On 5 February 1983 DynoRod were called out to a blocked drain near 23 Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill. To the engineer the blockage looked suspiciously like human remains. When the police popped round the following day Dennis Nilsen confessed that 15 or 16 others had met the same fate since 1978. Nilsen became known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 November 1983, with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years.
On 5 February 1924 the BBC broadcast the time check ‘pips’, a series of six short tones broadcast at one-second intervals, from Greenwich Observatory for the first time
During World War II HMP Wormwood Scrubs was used to store 26 drums of heavy water, which were to be used to make a nuclear bomb
Leadenhall Market stands on the site of a Roman Basilica, a building used for public administration. It first opened in the 14th century
Christopher Wren in a black marble sarcophagus that was originally made for Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington are all buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Fitzrovia is named after landowner Henry Fitzroy illegitimate son of King Charles II. The name comes from French ‘fils du roi’/son of the king
The only true home shared by all four Beatles was a flat at 57 Green Street near Hyde Park where they lived in the autumn of 1963
Thomas Carlyle lived at 5 Cheyne Row (now no. 24) Chelsea in 1834 where he entertained Browning, Dickens and Tennyson. He died there in 1881
An embankment behind Arsenal’s east stand gave the expression ‘spion kop’ (lookout in Afrikaan) from where 243 British troops had died so kop for terrace entered football’s lexicon
The eastbound and westbound lines on the Central Line are built above and below each other for much of the line
The Observer newspaper was founded in 1791 at 396 Strand by WS Bourne on the premise that “the establishment of a Sunday newspaper would obtain him a rapid fortune” is the world’s oldest Sunday
In 1610 Dame Alice Owen founded almshouses and a school on the Islington site where she narrowly missed being killed by an arrow
Trivial 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.