Test Your Knowledge: January 2022

At the start of the year, here’s another 10 questions for your delectation. As with the previous Quizzes, 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. What is the earliest known image of London?
A gold arras medallion
CORRECT In 286 AD Marcus Aurelius Mausæus Carausius provincial governor rebelled against his masters and declared himself emperor of Roman Britain. He had a woman kneeling at Londinium’s gate represented on a medallion, struck to commemorate the restoration of Roman rule from Frankish mercenaries. Marcus lasted 7 years before his murder.
A painting in Chislehurst Caves
WRONG In 286 AD Marcus Aurelius Mausæus Carausius provincial governor rebelled against his masters and declared himself emperor of Roman Britain. He had a woman kneeling at Londinium’s gate represented on a medallion, struck to commemorate the restoration of Roman rule from Frankish mercenaries. Marcus lasted 7 years before his murder.
On a Viking shield
WRONG In 286 AD Marcus Aurelius Mausæus Carausius provincial governor rebelled against his masters and declared himself emperor of Roman Britain. He had a woman kneeling at Londinium’s gate represented on a medallion, struck to commemorate the restoration of Roman rule from Frankish mercenaries. Marcus lasted 7 years before his murder.
2. How big does a boat have to be for Tower Bridge to be raised?
19ft
WRONG Once constructed, when much of London’s trade came up the Thames, the steam-powered carriageway was raised up to 50 times a day. Nowadays only 800 vessels a year with masts or superstructures exceeding 29ft necessitate a raising.
29ft
CORRECT Once constructed, when much of London’s trade came up the Thames, the steam-powered carriageway was raised up to 50 times a day. Nowadays only 800 vessels a year with masts or superstructures exceeding 29ft necessitate a raising.
39ft
WRONG Once constructed, when much of London’s trade came up the Thames, the steam-powered carriageway was raised up to 50 times a day. Nowadays only 800 vessels a year with masts or superstructures exceeding 29ft necessitate a raising.
3. Who gets a 101-gun salute?
A crowned monarch
CORRECT A monarch traditionally gets a 21-gun salute. A curious and incautious James II of Scotland stood too close for safety ‘and was unhappely slane with ane gun’. As the country’s oldest military body, the Honourable Artillery Company gets the honour to fire a 101-gun salute from the Tower of London when the crown is first placed upon the head of a new sovereign.
The Queen
WRONG A monarch traditionally gets a 21-gun salute. A curious and incautious James II of Scotland stood too close for safety ‘and was unhappely slane with ane gun’. As the country’s oldest military body, the Honourable Artillery Company gets the honour to fire a 101-gun salute from the Tower of London when the crown is first placed upon the head of a new sovereign.
The death of the king
WRONG A monarch traditionally gets a 21-gun salute. A curious and incautious James II of Scotland stood too close for safety ‘and was unhappely slane with ane gun’. As the country’s oldest military body, the Honourable Artillery Company gets the honour to fire a 101-gun salute from the Tower of London when the crown is first placed upon the head of a new sovereign.
4. Where is London’s oldest shop?
Hatter James Lock & Co.
CORRECT New boy perfumer Floris has shop fittings built for the 1851 Great Exhibition, while Berry Bros has been around since 1698 when it started supplying coffee. Established in 1676 after inheriting from his father-in-law, Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world, the oldest shop in London it has graced the heads of some of the greatest figures in history. Admiral Lord Nelson wore their bicorne with a bespoke built-in eye-shade into the Battle of Trafalgar.
Perfumer J. Floris
WRONG New boy perfumer Floris has shop fittings built for the 1851 Great Exhibition, while Berry Bros has been around since 1698 when it started supplying coffee. Established in 1676 after inheriting from his father-in-law, Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world, the oldest shop in London it has graced the heads of some of the greatest figures in history. Admiral Lord Nelson wore their bicorne with a bespoke built-in eye-shade into the Battle of Trafalgar.
Wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd
