Category Archives: Puppydog tails

Test Your Knowledge: July 2022

Sadiq Khan has recently been proposing that Havering should become an inner-city borough and Romford’s character as an Essex market town subsumed into the Metropolis. So this month’s quiz is about my home London borough, where curiously I still have an Essex address, despite paying council tax to a London authority. As before the correct answer will turn green when it’s clicked upon and expanded to give more information. The incorrect answers will turn red giving the correct explanation.

1. There are 32 London boroughs. How many, including Havering, begin with the letter H? (No need to list them – just need the number)
Three
WRONG Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
Seven
CORRECT Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
Nine
WRONG Seven (unless you’re a Cockney who drops their Hs, in which case it’s zero). They are Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
2. The London Borough of Havering was created in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Romford, and which Essex urban district?
Upminster
WRONG Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
Hornchurch
CORRECT Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
Rainham
WRONG Hornchurch, reputedly named after a church of ill repute – horn/church.
3. What is unusual about the village of North Ockendon in the London Borough of Havering?
It’s the only inhabited area in Greater London outside the M25
CORRECT It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
Traditionally cabbies won’t go there as it’s regarded as bad luck
WRONG It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
A U.S. President’s wife was born there
WRONG It’s outside the M25 — the only populated part of London to be free of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion proposals. Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of the U.S. congressman and presidential candidate, was born in North Ockendon in 1977, her husband never was elected to that high office.
4. The small village of Havering-atte-Bower is home to a stocks and whipping post – a very rare survival in London. Which famous politician visited in 2010, as attested by a nearby plaque?
Boris Johnson
CORRECT Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
Gordon Brown
WRONG Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
Ed Milliband
WRONG Boris Johnson, who was there to unveil an adjacent village sign.
5. At the entrance to Upminster Bridge Station, there is an unusual symbol on the floor. What is it?
Swastika
CORRECT The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
Pentagram
WRONG The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
Treble clef
WRONG The large swastika was put on the floor of Upminster Bridge station in 1934, one year after Hitler came to power.
6. Romford was granted a market by which Monarch?
Queen Victoria in 1847
WRONG The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
Henry III in 1247
CORRECT The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
Edward VI in 1547
WRONG The market originated as a sheep market in 1247. Under the Royal Charter of the Liberty of Havering, granted by King Henry III, no other market is permitted to set up within a day’s sheep drive (six and two-thirds miles) of Romford.
7. Ferry Lane, Rainham gave access to a ferry that once crossed the river, primarily for what purpose?
Taking cattle to better grazing on the south bank
WRONG For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
To pick up Hansom carriages assembled in Erith at a factory located on Bronze Age Way
WRONG For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
To transport pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral
CORRECT For centuries until 1854, Ferry Lane, leading down to the River Thames south of Rainham, was the northern boarding point for a ferry that crossed the river, transporting pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral.
8. What unique fixture can be seen at the east end of St Andrew’s Church roof, Hornchurch, where you might usually expect to find a cross?
A globe
WRONG A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
A pineapple
WRONG A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
A bull’s head
CORRECT A carving of the head of a horned bull (hence Hornchurch). A pineapple placed on buildings used to be a symbol of wealth and status as they weren’t grown anywhere in Europe, one can be found upon St. Paul’s Cathedral.
9. What stopped at Maywin Drive, just north of St. Andrews Church, Hornchurch?
The Ice Age advance
CORRECT In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
The Peasants’ Revolt
WRONG In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
The first Green Line bus
WRONG In 1892 the Romford to Upminster branch line was constructed and an unexpected seam of boulder clay overlaid by sand and gravel was exposed. The Essex Field Club investigated and discovered several Jurassic fossils that could only have been carried from the Midlands by an ice sheet. Since then, with all of the construction taking place in London, no such glacial deposition has been found further south than Maywin Drive, Hornchurch.
10. What unusual event occurred at Gallows Corner in 1932?
A meteorite landed
WRONG In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.
A cow was executed
CORRECT In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.
The locals declared self-rule for Romford
WRONG In 1932, a Metropolitan Police car collided with a cow at the junction. The animal was so badly injured it had to be destroyed. It was, in all probability, the last time the authorities had to sanction an execution at Gallows Corner.

Johnson’s London Dictionary: Shakespeare’s Globe

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE (n.) Eponymous playhouse that’s neither owned by the Bard, nor doth appear spherical.

Dr. Johnson’s London Dictionary for publick consumption in the twenty-first century avail yourself on Twitter @JohnsonsLondon

Johnson’s London Dictionary: Museum of London

MUSEUM OF LONDON (n.) A repository of historic memorabilia soon to be much frequented by tourists doth startled to view horseless stagecoaches driven through its basement.

