This day in London’s history
1984: WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed in St James's Square during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy. She was the first policewoman to be murdered on duty in Britain. The event inspired car insurance salesman Michael Winner to etsablish the Police Memorial Trust and a memorial to WPC Fletcher was commissioned for the square. In 2005, the National Police Memorial was unveiled by the Queen, it stands opposite St James's Park at the junction of Horse Guards Road and The Mall and records the names of nearly 1,600 police officers "unlawfully killed while in the execution of their duty, or in the course of effecting an arrest or the performance of acts of gallantry or other hazardous duty".
1999: A nailbomb exploded outside a supermarket in Brixton, injuring more than 45 people. Before the end of the month, identical bombs were also detonated in Brick Lane and in Soho, causing injuries to more than 70 people and killing 3. David Copeland, a right-wing extremist, was captured soon after the bombing at the Admiral Duncan and was subsequently jailed for life.
London fact of the week
If you were to take a look round the website of James J. Fox and Robert Lewis, cigar merchants since 1787 and residents of 19 St James's Street, you would be treated to a cornucopia of interesting facts about this famous parade. Our favourites centre around the antics of some of the members of
One member, Lord Alvanley, bet three thousand pounds on two drops of rain running down a window, and was enraged when the bet was nullified by their merger. Another staked himself to remain under water for twelve hours (he lost!).
Perhaps the strangest of all the Club's bets concerned an enthusiastic golfer named Milbanke who challenged any member to drive a golf ball from a designated spot in the City to the steps of the Club in less than two thousand strokes. The challenge was accepted and the 'round' completed one thousand eight hundred and thirteen strokes under 'par'.
Londoner of the week
Sophie Anderton is perhaps better known for falling out of nightclubs in a blizzard of gak, but on Sunday she'll be putting those long legs to good use, running the London Marathon in aid of The National Autistic Society . Well done Sophie! Although jugding by the state of her fundraising page, it appears that she may need to get a bit of a move on, where are those celeb pals when you need 'em eh? If you are in the mood to be charitable, why not sponsor a Londonista who'll be running this year's New York Marathon? Yes it's a gratuitous plug and yes it won't be the last. Please cough up.
One thing you must do in London this week
Remind yourself that the likes of David Copeland will never triumph over all the people in this city who make it such a diverse, maddening, bizarre, intoxicating, unsettling and exciting place to live. You could grab some fine veggie fare at Mildred's , have a drink at the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane or lose yourself on the dancefloor at Dogstar , right in the heart of Brixton.
Picture of Brixton taken from lovineveryminutethati'minit's photostream at Flickr.