Monday Miscellanea

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday27 May 2005: The Great Clock of Westminster (a.k.a. Big Ben) unexpectedly stops at 10:07pm. It restarts, but then stops again at 10:20pm for about 90 minutes. The malfunction is blamed on unseasonably high temperatures.
  • Tuesday28 May 1908: Ian Fleming, creator of the character of James Bond and author of more than a dozen novels featuring the British agent, is born in Mayfair. He also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by the way.
  • Wednesday29 May 1886: The current Putney Bridge is opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales, replacing an earlier bridge that was built in 1729.
  • Thursday30 May 1972: The ‘Angry Brigade’, a group responsible for a large number of bomb attacks in the early 70s, go on trial at the Old Bailey.
  • Friday31 May 1859: Another anniversary for The Tower With Five Names… Big Ben rings across Westminster for the first time, although it does not officially go into service until later that year.

Random London Quote Of The Week

A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
Dirty and dusty, but as wide as eye
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool’s head – and there is London Town.

Lord Byron, ‘Don Juan’

Photo by Chris Guy via the Londonist Flickr Pool.

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