Tag Archives: Test Your Knowledge

English Baby Boomers

Every now and again it strikes home that I now live in a city where those born here are in a minority, spending summers in Dorset, then returning to drive the cab, one realised amongst my passengers I was the only born Londoner – indeed, often a rarely born Englishman. To prove my assumption I present ten questions which should provide you with a barometer of how old you are, and whether you were London-born. Press on the baby boomer or Not button for find out…

1. Who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary as the first people to successfully climb the summit of Mount Everest in 1953?
Baby Boomer or Not
Tibetan mountaineer Tenzing Norgay joined Hillary as the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the two men reached the summit by late morning on 29th May 1953. After spending about 15 minutes on the peak, they began their descent, and announced it to the British just days before the Coronation.
2. What did you win on Crackerjack? What did you get if you lost?
Baby Boomer or Not
Crackjack pencil (and cheers from audience!) or a cabbage for losers.
3. Name the department store that stood on Piccadilly Circus.
Baby Boomer or Not
Swan & Edgar Ltd was was located at Piccadilly Circus on the western side between Piccadilly and Regent Street established in the early 19th century, it closed in 1982.
4. In 1952, thick smog in London caused the death of how many people?
Baby Boomer or Not
4,000 – A performance of La Traviata at Sadler’s Wells theatre in 1952 had to be abandoned as the audience could not see the stage.
5. Before London’s traffic signs and lines erupted into a riot of red, yellow and green, what was the colour-coding of all London signage?
Baby Boomer or Not
The sign colours were black and white.
6. Who was still performing sand dances in Leicester Square right up until it was pedestrianised?
Baby Boomer or Not
Keppel, Keppel and Betty’s ‘sand dance’ that formed the highlight of their act was a parody of postures from Egyptian tomb paintings, combined with references to Arabic costume. The lithe and extremely lanky Wilson and Keppel wore long moustaches and make-up made them appear almost identical and demonstrated their impressive suppleness in adopting wild gestures and dancing in identical ‘stereo’ movements, while Betty joined their antics. The act included a soft-shoe routine performed on a layer of sand spread on the stage to create a rhythmic scratching with their shuffling feet.
7. Winifred Atwill, Russ Conway and Mrs Mills were all – what?
Baby Boomer or Not
Pianists.
8. What was a Red Rover?
Baby Boomer or Not
Red Rover was a days travel ticket on, well red buses.
9. Picture Book. The Flowerpot Men. The Woodentops. Andy Pandy. Rag, Tagi and Bobtail. Who’s missing?
Baby Boomer or Not
Muffin the Mule with Annette Mills.
10. ‘Stone me – what a life.’ What day of the week is it?
Baby Boomer or Not
Tony Hancock in ‘ancock’s Half Hour, on the Light Programme every Tuesday evening.

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.

Christmas Quiz 2021

On the eve of Christmas Day here are ten festive London questions. 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. Where was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night first performed?
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
WRONG Twelfth Night was first performed on 2nd February 1602 in the Middle Temple, one of the four law schools in London collectively known as the Inns of Court.
The Middle Temple
CORRECT Twelfth Night was first performed on 2nd February 1602 in the Middle Temple, one of the four law schools in London collectively known as the Inns of Court.
The Curtain Theatre
WRONG Twelfth Night was first performed on 2nd February 1602 in the Middle Temple, one of the four law schools in London collectively known as the Inns of Court.
2. What theatre was built on the profits of pantomime?
The Palladium
WRONG Harlequin was the star of 18th-century pantomime, which proved popular with paying audiences. In 1732 John Rich, the most notable early Harlequin who danced but never spoke, built Covent Garden Theatre with the profits of his magical pantomimes.
Covent Garden Opera House
CORRECT Harlequin was the star of 18th-century pantomime, which proved popular with paying audiences. In 1732 John Rich, the most notable early Harlequin who danced but never spoke, built Covent Garden Theatre with the profits of his magical pantomimes.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
WRONG Harlequin was the star of 18th-century pantomime, which proved popular with paying audiences. In 1732 John Rich, the most notable early Harlequin who danced but never spoke, built Covent Garden Theatre with the profits of his magical pantomimes.
