This Week In London’s History
- Monday – 7th May 1663: The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opens for the first time. There have actually been four theatres on this site since the 17th century, and the first one didn’t even last 9 years before burning down in 1672. The second was built in 1674, but demolished in 1791. The third lasted from 1794 until it burned down in 1809 (flammable things, these theatres). Finally, the current theatre on this site was opened in 1812.
- Tuesday – 8th May 1984: The Thames Barrier flood defence at Woolwich is officially opened. The massive structure is the second largest movable flood barrier in the world.
- Wednesday – 9th May 1949: Britain’s first self-service launderette is opened on Queensway, West London.
- Thursday – 10th May 1941: The Palace of Westminster is badly damaged during an air raid, destroying the chamber of the House of Commons and killing three people.
- Friday – 11th May 1812: Also in the Palace of Westminster (but some 129 years earlier), Spencer Perceval becomes the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated when he is fatally shot by “a madman” in the lobby of the House of Commons.
Random London Quote Of The Week
How it would amuse me to scandalise the whole of London! It’s so secure, so fatuous, so conventional… so well-dressed, so up-to-date, hierarchical…