Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 140 months ago
Monday Miscellanea
Thames Barrier

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday7th 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.
  • Tuesday8th 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. Wednesday9th May 1949: Britain’s first self-service launderette is opened on Queensway, West London. Thursday10th 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. Friday11th 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 Fact Of The Week

    Originally built to allow cabbies to grab a bite to eat without having to stray too far from their cabs (or linger too long in pubs), there were once more than 60 oversized green huts dotted around London. These days there are only 13 of the distinctive ‘Cabmen’s Shelters’ left in London, all of which are Grade II listed buildings, but you can still buy a cup of tea from some of them if you ask nicely.

    London’s Weather This Week

    We did suspect that the good weather of the last few weeks was too good to last, and right on cue it looks like it’s due to rain a bit this week. Oh well.

    One Thing You Must Do In London This Week

    If you’re thinking of wandering around the South Bank looking for Gormley Statues, you might also want to pay some attention to the outside of the National Theatre building. Apparently a couple of dozen people will be covering the north and west faces of the Lyttelton flytower with two billion grass seedlings at the end of this week, in the hope that they flourish into a full-on vertical lawn during the summer.

    It probably won’t be the most spectacular occurrence that you witness in London this year – in fact this week’s planting operation will probably be quite dull from the perspective of a spectator. But still, how many opportunities will you ever have to see grass being sown onto the side of a concrete building? That’s got to be one to tell your disinterested grandchildren in years to come…

    Picture taken from Sifter’s Flickr Photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 licence.

    Last Updated 07 May 2007