London trivia — 20 May 2018

On 20 May 1867 Queen Victoria laid the first stone of the The Royal Albert Hall. Originally it was given he catchy nomenclature `The Hall of Arts and Sciences` which to Victorian ears tripped off the tongue nicely. Her Majesty was having none of it and to our eternal gratitude insisted it be named after her late husband. It was the first building to be built top down, the dome was assembled in Manchester taken apart and transported to London.

On 20 May 1913 the Royal Horticultural Society having been forced to relocate from Temple Gardens chose the Royal Hospital Chelsea attracting 200,000 in its first year

Journalists known as running patterers went to executions to record the executed’s last words, they then printed and sold exaggerated versions

10 Hyde Park Place is London’s smallest house: 3’6″ wide constructed in 1805, it has only ever had one tenant

Constitution Hill’s name is nothing to do with the constitution – it’s because it’s where Charles II took his daily constitutional

When Soviet spy Guy Burgess lived at 38 Chester Square, Lower Belgravia he cunningly decorated his flat in red, white and blue

Hitchcock’s first film The Lodger – 1926 had him making a cameo on the Tube now the Underground’s Film Office handles over 200 requests a month

Gordon’s Wine Bar reputed to be the oldest in London, in the same building that was home to Samuel Pepys in 1680 and is owned by the Gordons family since 1890

The Surbiton Club in 1891 requested members playing billiards partaking of snuff to ‘leave no nasal excreta’ on the baize

The total length of the London Underground network is 250 miles; Tube trains travelled 76.4 million kilometres last year

When the south portico of the British Museum was built the colour of the limestone didn’t match, builders used French limestone not English

There is a 19th century time capsule under Cleopatra’s Needle containing money, a rail guide and portraits of ‘pretty English ladies’

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog.
A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.

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