On 20 August 1989 the pleasure boat Marchioness sank after being run down by the dredger Bowbelle in the Thames, a total of 51 people died in the collision. The Bowbelle’s skipper, Douglas Henderson, was acquitted after a trial in 1991. After a campaign lasting 10 years a public inquiry criticised Henderson for failing to set up a proper lookout. In 2002 the first River Thames lifeboat rescue service was started in response to one of the report’s recommendations.
On 20 August 1929 the BBC made the first transmissions of John Logie Baird’s experimental 30-line television system
Chancery Lane takes its name from the 14th century Court of Chancery administered by the Lord Chancellor’s personal staff, the Chancery
Charing Cross was a hamlet known as Charing derived from Anglo-Saxon word cerring meaning ‘bend’ its position by a large bend in the Thames
Canning Town once had no roads, pavements, drains, fresh water, houses built below high tide level behind embankments were damp and flooded
The London Silver Vaults opened 1876 survived a direct hit by a German bomb in World War II that completely obliterated the building above
Jeremy Sandford’s much acclaimed 1966 BBC play Cathy Come Home directed by Ken Loach was partly filmed on Popham Street, Islington
Kensington Olympia opened in 1886 as the National Agricultural Hall on the site of a vineyard and market gardens in Kensington High Street
Chesham the start for the Tube Challenge visiting all stations on the network in the fastest time first completed in 1959 latest 16 hours 29 minutes 57 seconds
The original Tube escalators ended with a diagonal so it finished sooner on the right leading to the etiquette of standing on the right
Cannon Street was known as Candelwrichstrete meaning ‘candle maker street’ after the many candlestick makers that had set up residence
Olympia proved popular with King Edward VII who requisitioned a private suite as a secret rendezvous for liaisons with his many mistresses
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.