Monday Miscellanea

The original Waterloo Bridge

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday18th June 1972: A British European Airways plane bound for Brussels crashes moments after taking off from Heathrow airport, killing all 118 passengers. An inquiry later concludes that the pilot had made a ‘speed error’ and stalled the plane, causing it to crash into a field in Staines.

  • Tuesday19th June 1997: McDonald’s wins a libel case against two members of the ‘London Greenpeace’ campaigning group. Having taken seven years, the ‘McLibel’ case becomes the longest-running court action in English history, and despite the verdict, something of an embarrassment to McDonald’s.
  • Wednesday20th June 1934: Work starts on dismantling the original Waterloo Bridge, designed by John Rennie and opened in 1821, to allow for a more structurally sound replacement. The first stone is removed by Herbert Morrison, leader of the London County Council (at that time).
  • Thursday21st June 1887: Queen Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee with a procession through London that, according to Mark Twain, “stretched to the limit of sight in both directions”.
  • Friday22nd June 1907: The deep-level ‘Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway’ opens. It would later form part of the Northern Line.
  • Random London Fact Of The Week

    Two of London’s triumphal arches, Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, have housed small police stations within the last century. Marble Arch’s police station, consisting of just three small rooms, was operational until 1950; whereas Wellington Arch (situated in the middle of Hyde Park Corner roundabout) housed a police station that was not closed until 1992.

    One Thing You Must Do In London This Week

    Crikey – how many festivals can there possibly be this month? Ignoring the pointless muddy ones that require arduous travel to far-flung inbred parts of the country, there seem to be a wealth of multi-day events in London that are calling themselves ‘festivals’ right now. Last week saw the live-music-fest that was the O2 Wireless Festival; the excellent Greenwich & Docklands International Festival starts this Thursday; and one day later the City of London Festival also kicks off.

    This latter festival is set to run until 12th July, and features a few interesting events this Friday which lead to a fairly busy timetable over the next few weeks. We were particularly intrigued by the description of ‘Les Arts de la Rue – La Cie des Quatre Saisons’, which seems to comprise a bunch of fairies tasked with a mission to cheer up gloomy city folk on Queen Street (no puns intended, for once), at 5pm on Friday. Curious.

    Check out the many events of the City of London Festival on their website.

    London’s Weather This Week

    Rain today and sunshine tomorrow? Or should that be sunshine today and rain tomorrow? Who knows? Certainly not the forecasters, that’s for sure. We advise that you prepare for all eventualities.