In Short

The following text is in no particular order and the facts have no reason for being listed, other than they contain some 'little gems' of knowledge about London.

Note: A line prefixed with 'T:' gives a 'Text' reference for the relevant information.

 

Archway Bridge

T: London Gazetteer; Russ Willey; picture page 2 - following p176
It has spiked railings in an attempt to deter suicide bids.

Jack Straw's Castle

T: London Gazetteer; Russ Willey; picture page 8 - following p368
The former public house at North End, Hampstead, was converted into flats about 2005.

Old London Bridge

When the houses were cleared from Old London Bridge, new ballustrades were built and, on either side of the bridge, seven stone alcoves were erected, making a total of 14 in all. They remained until the bridge was finally removed after 1831. Where they are now is not documented. Three can be seen in Inner London and a fourth is known to be in Outer London.

Two alcoves are to be seen in Victoria Park.

One other alcove was purchased by Guy's Hospital and remains in one of the quadrangles, beside the Colonnade.

T: London Gazetteer; Russ Willey; picture page 20 - following p176
One of the old alcoves from London Bridge survives in the gardens of the Courtlands estate, in East Sheen.

Bromley St Leonard Vestry Hall

T: London Gazetteer; Russ Willey; picture page 10 - following p176
The old Vestry Hall, built 1880 for Bromley St Leonard, remains on the south side of Bow Road, now used as Tower Hamlets Register Office.

Honor Oak Reservoir

T: London Gazetteer; Russ Willey; p248
Lying at the end of Marmora Road, Honor Oak in SE London, is Europe's largest underground reservoir, occupying 14 acres (++ hectares). It opened in 1909, storing water pumped from the treatment centre at Hampton, to the west of London. The level grass on top is the 9-hole Aquarius Golf Course.

Innovative Spiral Escalator

T: TFL Website
In 1907 an innovative spiral escalator was installed at Holloway Road Underground Station.

True to London Underground's tradition of innovation, a spiral escalator was installed in 1907 at Holloway Road station, but despite such inventiveness, conventional linear escalators were favoured for the rest of the network. Only a small section of the spiral escalator now remains in the custody of the London Transport Museum at Acton Depot.

World's First Underground Railway

T: TFL Website
The Metropolitan Railway opened the world's first underground railway on 10 January 1863 between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street.

The First 'Tube'

T: TFL Website
The City and South London Railway opened the world's first deep-level electric railway on 18 December 1890, from King William Street in the City of London, under the River Thames to Stockwell.

Manual Doors on Underground Trains

T: TFL Website
The last manually operated doors on tube trains were replaced by air-operated doors in 1929.

Thames Tunnel

T: TFL Website
Originally built for road traffic and pedestrians, the scheme ran out of money and the Thames Tunnel opened as a foot-tunnel.

The first steam trains travelled through Brunel's Thames Tunnel in 1869.

First Underground Escalators

T: TFL Website
The first escalators were installed on an underground station, at Earl's Court station, in 1911.

Longest Underground Escalator

T: TFL Website
The longest escalator on the underground is at Angel - 60m (197ft), with a vertical rise of 27.5m (90ft). The deepest lift shaft is at Hampstead - 55.2m (181ft).

Whitesmith

T: Wikipedia
A whitesmith is a person who works with 'white' or light-coloured metals such as tin and pewter. While blacksmiths work mostly with hot metal, whitesmiths do the majority of their work on cold metal (although they might use a forge to shape their raw materials).

The term is also applied to metalworkers who do only finishing work such as filing or polishing on iron and other 'black' metals.

Whitesmiths make things such as tin or pewter cups, water pitchers, forks, spoons and candle holders.

Tower Bridge

In 1952, a London bus driven by Albert Gunton was crossing Tower Bridge. The bus had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise while he was driving his number 78 bus across it. There were only six people on the bus and nobldy was injured.

 

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