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: James Boswell

Sir, the spirits which I have in London make me do every thing with more readiness and vigour. I can talk twice as much in London as any where else.

James Boswell (1740-1795)

London Trivia: WERTY Keyboard

On 1 January 1845: The suspect for the murder of Sarah Hart using prussic acid boarded the train at Slough bound for Paddington. The nascent telegraph could not send the letter Q. The message describing the suspect read: ” . . . In the garb of a Kwaker“. John Tawell was the first person to be arrested the result of telecommunications technology. Found guilty he was publicly hanged in Aylesbury on 28 March 1845 watched by a huge crowd.

On 1 January 1967 George Harrison recognised by the doorman was barred from Annabel’s for not wearing a tie, he went to Lyons Corner House

The last man in Britain to be hanged for killing a police officer was Guenther Podola at Wandsworth Prison in 1959

The Savoy Hotel has a permanently lit gas lamp near the river entrance powered by methane gas from the sewers

John Keats trained as an apothecary/surgeon at Guy’s hospital but he gave up surgery for a precarious existence as a poet

Number Ten Downing Street has two front doors, rotated to allow maintenance. The zero is at a slight angle to mimic an earlier one that slipped

In 1905 millionaire George Kessler flooded the Savoy’s courtyard to float a gondola, a birthday cake on an elephant’s back and Caruso singing

A stone in the beer garden wall at the Prospect of Whitby, Wapping identifies the wall as the boundary between Wapping and Limehouse

The ‘Ashes’ are displayed at Lords but the cricket match that led to the ashes being presented is played at the Oval

The first commercial flight from Heathrow was made on 1 January 1946 by South American Airways bound for Buenos Aires in a civilian Lancaster

1757 saw publication of Harris’ List of Covent Garden Ladies a directory of prostitutes and their special skills, it was very popular!

In January 2005, in an attempt to alleviate a problem with loitering young people, the London Underground announced it would play classical music at problem stations

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: William Shakespeare

How London doth pour out her citizens.

William Shakespeare (1567-1616), Henry V

London Trivia: First Mousetrap

On 25 December 1952, the Ambassadors Theatre premiered The Mousetrap, it has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre.

On 25 December 1739 London saw the start of the great frost, freezing of the Thames and a terrible Winter

The City of London police is the smallest territorial police force in the world, as it only covers the Square Mile, although it has nearly 1,000 officers and special constables

The façade of Liberty’s in Regent Street is constructed from the timbers of the navy’s last two wooden warships : HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan

St George’s Hospital has a cowhide belonging to Blossom who gave cowpox to Sarah Nelmes in 1796 Jenner developed smallpox vaccine from virus

Playwright George Bernard Shaw served as a St Pancras councillor from 1897 to 1903, during which he worked to establish the first free ladies toilet in the borough

Novelist William Thackeray wrote Vanity Fair, Pendennis and Henry Esmond whilst living at 16 Young Street, Kensington

Henry VIII acquired Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536; he and his court were often seen there on horseback hunting deer

Leyton Football Club, claims to be London’s oldest club, Cray Wanderers if not once in Kent founded 1860, could be the earliest

On the Piccadilly line the recording of ‘Mind the GP’ is notable for being the voice of Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer in Radio 4’s The Archers

In the 18th century a ‘Winchester Goose’ was not an animal. It was the nickname for a prostitute that plied her trade on the south bank of the river

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a nickname for a section of 12 Soho streets once used by cab drivers to short cut between Regent Street and Charing Cross

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: G. K. Chesterton

London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), All Things Considered