Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 138 months ago
Monday Miscellanea
2012 Thankyou London

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday2nd July 1865: One-time Methodist minister William Booth preaches to a large crowd at an open-air ‘mission’ in Whitechapel, founding the ‘East London Christian Mission’, which would later be renamed ‘The Salvation Army’.
  • Tuesday3rd July 1981: A punk concert at the Hamborough Tavern in Southall, West London, leads to fighting between skinheads and Asian youths. The riot is just one of many violent ‘uprisings’ to take place that year. Wednesday4th July 1829: London’s first scheduled bus service is introduced by coach-maker George Shillibeer, inspired by his work on a fleet of coaches in Paris. The ‘omnibus’ service runs between Paddington to the Bank of England, providing four daily services in each direction, each of which capable of “accommodating 16 or 18 persons, all inside”. Thursday5th July 1975: Arthur Ashe defeats defending champion Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon, becoming the first black man to win the tournament’s singles title. Friday6th July 2005: London wins its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, beating Paris by 54 votes to 50 in the International Olympic Committee’s final round of voting. The announcement, made at 12:49 BST, sparks hours of celebrations in Trafalgar Square.

    Random London Fact Of The Week

    Many of us have absent-mindedly left an umbrella on the tube or bus (or DLR or taxi), but how many of us have actually attempted to reclaim it? Very few, we’ll wager. However, maybe we should not give up on being reunited with our belongings so easily – the Transport for London Lost Property Office (LPO) based at Baker Street receives over 130,000 items of lost property each year, and will return them to their rightful owners wherever possible, in exchange for a small fee.

    As well as brollies, beanies and bags, the LPO also receives a surprising number of exotic and unusual items that have been abandoned in various places on London’s transport system. If the rumours (or maybe urban myths) are to be believed, these items have included: a grandfather clock, various human remains, breast implants, prosthetic limbs, a park bench, a lawnmower, a kitchen sink, a jar of bull’s sperm, a 14-foot boat, a pair of water skis and an outboard motor. To our disappointment, there is no evidence to suggest that these last two items were found together.

    More information on the fate of property that is lost on London’s transport system can be found on the TfL website.

    One Thing You Must Do In London This Week

    Last year we described it as “the premier event in London’s popular science calendar”. The year before last, our resident science geek had a fantastic time fiddling about with cool gadgets and annoying top scientists by asking too many questions. This week, the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition comes around again, and is sure to excite anyone who can manage to get along to it. To quote the official blurb:

    This exhibition offers a fantastic opportunity to discover the best of the UK's science and technology research.

    With 23 exhibits from all over the UK, this is your chance to find out about the latest developments in scientific research and meet and talk to the researchers behind the fascinating exhibits on show. Come and discover how tiny computers can be used for health monitoring and training future UK medallists, practice your keyhole surgery techniques and find out if Piranhas really deserve their reputation as vicious predators!

    But there’s much, much more than that promised. The exhibition’s website is rammed full of detail on the many and varied exhibits that will be on display at the Royal Society. Whether or not you’re scientifically inclined, this still looks like a fascinating exhibition, only spoilt slightly by the relatively short run and the somewhat variable opening hours (from 18:00 to 21:00 this evening, 10:00 to 21:00 on Tuesday, then 10:00 to 16:30 on Wednesday and Thursday).

    The Summer Science Exhibition will take place from 2nd to 5th July, at the Royal Society building on Carlton House Terrace (near Trafalgar Square). For more information, go to the Summer Science website here.

    London’s Weather This Week

    As far as anyone can tell, this week’s weather will be the same as last week’s – infuriatingly unpredictable with plenty of sporadic rain. Last week we blamed Glastonbury, this week we have decided that it’s the fault of Wimbledon. Stupid Wimbledon.

    Picture of a discarded 2012 bid celebration flag taken from squaregraph’s Flickr Photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 licence.

    Last Updated 02 July 2007