3. What inspired the first Christmas cracker?
A sugary sweet
CORRECT London-based sweet maker, Tom Smith, created the first Christmas Cracker in 1847. He was inspired by bonbons wrapped in a twist of tissue paper when on a visit to Paris.
A firework
WRONG London-based sweet maker, Tom Smith, created the first Christmas Cracker in 1847. He was inspired by bonbons wrapped in a twist of tissue paper when on a visit to Paris.
A crackling fire
WRONG London-based sweet maker, Tom Smith, created the first Christmas Cracker in 1847. He was inspired by bonbons wrapped in a twist of tissue paper when on a visit to Paris.
4. Which English king was crowned on Christmas Day?
William the Conqueror
CORRECT After winning the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey.
William III
WRONG After winning the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey.
William of Orange
WRONG After winning the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey.
5. The Christmas Day swimming race in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake is now called the Peter Pan Cup, how far do the contestants have to swim?
100 yards
CORRECT The first-ever organised Christmas Day swim was in 1864. The Boxing Day Dip is now a popular charity event that takes place each year.
250 yards
WRONG The first-ever organised Christmas Day swim was in 1864. The Boxing Day Dip is now a popular charity event that takes place each year.
500 yards
WRONG The first-ever organised Christmas Day swim was in 1864. The Boxing Day Dip is now a popular charity event that takes place each year.
6. Who, or what brought back the West End’s illuminated festivities in the 1970s?
The Artist (formally known as Prince)
WRONG Regent Street and Oxford Street’s Christmas lights were banned between 1971 and 1977 to save money. But thanks to Prince Charles, they returned in 1978.
Prince Charles
CORRECT Regent Street and Oxford Street’s Christmas lights were banned between 1971 and 1977 to save money. But thanks to Prince Charles, they returned in 1978.
Black Prince Scotch Whisky
WRONG Regent Street and Oxford Street’s Christmas lights were banned between 1971 and 1977 to save money. But thanks to Prince Charles, they returned in 1978.
7. Where did Bob Cratchit in the novel A Christmas Carol live?
Hackney
WRONG Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk in A Christmas Carol, lived in Camden. Charles Dickens himself resided as a child at 16 Bayham Street, Camden if you fancy visiting the plaque.
Lambeth
WRONG Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk in A Christmas Carol, lived in Camden. Charles Dickens himself resided as a child at 16 Bayham Street, Camden if you fancy visiting the plaque.
Camden
CORRECT IBob Cratchit, Scrooge’s clerk in A Christmas Carol, lived in Camden. Charles Dickens himself resided as a child at 16 Bayham Street, Camden if you fancy visiting the plaque.
8. Which monarch delivered the first Royal Christmas Day Message?
Edward VII
WRONG The Christmas broadcast was started by King George V the Queen’s grandfather, Rudyard Kipling wrote the 251-word message. Over listened on their radios 20 million – due to its success, George V continued to make an annual Christmas broadcast for the rest of his reign.
Queen Elizabeth II
WRONG The Christmas broadcast was started by King George V the Queen’s grandfather, Rudyard Kipling wrote the 251-word message. Over listened on their radios 20 million – due to its success, George V continued to make an annual Christmas broadcast for the rest of his reign.
George V
CORRECT The Christmas broadcast was started by King George V the Queen’s grandfather, Rudyard Kipling wrote the 251-word message. Over listened on their radios 20 million – due to its success, George V continued to make an annual Christmas broadcast for the rest of his reign.
9. What did Scottish nationalist students take from Westminster Abbey on 25th December 1950?
The Stone of Scone
CORRECT On Christmas Day 1950, four students took The Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey back to Scotland. The 2008 film Stone of Destiny illustrates the incident.
The Communion plate
WRONG On Christmas Day 1950, four students took The Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey back to Scotland. The 2008 film Stone of Destiny illustrates the incident.
A Chalice
WRONG On Christmas Day 1950, four students took The Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey back to Scotland. The 2008 film Stone of Destiny illustrates the incident.
10. Visiting Father Christmas at Harrods is a magical experience for London’s little residents. But which year did he first make an appearance in the world-famous department store?
1945
WRONG That year Harrods bought Birmingham department store Rackhams.
1955
CORRECT That year Harrods bought Birmingham department store Rackhams.