WRONG New boy perfumer Floris has shop fittings built for the 1851 Great Exhibition, while Berry Bros has been around since 1698 when it started supplying coffee. Established in 1676 after inheriting from his father-in-law, Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world, the oldest shop in London it has graced the heads of some of the greatest figures in history. Admiral Lord Nelson wore their bicorne with a bespoke built-in eye-shade into the Battle of Trafalgar.
5. Which is London’s oldest statue?
Sotheby’s Sekhmet
CORRECT The oldest freestanding statue in London is King Alfred the Great. With ‘1586’ carved into the base, St Dunstan-in-the-West has the only remaining statue of Queen Elizabeth I carved in her lifetime. At the entrance to Sotheby’s auction house in New Bond Street, the Ancient Egyptian Sekhmet surveys all who enter. Sold in the 1880s for £40 but never collected, the bust of Sekhmet, carved in black basalt and depicting the goddess as a lioness, dates to around 1320 BC and graces the entrance to Southeby’s in New Bond Street.
Alfred the Great in Trinity Church Square
WRONG The oldest freestanding statue in London is King Alfred the Great. With ‘1586’ carved into the base, St Dunstan-in-the-West has the only remaining statue of Queen Elizabeth I carved in her lifetime. At the entrance to Sotheby’s auction house in New Bond Street, the Ancient Egyptian Sekhmet surveys all who enter. Sold in the 1880s for £40 but never collected, the bust of Sekhmet, carved in black basalt and depicting the goddess as a lioness, dates to around 1320 BC and graces the entrance to Southeby’s in New Bond Street.
Queen Elizabeth I outside St Dunstan-in-the-West
WRONG The oldest freestanding statue in London is King Alfred the Great. With ‘1586’ carved into the base, St Dunstan-in-the-West has the only remaining statue of Queen Elizabeth I carved in her lifetime. At the entrance to Sotheby’s auction house in New Bond Street, the Ancient Egyptian Sekhmet surveys all who enter. Sold in the 1880s for £40 but never collected, the bust of Sekhmet, carved in black basalt and depicting the goddess as a lioness, dates to around 1320 BC and graces the entrance to Southeby’s in New Bond Street.
6. Where’s the best suntan spot in London?
Heathrow
WRONG Friday, 31st July 2020 saw the temperature reach a sweltering 97°F at Heathrow. While on 25th September 1885 snow was reported to have fallen at London and Wallington in Surrey making it the earliest fall of snow on the capital. But for the sun you cannot beat Kew when in June and August 1976 were recorded 829 hours of sunshine when the average was 600.
Kew
CORRECT Friday, 31st July 2020 saw the temperature reach a sweltering 97°F at Heathrow. While on 25th September 1885 snow was reported to have fallen at London and Wallington in Surrey making it the earliest fall of snow on the capital. But for the sun you cannot beat Kew when in June and August 1976 were recorded 829 hours of sunshine when the average was 600.
Camden Square
WRONG Friday, 31st July 2020 saw the temperature reach a sweltering 97°F at Heathrow. While on 25th September 1885 snow was reported to have fallen at London and Wallington in Surrey making it the earliest fall of snow on the capital. But for the sun you cannot beat Kew when in June and August 1976 were recorded 829 hours of sunshine when the average was 600.
7. Where is the world’s largest collection of Victoria Crosses?
National Army Museum
WRONG There are more than 60 holders of the Victoria Cross buried in London, including cabbie Frederick Hitch. As a schoolboy Lord Ashcroft of Chichester decided if he ever had the money he would buy a Victoria Cross, something he achieved 1986. Donating £5 million for a gallery in his name at the Imperial War Museum it was opened in November 2010. His VC collection now stands at more than 180 decorations and includes awards from all the major conflicts from the Crimean War to the Falklands. The collection also includes the unique and iconic VC and Bar, or double VC, of the Great War awarded to Captain Noel Chavasse.
British Museum
WRONGThere are more than 60 holders of the Victoria Cross buried in London, including cabbie Frederick Hitch. As a schoolboy Lord Ashcroft of Chichester decided if he ever had the money he would buy a Victoria Cross, something he achieved 1986. Donating £5 million for a gallery in his name at the Imperial War Museum it was opened in November 2010. His VC collection now stands at more than 180 decorations and includes awards from all the major conflicts from the Crimean War to the Falklands. The collection also includes the unique and iconic VC and Bar, or double VC, of the Great War awarded to Captain Noel Chavasse.
