Tag Archives: Test Your Knowledge

Test Your Knowledge: October

This month’s questions cover a wide number of subjects, so you should manage one or two. 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. Canary Wharf is in what London borough?
Tower Hamlets
CORRECT Despite the wealth of many working in Canary Wharf the borough of Tower Hamlets, where it’s located is ranked third most deprived in London.
Newham
WRONG Despite the wealth of many working in Canary Wharf the borough of Tower Hamlets, where it’s located is ranked third most deprived in London.
Hackney
WRONG Despite the wealth of many working in Canary Wharf the borough of Tower Hamlets, where it’s located is ranked third most deprived in London.
2. Name the famous Jazz club located at 47 Frith Street, Soho.
Jazz After Dark
WRONG The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King, moving in 1965 to a larger venue in nearby 47 Frith Street.
Ronnie Scott’s
CORRECT The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King, moving in 1965 to a larger venue in nearby 47 Frith Street.
The Piano Bar Soho
WRONG The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King, moving in 1965 to a larger venue in nearby 47 Frith Street.
3. Name the largest of London’s subterranean rivers.
Fleet
CORRECT The River Fleet is the largest of London’s subterranean rivers. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, reaching the Thames beneath Blackfriars Bridge.
Walbrook
WRONG The River Fleet is the largest of London’s subterranean rivers. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, reaching the Thames beneath Blackfriars Bridge.
Tyburn
WRONG The River Fleet is the largest of London’s subterranean rivers. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, reaching the Thames beneath Blackfriars Bridge.
4. How many tube stations have the word ‘Square’ in their name?
4
CORRECT Four: Euston Square, Leicester Square, Russell Square, Sloane Square.
2
WRONG Four: Euston Square, Leicester Square, Russell Square, Sloane Square.
6
WRONG Four: Euston Square, Leicester Square, Russell Square, Sloane Square.
5. Name the Home County NOT bordering London
Sussex
CORRECT Six of the Home Counties border London: Essex, Herts, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Berkshire, but NOT Sussex, East or West.
Essex
WRONG Six of the Home Counties border London: Essex, Herts, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Berkshire, but NOT Sussex, East or West.
Surrey
WRONG Six of the Home Counties border London: Essex, Herts, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Berkshire, but NOT Sussex, East or West.
6. What does Paul McCartney wear on his feet on the cover of Abbey Road?
Desert boots
WRONG Paul McCartney claimed it was hot and he kicked off his sandals before the shoot. Why walking on the hot paved road in bare feet was more comfortable than wearing shoes/sandals are unclear. John wears white Spring Court sneakers; George is wearing Clarks desert boots, and Ringo wears sensible black brogues.
Nothing
CORRECT Paul McCartney claimed it was hot and he kicked off his sandals before the shoot. Why walking on the hot paved road in bare feet was more comfortable than wearing shoes/sandals are unclear. John wears white Spring Court sneakers; George is wearing Clarks desert boots, and Ringo wears sensible black brogues.
Brogues
WRONG Paul McCartney claimed it was hot and he kicked off his sandals before the shoot. Why walking on the hot paved road in bare feet was more comfortable than wearing shoes/sandals are unclear. John wears white Spring Court sneakers; George is wearing Clarks desert boots, and Ringo wears sensible black brogues.
7. What annual event/parade is be held In London in early July each year?
Notting Hill Carnival
WRONG The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London on 1 July 1972 (chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969) it attracted approximately 2,000 participants. Since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, Carnival takes place over 2 days during the August Bank Holiday. Founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981, the London is typically held in April.
London Marathon
WRONG The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London on 1 July 1972 (chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969) it attracted approximately 2,000 participants. Since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, Carnival takes place over 2 days during the August Bank Holiday. Founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981, the London is typically held in April.
Gay Pride
CORRECT The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held in London on 1 July 1972 (chosen as the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969) it attracted approximately 2,000 participants. Since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, Carnival takes place over 2 days during the August Bank Holiday. Founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981, the London is typically held in April.
8. The clock face above the entrance of The Horse Guards has a black spot on it at 2 o’clock – what does this commemorate?
The Prince of Wales was being shown the restoration, and he slipped with his paintbrush
WRONG A dark stain above the Roman number two on the clock face is supposed to mark the time of the execution of King Charles I in 1649, which took place in the roadway outside Horse Guards. The annual ceremony of Trooping the Colour commences when the Horse Guards clock strikes eleven.
It’s the exact time they Troop the Colour here
WRONG A dark stain above the Roman number two on the clock face is supposed to mark the time of the execution of King Charles I in 1649, which took place in the roadway outside Horse Guards. The annual ceremony of Trooping the Colour commences when the Horse Guards clock strikes eleven.