1965
WRONG That year Harrods bought Birmingham department store Rackhams.

Test Your Knowledge: December

As you might have expected, this month’s quiz has a festive theme. 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. The first Christmas card was invented in London by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. What was the picture on it?
A family drinking wine
CORRECT Illustrated by John Callcott the central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card’s recipient, on either side were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor.
A robin singing
WRONG Illustrated by John Callcott the central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card’s recipient, on either side were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor.
A bobby apprehending a pickpocket
WRONG Illustrated by John Callcott the central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card’s recipient, on either side were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor.
2. The demo of The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York was recorded in one London studio, the final cut in another London studio, and the orchestra in a third. Which of these studios had nothing to do with the song?
Abbey Road Studios in St John’s Wood
WRONG In the UK, “Fairytale of New York” is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century. Stiff Records had a difficult time getting it published using these London studios Elephant; Sarm West; AIR; Abbey Road; RAK Studios, but NOT Eel Pie Studio.
Eel pie studio in Twickenham
CORRECTIn the UK, “Fairytale of New York” is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century. Stiff Records had a difficult time getting it published using these London studios Elephant; Sarm West; AIR; Abbey Road; RAK Studios, but NOT Eel Pie Studio.
RAK Studios in St John’s Wood
WRONG In the UK, “Fairytale of New York” is the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century. Stiff Records had a difficult time getting it published using these London studios Elephant; Sarm West; AIR; Abbey Road; RAK Studios, but NOT Eel Pie Studio.
3. In A Christmas Carol, which form of poultry does Scrooge send a young lad off to fetch?
Turkey
CORRECT Scrooge asks if the big prize turkey has been sold at the poulterer’s shop. The boy tells him it is still there. Planning to give the turkey to Bob Cratchit, Scrooge orders the boy to have the man bring the turkey to his home, and if he does it in less than five minutes, he’ll give him a half-crown.
Chicken
WRONG Scrooge asks if the big prize turkey has been sold at the poulterer’s shop. The boy tells him it is still there. Planning to give the turkey to Bob Cratchit, Scrooge orders the boy to have the man bring the turkey to his home, and if he does it in less than five minutes, he’ll give him a half-crown.
Goose
WRONG Scrooge asks if the big prize turkey has been sold at the poulterer’s shop. The boy tells him it is still there. Planning to give the turkey to Bob Cratchit, Scrooge orders the boy to have the man bring the turkey to his home, and if he does it in less than five minutes, he’ll give him a half-crown.
4. In festive musical The Ghosts of Oxford Street, who features as an all-singing, all-dancing Harry Gordon Selfridge?
Tom Jones
CORRECT Malcolm McLaren charts the extraordinary history of London’s famous shopping street in a musical film that features Sir Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor, The Pogues, and Kirsty MacColl. Perversely Tom Jones played the lead of Harry Gordon Selfridge.
Malcolm McLaren
WRONG Malcolm McLaren charts the extraordinary history of London’s famous shopping street in a musical film that features Sir Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor, The Pogues, and Kirsty MacColl. Perversely Tom Jones played the lead of Harry Gordon Selfridge.
Brian Blessed
WRONG Malcolm McLaren charts the extraordinary history of London’s famous shopping street in a musical film that features Sir Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor, The Pogues, and Kirsty MacColl. Perversely Tom Jones played the lead of Harry Gordon Selfridge.
5. Which of these does NOT normally open in London on Christmas Day?
Fortnum & Mason
CORRECT Believe it or not, Ripley’s normally opens on Christmas Day. Hardly surprising for their employees Fortnum & Mason keep their door firmly closed.
St Paul’s Cathedral
WRONG Believe it or not, Ripley’s normally opens on Christmas Day. Hardly surprising for their employees Fortnum & Mason keep their door firmly closed.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not?
WRONG Believe it or not, Ripley’s normally opens on Christmas Day. Hardly surprising for their employees Fortnum & Mason keep their door firmly closed.
6. The Trafalgar Square tree has been donated every Christmas since 1947 by which city?
Reykjavik
WRONG The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is a Christmas tree donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo. The first Tree was cut down by Mons Urangsvåg in 1942 during a raid on the Norwegian Island called Hisøy. Hisøy Island is located on the west coast between Bergen and Haugesund. After it was cut down, the tree was then transported to England where The Norwegian King was hiding, and given to him as a gift.
