalist, should they wish, Republicans may reluctantly participate. As before the correct answer will turn green when it’s clicked upon and expanded to give more information. The incorrect answers will turn red giving the correct explanation.

1. Who did Princess Anne marry at Westminster Abbey in 1973?
Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles
WRONG Anne’s romance with Bowles was covered in The Crown’s third season, with Anne played by Erin Doherty. After marrying Mark Phillips in 1973 Anne later divorced to marry Timothy Lawrence.
Captain Mark Phillips
CORRECT Anne’s romance with Bowles was covered in The Crown’s third season, with Anne played by Erin Doherty. After marrying Mark Phillips in 1973 Anne later divorced to marry Timothy Lawrence.
Sir Timothy Lawrence
WRONG Anne’s romance with Bowles was covered in The Crown’s third season, with Anne played by Erin Doherty. After marrying Mark Phillips in 1973 Anne later divorced to marry Timothy Lawrence.
2. Where was Queen Elizabeth II born in 1926?
Buckingham Palace
WRONG Not a palace, a big estate or even a hospital, but a townhouse on a busy London street. The Queen’s parents had moved into the house, belonging to her Scottish grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, only a few weeks before her birth. Demolished in 1937, along with 20 neighbouring houses, 17 Bruton Street was replaced with Berkeley Square House which was considered Europe’s largest office block and one of London’s first major reinforced concrete buildings.
17 Bruton Street
CORRECT Not a palace, a big estate or even a hospital, but a townhouse on a busy London street. The Queen’s parents had moved into the house, belonging to her Scottish grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, only a few weeks before her birth. Demolished in 1937, along with 20 neighbouring houses, 17 Bruton Street was replaced with Berkeley Square House which was considered Europe’s largest office block and one of London’s first major reinforced concrete buildings.
Royal Lodge, Windsor
WRONG Not a palace, a big estate or even a hospital, but a townhouse on a busy London street. The Queen’s parents had moved into the house, belonging to her Scottish grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, only a few weeks before her birth. Demolished in 1937, along with 20 neighbouring houses, 17 Bruton Street was replaced with Berkeley Square House which was considered Europe’s largest office block and one of London’s first major reinforced concrete buildings.
3. Who was the only monarch to be born and die at Buckingham Palace?
Edward VII
CORRECT Edward VII was born at Buckingham Palace on 9th November 1841 he died at the Palace on 6th May 1910 aged 68, he lay in state at Westminster Hall, where a quarter of a million people filed past his body. On 20th May he was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
George VI
WRONG Edward VII was born at Buckingham Palace on 9th November 1841 he died at the Palace on 6th May 1910 aged 68, he lay in state at Westminster Hall, where a quarter of a million people filed past his body. On 20th May he was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Queen Victoria
WRONG Edward VII was born at Buckingham Palace on 9th November 1841 he died at the Palace on 6th May 1910 aged 68, he lay in state at Westminster Hall, where a quarter of a million people filed past his body. On 20th May he was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
4. Before he came to the throne, George VI competed in which sporting tournament?
Wimbledon Tennis Championship
CORRECT The Duke of York, the future King George VI, remains the only member of the British royal family to ever compete at Wimbledon after playing in the men’s doubles tournament. Partnering with his mentor and advisor Louis Greig, the pair were eliminated in the first round by former champions Herbert Roper Barrett and Arthur Gore.
British Golf Open
WRONG The Duke of York, the future King George VI, remains the only member of the British royal family to ever compete at Wimbledon after playing in the men’s doubles tournament. Partnering with his mentor and advisor Louis Greig, the pair were eliminated in the first round by former champions Herbert Roper Barrett and Arthur Gore.
Cricket Test Match
WRONG The Duke of York, the future King George VI, remains the only member of the British royal family to ever compete at Wimbledon after playing in the men’s doubles tournament. Partnering with his mentor and advisor Louis Greig, the pair were eliminated in the first round by former champions Herbert Roper Barrett and Arthur Gore.
5. What shape was Queen Anne’s coffin?
Square
CORRECT After suffering 17 miscarriages and poor health, when she died in 1714, aged 49, she was placed in a coffin described by one onlooker as so wide it was “almost square”, and “bigger than that of the prince, her husband, who was known to be a fat, bulky man”. It was taken to Westminster Abbey by a chariot with particularly “large, strong wheels”, drawn by eight horses draped in purple, where it was then carried inside by no less than 14 men. Some even claim the coffin didn’t fit inside the Stuart vault, under the floor at the south aisle of Henry VII’s chapel, and that other royal coffins had to be moved to accommodate it.
Oval
WRONG After suffering 17 miscarriages and poor health, when she died in 1714, aged 49, she was placed in a coffin described by one onlooker as so wide it was “almost square”, and “bigger than that of the prince, her husband, who was known to be a fat, bulky man”. It was taken to Westminster Abbey by a chariot with particularly “large, strong wheels”, drawn by eight horses draped in purple, where it was then carried inside by no less than 14 men. Some even claim the coffin didn’t fit inside the Stuart vault, under the floor at the south aisle of Henry VII’s chapel, and that other royal coffins had to be moved to accommodate it.
Oblong
WRONG After suffering 17 miscarriages and poor health, when she died in 1714, aged 49, she was placed in a coffin described by one onlooker as so wide it was “almost square”, and “bigger than that of the prince, her husband, who was known to be a fat, bulky man”. It was taken to Westminster Abbey by a chariot with particularly “large, strong wheels”, drawn by eight horses draped in purple, where it was then carried inside by no less than 14 men. Some even claim the coffin didn’t fit inside the Stuart vault, under the floor at the south aisle of Henry VII’s chapel, and that other royal coffins had to be moved to accommodate it.
