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Did you know, that …

Did you know, that …
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I had so much fun creating this post! These facts should be quite entertaining for both tourists and people having lived here forever. Did you know, that…

Its illegal to die in the Palace of Westminster! This law was recently voted the most absurd in Britain, narrowly beating a Liverpool legislation, that bans women from going topless in public, unless they work in a tropical fish store!

Big Ben is the bell – not the clock tower! (I actually didn’t know that!)

Among the many things Londoners have left on the Tube are a samurai sword, a stuffed puffer fish, a human skull, three dead bats in a jar and a coffin! (so forgetting an umbrella is hardly breaking news)

Squirrels are all over London, but perhaps the tamest of all are resident in St James’s Park. (My favourite place to meet my little friends is at the beautiful Brompton Cemetery, where I often bring them unsalted nuts. Not really sure its allowed, but I feel a bit like Ace Ventura, when they come running towards me)

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Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Frith Street was the site of Jimi Hendrix’s last public performance in 1970

Street names that sadly no longer exist include Shiteburn Lane, Pissing Alley, and more than one Gropecunt Lane, which as the name might suggest, was associated with prostitution

When British Airways was having trouble erecting The London Eye in 1999, the owner of Virgin (Sir Richard Branson) flew an airship over it that said “BA Can’t Get It Up!” (But luckily they did – and here I am enjoying a ride in Europe’s tallest Ferris Wheel – The London Eye aka The Wheel of Fortune)

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Before the statue of Nelson was placed on top of the 17-foot-tall column in Trafalgar Square in 1842, 14 stone masons involved had a celebrity dinner at the top. More than 100.000 flocked to have a look at the statue from ground level

Perhaps the strangest pub name is “I Am the Only Running Footman” in Mayfair (1749)

More than half of The London Underground network in fact runs above ground! The Central Line became London’s busiest in 2011. When the Circle line opened in 1884, The Times called it

“a form of mild torture which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it”

As it spins you around today, you might get a sense of déjà vu, but people have been feeling that for decades. In 2004, for example, a Parliamentary report called it “a daily trauma,” condemning commuters to “intolerable conditions.” (This is Frenchie and I trying to cope with claustrophobic attacks in a heavy packed tube)

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Brixton Market was the first electrified market in the country and stands, as a result, on Electric Avenue

To get a London taxi license, you have to prove that you know every single street and landmark in London. It’s called “The Knowledge” and takes 2-4 years to memorize

Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world that is still being used by the royal family

More than 1000 bodies are buried underneath Aldgate station, in a plaque pit built in 1665

In England people drink about 165 million cups of tea a day, or 62 billion cups per year (I like to buy my tea at Fortnum & Mason. If you haven’t visited this classy store yet, then go go go!)

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