All posts by Gibson Square

A Licensed Black London Cab Driver I share my London with you . . . The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

London in Quotations: Edward Gibbon

To a lover of books, the shops and sales in London present irresistible temptations.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

London Trivia: Deadly smog

On 4 December 1952, a deadly smog created by the smoke soot and sulfur dioxide from factories, cars and coal fires in local homes began to hover over London, which continued for four days, leading to the deaths of at least 4,000 people.

On 4 December 1947 the first Norway spruce was presented to London by way of gratitude for Britain’s support in World War II

Workhouse Rule 15: No person of either sex be allowed to smoke in bed or in any room of the house upon pain of being put in the dungeon 6 hours

London’s biggest private home is Witanhurst, on Highgate West Hill: 65 rooms, including 25 bedrooms, a gym and a library, and plans underground cinema, beauty parlour and car park

The Bethlehem Royal Hospital is world’s oldest institution specialising in mental health was founded in 1247 near Bishopsgate, in 1800 the hospital moved to Lambeth, it now houses the Imperial War Museum

Queen Victoria was offended when a 14-storey tower blocked her view of Houses of Parliament it led to a Bill capping all buildings to 80ft

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 115-metre-high (377 ft) sculpture and observation tower in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, is Britain’s largest piece of public art

London’s first sandwich bar, Sandy’s, opened in Oxendon Street in 1933, the greater informality of eating soon spread throughout the capital as the culture of fast-food was established

Spurs’ first competitive match was versus St Albans in the London Association Cup in 1885, Spurs won 5-2

Harry Beck’s map was considered too big a departure from the norm, but the public liked it and it became official in 1933

Founded in London in 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company is the world’s oldest chartered company and Founded in 1694, the Bank of England was the first privately owned national bank in any country

During he 1920s and 1930s Aberdeen based shepherd George Donald would bring his flock down to Hyde Park grazing his sheep to keep grass level

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.

London in Quotations: Charles Dickens

I landed in London on a wintry autumn evening. It was dark and raining, and I saw more fog and mud in a minute than I had seen in a year.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

London Trivia: Record Breaker shot

On 27 November 1975: Guinness Book of Records co-founder and editor Ross McWhirter was shot dead outside his Enfield home. The well-known author and BBC Record Breakers presenter had recently offered a reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of IRA bombers.

On 27 October 2000 schoolboy Damilola Taylor died after being stabbed in the leg by a gang of hooded attackers in Peckham

The first man to wear a top hat in public caused so much hysteria and commotion in St James’ that he was arrested for disturbing the peace

London’s thoroughfares once had Thieving Lane; Whores Nest; Pissing Alley; Cutthroat Lane; Foul Lane; Blowbladder Street; and Cats Hole

Love them or loath them W. S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan operatic fame was born in London on 18 November 1836, S stands for Schwenck

When Napoleon was thinking of invading England his failed attempt was mocked by an unusual ale house sign: ‘My Arse in a Bandbox’

Established in 1902, Ealing Studios in West London are the oldest continuously working film studios in the world

Opened in 1652, Pasqua Rosee’s was the first coffee house in London located on St Michael’s Alley was burned down during the Great Fire 1666

In 1577 John Northbrooke’s Treatise deplored blasphemous swinge-bucklers, tossepots, loitering idle persons and the governing of football

In 1890 the City and South London Railway was the world’s first deep-level underground railway and the first railway to use electric traction

In 14th century London employed rakers to rake the excrement out of toilets, notably one Richard the Raker died by drowning in his own toilet

Margaret Thatcher went to the same Mayfair hairdresser, Evansky as Barbara Castle, while Thatcher sat in main area Castle had a private room

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.

London in Quotations: John Buchan

The amusements of London seemed as flat as soda-water that has been standing in the sun.

John Buchan (1875-1940), The Thirty-Nine Steps