London Trivia: Death by visitation

On 29 January 1842 the body of PC Nicholls, ‘his face much bruised and disfigured as if from severe violence’, was found on South Lambeth Road. At the time his demise was attributed ‘death by the visitation of God’. 140 years later a Kennington policeman re-investigated this death by visitation and concluded the culprit as a fellow police officer moreover the relevant page in a police register of the time was missing.

On 29 January twelve bombs explosed in the West End, one person a taxi driver, was hurt. A 13th device was discovered later in an HMV record store

The Blind Beggar was the scene of a murder when thief Bulldog Wallis stabbed a man through the eye with an umbrella later Ronnie Kray killed George Cornell by shooting him through the eye in the same pub

Shoe Lane, EC4 is named after the ancient Sho well that was situated at the north of the street. In 13th century it was Showell Lane

On 29 January 1820 Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that saw both the American and French revolutions

On 29 January 1857 Queen Victoria introduced the Victoria Cross with its inscription For Valour, two thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch

On 29 January 1942 the BBC first broadcast Desert Island Discs its presenter Roy Plomley went on to host the programme 1,791 times

Tradition has it that Pimlico is named after Ben Pimlico, a 17th Century Hoxton brewer who supplied London with a popular Nut Brown ale

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

The Underground’s longest continuous tunnel is on the Northern line and runs from East Finchley to Morden (via Bank), a total of 17.3 miles

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his first symphony in 1764 as he and his family lived at 180 Ebury Street, Belgravia

On 29 January 1959 dense fog brought road, rail and air transport in London to a standstill-chemists reported a boom in the sale of smog masks

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: Trunk call

On 22 January 1970 Heathrow welcomed a Pan Am Boeing 747; the first ‘jumbo jet’ carrying fare-paying passengers has arrived at Heathrow airport. Pan Am Flight Two touched down at 14.14 GMT. The jumbo brought 324 passengers across the Atlantic from New York to London. The return journey to New York did not run so smoothly, 36 of the 153 passengers transferred to other flights after a faulty compressed air bottle, meant take-off was delayed for four-and-a-half hours at Heathrow.

On 22 January 1988 Alexandra Palace was reopened following restoration, the palm court included dates and palms brought from Alexandria, Egyptian-style obelisks and mock sphinxes

On 22 January 1626 In Bleeding Heart Yard, Farringdon Lady Elizabeth Hatton’s mutilated body was found after she danced with the devil

Green Lanes, which runs 7.45 miles from Newington Green to Ridge Avenue in Winchmore Hill, is the longest named thoroughfare in London

In Whitechapel during the mid 1800s you could have a clean hot bath for 6d, or get in someone’s disused warm water for 2d, many chose the latter

Upminster Bridge station has a swastika motif on the floor of the ticket hall installed before the symbol took on its sinister reputation

In Fever Pitch (1997) shots showing Highbury’s 1970 terraces were Fulham’s at Craven Cottage. Arsenal’s ground had become an all-seater

Famous 1950s coffee-bar in Old Compton Street was called 3 I’s one Iranian left becoming 2 I’s. Australian’s bought the lease and kept the name

On 22 January 1927 the first football match was broadcast live on the radio took place at Highbury as Arsenal drew 1-1 with Sheffield United

The total number of carriages in London Underground’s fleet, as of January 2013, was 4,134 and the total number of stations served on the network was 270

Waterloo Bridge, is known as ‘Ladies’ Bridge on account of the World War II goodbyes to troops enroute to Waterloo Station and the women who built it

Frederick Hitch, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, became a London Cabbie when he came home

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: Victoria 6913 please

On 15 January 1880 the first telephone directory was published, its three exchanges had 248 subscribers to The Telephone Company, but remarkably no numbers only addresses. If you wanted to be connected you had to ring the operator and ask for the person by name. No AAAAAAA Hansom Cabs here. The first person listed was John Adam & Co., 11 Pudding Lane. Naturally Alexander Bell was there he had, after all, invented the contraption, and Keith Prowse selling tickets.

On 15 January 1797 John Hetherington charged with breach of the peace and inciting a riot after he was the first to wear a top hat in public

The last person to stand and be humiliated in a pillory in London was Peter Bossy in 1830. It sometimes was dangerous and many lost an eye

Putney Bridge is unique in that it is the only one in Britain with a church at either end St Mary’s Putney north and All Saints Fulham south

Tobacco was used to revive those drowned in the Thames its vapours were thought to restore the body’s balance inserted into the rectum

On 15 January 1559 the Coronation of Elizabeth I took place at Westminster Abbey, it the last occasion on which the Latin service was used

Billy Ocean, born Leslie Charles, took his name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney where he lived. He also worked for a tailor in Brick Lane

In 1868 Edward, The Prince of Wales, regularly visited the (legal) opium den of Chi Ki in Limehouse frequented by sailors

The 1908 Russian Olympic team arrived 12 days late to London because they hadn’t yet started using the Gregorian calendar

Every week the Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world but very, very slowly

In October 1986 a trio of Daily Telegraph journalists set up The Independent newspaper from 40 City Road, last year the paper stopped printing and was only published online

London only reached its pre-World War II population of just over 8.615 million in January, 2015 after the war it dipped to 6.6 million

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: England expects

On 8 January 1806 after laying in state in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Nelson’s body was carried by state barge along the Thames to the Admiralty in Whitehall in preparation for his internment the next day in St. Paul’s. With the commercial value of good viewing places The Times carried advertisements such as ‘Those ladies and gentlemen who are desirous of seeing . . . may be accommodated with seats in a spacious loft, fitted up for the occasion’.

On 8 January 1991 one person died and 542 were injured in a train crash at Cannon Street station. A further passenger died three days later

In 1952 a Nigerian visitor was fined £50 for committing an indecent act with a pigeon in Trafalgar Square and £10 for having it for his tea

On Carting Lane, which runs down from the Strand towards Embankment, there’s a sewer gas destructor lamp hence its nickname of Farting Lane

The worst death toll on the Underground occurred at Bethnal Green Tube tragedy in 1943 when 173 people died. It is the largest loss of life in a single incident

Brompton Road (now disused) on the Piccadilly, Line was apparently used as a control room for anti-aircraft guns during World War II

Scenes from the film Sliding Doors were shot at Waterloo station on the Waterloo and City Line and at Fulham Broadway tube station on the District Lines

The various streets named Savoy take their name from the Savoy Palace where in 1381 thirty-two men trapped in the cellar drank themselves to death

The Lord’s pavilion is only in red terracotta because a strike by masons meant stone, which the architect had wanted was unavailable

The shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the underground is only 260 metres between Leicester Square and Covent Garden and takes about 20 seconds

222 Strand was London’s first air conditioned restaurant, ladies from local cycling club pedalled a bicycle in the basement powering bellows

On 8 January 1938 a German tourist Willie Hitler told journalists that his uncle Adolf was peaceful “who thinks war is not worth the candle”

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: 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.