The time that King Charles I was executed
CORRECT A dark stain above the Roman number two on the clock face is supposed to mark the time of the execution of King Charles I in 1649, which took place in the roadway outside Horse Guards. The annual ceremony of Trooping the Colour commences when the Horse Guards clock strikes eleven.
9. Prince Albert, Lewis Carroll and Queen Victoria’s doctor were all suspects in what police case?
The hunt for Jack the Ripper
CORRECT There have been over 500 ‘suspects’ identified over the years as Jack the Ripper. Dr Thomas Neill Cream is but one, who was hanged for an unrelated murder at Newgate Prison. His executioner, James Billington, swears Cream’s last words were “I am Jack the …” Which is, admittedly, a weird thing to say if your name is Thomas.
Establishing the father of Charles Darwin
WRONG There have been over 500 ‘suspects’ identified over the years as Jack the Ripper. Dr Thomas Neill Cream is but one, who was hanged for an unrelated murder at Newgate Prison. His executioner, James Billington, swears Cream’s last words were “I am Jack the …” Which is, admittedly, a weird thing to say if your name is Thomas.
Whether they were implicated in the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria
WRONG There have been over 500 ‘suspects’ identified over the years as Jack the Ripper. Dr Thomas Neill Cream is but one, who was hanged for an unrelated murder at Newgate Prison. His executioner, James Billington, swears Cream’s last words were “I am Jack the …” Which is, admittedly, a weird thing to say if your name is Thomas.
10. The Oval is named after the oval road it was built on – but what was the oval road built around?
A pickle factory
WRONG A humble cabbage patch prevented Harleyford Road from being constructed in a straight line. Gasholder No 1 near the Oval famous as the backdrop to so many cricket matches is now protected. When it was built in 1877-9, this was the largest one in the world.
A cabbage patch
CORRECT A humble cabbage patch prevented Harleyford Road from being constructed in a straight line. Gasholder No 1 near the Oval famous as the backdrop to so many cricket matches is now protected. When it was built in 1877-9, this was the largest one in the world.
A gasholder
WRONG A humble cabbage patch prevented Harleyford Road from being constructed in a straight line. Gasholder No 1 near the Oval famous as the backdrop to so many cricket matches is now protected. When it was built in 1877-9, this was the largest one in the world.

Test Your Knowledge: September

Arather eclectic mix of questions for this month’s quiz. 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. Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements. What does the great bell of Bow say?
I do not know
CORRECT Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich, Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney.
I do not know, Says the great bell of Bow.
.
When I grow rich
WRONG Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich, Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney.
I do not know, Says the great bell of Bow.
.
When will that be?
WRONG Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich, Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney.
I do not know, Says the great bell of Bow.
.
2. What was the name of Reggie and Ronnie Kray’s older brother?
George
WRONG Charlie Kray was the older brother and took an active role in the twin’s gang. He’s said to be the lesser of three evils, though he was jailed for 12 years, at the ripe old age of 70, for plotting to smuggle nearly £40million worth of cocaine. He died in prison three years later.
Charlie
CORRECT Charlie Kray was the older brother and took an active role in the twin’s gang. He’s said to be the lesser of three evils, though he was jailed for 12 years, at the ripe old age of 70, for plotting to smuggle nearly £40million worth of cocaine. He died in prison three years later.
Fred
WRONG Charlie Kray was the older brother and took an active role in the twin’s gang. He’s said to be the lesser of three evils, though he was jailed for 12 years, at the ripe old age of 70, for plotting to smuggle nearly £40million worth of cocaine. He died in prison three years later.
3. What football club is the oldest in London?
Fulham
CORRECT Fulham was founded in 1879 and are London’s oldest club still playing professionally. Royal Arsenal was London’s first team to turn professional in 1891. They became Woolwich Arsenal in 1893 and then became Arsenal in 1913. Charlton Athletic was founded in 1905.
Arsenal
WRONG Fulham was founded in 1879 and are London’s oldest club still playing professionally. Royal Arsenal was London’s first team to turn professional in 1891. They became Woolwich Arsenal in 1893 and then became Arsenal in 1913. Charlton Athletic was founded in 1905.
Charlton
WRONG Fulham was founded in 1879 and are London’s oldest club still playing professionally. Royal Arsenal was London’s first team to turn professional in 1891. They became Woolwich Arsenal in 1893 and then became Arsenal in 1913. Charlton Athletic was founded in 1905.
4. What famous address is located at postcode SW1A 2AA?
Portcullis House
WRONG 10 Downing Street is SW1A 2AA
Portcullis House is SW1A 2LW
Westminster Abbey is SW1P 3PA
Westminster Abbey
WRONG 10 Downing Street is SW1A 2AA
Portcullis House is SW1A 2LW
Westminster Abbey is SW1P 3PA.
