Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

History - Archive Articles

Latest news articles about London’s long history.

Drinking Tea: Talking about Tea

Off to the Linnaean Society last night for a cup of tea - and a talk about tea, in their plush Piccadilly home. The talk was being given by John Griffiths FLS, who coincidentally has written a book on the subject.

Jan
23
2009
More on the Waterloo & Whitehall Railway
More on the Waterloo & Whitehall Railway

More on the Waterloo & Whitehall Railway

Long term readers may recall that I am slowly researching the history of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway – a short lived attempt to build a pneumatic railway in an iron tube running under the River Thames between Great Scotland

Nov
30
2008

River fortifications in Elizabeathan times

A few months ago, when collecting leaflets in the (now closed) tourist board centre in Greenwich, I purchased a book of Docklands history, published by The Island History Trust – mainly as it had two maps which really caught my

Nov
04
2008

459 Years since the Norfolk Rebellion

If you ever want a giggle, check out the House of Commons Early Day Motions for a laugh. Most are sensible, but quite often a howler is lodged and this morning I found the following EDM proposed by Ian Gibson

Oct
29
2008
The last wooden escalator
The last wooden escalator

The last wooden escalator

I wandered up to Greenford in North West London this morning to have a look at one of London Underground’s little novelties. Greenford Station on the Central Line is notable for a couple of reasons – it has the only

Aug
16
2008

St Michael’s Church by Covent Garden

Lurking in a little nook on one of the many streets around the back of Covent Garden you may spy what looks like a church trying to squeeze its way out between more modern buildings. Here you may notice if

Aug
15
2008

The London Library

The London Library is claimed to be the largest lending library in the world, and yesterday I joined some friends in having a tour of the place.

Jul
27
2008

I am in Germany – apparently

I’m in Germany this morning – or so claims The Internetâ„¢. As it happens, I am sitting inside my usual coffee shop in Canary Wharf and sitting at my usual table (after it was vacated by interlopers) – but the

Jul
18
2008

The Bank of England

Was off to the Bank of England this morning for an open day tour of the building. I have wanted to go inside for simply ages, but the main open day during London Open House Weekend comes attached to a

Jun
28
2008
The original passenger railway
The original passenger railway

The original passenger railway

Nearly 20 years before Robert Stephenson's famous Rocket carried its first railway passengers, there was an earlier train which had for a short while been carrying passengers.

Jun
27
2008
Cart Marking
Cart Marking

Cart Marking

This morning, I wandered over to the Guildhall in the City of London to watch the annual Cart Marking ceremony, which can trace its roots back a good 500 years.

Jun
18
2008

Museum of London

Many, many years ago I was on an early postal mailing list for the Museum of London – and when they launched their Friends system, I joined up as a founder member. I even got a nice little tie pin

Jun
06
2008

Events update

Starting to organise events again for those who are on my old mailing list (if you are not on that – I’ll be cleaning up the system shortly), so sometime this Summer I now have a day at York planned

Jun
05
2008
Treasures of the English Church
Treasures of the English Church

Treasures of the English Church

Today I wandered over to Goldsmiths Hall in the City to visit an exhibition which opened only yesterday of Church silver and gold plate and vessels.

May
31
2008

150 Years of Watford Station

This Monday, the 5th May marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the train station at Watford Junction in North London. The station was originally the London terminus of the St Albans Abbey Branch Line, which was opened by

May
03
2008

HMS Ocelot

As part of my day down at Chatham Dockyard, which I will write about in a day or two (as I am too tired right now), we went inside a submarine! In a dry dock is HMS Ocelot, an Oberon-class

Apr
26
2008

Getting into private homes to see private “bits of heritage”

Last night, while wandering round a

Apr
25
2008

A Trip on a 70 Year Old Tube Train

In 1938, a new modern tube train was introduced on London Underground – with the radical change in that it abolished the front locomotive which used to pull tube trains. In 1998, the 1938 stock made its final trip on

Apr
20
2008

Domesticating Electricity – a lunchtime lecture

This lunchtime, I wandered over to the opulent splendor of the Royal Society for one of their free lunchtime lectures. They are usually presented by someone who is coincidentally just about to release a new book – and today was

Apr
04
2008
Ludgate Hill Viaduct in 1896
Ludgate Hill Viaduct in 1896

Ludgate Hill Viaduct in 1896

Taken from a June 1896 issue of the Illustrated London News, this is one of a series of “scenes of London” – this of Ludgate Circus. Notable though is the railway bridge and steam train belonging to the Chatham and

Mar
28
2008

A tour of Underground Greenwich

Thanks to a tip-off from The Greenwich Phantom, I spent a couple of hours on a pleasant wander round Greenwich learning a bit about the underground history of the area. It was a bitterly cold day and I almost didn’t

Mar
24
2008

The Ale Conner

In ye olde days, there were a bunch of men – the early council trading standards if you like – who would test the ale brewed by local alehouses to ensure that they didn’t contain too much sugar. Sugar was

Mar
15
2008

London’s First International Airport

Long before Heathrow was London’s primary airport, Croydon Airport was the place to go for rich Londoners seeking the exciting experience of flying – and there is a heritage museum there which is open on the first Sunday of each

Mar
10
2008

450 years of Gloriana

Being bored and channel hoping last night, I alighted upon a repeat of Dr. David Starkey’s TV series, Monarchy and settled down to watch it. Incidentally, it seems that the Discovery channel, no longer satisfied with a Discovery+1 also now

Mar
02
2008