London trivia — 08 July 2018

On 8 July 1965 Ronnie Biggs, a member of the gang who carried out the Great Train Robbery in 1963 escaped from Wandsworth prison by scaling a 30ft wall. A ladder was thrown over the wall during the prisoners’ afternoon exercise session. They climbed the ladder and lowered themselves into a waiting van. They were driven away from the prison in three cars. Biggs would evade capture for 36 years, in 2001 he returned to Britain.

On 8 July 1732 Francis Walford and Thomas Darby were acquitted at Newgate of murdering black William Stanley claiming he had hit them first

Bow Street Police Station was the only Victorian London police station with a white light outside rather than a blue light

For almost a century London was the most densely populated City on Earth. It was eclipsed by Tokyo in 1926

John Thompson was Royal Food Taster to 4 Monarchs: Charles II, James II, William III and Anne. He is buried at Morden College, Blackheath

Bethnal Green underground station doubled as a library during World War II with a stock of over 4,000 books, the station would be the scene of one of the greatest loss of civilian life during the war

Formerly ‘Pippen’ at 83-84 Hampstead High Street was where Annie Lennox working as a waitress first met Dave Stewart

Underneath the Ministry of Defence’s Main Building in Whitehall is Henry VIII’s wine cellar. In 1949 they moved the whole cellar, encasing it in steel and concrete and shifted it 9ft to the West and 19ft lower

West Ham’s ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ was inspired by trialist schoolboy Billy Murray who resembled the boy used to advertise Pears soap

Abandoned Tube stations include Strand (closed 1994); Down Street (1932); Brompton Road (1934); and Mark Lane, which is now an All Bar One

The gross domestic product of London is significantly larger than that of several European countries including Belgium and Sweden

Edward VII had so many mistresses that a special pew was reserved for them at his coronation. It was known as ‘the Loose Box’

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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