6. The Banqueting House is the last remaining part of which central London palace destroyed by fire in 1698?
Nonsuch Palace
WRONG The palace has (mostly) gone but its name lives on as a synonym for the national government quarter. Banqueting House is notable for being the first Palladian neo-classical building completed in England. It was through a window that King Charles I stepped onto a stage to be beheaded publicly in 1649.
Whitehall Palace
CORRECT The palace has (mostly) gone but its name lives on as a synonym for the national government quarter. Banqueting House is notable for being the first Palladian neo-classical building completed in England. It was through a window that King Charles I stepped onto a stage to be beheaded publicly in 1649.
Winchester Palace
WRONG The palace has (mostly) gone but its name lives on as a synonym for the national government quarter. Banqueting House is notable for being the first Palladian neo-classical building completed in England. It was through a window that King Charles I stepped onto a stage to be beheaded publicly in 1649.
7. Which London palace was used extensively to raise royal children from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries?
Winchester Palace
WRONG Eltham is something of a hidden gem. Its fifteenth-century hall dates from King Edward IV’s reign, who considered this his favourite palace. Buildings, gardens and hunting grounds had been extended in the fourteenth century by Edward II and his wife Isabella for their son (Edward III). Henry VIII spent much of his boyhood here in the late fifteenth century.
Kensington Palace
WRONG Eltham is something of a hidden gem. Its fifteenth-century hall dates from King Edward IV’s reign, who considered this his favourite palace. Buildings, gardens and hunting grounds had been extended in the fourteenth century by Edward II and his wife Isabella for their son (Edward III). Henry VIII spent much of his boyhood here in the late fifteenth century.
Eltham Palace
CORRECT Eltham is something of a hidden gem. Its fifteenth-century hall dates from King Edward IV’s reign, who considered this his favourite palace. Buildings, gardens and hunting grounds had been extended in the fourteenth century by Edward II and his wife Isabella for their son (Edward III). Henry VIII spent much of his boyhood here in the late fifteenth century.
8. During World War II, Buckingham Palace suffered nine direct bomb hits. Which part of the building was destroyed?
Music Room
WRONG Believed to have been a deliberate target, the most serious damage to the palace destroyed the chapel, George VI and Queen Elizabeth were filmed inspecting the site. It was during this time that the always classy Queen said, “Now I can look the East End in the face.” Since the bombing of the chapel, some royal christenings have taken place in the Music Room.
Ballroom
WRONG Believed to have been a deliberate target, the most serious damage to the palace destroyed the chapel, George VI and Queen Elizabeth were filmed inspecting the site. It was during this time that the always classy Queen said, “Now I can look the East End in the face.” Since the bombing of the chapel, some royal christenings have taken place in the Music Room.
Chapel
CORRECT Believed to have been a deliberate target, the most serious damage to the palace destroyed the chapel, George VI and Queen Elizabeth were filmed inspecting the site. It was during this time that the always classy Queen said, “Now I can look the East End in the face.” Since the bombing of the chapel, some royal christenings have taken place in the Music Room.
9. One of these IS NOT in Buckingham Palace, but which one?
A travel agents
CORRECT Buckingham Palace doesn’t have a travel agent. In 2001, the now-former head of Coutts bank, Gordon Pell, confirmed that there is indeed an ATM inside Buckingham Palace. It is tucked away in the Palace basement and reserved for the royal family. The Court Postmaster, David Baxter, is only the 29th person to hold this important position since its formation in 1565 when Robert Gascoigne became the first holder of the office providing all the services you expect from your local post office.
A post office
WRONG Buckingham Palace doesn’t have a travel agent. In 2001, the now-former head of Coutts bank, Gordon Pell, confirmed that there is indeed an ATM inside Buckingham Palace. It is tucked away in the Palace basement and reserved for the royal family. The Court Postmaster, David Baxter, is only the 29th person to hold this important position since its formation in 1565 when Robert Gascoigne became the first holder of the office providing all the services you expect from your local post office.
An ATM
WRONG Buckingham Palace doesn’t have a travel agent. In 2001, the now-former head of Coutts bank, Gordon Pell, confirmed that there is indeed an ATM inside Buckingham Palace. It is tucked away in the Palace basement and reserved for the royal family. The Court Postmaster, David Baxter, is only the 29th person to hold this important position since its formation in 1565 when Robert Gascoigne became the first holder of the office providing all the services you expect from your local post office.
10. The Trial of the Pyx is an annual Royal interrogation. What is examined?
That the House of Windsor is entitled to be our Royal family
WRONG The Trial of the Pyx examines, tests and weighs several coins to make sure that they are all consistent and meet the specifications set out in the relevant section of the Coinage Act or Royal Proclamation. The Trial usually takes place in January or February at Goldsmith’s in London every year and is thought to be the only Mint that conducts such a test.
Where several coins are tested as to their authenticity
CORRECT The Trial of the Pyx examines, tests and weighs several coins to make sure that they are all consistent and meet the specifications set out in the relevant section of the Coinage Act or Royal Proclamation. The Trial usually takes place in January or February at Goldsmith’s in London every year and is thought to be the only Mint that conducts such a test.
That the army is required to demonstrate their allegiance to the Crown
WRONG The Trial of the Pyx examines, tests and weighs several coins to make sure that they are all consistent and meet the specifications set out in the relevant section of the Coinage Act or Royal Proclamation. The Trial usually takes place in January or February at Goldsmith’s in London every year and is thought to be the only Mint that conducts such a test.