Dr. Johnson’s London Dictionary for publick consumption in the twenty-first century avail yourself on Twitter @JohnsonsLondon

London’s longest day

On today, the longest day of the year, a list of London’s longest:

Longest borough – Hillingdon (12 miles)
Longest postcode – CR0 (7.5 miles)
Longest dimension – M25 J14 to North Ockendon (36.5 miles)

Longest river – Thames (44 miles)
Longest canal – Grand Union (16 miles)
Longest flight of locks – 7 (Hanwell)
Longest canal tunnel – Islington (878m)

Longest bridge – Waterloo Bridge (370m)
Longest island – Brentford Ait (620m)
Longest reservoir – King George’s Reservoir (4 miles)

Longest runway – Heathrow 09L/27R (2.4 miles)
Longest flight – Heathrow to Perth (9009 miles)

Longest footpath – London Outer Orbital Path (150 miles)
Longest park – Richmond Park (2.7 miles)

Longest street – Green Lanes (7.5 miles)
Longest straight road – the A5 (Edgware Road) (10 miles)
Longest motorway – M25 (approx 117 miles)
Longest mews – Pavilion Road, SW1 (900m)

Longest streetname – Alfred’s Way (East Ham and Barking By-pass)
Longest ‘street’ name – St Martin-in-the-Fields Church Path
Longest one word streetname – Straightsmouth

Longest Underground line – Central line (West Ruislip → Epping, 34.1 miles)
Longest Underground journey – Uxbridge → Cockfosters (32 miles)
Longest Night Tube journey – Heathrow T5 → Cockfosters (29 miles)
Longest non-stop tube journey – Finchley Road → Harrow-on-the-Hill (7.2 miles)
Longest non-stop rail journey – Paddington → Heathrow (14.5 miles)

Longest tunnel – Thames Water Ring Main (50 miles)
Longest Underground tunnel – East Finchley → Morden (via Bank) (17.3 miles)
Longest rail tunnel – Stratford → Dagenham (6.5 miles)
Longest road tunnel – Limehouse Link (1.1 miles)
Longest foot tunnel – Woolwich (504m)

Longest station name – Caledonian Road and Barnsbury
Longest tube station name – High Street Kensington
Longest non-TfL station name – West Hampstead Thameslink
Longest one-word station names – Knightsbridge/Woodmansterne

Longest tube escalator – Angel (61m)
Longest escalator – Heathrow Terminal 5

Longest bus route – X26 (Heathrow → Croydon, 24.1 miles)
Longest nightbus route – N199 (St Mary Cray → Charing Cross, 22.1 miles)
Longest bus stop name – Loxford School Of Science and Technology

Longest-running play – The Mousetrap (since 6 October 1952)
Longest-running musical – Les Misérables (since 28 September 1985)
Longest market charter – Barking (since 1175)

Longest-serving MP – Harriet Harman (since 28 October 1982)
Longest-serving male MP – Jeremy Corbyn (since 9 June 1983)

Longest drought – 73 days (Mile End, spring 1893)
Longest period of continuous rain – 59 hours (13-15 June 1903)

All data courtesy from Diamond Geezer who assumes several of these are wrong; and if they’re wrong factually than pedantically.

The world’s most famous telephone

There must be millions of public call boxes around the world, but I doubt if there is one more famous than Parliament Square’s kiosk.

But first for any millennials who might ask: “What’s a phone box?”. The old red telephone box is an icon of Britain from days gone by, used nowadays only by tourists for their Instagram posts and Japanese girls modelling bridal wear. Red phone boxes were once very popular if only because they were the only method we had to have a distance conversation.

With hinges buckled by overuse, windows frosted with the decades-old glue of sex-workers calling cards and floors stained with urine, these weathered old hulks make obvious photographic props for anyone on their first trip to London.

The world’s most photographed kiosk on Parliament Square’s north side is not going anywhere as it’s on Historic England’s protected register. But not only do these quaint old kiosks symbolise Britain’s historic influence in the world to a lot of people but some actually work.

Now, the number for this phone box has been shared on Twitter by Nick Walker, who’s encouraging people to go old school, and welcome a tourist to London.

020 7930 1397
This is the number for this phonebox on Parliament Square. There’s normally a queue of tourists waiting to get a photograph with it, so give it a call sometime. Who knows who you might speak to. pic.twitter.com/1Asxpozx0V

— Nick Walker (@nickw84)

Having rung the number on several occasions I’ve had no luck in talking to someone, maybe you’ll be able to talk to a tourist.

Featured image: English: K2 telephone box in Parliament Square (rotated) by Jorge A. Ramos C.