10 Downing Street
CORRECT10 Downing Street is SW1A 2AA
Portcullis House is SW1A 2LW
Westminster Abbey is SW1P 3PA.
5. Which airport has the luggage code LCY?
City
CORRECT City – LCY
Heathrow – LHR
Gatwick – LGW
.
Heathrow
WRONG City – LCY
Heathrow – LHR
Gatwick – LGW
.
Gatwick
WRONG City – LCY
Heathrow – LHR
Gatwick – LGW
.
6. George Michael infamously crashed his Range Rover into the Hampstead branch of what high street shop?
Specsavers
WRONG George Michael served four weeks in prison in 2010 after his Range Rover ploughed into a Snappy Snaps shop while he was driving under the influence of drugs after the Gay Pride parade. Snappy Snaps tried to discourage fans leaving flowers at the Hampstead premises when he later died.
Snappy Snaps
CORRECT George Michael served four weeks in prison in 2010 after his Range Rover ploughed into a Snappy Snaps shop while he was driving under the influence of drugs after the Gay Pride parade. Snappy Snaps tried to discourage fans leaving flowers at the Hampstead premises when he later died.
McDonald’s
WRONG George Michael served four weeks in prison in 2010 after his Range Rover ploughed into a Snappy Snaps shop while he was driving under the influence of drugs after the Gay Pride parade. Snappy Snaps tried to discourage fans leaving flowers at the Hampstead premises when he later died.
7. In which London neighbourhood can you find ‘Little Portugal?
South Kensington
WRONG Stockwell is home to a large Portuguese community, with many Portuguese businesses located in the area. Clerkenwell was once known as ‘Little Italy’. More French people live in London than in Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg and some now regard it as France’s sixth biggest city in terms of population. Once centred around South Kensington, many now favour East London.
Clerkenwell
WRONG Stockwell is home to a large Portuguese community, with many Portuguese businesses located in the area. Clerkenwell was once known as ‘Little Italy’. More French people live in London than in Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg and some now regard it as France’s sixth biggest city in terms of population. Once centred around South Kensington, many now favour East London.
Stockwell
CORRECT Stockwell is home to a large Portuguese community, with many Portuguese businesses located in the area. Clerkenwell was once known as ‘Little Italy’. More French people live in London than in Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg and some now regard it as France’s sixth biggest city in terms of population. Once centred around South Kensington, many now favour East London.
8. Name the river that flows directly outside the 2012 Olympic Stadium?
River Rom
WRONG The River Lea (also spelt Lee) originates in Marsh Farm in the Chiltern Hills and flows in a general SE direction. When the river reaches the boundary of old Metropolitan London, it essentially flows south until it meets River Thames at Bow Creek. It is one of the largest tributaries of the Thames in London and it is the easternmost major tributary of the Thames.
Hackney Brook
WRONG The River Lea (also spelt Lee) originates in Marsh Farm in the Chiltern Hills and flows in a general SE direction. When the river reaches the boundary of old Metropolitan London, it essentially flows south until it meets River Thames at Bow Creek. It is one of the largest tributaries of the Thames in London and it is the easternmost major tributary of the Thames.
River Lea
CORRECT The River Lea (also spelt Lee) originates in Marsh Farm in the Chiltern Hills and flows in a general SE direction. When the river reaches the boundary of old Metropolitan London, it essentially flows south until it meets River Thames at Bow Creek. It is one of the largest tributaries of the Thames in London and it is the easternmost major tributary of the Thames.
9. a London football ground and also the name of a battle in September 1066?
Stamford Bridge
CORRECT The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada. The Battle of Barnet took place on 14 April 1471 and decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses. The Territorial Army trained the local population as preparation for the enlistment of men into the armed services at the start of World War II. This took place on the Craven Cottage pitch.
Craven Cottage
WRONG The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada. The Battle of Barnet took place on 14 April 1471 and decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses. The Territorial Army trained the local population as preparation for the enlistment of men into the armed services at the start of World War II. This took place on the Craven Cottage pitch.
Barnet
WRONG The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada. The Battle of Barnet took place on 14 April 1471 and decisive engagement in the Wars of the Roses. The Territorial Army trained the local population as preparation for the enlistment of men into the armed services at the start of World War II. This took place on the Craven Cottage pitch.
10. Starring in BBC’s Eastenders, what was the name of Dirty Den’s poodle?
Holly
WRONG Roly was the pet poodle of Sharon Watts who lived with her and Den and Angie at the Queen Victoria. He appeared on the first episode of the programme on 19 February 1985 and remained in the show until 19 October 1993.
