This day in London’s History
1830: George IV dies. On the face of it, small potatoes as far as London is concerned. This is the George so memorably portrayed as the nitwit regent by Hugh Laurie in Blackadder III. And in real life, George IV was much despised for his extravagance and stubbornness. But he did leave a lasting legacy in the capital. On his death, a memorial statue was erected on a crossroads in the area then known as Battle Bridge. The monument proved as unpopular as George himself and only lasted around 10 years. But not long after it was demolished (see piccy), one of London’s first railway stations was going up nearby. The name of King’s Cross somehow stuck.
London fact of the week
Another statue of George had more luck. Sir Frances Chantrey’s equestrian statue was to have sat atop Marble Arch, but instead ended up on one of the Eastern plinths in Trafalgar Square. Rumour has it that nobody could quite remember who the statue was by the end of the 19th century, as no inscription had been added.
London person of the week
Wandsworth resident Orlando Fonseca, for rescuing a damsel in rather urgent distress.
One thing you must do in London this week
The Tower Music Festival starts on Wednesday, with the Pet Shop Boys headlining. Quite a career path for the lads – from humble pet store beginnings to storming an 11th Century fortress. Other acts over the following couple of weeks include James Brown, Randy Newman, Dionne Warrick and Jamie Cullum. Interesting selection, but we wonder if they’re being a little cautious. If the line-up included someone with a bit of oomph – Rammstein, say – you feel that the Tower might just crumble, ravens or no ravens.