On 25 November 1952 at the Ambassador Theatre opened a play which would break all records. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap ran at this theatre until 1974 transferring to St. Martin’s where it is still performed nightly clocking up over 26,000 performances. The clock on the mantelpiece in the main hall is the only remaining original prop. More than 400 actors have appeared, Richard Attenborough was the original DS Trotter.
On 25 November 1929 architect Ewan Barr mock Tudor Duchess Theatre opened, it became a cinema three years later
Law discouraging imported spirits resulted in 1 in 7 homes in East London distilling gin and weekly consumption rising to 8 pints per person
Park Lane Hilton the first tall building constructed after the war planning objections were quashed when Hilton threatened to move to Paris
Colonel Pierpoint designed the world’s first traffic island in St James’s Street he tripped over while showing his friends and killed by a passing cab
Female MPs were banned from wearing trousers in the House of Commons. Speaker Horace King changed that even though he said he liked to see a ‘nicely-turned ankle’
War of the Worlds author HG Wells and comedian Peter Cook lived at 17 Church Row, Hampstead, although not at the same time
Peach Melba created by the Savoy for soprano Nellie Melba used her favourite ingredients to reduce the cold of ice cream on her vocal cords
If you added up the number of seats available at all of London’s sporting venues you get a total of 780,000 a figure no city in the world can match
The term Hackney Carriage is not connected to East London’s Olympic Park but comes from the French word haquenée meaning an ambling nag
Fortnum and Mason’s head of bakery is known as ‘Groom of the Pastry’ a tradition dating back two centuries
The Lost Property Office has received: three dead bats in a box; two human skulls; an artificial leg; breast implants and a whole stuffed gorilla
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.