Roly
CORRECT Roly was the pet poodle of Sharon Watts who lived with her and Den and Angie at the Queen Victoria. He appeared on the first episode of the programme on 19 February 1985 and remained in the show until 19 October 1993.
Polly
WRONG Roly was the pet poodle of Sharon Watts who lived with her and Den and Angie at the Queen Victoria. He appeared on the first episode of the programme on 19 February 1985 and remained in the show until 19 October 1993.

Test Your Knowledge: August

Death is the subject today, something that comes to all of us sooner or later. 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. Even in death, Steve Marsh received a parking ticket. Why?
He was buried beneath a replica marble headstone of a BMW
CORRECT In May 2010 Steve Marsh, a BMW fanatic was buried beneath a £50,000 1-tonne life-sized marble replica M3 convertible in Manor Park Cemetery and a parking ticket was affixed to the windscreen.
He was a funeral director and his hearse was double-parked
WRONG In May 2010 Steve Marsh, a BMW fanatic was buried beneath a £50,000 1-tonne life-sized marble replica M3 convertible in Manor Park Cemetery and a parking ticket was affixed to the windscreen.
The night he died his car had been stolen and parked on a red route
WRONG In May 2010 Steve Marsh, a BMW fanatic was buried beneath a £50,000 1-tonne life-sized marble replica M3 convertible in Manor Park Cemetery and a parking ticket was affixed to the windscreen.
2. Why did Pawel Modzelewski’s demise go unnoticed?
Tradition has it that anyone sleeping in Polish Club is left undisturbed
WRONG On 19 January 2009 Pawel Modzelewski travelled the 19 bus for six hours unnoticed after dying the previous day and was left in the garage overnight.
He died on a bus and was found the next day in the bus garage
CORRECT On 19 January 2009 Pawel Modzelewski travelled the 19 bus for six hours unnoticed after dying the previous day and was left in the garage overnight.
Before the Underground changed he lay undisturbed going around the Circle Line for a whole day
WRONG On 19 January 2009 Pawel Modzelewski travelled the 19 bus for six hours unnoticed after dying the previous day and was left in the garage overnight.
3. Why did the death of Martial Bourdin start a riot?
He blew himself up
CORRECT In February 1894 in Greenwich Park anarchist, Martial Bourdin accidentally blew himself en route to blowing up the Royal Observatory. His funeral sparked riots by 15,000 near the Autonomie Anarchist Club, 6 Windmill Street.
He was killed by the police
WRONG In February 1894 in Greenwich Park anarchist, Martial Bourdin accidentally blew himself en route to blowing up the Royal Observatory. His funeral sparked riots by 15,000 near the Autonomie Anarchist Club, 6 Windmill Street.
He was assassinated on the Government’s order
WRONG In February 1894 in Greenwich Park anarchist, Martial Bourdin accidentally blew himself en route to blowing up the Royal Observatory. His funeral sparked riots by 15,000 near the Autonomie Anarchist Club, 6 Windmill Street.
4. Why does 9 Curzon Place, Mayfair hold a curious London reputation for death?
Ghosts who reputedly committed suicide to haunt the premises
WRONG Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place was where Cass Elliot of Mamas and Papas died in 1974 of a heart attack. The flat was on loan from singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who’s drummer Keith Moon died in the same room. They were both aged 32 years.
It was the scene of a gangland massacre in the 1950s
WRONG Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place was where Cass Elliot of Mamas and Papas died in 1974 of a heart attack. The flat was on loan from singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who’s drummer Keith Moon died in the same room. They were both aged 32 years.
Two rock stars have met their demise here
CORRECT Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place was where Cass Elliot of Mamas and Papas died in 1974 of a heart attack. The flat was on loan from singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who’s drummer Keith Moon died in the same room. They were both aged 32 years.
5. How did the Necropolis Railway Company offer to transport the dead?
It offered first, second and third class one-way tickets
CORRECT The Necropolis Railway Company transported coffins from Waterloo to Brockwood Cemetery customers could choose between first, second and third class.
It offered viewing windows in its carriages for mourners to pay their respects as the train passed by
WRONG The Necropolis Railway Company transported coffins from Waterloo to Brockwood Cemetery customers could choose between first, second and third class.
The train driver wore a dark suit along with black gloves, a hatband and cravat
WRONG The Necropolis Railway Company transported coffins from Waterloo to Brockwood Cemetery customers could choose between first, second and third class.
