London Trivia: Much ado about nothing

On 12 March London seems to have held its collective breath and done nothing. To liven up the date in 1969 Paul McCartney, then aged 27, married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office with Miss Eastman’s six-year-old daughter in attendance. Hundreds of distraught fans gathered outside seeing their chance of marrying their idol slip away. The ceremony was delayed because the best man, McCartney’s brother Mike McGear of the Scaffold pop group, arrived late.

On 12 March 1836 pioneering cookery writer Mrs Beeton was born in Cheapside, her Book of Household Management is still in print

Wife selling in Smithfield didn’t become illegal until the early 20th century. One of the last reported instances, a woman in 1913 claimed that she had been sold to one of her husband’s workmates for £1

London’s smallest statue can be found on Philpot Lane – a mouse – a memorial to two builders who were killed working on the Monument

In 1985 eight people were killed in a gas explosion at Manor Fields Estate Putney Police found bags stuffed with £20 notes in the debris

Edward VI punished Westminster Abbey (St Peter’s) by diverting their funding to St Paul’s hence the phrase robbing Peter to pay Paul’

When the Coliseum Theatre opened in 1904 it featured a private elevator to transport the King to the royal box. It broke down!

The Hoope and Grapes, Aldgate has a listening tube which runs from the bar to the cellar so the landlord can listen for treasonable gossip

When Billy (the police horse who controlled spectators at the 1923 FA Cup final) died, his rider was given one of his hooves as an inkwell

The Jubilee Line was initially named the Fleet Line after the River Fleet; however it was changed to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee

When Odham’s publisher Julius Elias died in 1946 his successor claimed Elias continued to run the Long Acre firm through him as a medium

We know six ravens are kept at the Tower to keep London safe from invasion, but in 1981 one escaped and flew into a pub in East London

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.

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