Category Archives: London trivia

London Trivia: Beer flood

On 17 October 1814, on the site of the Dominion Theatre a huge vat at the brewery of Manx & Co., containing 135,000 gallons of beer, ruptured. A domino effect caused over 3 million gallons to gush out destroying property and killing seven.

On 17 October 2008 in Hammersmith John Lynch (Prince Albert) was announced the world’s most pierced senior citizen with 241 piercings

In 2005 drug-crazed squirrels eagerly dug up and ate the secreted stash of crack cocaine buried in garden flower beds by a dealer to avoid being caught by police in Brixton

One of the first houses in England to be lit by electricity was that of scientist Sir William Crookes at 7 Kensington Park Gardens

Seven people have died by falling off the Monument to the Great Fire of London before the safety rail was built, curiously the majority were bakers

Had Hitler won World War II he planned to transport Nelson’s Column to Berlin as he believed it was a symbol of British naval supremacy

It was in Room 507 at the Hotel Samarkand, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill that Jimi Hendrix died of a drugs overdose in September 1970

Brixton Market was the first market in London to have electric lighting and stands, as a result, Electric Avenue

In the 16th century Elizabeth I decreed that, ‘no foteballe (football) play to be used or suffered within the City of London’

Arsenal tube station was originally Gillespie Road renamed when the club moved North. It is the only station named after a football team

As well as ferrying passengers from A to B, Watermen would pull bodies from the Thames, landing them at Southwark

The Queen has nine Royal thrones – One at the House of Lords, two at Westminster Abbey, and six in the throne room at Buckingham Palace

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 Trivia: Night of bombing

On 10 October 1940, a bomb hit the former residence of the King and Queen at 145 Piccadilly, on that same night 400 bombs hit London, including Battersea Power Station, the BBC at Portland Place and Leicester Square.

On 10 October 1926 the first London mosque, at Melrose Road, Southfields, was opened

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.

London Trivia: Spaghetti House seige

On 3 October 1975 the six remaining hostages, held at the Spaghetti House Restaurant, Knightsbridge were released after 5 days. Robbers had originally intended stealing the £13,000 week’s takings. One of the staff had escaped, alerting the police

On 3 October 1929 the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road opened, it was a cinema within three years

In 1736 gravedigger Thomas Jenkins received 100 lashes for selling dead bodies from St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney High Street

Underneath the MI6 building is the overflow pipe for the River Effra, it’s just big enough to launch a mini-submarine from the orifice

Nell Gywnn, orange seller and mistress to Charles II was born in the Coal Yard, now Stukeley Street off Drury Lane in 1650

After his victory over England Hitler had a plan to dismantle Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and display it in Berlin

Only one house where Charles Dickens lived still stands 48 Doughty Street from 1837 to 1839 here he wrote Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers

The upper span of Tower Bridge was originally a walkway but it was closed in 1910 as it had become a haunt of prostitutes

One of the Scotland fans who invaded the pitch at Wembley in 1977 was Rod Stewart. In the commotion someone nicked his Cartier watch

In 1910 the London and North Western Railway offered its business passengers the on-board services of Miss Tarrant. (Typist)

In 2013 one ton of dust was removed from the attics at Kensington Palace, the first time since 1719 they had been cleaned

In the 1950s three members of the Attkins family were Highgate’s fishmonger, butcher and dentist – known as Fishkins, Porkins and Toothkins

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 Trivia: Beatles given medals

On 26 September 1965, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were appointed ‘Members of the British Empire’, receiving their MBEs at Buckingham Palace on 26 October.

On 26 September 1963 Lord Denning’s official report into the Profumo Affair went on sale in London with 100,000 copies sold the first day

In 1736 gravedigger Thomas Jenkins received 100 lashes for selling dead bodies from St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney High Street

Underneath the MI6 building is the overflow pipe for the River Effra, it’s just big enough to launch a mini-submarine from the orifice

Nell Gywnn, orange seller and mistress to Charles II was born in the Coal Yard, now Stukeley Street off Drury Lane in 1650

After his victory over England Hitler had a plan to dismantle Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and display it in Berlin

Only one house where Charles Dickens lived still stands 48 Doughty Street from 1837 to 1839 here he wrote Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers

The upper span of Tower Bridge was originally a walkway but it was closed in 1910 as it had become a haunt of prostitutes

One of the Scotland fans who invaded the pitch at Wembley in 1977 was Rod Stewart. In the commotion someone nicked his Cartier watch

In 1910 the London and North Western Railway offered its business passengers the on-board services of Miss Tarrant. (Typist)

In 2013 one ton of dust was removed from the attics at Kensington Palace, the first time since 1719 they had been cleaned

In the 1950s three members of the Attkins family were Highgate’s fishmonger, butcher and dentist – known as Fishkins, Porkins and Toothkins

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 Trivia: First parking ticket

On 19 September 1960, the very first parking ticket was issued to Dr Creighton, who was answering an emergency call to a suspected heart attack at a West End hotel, 343 others received fines that day.

On 19 September 1887 Lillie Bridge Stadium was burnt down by rioters after 2 heavily backed sprinters, bribed to lose, failed to race

For some crimes the guilty were locked in the pillory then had their ears nailed to the frame, upon release were forced to leave them behind

King Street, St James’s is named after Charles II, King Street, Covent Garden is named after Charles I and Kingsway after Edward VII

The American talk show host Jerry Springer was born at Highgate during the Second World War: his mother had taken shelter in the station from an air raid

Trafalgar Square was to have been called ‘King William the Fourth’s Square’; however, George Ledwell Taylor suggested Trafalgar Square

It was at 9A Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley), then La Gioconda, where David Jones (Bowie) and his first backing band – Lower Third – met

The Sanderson Hotel, Berners Street was a showroom for Sandersons wallpaper, the listed sign meant the hotel could have no other name

The oldest (and possibly most bizarre) medal winner was John Copley who won Silver in the London 1948 Olympics for an etching he was 73 at the time, drawing was in the Olympics until 1948

Charles Pearson, MP and Solicitor to the City of London, is credited with successfully campaigning for the introduction of the Underground. He died in 1862 shortly before the first train ran

During the war, some stations (now mostly disused) were converted into government offices: a station called Down Street was used for meetings of the Railway Executive Committee

Brydges Place named after Catherine Brydges daughter of 3rd Baron Chandos at 15 inches at its narrowest point is London’s tightest alley

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.