Monday Miscellanea

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 125 months ago
Monday Miscellanea
National Portrait Gallery restaurant view

This Week In London’s History

  • Monday31st March 1990: Violence erupts as hundreds of thousands of anti-poll-tax protesters take to the streets in the West End. An estimated £400,000 of damage is caused to property as cars are overturned and set alight. Hundreds of arrests are made.
  • Tuesday1st April 1965: The administrative area known as Greater London is formed, amalgamating and consuming parts of central London and the home counties. Wednesday2nd April 1914: Alec Guinness de Cuffe is born in Paddington. He would become an Oscar-winning actor (under the name Alec Guinness). Thursday3rd April 1954: Oxford University wins the 100th Boat Race. Friday4th April 1896: The new premises for the National Portrait Gallery (next to the National Gallery by Trafalgar Square) open their doors for the first time.

    Random London Fact Of The Week

    Pond Square in Highgate is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a frozen chicken.

    In the spring of 1626, Sir Francis Bacon was journeying through a snowy Highgate, when he was struck by the idea that it might be possible to preserve meat by freezing it. Striking while the iron was hot (or rather, in this case, while the snow was cold), he immediately bought a chicken and stuffed it with snow, in an attempt to verify the theory.

    As we now know, his theory would turn out to be essentially correct. However, he would not live to gain any satisfaction from this, as his snowy exertions caused the onset of pneumonia, from which he died shortly afterwards.

    Despite Bacon’s somewhat premature death, the world’s first (intentionally) frozen chicken was apparently not so easy to get rid of. Various sightings of phantom poultry in the area have been reported ever since.

    London’s Weather This Week

    Finally, just as British Summer Time arrives, it looks like the temperatures will start to creep up. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of scope for rain, wind, and a couple of chilly nights this week, so don’t get carried away.

    View from the restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery taken from Gaetan Lee’s Flickr photostream.

    Last Updated 31 March 2008