Oslo
CORRECT The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is a Christmas tree donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo. The first Tree was cut down by Mons Urangsvåg in 1942 during a raid on the Norwegian Island called Hisøy. Hisøy Island is located on the west coast between Bergen and Haugesund. After it was cut down, the tree was then transported to England where The Norwegian King was hiding, and given to him as a gift.
Stockholm
WRONG The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is a Christmas tree donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo. The first Tree was cut down by Mons Urangsvåg in 1942 during a raid on the Norwegian Island called Hisøy. Hisøy Island is located on the west coast between Bergen and Haugesund. After it was cut down, the tree was then transported to England where The Norwegian King was hiding, and given to him as a gift.
7. Which of these is NOT a Christmas Day extract from Samuel Pepy’s diary?
“…taking occasion from some fault in the meat to complain of my maid’s sluttery, my wife and I fell out…”
WRONG While Pepys wrote his diary for own his consumption, Roy Wood and Wizzard in 1973 had no such reservations and inflicted us with “I wish it could be Christmas every day” forevermore.
“Captain Cock came to us half-drunk…”
WRONG While Pepys wrote his diary for own his consumption, Roy Wood and Wizzard in 1973 had no such reservations and inflicted us with “I wish it could be Christmas every day” forevermore.
“For indeed, I wish it could be Christmas every day…”
CORRECT While Pepys wrote his diary for own his consumption, Roy Wood and Wizzard in 1973 had no such reservations and inflicted us with “I wish it could be Christmas every day” forevermore.
8. Noel Edmonds’s 1984 Christmas Day TV show was broadcast from the top of which lofty London landmark?
The Monument
WRONG For 90 minutes on 25 December 1984 “nothing less than one of the greatest communications projects ever put forward” as Noel modestly described proceedings from the top of the Post Office Tower, as it was then known. Featuring Rila Lenska and Dennis Waterman drinking a can of lager in Australia and the Krankies play host to the highest Christmas party on a jumbo jet flying over Britain.
Centre Point
WRONG For 90 minutes on 25 December 1984 “nothing less than one of the greatest communications projects ever put forward” as Noel modestly described proceedings from the top of the Post Office Tower, as it was then known. Featuring Rila Lenska and Dennis Waterman drinking a can of lager in Australia and the Krankies play host to the highest Christmas party on a jumbo jet flying over Britain.
The BT Tower
CORRECT For 90 minutes on 25 December 1984 “nothing less than one of the greatest communications projects ever put forward” as Noel modestly described proceedings from the top of the Post Office Tower, as it was then known. Featuring Rila Lenska and Dennis Waterman drinking a can of lager in Australia and the Krankies play host to the highest Christmas party on a jumbo jet flying over Britain.
9. In 1963 the switching on of Oxford Street’s Christmas lights was postponed. Why?
In tribute to the recently assassinated JFK
CORRECT The lighting up of London was postponed as a mark of respect to the recently assassinated John F Kennedy. And in 1989, the great switch on in Oxford Street bowed to the power of pop celebrity, waiting several weeks past its usual mid-November date for Kylie Minogue to make a window in her hectic schedule.
There was a major power cut in central London
WRONG The lighting up of London was postponed as a mark of respect to the recently assassinated John F Kennedy. And in 1989, the great switch on in Oxford Street bowed to the power of pop celebrity, waiting several weeks past its usual mid-November date for Kylie Minogue to make a window in her hectic schedule.
The Beatles cancelled an appearance at the last minute
WRONG The lighting up of London was postponed as a mark of respect to the recently assassinated John F Kennedy. And in 1989, the great switch on in Oxford Street bowed to the power of pop celebrity, waiting several weeks past its usual mid-November date for Kylie Minogue to make a window in her hectic schedule.
10. In 2015 a box of six luxury Christmas crackers from Fortnum & Mason set you back £1,000. Which of these items was NOT inside?
Scarf
WRONG The cracker included that essential: a rose gold-plated heart tea infuser, plus a scarf and a tie, but no diamond earrings.
Diamond earrings
CORRECT The cracker included that essential: a rose gold-plated heart tea infuser, plus a scarf and a tie, but no diamond earrings.
