London trivia — 15 January 2017
London Trivia: Victoria 6913 please

On 15 January 1880 the first telephone directory was published, its three exchanges had 248 subscribers to The Telephone Company, but remarkably no numbers only addresses. If you wanted to be connected you had to ring the operator and ask for the person by name. No AAAAAAA Hansom Cabs here. The first person listed was John Adam & Co., 11 Pudding Lane. Naturally Alexander Bell was there he had, after all, invented the contraption, and Keith Prowse selling tickets.

On-this-dayOn 15 January 1797 John Hetherington charged with breach of the peace and inciting a riot after he was the first to wear a top hat in public

CrimeThe last person to stand and be humiliated in a pillory in London was Peter Bossy in 1830. It sometimes was dangerous and many lost an eye

UrbanPutney Bridge is unique in that it is the only one in Britain with a church at either end St Mary’s Putney north and All Saints Fulham south

HealthTobacco was used to revive those drowned in the Thames its vapours were thought to restore the body’s balance inserted into the rectum

PoliticsOn 15 January 1559 the Coronation of Elizabeth I took place at Westminster Abbey, it the last occasion on which the Latin service was used

ArtsBilly Ocean, born Leslie Charles, took his name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney where he lived. He also worked for a tailor in Brick Lane

LeisureIn 1868 Edward, The Prince of Wales, regularly visited the (legal) opium den of Chi Ki in Limehouse frequented by sailors

SportThe 1908 Russian Olympic team arrived 12 days late to London because they hadn’t yet started using the Gregorian calendar

TransEvery week the Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world but very, very slowly

WorkIn October 1986 a trio of Daily Telegraph journalists set up The Independent newspaper from 40 City Road, last year the paper stopped printing and was only published online

MiscLondon only reached its pre-World War II population of just over 8.615 million in January, 2015 after the war it dipped to 6.6 million

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog.
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See recent kindle book on cabbie conversations:


As usual brilliant ‘trivia’; surprised you have the time to drive a cab! Your observation about London’s population only just recently regaining its pre-WW2 level is very thought provoking in relation to public transport. I am sure that population stat. would come as a surprise to most residents/commuters.
Most Londoners & commuters would erroneously put today’s public transport congestion/problems down to a massive increase in London’s population + tourists. I don’t get the impression from the 1930s that the ‘Tube & Overground’ systems were anywhere near as congested/stretched as now & yet the population is similar. There are many more tourists now but they are mostly confined to Zones 1&2 & are not commuters. If public transport was more manageable in the 1930s than it is now with the same population it begs the question : “What has gone wrong?” [Especially bearing in mind advances in technology.]
Thanks again for the brilliant info..