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Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 111 months ago
Monday Miscellanea
M25

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday29th October 1986: The M25 ‘London orbital’ motorway is officially opened by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, at a ceremony at the last section to be completed (junctions 22 and 23 in Hertfordshire).
  • Tuesday30th October 1883: A group known as the Fenian Dynamiters detonates a bomb on the Metropolitan Railway, injuring 62 people. Wednesday31st October 1971: An IRA bomb explodes on the 33rd floor of the Post Office Tower (now known as the BT Tower). The explosion occurs in the early hours of the morning, so nobody is harmed, despite extensive damage to the tower and other nearby buildings. Thursday1st November 1848: Retail business W H Smith opens its first railway bookstall, at Euston Station. Friday2nd November 1785: London coachbuilder Lionel Lakin patents the first ‘unsinkable lifeboat’.

    Random London Fact Of The Week

    Whilst ventilation shafts for the tube network are necessary and numerous, it doesn’t mean that they have to be obvious. A fair degree of ingenuity has been shown in disguising many of these shafts as they crop up across London.

    One of the more notable of such disguises can be found on Leinster Terrace (just off Bayswater Road). To the casual observer, house numbers 22 and 23 appear to be just another part of the rather expensive-looking Victorian terrace. However this is a trick – these addresses are a (rather convincing) false frontage with nothing behind it other than a large air-vent. (The scale of this deception is illustrated in a couple of photos on the Knowledge of London website, here.)

    The false frontage is so convincing that it was successfully used by a conman in the 1930s, who made a quick profit by selling hundreds of tickets to a charity ball at this address. Needless to say, the partygoers who turned up in formal attire were rather disappointed to discover that not only did the party not exist, but that the entire venue was a hoax.

    London’s Weather This Week

    The next few days will be brighter than the gloomy weekend that we’ve just had. However, a few (but not all) of the forecasters seem to think that the nights will get quite chilly mid-week, and that the gloom will return thereafter.

    Photo of the M25 taken from timo_w2s’ Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 licence.

    Last Updated 29 October 2007

    SallyB

    Those photos of 22-23 Leinster Terrace are amazing!
    This column should be compulsory reading for all Londoners.