London trivia — 26 May 2019

On 26 May 1906 Vauxhall Bridge was opened by The Prince of Wales. Finished 5-years behind schedule it has decorated on its arches eight allegorical figures: agriculture; architecture; engineering; pottery; education; fine arts sciences; and bizarrely local government. Architecture features a model of St. Paul’s, but you have to lean over the parapet to see it. It was the first bridge to incorporate tram lines.

On 26 May 1868 Fenian Michael Barrett, found guilty of blowing up the Clerkenwell House of Detention was the last man to be hanged publicly

Under the 1752 Murder Act: The Company of Surgeons, Barts and St Thomas Hospitals were each entitled to 10 hanged corpses a year

The glazed-iron roof of Royal Albert Hall measures 20,000 sq.ft. and was at the time of building the largest unsupported glass dome in the world

In Westminster Bridge Road is the entrance to an old station from where passengers took their last journey to Brookwood Cemetery

Within 2 years from the start of World War II twenty-six per cent of London’s pets were destroyed, a quarter of a mile queue formed outside a Wood Green vets

The leather for Lady Penelope’s Thunderbirds limousine came from Bridge Weir Leather, the same company that upholsters Parliament’s benches

The short Holywell Street was the centre for the Victorian gay porn trade, with an estimated 57 pornography shops in as many yards

The museum at Lord’s Long Room has a perfume jar containing the original Ashes, and a stuffed sparrow bowled out in 1936 by Jehangir Khan

On 26 May 1950 the Government ended petrol rationing, the motoring organisations dubbed it VP (Victory for Petrol) Day

South Bank’s Anchor Brewery, once the largest brewery in the world, all that remains is the old brewery tap the Anchor Tavern on Park Street

Dukes Hotel, once part of St. James’s Palace, has knee height locks on doors because the staff used to have to enter and exit whilst bowing

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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