London in Quotations: Richard of Devizes

I do not at all like that city . . . Whatever evil or malicious thing that can be found in any part of the world, you will find in that one city . . . if you do not want to dwell with evildoers, do not live in London.

Richard of Devizes (c.1150-c.1200)

London Trivia: Female peers

On 30 October 1957, the Government unveiled plans to reform the House of Lords which included admitting women for the first time. Under the scheme, male and female life peerages were created ensuring ‘a balanced representation of the different political parties’.

On 30 October 1959 Ronnie Scott’s jazz club opened at 39 Gerrard Street, Soho

During the 1860s, London’s most notorious prison, Newgate, became a kind of theatre, visitors could tour the prison being briefly locked in a windowless cell was one of the highlights

On Blackfriars Bridge the side facing out to sea is decorated with marine birds, the inland side is adorned with freshwater birds

Poet Edmund Spenser’s Westminster Abbey tomb may contain unpublished work by Shakespeare who threw manuscripts into his grave to honour him

The City of London has never been under the authority of the monarch. The Queen may only enter the Square Mile of the City if she is given permission by the Lord Mayor

The bronze statue of Peter Pan was erected in Kensington Gardens in 1912. It marks the spot where J M Barrie first met Jack Llewellyn Davies, the boy who was the inspiration for Peter

By 1870 there were 20,000 public houses and beer shops in London, today according to the Campaign for Real Ale at least 10 are closing every week

The Oval held a particular attraction for the United States billionaire philanthropist, J. Paul Getty II, who built a replica of the ground at his estate at Wormsley Park in Buckinghamshire

London Heathrow Airport is the world’s busiest airports by international passenger traffic, and the third for total traffic

Over 800 members of staff are based at Buckingham Palace, some of the more unusual jobs include fendersmith, clockmaker and flagman

South Kensington is still sometimes referred to as ‘Little Paris’ the area is not only known for its Francophile bookshops but also its French doctors and dentists

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: Electric Ink

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.

Electric Ink (29.09.09)

Sitting in my garret chewing the end of my proverbial pencil composing this post, for your erudition, it occurred to me that electric ink has empowered all us, wannabee authors.

With the passing of the brilliant columnist and author Keith Waterhouse recently, who rejected all electronic devices to write and used a trusty manual typewriter, it’s time to look at the digital revolution which has enabled amateurs to publish their work.

A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog”) is credited as being started by Bruce Ableson who launched Open Diary in October 1998, which soon grew to thousands of online diaries. Open Diary was innovative, inventing the first blog community where readers could add comments to other writers’ blog entries.

I’ve started reading Claire Tomalin’s Samuel Pepys The Unequalled Self a biography of the great diarist who wrote with astounding candour and perceptiveness in the 10 years from 1660 at a time when England was undergoing momentous changes.

Do you fancy yourself as a 21st century Samuel Pepys and want to start writing or are you happy to be one of the 98 per cent of web surfers who are just voyeurs and not publishers?

If you want to join the Band of Bloggers I recommend Matthew Stibbe’s Bad Language to get you started with some sound advice and Neil Patel who is so prolific a writer on all things blogging I wonder if he ever sleeps.

Oh! And thanks for taking the time to read CabbieBlog.

Win a copy of my book

After nearly four years of work, at last, the big day is here. In a shameless piece of self-promotion to celebrate the publication of Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion, I’m holding a competition to win a signed copy of my memoir.

To enter, all you have to do is guess the number of days it took me to complete The Knowledge.

Entries should be sent via CabbieBlog’s Contact Page (I’ll only need the number of days at this stage).

You may make as many entries as you like.

The closest guess receives a signed copy and a £20 Amazon voucher.

If anyone manages to give the exact number of days, as a bonus prize, a facsimile copy of the original A-Z will also be included.

The competition is open until 23.59 GMT on Sunday 20th November 2022. The winner will be contacted by Saturday 26th November 2022.

Good luck!

Cabbieblog’s decision as to the winner is final. If there are two correct entries CabbieBlog reserves the right to decide the winner. The competition is not open to those in receipt of the digital version of my memoir: Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion, which has been offered free for review. Apart from notifying the winner, no correspondence relating to the competition will be entered into. Up to the closing date, there is no limit on the number of entries a person can make. Cabbieblog reserves the right to cancel or alter or amend the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.

The Yanks are back

The fact that the dollar now buys you twice the number of Chinese made Big Ben snow globes than it did this time last year (and tax free shopping is now back for tourists), means that US tourists ‘are flocking to our shores’ and will probably continue to do so right up to the King’s Coronation sometime next year – incidentally they should announce the date to give hotels time to jack up prices. This means we’ll probably continue to see even more luxury hotels going up in the West End over the next few years, and more heritage parts of London destroyed, which ironically is why the Americans visit the Motherland.