This day in London’s History
1974: Explosion at the Tower of London
For such an old fortress, the Tower of London has seen very little actual conflict. One exception happened on this day 32 years ago, when a suspected IRA device exploded in the mortar room of the White Tower. One person was killed and 41 were injured, including 14 children. No one was ever arrested for the crime, and no organisation claimed responsibility.
London fact of the week
The Tower’s moat has had all manner of unusual roles over the centuries. While still aquatic, it was much used for fishing, waste disposal and the dumping of bodies (including a couple of lions from the Tower menagerie). Since the moat was filled in in the 1830s, the space has been used as an allotment during the second world war, an ice rink and a concert venue. Plans are afoot to reflood the moat as a stunt to promote the 2012 Olympics.
London person of the week
The late Phyllis Pearsall, creator of the A-Z, whose shiny new blue plaque was revealed a few days ago.
One thing you must do in London this week
Visit the newly opened Animals’ War exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. Find out exactly why an SAS dog called ‘Rob’ made over 20 parachute jumps in WWII.
One thing you must not do in London this week
Forget the sun cream. 35 degrees by Wednesday, apparently. Scorchio.