On 8 April 2013 Margaret Thatcher died at her suite in the Ritz Hotel. She may have helped invent soft-serve ice cream, after graduating from Oxford she worked as a research chemist at a Hammersmith food manufacturer J. Lyons and Company and was part of a team tasked with ‘whipping more air into ice cream’. They came up with a kind of ‘soft ice cream’ using fewer ingredients and saved money on production costs.
On 8 April 1989 the longest single movement in Western musical history was performed at the Proms, Odyssey was 96 minutes punctuated by a grandfather’s clock chimes
In 1880 it was suggested redrawing London’s borough boundaries making each one hexagonal to stop cabbies cheating on their fares
Putney Bridge is unique in that it is the only one in Britain with a church at either end (St Mary’s Putney and All Saints Fulham)
On 8 April 1943 author James Herbert was born in the East End. He later went to Columbia Road nursery and Our Lady of the Assumption School
The green cab shelters were erected by Victorian philanthropists with the stipulations that no alcohol to be consumed nor politics discussed
On 8 April 1967 Dagenham’s Sandie Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) became the first UK act to win the Eurovision Song Contest with Puppet on a String
Between 1927 and 39 London boasted no fewer than 27 greyhound tracks. Today only three tracks survive, at Wimbledon, Romford and Crayford
Between 1743 and 1939 with fourteen Islington had the highest concentration of public and private swimming baths ever recorded in Britain
London cabbies are forbidden to transport passengers suffering with a ‘notifiable disease’, bubonic plague is but one disease specified
St. Paul’s Cathedral took so long to build in 17thC London that a lazy worker at the time would be called a St Paul’s workman
The Camberwell Beauty is the colloquial term for Nymphasil antiopa, a velvety, chocolate brown butterfly rarely seen because it migrates annually to Scandanavia from London
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.