Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 140 months ago
Monday Miscellanea
Speaker's Corner

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday30th July 1966: England defeat West Germany in the FIFA World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, claiming the Jules Rimet Trophy (and, of course, the status of Football World Champions for the next four years).
  • Tuesday31st July 1962: Violence erupts at a rally of the Union Movement (formerly known as the British Union of Fascists) in Dalston, East London. Sir Oswald Mosely, leader of the movement, is knocked to the ground and forced to abandon the rally. Wednesday1st August 2003: The Hutton Inquiry, set up to “urgently conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly”, begins at the Royal Courts of Justice. The inquiry runs until January 2004 – the published report clearing the British government of wrongdoing, amid widespread claims of “establishment whitewash”. Thursday2nd August 1967: The newer carriageway of the Blackwall Tunnel is opened, 70 years after the opening of the original tunnel. The newer tunnel lies to the east of the original tunnel, and is normally used for southbound traffic. Friday3rd August 2001: Just a few seconds after midnight, a car bomb explodes in Ealing Broadway, injuring 7 people and causing significant damage to the surrounding area. The bombing is subsequently attributed to the ‘Real IRA’, and three men are later jailed for causing this and two other explosions.

    Random London Fact Of The Week

    Speaker’s Corner, at the north-east corner of Hyde Park (near Marble Arch), is an area where any member of the public is permitted to address an audience on pretty much any subject without prior arrangement (provided they don’t break the law).

    Although it is often populated by ‘non-mainstream speakers’ (a.k.a. ‘nutters’), it has also hosted many more notable speakers. Karl Marx and George Orwell have both spoken there, and representatives of a number of socialist organisations regularly rock up and present their opinions to the crowds that gather.

    The area’s status as a ‘designated free speech zone’ dates back to the mid 19th century. Following a number of riots in Hyde Park over the rights of working class men, the issue of free speech was raised with the Park Authorities in 1872. The end result was a localised relaxation of the park’s by-laws that expressly prohibit public speaking in other parks of the park.

    Aside from the esteemed origins of Speaker’s Corner, Londonist likes the area because it often reminds us of a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. Sorry.

    London’s Weather This Week

    After the performance of the last few months, we really don’t want to tempt fate here. Having said that, the forecasters seem to be implying that we might have some weather that vaguely befits the seasonal status of ‘summer’ this week.

    Our advice: take a brolly anyway.

    Picture of Speaker’s Corner taken from John Brownlow’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 license.

    Last Updated 30 July 2007