London trivia — 21 July 2019

On 21 July 1921 a coroner’s court jury returned a verdict of death caused by strychnine poisoning, on the death of Sir Alfred Newton. The chairman of Harrod’s had died in his store. It transpired that his indigestion medication prescribed by Harrod’s own pharmacy contained enough of the poison to kill a large number of people. The post-mortem discovered he had a weak heart and would not have lived much longer.

On 21 July 2005 explosions at two trains and a bus came exactly a fortnight after four suicide bombers killed 52 on the transport network, this time only the detonators exploded

The Queen can still exact the maximum penalty on souvenir traders using her coat of arms without permission – beheading

The first permanent bridge into what would become London was built near the site of London Bridge by Emperor Claudius’ Roman army in AD55

On 21 July 1964 Tottenham Hotspur’s Scottish striker John White was killed by lightning playing golf in North London

The 1782 Land Tax Act, as with all other Acts is written on vellum, at a quarter of a mile it is longer than Parliament

The corner of Lapstone Gardens/Mentmore Close, Kenton where Basil Fawlty thrashed his car with a tree, nowhere near the fictional coastal hotel

More than 42 million people have visited Tate Modern since Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station was converted and opened in 2000

London Fives is a dartboard game with 12 large segments counting down from 505, players standing 9ft away. Henry VIII was said to play it

4 Tube stations have names that contain the colour of the line the station is on: Redbridge, Stepney Green, Turnham Green and Parsons Green

Burlington Arcade built to remove an alleyway beside the mansion is patrolled by Beadles who stop whistling running and unfurling umbrellas

Early phone boxes were made tall enough for a man wearing a top hat to use them in comfort, later versions had sloping floors because people were using them as urinals

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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