Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 205 months ago

Last Updated 25 June 2007

Monday Miscellanea
City Road

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday25th June 1953: John Christie is sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, whose body was found with several others hidden beneath the floorboards of his house in Notting Hill, West London. His conviction casts serious doubts on a previous murder trial that resulted in the conviction and execution of his fellow tenant Timothy Evans, who would be posthumously pardoned in 1966. The resulting controversy would contribute to the abolition of the death penalty in the UK.
  • Tuesday26th June 1857: The first Victoria Cross medals are awarded by Queen Victoria to 62 soldiers of the Crimean War, in a ceremony in Hyde Park. Wednesday27th June 1967: The world’s first electronic automated teller machine (ATM) is installed by Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London. Reg Varney (of On The Buses fame) becomes the first person to make a withdrawal. Thursday28th June 1461: Edward IV is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. Queen Victoria is crowned on the same date, 377 years later. Friday29th June 1761: The City Road is opened, running between Finsbury Square in the City and the Angel.

    Random London Fact Of The Week

    In 1980, investigative journalist Duncan Campbell climbed down a shaft on Bethnal Green Road (just east of the City) and embarked upon a somewhat illegal exploration of a network of secret tunnels that run deep under London’s streets. His report, published in the New Statesman, described miles of well-maintained tunnels, connecting Whitehall with the City, as well as major areas of communications infrastructure.

    There are many rumours of ‘secret’ tunnels under London, fuelled not only by discoveries such as Campbell’s, but also as a result of unexplained refusals for permission to excavate or tunnel in areas that would appear to be quite free of subterranean obstructions – at least according to most publicly available plans.

    One Thing You Must Do In London This Week

    In case you didn’t know, 1st July is the traditional date for Canada Day, where Canadians around the world are encouraged to celebrate the anniversary of the “beginnings of the present form of Canada in 1867”. So this year, July 1st will represent Canada’s 140th birthday, right?

    Maybe, but it appears that when 1st July falls on a Sunday, Canadians are expected to commemorate the occasion on 2nd July instead. So bearing in mind that 1st July comes around this Sunday, we should expect to be celebrating Canada Day next Monday then?

    Apparently not. Or at least not for London-based Canadians. Due to a rather busy booking schedule for Trafalgar Square, the organisers of Canada Day London were unable to use the square next Monday. So instead they’ve decided to move Canada Day (or at least London’s celebration of it) to this Friday, 29th June.

    Got that? Good. So, now we’re all clear on the date of the celebrations, and the exact rationale behind the date, we bet you’re curious to know what’s actually happening. Well, by all accounts, the festivities in Trafalgar Square this Friday will be quite extensive. Starting around midday, there will be a packed afternoon and evening of entertainment, featuring a variety of live music, Canadian sports demonstrations, samplers of “fantastic Canadian activities” and traditional Canadian foodstuffs, simulated rides over the Niagara falls and the promise that Mounties will apparently be present. The event’s official website promotes the festivities thus:

    It’s all about saying “buh-bye” [sic] to the bland and hello to the riveting details of place, taste, sound and scent. Because that’s what makes our country exotic, proudly original, uniquely ours. If you didn’t know us, now you will. C’est le Canada. We are more. We’re Bringing Canada to the Heart of London!

    Quite. And in case you were confused about the time and place… Canada Day London, Trafalgar Square, 1st July 2nd July this Friday 29th June from midday until about 9:45pm. For more information go to the Canada Day London website here.

    London’s Weather This Week

    Nice weather for ducks. We blame Glastonbury. It might brighten up a bit in time for the weekend, but don’t bet on it.

    Photo of The City Road looking east from Angel taken from Wikimedia Commons.