Tie
WRONG The cracker included that essential: a rose gold-plated heart tea infuser, plus a scarf and a tie, but no diamond earrings.

Test Your Knowledge: November

As David Bowie sang in his seminal song – Changes, this month’s quiz is about changes that have been made in London. 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. On what product was the image updated to show scaffolding?
HP Sauce
CORRECT To mark the 160th anniversary of Big Ben’s first chimes, HP Sauce bottles now show the iconic tower in its current scaffolding-swaddled state. The new labels will stay on bottles until sometime in 2021 when it’s hoped the iconic clock tower is fully restored.
House of Commons tea
WRONG To mark the 160th anniversary of Big Ben’s first chimes, HP Sauce bottles now show the iconic tower in its current scaffolding-swaddled state. The new labels will stay on bottles until sometime in 2021 when it’s hoped the iconic clock tower is fully restored.
Tourist postcards
WRONG To mark the 160th anniversary of Big Ben’s first chimes, HP Sauce bottles now show the iconic tower in its current scaffolding-swaddled state. The new labels will stay on bottles until sometime in 2021 when it’s hoped the iconic clock tower is fully restored.
2. . In 2013 Roger Federer was told to change his shoes during Wimbledon – why?
They had Adidas branding
WRONG They had orange soles, and players are meant to be dressed in all white.
They had orange soles
CORRECT They had orange soles, and players are meant to be dressed in all white.
They were built up, thus giving him an advantage
WRONG They had orange soles, and players are meant to be dressed in all white.
3. In 1905 two brothers named Stratton were convicted of robbery and murder at a paint shop in Deptford High Street. What methodology was used to secure convictions and change detection?
The first case in which fingerprints were successfully used to convict
CORRECT On 27th March 1905, Chapman’s Oil and Paint Shop was raided and the shopkeeper murdered. A thumb mark was left on the emptied cash box. Using a method of identification that had been in use for a couple of years, it was the first time the Crown achieved a murder conviction and one of the first in the world to use the methodology still in use today.
Their getaway car, which had an early number plate was identified leading to the police tracking them down
WRONG On 27th March 1905, Chapman’s Oil and Paint Shop was raided and the shopkeeper murdered. A thumb mark was left on the emptied cash box. Using a method of identification that had been in use for a couple of years, it was the first time the Crown achieved a murder conviction and one of the first in the world to use the methodology still in use today.
The first identikit portrait from a witness, the local milkman
WRONG On 27th March 1905, Chapman’s Oil and Paint Shop was raided and the shopkeeper murdered. A thumb mark was left on the emptied cash box. Using a method of identification that had been in use for a couple of years, it was the first time the Crown achieved a murder conviction and one of the first in the world to use the methodology still in use today.
4. Which Underground station was known as Westminster Bridge Road until the name was changed in 1917?
Lambeth North
CORRECT The station was opened by the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway on 10 March 1906, with the name Kennington Road. On 5 August 1906, when Elephant & Castle station was opened, the station’s name was changed to Westminster Bridge Road in July 1906 and it was again renamed, to Lambeth North, in April 1917.
Westminster
WRONG The station was opened by the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway on 10 March 1906, with the name Kennington Road. On 5 August 1906, when Elephant & Castle station was opened, the station’s name was changed to Westminster Bridge Road in July 1906 and it was again renamed, to Lambeth North, in April 1917.
Southwark
WRONG The station was opened by the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway on 10 March 1906, with the name Kennington Road. On 5 August 1906, when Elephant & Castle station was opened, the station’s name was changed to Westminster Bridge Road in July 1906 and it was again renamed, to Lambeth North, in April 1917.
5. What was Marble Arch before it changed to its current position in well – Marble Arch?
It was at the entrance to Buckingham Palace
CORRECT The Marble-covered arches sat at the entrance to the courtyard of Buckingham Palace was only meant to be walked under by Royals and members of the Royal Guard. Today in its present position, only Royals pass through the central arch.
It spanned Park Lane before the road was enlarged
WRONG The Marble-covered arches sat at the entrance to the courtyard of Buckingham Palace was only meant to be walked under by Royals and members of the Royal Guard. Today in its present position, only Royals pass through the central arch.
