On 29 April 1826 a public meeting was held chaired by Sir Stamford Raffles. Its purpose was to ascertain the viability of importing animals and putting them on display to the public. Sir Stamford had his reservations as to the zoo’s location “The Regent’s Park is to be the headquarters . . . though we do not know how the inhabitants of the Park will like lions, leopards and lynxes so near their neighbourhood”.
On 29 April 1968 after 139 years of operation the Metropolitan Police’s first black woman, Fay Allen (21) started work in Croydon
The term ‘down-under’ comes from a tunnel on Millbank which deported prisoners were led in chains to barges on their first leg to Australia
Chiswick House built to house Lord Burlington’s art collection became a lunatic asylum before being listed for demolition in the 1950s
In 1974 Cass Elliot died of a heart attack in Harry Nilsson’s Mayfair flat the same block that The Who drummer Keith Moon died 4 years later
The Lamb and Flag pub at St Christopher’s Place in the 19th century was reputed to be the haunt of anarchists
Naked statutes outside Zimbabwe House caused an outcry when unveiled in 1908 the building opposite replaced its windows with frosted glass
Pasqua Rosee a Sicilian servant first introduced coffee to London first to his master’s guests then in a shed by St Michael Cornhill in 1652
Set up in 1869 the Hurlingham Club originally hosted pigeon shooting before becoming a major venue for tennis
The longest tube journey one can take without changing trains is Epping to West Ruislip a distance of 34.1 miles
In April 1755 after 9 years work and payment of 1,500 guineas Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language was published in London
Zizzi is French for willy at Zizzi’s on the Strand in April 2007 a man ran in took a knife jumped on a table dropped his trousers and cut off his penis
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.