6. On 17th October 1814 eight people met an untimely and unusual end, but what was the cause of their demise?
The Great London Earthquake
WRONG Beer was the drink of choice as the water was often unsafe. The demand led to brewers constructing huge vats as an economical way of producing the beverage. One such vat burst its hoops which in turn ruptured nearby vats. Eventually, more than 323,000 gallons became a tsunami drowning 8 people. The Dominion Theatre stands on the site of the ill-fated Horseshoe Brewery.
The Great Beer Flood
CORRECT Beer was the drink of choice as the water was often unsafe. The demand led to brewers constructing huge vats as an economical way of producing the beverage. One such vat burst its hoops which in turn ruptured nearby vats. Eventually, more than 323,000 gallons became a tsunami drowning 8 people. The Dominion Theatre stands on the site of the ill-fated Horseshoe Brewery.
The Great London Fireworks Display
WRONG Beer was the drink of choice as the water was often unsafe. The demand led to brewers constructing huge vats as an economical way of producing the beverage. One such vat burst its hoops which in turn ruptured nearby vats. Eventually, more than 323,000 gallons became a tsunami drowning 8 people. The Dominion Theatre stands on the site of the ill-fated Horseshoe Brewery.
7. Which London cemetery is divided into a western half and an eastern half by Swains Lane?
Kensal Green
WRONG Perhaps the best-known cemetery in London, Highgate is the final resting place for many famous people, including Karl Marx, George Eliot and Michael Faraday.
Brompton
WRONG Perhaps the best-known cemetery in London, Highgate is the final resting place for many famous people, including Karl Marx, George Eliot and Michael Faraday.
Highgate
CORRECT Perhaps the best-known cemetery in London, Highgate is the final resting place for many famous people, including Karl Marx, George Eliot and Michael Faraday.
8. What is unusual about the memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery to the 19th-century circus performer Andrew Ducrow?
There is a marble elephant on the top of it
WRONG Originally decorated with stone sphinxes painted in bright colours that have since faded, Ducrow who was an equestrian performer and the proprietor of the famous Astley’s Amphitheatre in the middle of the 19th-century, has one of the most elaborate of all the mausoleums in Kensal Green Cemetery.
The inscription on it is written in Sanskrit
WRONG Originally decorated with stone sphinxes painted in bright colours that have since faded, Ducrow who was an equestrian performer and the proprietor of the famous Astley’s Amphitheatre in the middle of the 19th-century, has one of the most elaborate of all the mausoleums in Kensal Green Cemetery.
It is decorated with stone sphinxes
CORRECT Originally decorated with stone sphinxes painted in bright colours that have since faded, Ducrow who was an equestrian performer and the proprietor of the famous Astley’s Amphitheatre in the middle of the 19th-century, has one of the most elaborate of all the mausoleums in Kensal Green Cemetery.
9. Whose ‘auto-icon’ still sits in a glass-fronted case in University College, London, more than a century-and-a-half after he died?
Jeremy Bentham’s
CORRECT When moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham died in 1832, he left a will with specific instructions on the ‘disposal and preservation of the several parts of my bodily frame’. His skeleton was to be ‘clad in one of the suits of black occasionally worn by me’ and seated upright on a chair, under a placard reading ‘Auto Icon’. Bentham further suggested that his corpse might then be able to preside over regular meetings of his utilitarian followers. He attends every UCL Council meeting and is always recorded as ‘present but not voting’, except when the Council is split on a motion. On those rare occasions, he gets a vote, and always votes in favour of the motion, due to his mischievous personality.
John Stuart Mill’s
WRONG When moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham died in 1832, he left a will with specific instructions on the ‘disposal and preservation of the several parts of my bodily frame’. His skeleton was to be ‘clad in one of the suits of black occasionally worn by me’ and seated upright on a chair, under a placard reading ‘Auto Icon’. Bentham further suggested that his corpse might then be able to preside over regular meetings of his utilitarian followers. He attends every UCL Council meeting and is always recorded as ‘present but not voting’, except when the Council is split on a motion. On those rare occasions, he gets a vote, and always votes in favour of the motion, due to his mischievous personality.
Benjamin Disraeli’s
WRONG When moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham died in 1832, he left a will with specific instructions on the ‘disposal and preservation of the several parts of my bodily frame’. His skeleton was to be ‘clad in one of the suits of black occasionally worn by me’ and seated upright on a chair, under a placard reading ‘Auto Icon’. Bentham further suggested that his corpse might then be able to preside over regular meetings of his utilitarian followers. He attends every UCL Council meeting and is always recorded as ‘present but not voting’, except when the Council is split on a motion. On those rare occasions, he gets a vote, and always votes in favour of the motion, due to his mischievous personality.
