On 4 August 1914 whilst enjoying an open-air concert given by a German band at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, the conductor stopped the music declaring “Ladies and Gentlemen, war has been declared”. With that the musicians filed out silently. It is not recorded if the concert goers received a refund. By the time the war more than 16 million people were dead – and presumably some of the band.
On 4 August 2011 gang member Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in Tottenham, his death would cause riots to break out
At the Old Bailey in 1468 jurors who returned a verdict unacceptable to the trial judge were forced to wear dunces’ caps
Tins holding Old Holborn rolling tobacco featured a drawing of the front of Staple Inn, Holborn. It still exists poorly restored
On 4 August 2000 40,000 well-wishers gathered in the Mall to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday she received a telegram from the Queen
Parliament’s jail was last used in 1880 imprisoning atheist Charles Bradlaugh for refusing taking oath of allegiance to the Queen on a Bible
Wimpole Street was once home to poet Elizabeth Barrett, author Arthur Conan Doyle and Paul McCartney who wrote Yesterday there
Alexander Pope planted the first Willow Tree in England in his garden at Twickenham. All the willows in Britain are related to this tree
When David Walliams swam 140 miles of the Thames for charity raising £2m he also found time to save a dog that had joined him in the water
The District Line opened on Xmas Eve 1868. River Westbourne had to be channelled over track at Sloane Sq in a metal pipe (still there today)
Henry Harrod’s first grocery store was in Stepney before he moved to Eastcheap in 1835 and Belgravia in 1849
McVitie’s make their chocolate Hobnobs in Harlesden, but for some reason the plain Hobnobs are made in Glasgow
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.