London Trivia: First self-service

On 31 July 1950, the first self-service Sainsbury’s store opened in Croydon. It wasn’t, however, immediately popular. One local magazine even said that it ‘was the easiest way in the world of spending too much money’ in a period of post-war austerity.

On 31 July 1895 at Baldwyn’s Park, Sydenham, Mr Hyram Maxim’s gargantuan flying machine with a 105ft wingspan, powered by steam engines, lifted off and flew 600ft

The original medieval London Bridge in use for more than 600 years featured heads of criminals displayed on spikes for more than half of that time

The Metropolitan Police’s iconic revolving sign ‘New Scotland Yard’ once on Broadway performed over 14,000 revolutions every day

Kenneth Grahame author of The Wind in The Willows and secretary of the Bank of England was shot at in the bank by a deranged George Robinson

Big Ben is the bell, not the clock tower, now renamed Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen. Its chime is in the key of E

Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Michael Bentine once shared a small flat at 13 Linden Gardens, Notting Hill

French Ordinary Court EC3 takes it’s name from a fixed price menu or as Samuel Pepys called it a French Ordinary

Dating from 1534 the northern wall of a tennis court built at Whitehall Palace by Henry VIII is London’s oldest sports venue

Only two Tube stations have all five vowels in their name: South Ealing and Mansion House and more than half of the London Underground network in fact runs above ground

Old Billingsgate Market was originally opened in 1016 selling food and wine, with fish becoming the sole trade later

Princess Diana’s first owned apartment was at Coleherne Court, Earls Court given to her as an 18th birthday present

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.

4 thoughts on “London Trivia: First self-service”

    1. At the time the area around Coleherne Court had a very vibrant gay scene, I bet that woke up the rich country girl to life.

      Liked by 1 person

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