On 24 December 1997 Home Secretary, Jack Straw’s 17-year-old son was given police bail after a Daily Mirror journalist following an anonymous tip-off had met him in a pub and been offered a small chunk of cannabis resin for £10 claiming it was “good strong hash”. The editor of the Mirror had phoned Jack Straw to confront them with the story and the minister apparently insisted that his son received no special privileges.
On 24 December 1832 thirteen-year-old Princess Victoria recorded in her diary at Buckingham Palace ‘we then went into the drawing room . . . on tables were placed two trees hung with lights ad sugar ornaments’
The first man to wear a top hat in public caused so much hysteria and commotion in St. James’ that he was arrested for disturbing the peace
During World War II number 77 Baker Street was requisitioned by the Special Operations Executive, using it as a homing station for message-carrying pigeons
Aldgate tube station is built on the site of a plague pit mentioned by Daniel Defoe in Journal of a Plague Year in which over a thousand were buried
The Penderel Oak, High Holborn is named after yeoman farmer, Richard Penderel, who helped Charles II escape by hiding him in a wood
The opening scene in The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night was shot at Marylebone Station not Liverpool’s Lime Street as depicted
In the mid-19th century Thomas Barry was famous for sailing between Westminster and Vauxhall Bridges in a tub towed by four geese
Smithfield was once the play area of London, where jousting and tournaments took place, later it would be where William Wallace was hanged, drawn and quartered
The Thames still handles more material by tonnage annually than all of London’s airports combined, the equivalent to 400,000 lorries every year
As a boy Charles Dickens worked in a boot polish or blacking factory on Villiers Street off the Strand. Embankment station now occupies the site
Diarist Samuel Pepys buried his parmesan cheese and wine in his garden to protect them from the Great Fire of London in 1666
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.