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The London Companion

Jo Swinnerton


ISBN: 9781861057990

Price: £9.99

Publication date: 21 October 2004

Series: The Companion Series

Category: Lifestyle & Gardening

  • Whose head fell off London Bridge into his daughter’s lap?
  • How do you make Big Ben gain two-fifths of a second?
  • Who sold Buckingham Palace to an American tourist?
  • Which London citizens are allowed to herd a flock of sheep over London Bridge?
  • Why did John Etherington’s top hat get him arrested in Mayfair in 1797?
  • Which Londoner embalmed his wife and displayed her in a glass cabinet in his front room?
  • What does Tony Blair mean in Cockney rhyming slang?
  • And how many policemen can you fit in Nelson’s Column?


If you think that London is the greatest city in the world but could do with some evidence to back you up, this is the book you need. Within these pages are hundreds of facts, figures, stories, quotes, jokes and extraordinary anecdotes about London from its earliest times, when hippos swam up the Thames and elephants lived in Trafalgar Square, right up to the present day. You will learn essential information such as who took a binbag full of body parts to Shepherd’s Bush by taxi, what goes on at the Horseshoe and Faggott Cutting Ceremony, who was paid £3 a yard to paint the ceiling of the Royal Naval College, and who keeps a Northern Line tube train in his back garden. As the saying goes, ‘There is in London all that life can afford.’ And most of it is in this book.