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 Trivia: Windsor Castle fire

On 20 November 1992, a fierce fire raged through Windsor Castle, threatening one of the world’s greatest collections of art, the fire started in a private chapel on the first floor of the north-east wing and caused damage costing millions to repair.

On 20 November 1947 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were married in Westminster Abbey at 11.30am with 2000 invited guests

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

41 people drowned in 1867 after they decided to ignore warnings and skate on thin layer of ice on the lake in Regent’s Park

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.

London in Quotations: Thomas de Quincey

. . . a duller spectacle this Earth of ours has not to show than a rainy Sunday in London.

Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)

London Trivia: The Thunderer returns

On 13 November 1979 The Times newspaper was published for the first time in nearly a year, following a dispute between management and unions over manning levels and the introduction of new technology. It was the first break in the production of the Times, known affectionately to its readers as “the Thunderer” since it was founded in 1788.

On 13 November 1969 Britain’s first live quintuplets born this century at Queen Charlotte’s maternity hospital. The five girls were born to Irene Hanson and her husband John from Rayleigh in Essex

An old police box aka TARDIS can be found outside Earl’s Court station. The same station that had the Underground’s first escalator on 4 October 1911

Records show that the site of OXO Tower, bought for £75,000 by the Leibig Extract of Meat Company in the 1920s, was once used as a butchery!

Charles II, encouraged by Nell Gwyn, founded Chelsea Royal Hospital in 1682 for injured Civil War veterans. Soldiers over the age of 65 may apply to become a Chelsea Pensioner

In 1796 a Commons Committee spent days debating a plan to dig a channel across the Isle of Dogs to save sailing time around the peninsular

In his study at Harrington Gardens SW7 W S Gilbert saw a Japanese sword fall from the wall and inspired him to write The Mikado

Piccadilly may take it’s name from Piccadilly Hall so called home of Robert Baker, a tailor who sold piccadillies, a form of collar or ruff

London has more professional football clubs than any other city in the world except Buenos Aires. In 2013 the Football Association celebrated the 150th anniversary of its formation in a tavern in Holborn

The average speed on the Underground is 20.5 miles per hour including station stops but on the Metropolitan Line trains can reach over 60mph

From his Wapping soap factory John Knight produced the famous Knight’s Castile soap, which won a medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851

In 1995 Holborn had a bizarre claim to fame as the most commonly mispronounced word in the English language. Remember the l is silent

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: Virginia Woolf

“I love walking in London”, said Mrs Dalloway. “Really, it’s better than walking in the country”.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1914), Mrs Dalloway

London Trivia: Sex Pistols first gig

On 6 November 1975, the Sex Pistols gave their first public concert at a London art school but not surprisingly after only playing for ten minutes they were told to pack up and go home.

On 6 November 1963 British European Airways opened an air terminal on Cromwell Road, unfortunately it was some distance from the nearest Underground station.

It is illegal in London to have sex on a parked motorcycle, beat a carpet in a public park, or impersonate a Chelsea pensioner

The Ritz hotel in Piccadilly was built on a site previously occupied by The Old White Horse Cellar, one of the most famous coaching inns in London

The remains of a Roman teenage girl were unearthed during the construction of The Gherkin, she was reburied near where she was found

Lenin, during his time in London, enjoyed taking trips on the top decks of buses as a means of observing the proletariat

The Lanesborough Hotel had 3 original Reynolds and boasts the largest collection of 18th century paintings in the world outside any gallery

The Fox and Anchor-Smithfield and Market Porter-Borough are licensed to serve alcohol from 7am to fit in with the hours worked by market porters

Tennis legend Fred Perry is commemorated by to plaques in Ealing. His ashes are buried near his statute at Wimbledon

Just outside Temple Tube station is an original pre-Beck map in a glass case. (In other words its lines are bendy rather than straight.)

The only London-based gin distillery left today is Beefeater Gin, which is based on Kennington in the former Haywards pickle factory

The River Thames is two hundred and fifteen miles long, has 47 locks and carries some 300,000 tonnes of sediment a year

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.