Monday Miscellanea

Barbican Centre interior

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday3 March 1982: The Barbican Centre is opened by the Queen. After 15 years of construction, at a cost of £161 million, the centre would become the largest performing arts centre in Europe.
  • Tuesday4 March 1882: Britain’s first electric trams go into operation in Leytonstone, East London.
  • Wednesday5 March 1856: The second Covent Garden Theatre is destroyed by a fire that breaks out at 5am, during a masked ball. Its replacement would become known as the Royal Opera House.
  • Thursday6 March 1997: A gunman walks into the Lefevre Gallery in Mayfair and rips a £650,000 Picasso painting – Tête de Femme – from the wall, before making his escape in a black cab. The painting would be recovered a week later.
  • Friday7 March 1969: The Victoria Line is officially opened by the Queen, in a ceremony at Victoria Station. Intended as a fast, congestion-relieving alternative to other lines (such as the Piccadilly Line), the line makes significant use of ‘cross-platform interchanges’ to help with changing lines.

London Quote Of The Week

A mighty mass of brick and smoke and shipping,
Dirty and dusky, but wide as eye
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amid the forestry
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tiptoe, through the 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 Figoli via the Londonist Flickr Pool.

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