10. What ‘first’ did Colonel Pierpoint admire before he died?
The first pedestrian crossing
WRONG At his expense in 1864 Colonel Pierpoint had London’s first traffic island constructed in St. James’s Street opposite his club in Pall Mall. On its completion, his excitement (and possible inebriation) encouraged him to dash across the road to admire his contribution to society. Alas, he was knocked down and killed by a passing cab.
The world’s first traffic island
CORRECT At his expense in 1864 Colonel Pierpoint had London’s first traffic island constructed in St. James’s Street opposite his club in Pall Mall. On its completion, his excitement (and possible inebriation) encouraged him to dash across the road to admire his contribution to society. Alas, he was knocked down and killed by a passing cab.
The first traffic light
WRONG At his expense in 1864 Colonel Pierpoint had London’s first traffic island constructed in St. James’s Street opposite his club in Pall Mall. On its completion, his excitement (and possible inebriation) encouraged him to dash across the road to admire his contribution to society. Alas, he was knocked down and killed by a passing cab.

Test Your Knowledge: July

This month’s quiz turns to above our heads and London’s air. 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. Heathrow’s first passenger terminal was opened by the Queen in which year?
1955
CORRECT On 16th December 1955 unveiled The Queen’s Building at London Airport, its name only revealed at the end of Her Majesty’s speech. Later renamed Heathrow, the original site was opened on 31st May 1946, with its first arrival a BOAC Lancastrian from Australia.
1957
WRONG On 16th December 1955 unveiled The Queen’s Building at London Airport, its name only revealed at the end of Her Majesty’s speech. Later renamed Heathrow, the original site was opened on 31st May 1946, with its first arrival a BOAC Lancastrian from Australia.
1959
WRONG On 16th December 1955 unveiled The Queen’s Building at London Airport, its name only revealed at the end of Her Majesty’s speech. Later renamed Heathrow, the original site was opened on 31st May 1946, with its first arrival a BOAC Lancastrian from Australia.
2. England’s first manned balloon flight by Vincenzo Lunardi on 15th September 1784 took off from which London location?
St. James’s Park beside what is now Buckingham Palace
WRONG Taking off in an impressive red-and-white silk balloon from Moorfields Artillery Ground, now the Honourable Artillery Company in City Road, Lunardi was lauded as the ‘idol of the whole nation’. Later balloons became a fashionable addition to London’s pleasure grounds, Charles Green’s party trick was to ascend from Vauxhall Gardens on horseback.
The Artillery Ground in Moorfields
CORRECT Taking off in an impressive red-and-white silk balloon from Moorfields Artillery Ground, now the Honourable Artillery Company in City Road, Lunardi was lauded as the ‘idol of the whole nation’. Later balloons became a fashionable addition to London’s pleasure grounds, Charles Green’s party trick was to ascend from Vauxhall Gardens on horseback.
Outside St. Paul’s Cathedral
WRONG Taking off in an impressive red-and-white silk balloon from Moorfields Artillery Ground, now the Honourable Artillery Company in City Road, Lunardi was lauded as the ‘idol of the whole nation’. Later balloons became a fashionable addition to London’s pleasure grounds, Charles Green’s party trick was to ascend from Vauxhall Gardens on horseback.
3. What was ‘The Skylon’ which once stood on the South Bank between Waterloo Bridge and Hungerford Bridge?
A sculpture
CORRECT A futuristic, 300ft high cigar-shaped aluminium sculpture with, as people joked at the time, ‘no visible means of support’, the Skylon was constructed as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951. Dismantled the following year, it was made into commemorative paper-knives and artefacts.
An aeroplane
WRONG A futuristic, 300ft high cigar-shaped aluminium sculpture with, as people joked at the time, ‘no visible means of support’, the Skylon was constructed as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951. Dismantled the following year, it was made into commemorative paper-knives and artefacts.
A skyscraper
WRONG A futuristic, 300ft high cigar-shaped aluminium sculpture with, as people joked at the time, ‘no visible means of support’, the Skylon was constructed as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951. Dismantled the following year, it was made into commemorative paper-knives and artefacts.
4. From where in London did A. V. Roe launch the first powered flight in Britain by a British citizen in a British plane?
Green Park
WRONG In 1909 Alliott Verdon Roe, who had been inspired by watching albatrosses in flight during his time in the merchant navy, constructed an early aeroplane under a viaduct and flew his Avro Triplane for 306 yards across the Walthamstow Marshes. A blue plaque marks the arches that he used as a workshop.
Hyde Park
WRONG In 1909 Alliott Verdon Roe, who had been inspired by watching albatrosses in flight during his time in the merchant navy, constructed an early aeroplane under a viaduct and flew his Avro Triplane for 306 yards across the Walthamstow Marshes. A blue plaque marks the arches that he used as a workshop.