Imperial War Museum
CORRECT There are more than 60 holders of the Victoria Cross buried in London, including cabbie Frederick Hitch. As a schoolboy Lord Ashcroft of Chichester decided if he ever had the money he would buy a Victoria Cross, something he achieved 1986. Donating £5 million for a gallery in his name at the Imperial War Museum it was opened in November 2010. His VC collection now stands at more than 180 decorations and includes awards from all the major conflicts from the Crimean War to the Falklands. The collection also includes the unique and iconic VC and Bar, or double VC, of the Great War awarded to Captain Noel Chavasse.
8. What is London’s most shoplifted book?
Steal This book
WRONG You’d think to Steal This Book by social activist Abbie Hoffman, giving tips on shoplifting and setting up a pirate radio station would be popular with criminals. Embarrassment at discovering new sexual positions could lead to the Kama Sutra being purloined. But it’s the handy eminently useful, definitive and handily pocket-sized London A-Z that traditionally has been the most shoplifted book in the capital.
Kama Sutra
WRONG You’d think to Steal This Book by social activist Abbie Hoffman, giving tips on shoplifting and setting up a pirate radio station would be popular with criminals. Embarrassment at discovering new sexual positions could lead to the Kama Sutra being purloined. But it’s the handy eminently useful, definitive and handily pocket-sized London A-Z that traditionally has been the most shoplifted book in the capital.
Geographers’ A-Z
CORRECT You’d think to Steal This Book by social activist Abbie Hoffman, giving tips on shoplifting and setting up a pirate radio station would be popular with criminals. Embarrassment at discovering new sexual positions could lead to the Kama Sutra being purloined. But it’s the handy eminently useful, definitive and handily pocket-sized London A-Z that traditionally has been the most shoplifted book in the capital.
9. Where is London’s largest swimming pool?
Tooting Bec Lido
CORRECT Zaha Hadid’s beautiful undulating Aquatics Centre might be Olympic size at 100 m by 25 m wide, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre’s being a contender at 50m x 22m, but both pale in size to Tooting Bec Lido, the largest freshwater swimming pool by surface area in the UK, is 100 yards (91.44 m) long and 33 yards (30.18 m) wide.
London Aquatics Centre
WRONG Zaha Hadid’s beautiful undulating Aquatics Centre might be Olympic size at 100 m by 25 m wide, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre’s being a contender at 50m x 22m, but both pale in size to Tooting Bec Lido, the largest freshwater swimming pool by surface area in the UK, is 100 yards (91.44 m) long and 33 yards (30.18 m) wide.
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
WRONG Zaha Hadid’s beautiful undulating Aquatics Centre might be Olympic size at 100 m by 25 m wide, the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre’s being a contender at 50m x 22m, but both pale in size to Tooting Bec Lido, the largest freshwater swimming pool by surface area in the UK, is 100 yards (91.44 m) long and 33 yards (30.18 m) wide.
10. How many towers are there in the Tower of London?
2
WRONG The White Tower is the largest and oldest part of William the Conqueror’s fortress. Over time a further 21 have been added: Beauchamp, Bell, Bloody, Bowyer, Brick, Broad, Byward, Constable, Cradle, Develin, Devereux, Flint, Lanthorn, Lion, Martin (or Jewel Tower), Middle, St. Thomas’s, Salt, Wakefield, Wardrobe and Well Towers.
22
CORRECT The White Tower is the largest and oldest part of William the Conqueror’s fortress. Over time a further 21 have been added: Beauchamp, Bell, Bloody, Bowyer, Brick, Broad, Byward, Constable, Cradle, Develin, Devereux, Flint, Lanthorn, Lion, Martin (or Jewel Tower), Middle, St. Thomas’s, Salt, Wakefield, Wardrobe and Well Towers.
12
WRONG The White Tower is the largest and oldest part of William the Conqueror’s fortress. Over time a further 21 have been added: Beauchamp, Bell, Bloody, Bowyer, Brick, Broad, Byward, Constable, Cradle, Develin, Devereux, Flint, Lanthorn, Lion, Martin (or Jewel Tower), Middle, St. Thomas’s, Salt, Wakefield, Wardrobe and Well Towers.