ULEZ Zone

According to Taxi Leaks, Sadiq Kahn again uses lies and fake statistics to increase the area of the ULEZ Zone, in the name of saving the planet.

This definitely isn’t about cleaner air, it’s solely about raising money for TfL, money that Khan has previously wasted on his personal vanity projects.

Khan is claiming that the air quality in outer London is so much worse than in central London, that he is going to have to extend the ULEZ zone to the M25.

The current air quality reading for central London using the Breezometer app states air quality at 2 on a scale of 1-10, which is classed as low.

In certain areas where traffic has been diverted into congested high streets, the figure is much higher, sometimes reaching 4-5 which is out of the yellow low pollution area, into the orange poor air quality range. The problem around Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (‘LTNs’) has been caused by Khan, local councils and residents inside the LTNs who want to see increases in the value of their properties. When you look at the huge amounts being raked in from fines issued to unsuspecting motorists, again not about cleaner air, all about money.

The current air quality for Belmont (Wealdstone) is 1, same reading (1), for Ruislip, Yeading, South Oxhey, Bushey and Southgate. All areas east from Tottenham to Ilford, all reading the same as Central London (2), making the need for an increase in the ULEZ area, completely unnecessary.

Johnson’s London Dictionary: Hammersmith Bridge

HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE (n.) Green structure that doth span the River Thames, that hath no purpose save looking elegant.

Dr. Johnson’s London Dictionary for publick consumption in the twenty-first century avail yourself on Twitter @JohnsonsLondon