Monday Miscellanea

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday15th October 1881: The Royal Comedy Theatre (known for most of its life as the Comedy Theatre, and latterly the Harold Pinter Theatre) opens in the West End.
  • Tuesday16th October 1987: In the early hours of the morning, a huge storm of hurricane intensity wreaks havoc across London (and much of the rest of southern England).
  • Wednesday17th October 1814: At the Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a colossal vat containing 3555 barrels of beer bursts. The ensuing tsunami of beer causes several nearby buildings to collapse, and results in eight fatalities – including a dubious report of alcohol poisoning as one man supposedly attempts to stem the tide of beer by drinking it.
  • Thursday18th October 1922: The British Broadcasting Company (later to become the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC) is formed, and soon starts broadcasting from Marconi House on the Strand.
  • Friday19th October 2003: After 44 days of being pointless in a perspex box suspended from a crane near Tower Bridge, illusionist David Blaine comes down.

Random London Quote Of The Week

I once reminded him that when Dr Adam Smith was expatiating on the beauty of Glasgow he had cut him short by saying, “Pray, Sir, have you ever seen Brentford?” and I took the liberty to add, “My dear Sir, surely that was shocking.” “Why then Sir,” he replied, “YOU have never seen Brentford.”

James Boswell, Life of Johnson

Picture by tezzer57 via the Londonist Flickr pool.

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davehaste

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  • Terry Collmann

    “including a dubious report of alcohol poisoning as one man supposedly attempts to stem the tide of beer by drinking it.”

    Not true. The only dead were women and children. See here http://zythophile.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/so-what-really-happened-on-october-17-1814/

    • MattFromLondonist

      That’s a superb article – I’ve never seen a properly researched account of the flood before. I’ll share this on our Facebook page.