London Trivia: Blocked drains

On 5 February 1983 DynoRod were called out to a blocked drain near 23 Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill. To the engineer the blockage looked suspiciously like human remains. When the police popped round the following day Dennis Nilsen confessed that 15 or 16 others had met the same fate since 1978. Nilsen became known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983, with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years.

On 5 February 1924 the BBC broadcast the time check ‘pips’, a series of six short tones broadcast at one-second intervals, from Greenwich Observatory for the first time

During World War II HMP Wormwood Scrubs was used to store 26 drums of heavy water, which were to be used to make a nuclear bomb

Leadenhall Market stands on the site of a Roman Basilica, a building used for public administration. It first opened in the 14th century

Christopher Wren in a black marble sarcophagus that was originally made for Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington are all buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral

Fitzrovia is named after landowner Henry Fitzroy illegitimate son of King Charles II. The name comes from French ‘fils du roi’/son of the king

The only true home shared by all four Beatles was a flat at 57 Green Street near Hyde Park where they lived in the autumn of 1963

Thomas Carlyle lived at 5 Cheyne Row (now no. 24) Chelsea in 1834 where he entertained Browning, Dickens and Tennyson. He died there in 1881

An embankment behind Arsenal’s east stand gave the expression ‘spion kop’ (lookout in Afrikaan) from where 243 British troops had died so kop for terrace entered football’s lexicon

The eastbound and westbound lines on the Central Line are built above and below each other for much of the line

The Observer newspaper was founded in 1791 at 396 Strand by WS Bourne on the premise that “the establishment of a Sunday newspaper would obtain him a rapid fortune” is the world’s oldest Sunday

In 1610 Dame Alice Owen founded almshouses and a school on the Islington site where she narrowly missed being killed by an arrow

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: Blocked drains”

    1. I never fancied working for DynoRod, I knew one of their operatives who was on The Knowledge. As for Nilsen only getting 25 years? Detectives found body parts in his cupboards!


  1. I can recommend the book ‘Killing For Company’ about Nilsen. The Met have his kitchen reconstructed in their ‘Black Museum’, including the big pan where they found a boiled head. I was able to visit the museum when I worked in Special Ops. Fortunately, they didn’t leave the head in it! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


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