London trivia — 31 March 2019

On 31 March 1986 the Greater London Council was abolished, with thousands of people taking part in festivities to mark the historic final hours of 97 years of local rule in London. A throng of 250,000 people gathered on the South Bank in London, home to the Greater London Council, which ceased to exist at midnight, festivities ended with the largest display of fireworks ever seen in the city after a week of events costing £250,000.

On 31 March 1986 Lady Gale died in her apartment at Hampton Court Palace, the result of a fire that caused millions of pounds damage

In 1961 Elsie Batten was killed in Cecil Court by Edwin Bush the first UK man to be caught by the use of an identikit picture

The Oxo Tower’s windows were designed in ‘O-X-O’ shapes to get round rules banning neon advertising. Lit up at night they did the same job

The Imperial War Museum was once Bethlem Asylum known as Bedlam where Victorian artist Richard Dadd was incarcerated

The clock above Horseguards Parade has a black mark by the figure II marking the time when Charles I was executed nearby

Artist Rosetti kept several animals in his Chelsea home including a wombat who ate the hat of a woman he was painting

Waterstone’s Islington Green was built as Collins Music Hall where Charlie Chaplin and Gracie Fields were among the performers

Jonathan Trott has never hit a Test six. The only man ever to hit a six over the Lord’s pavilion was Albert . . . Trott. Related (distantly)

Actor Timothy Bentinck who plays David Archer in the long-running Radio 4 soap drama was the voice of “Mind the Gap” on the London Tube

In 1696 Edward Lloyd published London’s first daily newspaper containing shipping information he picked up from customers in his coffee shop

After purchasing a London cab, the immensely rich Nubar Gulbenkian said that a London taxi can turn on a sixpence – “whatever that is”

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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