Walthamstow Marshes
CORRECT In 1909 Alliott Verdon Roe, who had been inspired by watching albatrosses in flight during his time in the merchant navy, constructed an early aeroplane under a viaduct and flew his Avro Triplane for 306 yards across the Walthamstow Marshes. A blue plaque marks the arches that he used as a workshop.
5. Why did a performance of La Traviata at Sadler’s Wells Theatre have to be abandoned in December 1952?
Smog drifting into the theatre was so thick that the audience could scarcely see the performers
CORRECT The Great Smog of 1952 was the worst in the twentieth century, caused mainly by coal fire smoke, visibility in the city was reduced to inches. Several thousand would die from associated bronchial and cardiovascular illnesses associated with its inhalation. The reduction in air quality would bring about the Clean Air Act of 1956, and the imposition of the use of smokeless fuels.
A burst of hailstones brought down part of the ceiling
WRONG The Great Smog of 1952 was the worst in the twentieth century, caused mainly by coal fire smoke, visibility in the city was reduced to inches. Several thousand would die from associated bronchial and cardiovascular illnesses associated with its inhalation. The reduction in air quality would bring about the Clean Air Act of 1956, and the imposition of the use of smokeless fuels.
Rain caused the nearby New River Head to flood the area
WRONG The Great Smog of 1952 was the worst in the twentieth century, caused mainly by coal fire smoke, visibility in the city was reduced to inches. Several thousand would die from associated bronchial and cardiovascular illnesses associated with its inhalation. The reduction in air quality would bring about the Clean Air Act of 1956, and the imposition of the use of smokeless fuels.
6. Much like during the coronavirus, in December 1976 all planes at Heathrow were grounded. For what reason?
Intelligence that the IRA were to hijack a passenger plane
WRONG A pink pig had been strung between the chimneys of Battersea Power Station for the cover shoot of Pink Floyd’s album Animals. When the pig broke its moorings and floated away, all planes were grounded and the RAF was scrambled to chase it to ground in Kent.
A flying pig
CORRECT A pink pig had been strung between the chimneys of Battersea Power Station for the cover shoot of Pink Floyd’s album Animals. When the pig broke its moorings and floated away, all planes were grounded and the RAF was scrambled to chase it to ground in Kent.
A freak electrical thunderstorm
WRONG A pink pig had been strung between the chimneys of Battersea Power Station for the cover shoot of Pink Floyd’s album Animals. When the pig broke its moorings and floated away, all planes were grounded and the RAF was scrambled to chase it to ground in Kent.
7. The weathervane of Liberty department store depicts what?
The Statue of Liberty
WRONG The weathervane has a detailed replica of The Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers to North America. The shop itself is made of ships: its mock Tudor facade was fashioned from the timbers of HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable (formerly known as HMS Howe and once the largest ship in the world). Liberty is also the size of a ship: The Great Marlborough Street frontage is the same length as the Hindustan.
Hermes the Greek God of Merchants
WRONG The weathervane has a detailed replica of The Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers to North America. The shop itself is made of ships: its mock Tudor facade was fashioned from the timbers of HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable (formerly known as HMS Howe and once the largest ship in the world). Liberty is also the size of a ship: The Great Marlborough Street frontage is the same length as the Hindustan.
The Pilgrim Fathers’ ship the Mayflower
CORRECT The weathervane has a detailed replica of The Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrim Fathers to North America. The shop itself is made of ships: its mock Tudor facade was fashioned from the timbers of HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable (formerly known as HMS Howe and once the largest ship in the world). Liberty is also the size of a ship: The Great Marlborough Street frontage is the same length as the Hindustan.
8. Bruce Grove was the last home of Luke Howard, but for what is he known?
He deduced why the sky is blue
WRONG Luke Howard died on 21st March 1864 at 7 Bruce Grove, Tottenham. He proposed the nomenclature system that we still use today to identify clouds. He was also the first person to observe and measure the fact that London is warmer than the surrounding countryside. His Blue Plaque at Bruce Grove states: ‘Luke Howard 1772-1864 Namer of Clouds Lived and Died here’.
He invented the modern weather station
WRONG Luke Howard died on 21st March 1864 at 7 Bruce Grove, Tottenham. He proposed the nomenclature system that we still use today to identify clouds. He was also the first person to observe and measure the fact that London is warmer than the surrounding countryside. His Blue Plaque at Bruce Grove states: ‘Luke Howard 1772-1864 Namer of Clouds Lived and Died here’.
He is known as the namer of clouds
CORRECT Luke Howard died on 21st March 1864 at 7 Bruce Grove, Tottenham. He proposed the nomenclature system that we still use today to identify clouds. He was also the first person to observe and measure the fact that London is warmer than the surrounding countryside. His Blue Plaque at Bruce Grove states: ‘Luke Howard 1772-1864 Namer of Clouds Lived and Died here’.