It stood outside Paddington Station
WRONG The Marble-covered arches sat at the entrance to the courtyard of Buckingham Palace was only meant to be walked under by Royals and members of the Royal Guard. Today in its present position, only Royals pass through the central arch.
6. Which Underground line changed direction?
Northern Line
WRONG The Circle Line has taken on a new shape. It is now more like a lasso, or a figure six turned on its side, with a beginning and end. The old circle has been broken at Edgware Road, in west London, and stretched all the way to Hammersmith.
Circle Line
CORRECT The Circle Line has taken on a new shape. It is now more like a lasso, or a figure six turned on its side, with a beginning and end. The old circle has been broken at Edgware Road, in west London, and stretched all the way to Hammersmith.
Bakerloo Line
WRONG The Circle Line has taken on a new shape. It is now more like a lasso, or a figure six turned on its side, with a beginning and end. The old circle has been broken at Edgware Road, in west London, and stretched all the way to Hammersmith.
7. Which Underground line changed its name on the day it was opened?
Crossrail
WRONG Originally the Jubilee line was to be named the Fleet Line after the river Fleet that runs through the capital. A name change happened when London Transport was planning to introduce the Silver Jubilee bus line in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. They re-named the Tube line instead. Crossrail renamed the Elizabeth Line has yet to open.
Central Line
WRONG Originally the Jubilee line was to be named the Fleet Line after the river Fleet that runs through the capital. A name change happened when London Transport was planning to introduce the Silver Jubilee bus line in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. They re-named the Tube line instead. Crossrail renamed the Elizabeth Line has yet to open.
Jubilee Line
CORRECT Originally the Jubilee line was to be named the Fleet Line after the river Fleet that runs through the capital. A name change happened when London Transport was planning to introduce the Silver Jubilee bus line in anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. They re-named the Tube line instead. Crossrail renamed the Elizabeth Line has yet to open.
8. The Theatre, Shoreditch, opened by James Burbage in 1576, was one of London’s earliest playhouses. It was taken in 1598, and repurposed for what?
The seating ended up used as seats in public toilets
WRONG The Globe was reconstructed on Bankside using much of The Theatre’s components. Shakespeare had a share in the new theatre staging Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear here.
The thatch was used to burn Burbage for heresy
WRONG The Globe was reconstructed on Bankside using much of The Theatre’s components. Shakespeare had a share in the new theatre staging Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear here.
The timbers were used to build The Globe on Bankside
CORRECT The Globe was reconstructed on Bankside using much of The Theatre’s components. Shakespeare had a share in the new theatre staging Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear here.
9. During World War II the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon changed from hosting tennis tournaments to what?
Allotments
CORRECT During the war Wimbledon was used to grow vegetables, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden became a dance hall.
A billet for GIs
WRONG During the war Wimbledon was used to grow vegetables, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden became a dance hall.
An army parade ground
WRONG During the war Wimbledon was used to grow vegetables, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden became a dance hall.
10. Following a petition from Arsenal Football Club, Gillespie Road underground station in Highbury was re-named Arsenal (Highbury Hill) in 1932. For five months in 1939 which other London sporting locale had its own dedicated tube stop?
Craven Cottage, Fulham
WRONG On 11 June 1939, the St. John’s Wood station on the Metropolitan line near the famous cricket ground was renamed Lord’s Station. Unfortunately, the extension of the Bakerloo (now Jubilee) line to Stanmore that November resulted in the creation of another station serving St. John’s Wood. During the war, the Lord’s Station was closed and never reopened.
Lord’s Cricket Ground, Marylebone
CORRECT On 11 June 1939, the St. John’s Wood station on the Metropolitan line near the famous cricket ground was renamed Lord’s Station. Unfortunately, the extension of the Bakerloo (now Jubilee) line to Stanmore that November resulted in the creation of another station serving St. John’s Wood. During the war, the Lord’s Station was closed and never reopened.
White Hart Lane, Tottenham
WRONG On 11 June 1939, the St. John’s Wood station on the Metropolitan line near the famous cricket ground was renamed Lord’s Station. Unfortunately, the extension of the Bakerloo (now Jubilee) line to Stanmore that November resulted in the creation of another station serving St. John’s Wood. During the war, the Lord’s Station was closed and never reopened.