No Fireworks

So what did you think of London’s New Year’s fireworks? I thought Sydney and Dubai were pretty good. Can’t say I liked London’s much.

Johnson’s London Dictionary: Speakers’ Corner

SPEAKERS’ CORNER (n.) Refuge from Park Lane bridleway enabling pseudo intelectuals to congregate and harangue those so inclined to listen mainly on religion and politics

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

The London Grill: Roy Reed

We challenge our contributors to reply to ten devilishly probing questions about their London and we don’t take “Sorry Gov” for an answer. Everyone sitting in the hot seat they will face the same questions ranging from their favourite way to spend a day out in the capital to their most hated building on London’s skyline to find out what Londoners really think about their city. The questions are the same but the answers vary wildly.

Roy Reed is a web designer and co-author of Ghost Signs: A London Story. He has been photographing ghost signs (the fading advertisements painted on the sides of buildings) since 2006. He studied documentary photography at the London College of Printing in the 1970s and then worked as a landscape and architectural photographer. His photos have been featured in exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Academy and many other places. His interest in writing on walls dates to the 1970s, when he began documenting political graffiti.

What’s your secret London tip?

Don’t drive. Get the tube, or better still, get a bus. And look up! It’s depressing seeing everyone walking around heads down just staring at the pavement.

What’s your secret London place?

It’s not that secret, but not many people seem to go there. It’s the Wallace Collection. It houses such an amazing collection of paintings and other artefacts.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?

People who drive into the city (unless it’s part of their job). It’s insane. Why would anyone want to drive in London? It costs a fortune to park – if you can find it anywhere – and makes the air taste foul. I used to cycle in London, but not anymore. I hate the toxic atmosphere between motorists and cyclists – and I am getting on a bit.

What’s your favourite building?

I have two, St Olaf’s House next to London Bridge which I was lucky enough to photograph inside and out for the Thirties exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1979 and All Saints, Margaret Street, the most amazing Victorian Gothic church just north of Oxford Street. At one time I would have included Battersea Power Station, but it’s been ruined by the new development that now surrounds it on three sides
.

What’s your most hated building?

St Paul’s Cathedral. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like it. It seems such a grandiose monstrosity. One of my greatest wishes would be to travel back in time and see the old Gothic St Paul’s from before the Great Fire of London.

What’s the best view in London?

The best view I ever had of London was on a flight coming back into Heathrow on a very clear evening on 5th November in the 1980s. The whole of the city was lit up with bonfires and fireworks from horizon to horizon.
But for something that you can see any day, Ray Davies had it right:
As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise

What’s your personal London landmark?

Postman’s Park – a small public garden just north of St Paul’s. It houses a series of memorial plaques to people who have sacrificed their lives to save others. I used to go and sit there for a few minutes peace and quiet when I was working around the City photographing the new developments around Broadgate.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?

My favourite films based in London would have to include Blow Up, My Beautiful Launderette, Babylon and Passport to Pimlico. Books would be Peter Ackroyd’s London: The Biography and Tom Harrison’s Living Through the Blitz. I was born in Brixton just after the war and the bomb sites were our playground.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

It’s very sad, but they’ve all closed.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?

Flying kites on Parliament Hill. I’ve been flying kites on and off since I was 10 when my next-door neighbour’s Indian grandfather taught me how to make them. I can still remember the feeling when the first kite I’d made myself just flew out of my hand and sat against a blue sky instead of spinning and crashing like all the shop-bought ones I’d had before.

London in Quotations: William Henry Rideing

London is like a smoky pearl set in a circle of emeralds.

William Henry Rideing (1853-1915), In the Land of Lorna Doone

Taxi Talk Without Tipping

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