9. . In the film Mary Poppins, how much money does it cost to acquire ‘paper and strings’ to Go Fly a Kite?
Tuppence
CORRECT Bert (Dick Van Dyke) sings: With tuppence for paper and strings/You can have your own set of wings/With your feet on the ground/You’re a bird in flight/ With your fist holding tight/To the string of your kite.
One penny
WRONG Bert (Dick Van Dyke) sings: With tuppence for paper and strings/You can have your own set of wings/With your feet on the ground/You’re a bird in flight/ With your fist holding tight/To the string of your kite.
Thrupence
WRONG Bert (Dick Van Dyke) sings: With tuppence for paper and strings/You can have your own set of wings/With your feet on the ground/You’re a bird in flight/ With your fist holding tight/To the string of your kite.
10. As my picture, taken above Romford, shows, plane contrails are a familiar sight above London, as these ephemeral trails mark flight paths that criss-cross the city. The planes causing these vapour trails are held in holding stacks, but how many stacks does Heathrow have?
Twelve
WRONG Forming a web across its six international airports, the routes that planes take into, out of, and across London are designed to cause the least disturbance to the fewest number of people. Heathrow has four holding stacks above Bovingdon, Ockham, Biggin and Lambourne. Incoming planes circle above navigation beacons until they get the green light from air traffic control to begin their final approach.
Four
CORRECT Forming a web across its six international airports, the routes that planes take into, out of, and across London are designed to cause the least disturbance to the fewest number of people. Heathrow has four holding stacks above Bovingdon, Ockham, Biggin and Lambourne. Incoming planes circle above navigation beacons until they get the green light from air traffic control to begin their final approach.
Eight
WRONG Forming a web across its six international airports, the routes that planes take into, out of, and across London are designed to cause the least disturbance to the fewest number of people. Heathrow has four holding stacks above Bovingdon, Ockham, Biggin and Lambourne. Incoming planes circle above navigation beacons until they get the green light from air traffic control to begin their final approach.

Test Your Knowledge: June

Today’s quiz is about cabs and cabbies. If you have been diligent when reading CabbieBlog’s regular missives most shouldn’t present a problem. 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. All licensed taxi drivers in London need to pass a comprehensive test before they can ply for hire. What is the test called?
The Knowledge
CORRECT It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
The Knack
WRONG It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
The Opinionated
WRONG It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
2. Where was London’s first cab rank??
In Piccadilly
WRONG In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
In the Strand
CORRECT In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
In Oxford Street
WRONG In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
3. When a cabbie is awarded a licence, he is given a Bill and Badge. His badge is then displayed whenever he is working, but what is his Bill?
His licence
CORRECT Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
An invoice detailing his expenses up to that date
WRONG Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
A police mentor, as in the nickname ‘old bill’
WRONG Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
4. Frederick Hitch was once London’s most famous cabbie, but for what?
He was also King George V’s chauffeur
WRONG Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
He was a music hall entertainer
WRONG Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross
CORRECT Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
5. Who or what was The Resistance?
Harley Street
CORRECT The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
Cabbies who once fought alongside the Partisans in German-occupied France
WRONG The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
Spoken ironically about poor brakes on early cabs
WRONG The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
6. When were licences first issued to London cabbies?
1754
WRONG In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
1654
CORRECT In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
1854
WRONG In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
7. The passenger compartment is jolly spacious, but what are the origins of the roof height?
With any lower head height, passengers would hit their heads on the roof when the vehicle hit potholes
WRONG By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
So that up to three hay bales could be stacked inside to feed horses
WRONG By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
A gentleman didn’t have the inconvenience of removing his top hat when boarding
CORRECT By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
8. How, or where should you not hire a cab?
Poking your head into the nearside window of a stationary cab at traffic lights
WRONG Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
Outside one of those cabbies’ green shelters
WRONG Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
Emulating a scene from your favourite black and white film by shouting “TAXI” while simultaneously waving in a frantic fashion
CORRECT Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
9. What is the entomology of the word taxi?
It comes from the taximeter now found on all legal cabs
CORRECT The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
The word comes from the penal rates once charged to the proprietors of vehicles
WRONG The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
Queen Victoria didn’t like Joseph Hansom the inventor of the famous Hansom cab and always referred the classic horse-drawn vehicles as ‘taxites’, her term for unaccountable
WRONG The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
10. When boarding a licensed London cab, apart from your destination, what must you tell the driver?
If you are registered disabled
WRONG It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.
If you have the bubonic plague
CORRECT It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.
That you might change your mind as to the destination
WRONG It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.