The London Daily Newsletter Friday 23 September

On 23 September 1819, Armand-Hippolyte-Louis Fizeau was born. Fizeau was a French physicist best known for being the first to develop a reliable experimental method of determining the speed of light on Earth. The Danish astronomer, Ole Roemer, had made the first serious calculation of the speed of light in 1676. Roemer’s deduction was based upon his observations of the eclipses of Io, Jupiter’s first moon. However, it was not until 1849 that Fizeau, working closely with Foucault, directly measured the speed of light on Earth. Fizeau used a cogwheel and a mirror located several miles apart, which were set up to allow a pulsing light beam to pass between them. By rotating the cogwheel, Fizeau was able to observe the light beam passing between the cogs of the wheel to the distant mirror and then reflected back. If he spun the wheel fast enough, he was able to obscure the reflection. This meant that the reflected light beam struck a cog. Fizeau proposed that the time it took for the wheel to move the width of one cog must be equal to the time it takes for the light beam to travel to the mirror and back to strike the cog. Knowing the rotational speed of the cogwheel, the width of one cog, and the distance to the mirror, were all that was required for Fizeau to make the simple calculation of the speed of light. His calculation was very close to the current accepted value of the speed of light. Starting with Ole Roemer’s 1676 breakthrough endeavours, the speed of light has been measured at least 163 times by more than 100 investigators utilizing a wide variety of different techniques. Finally in 1983, more than 300 years after the first serious measurement attempt, the speed of light was defined as being 299 792,458 kilometres per second by the Seventeenth General Congress on Weights and Measures. The metre is defined as the distance light travels through a vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 seconds. In general, however, (even in many scientific calculations) the speed of light is rounded to 300 000 kilometers (or 186 000 miles) per second.

Ealing Common
Ealing Common is an area of open space which became prominent at the time of the enclosures of the late eighteenth century.

Ealing Common was consolidated after the purchase of the common land by the Ealing Local Board. The Common is a large area with avenues of horse chestnut trees, most of which were planted in the late Victorian period. Charles Jones was the Ealing borough surveyor and responsible for the nineteenth-century layout. The northern part of the common has a notably large oak tree as its highlight. London plane trees are also found with horse chestnuts around the perimeter of the common. Ealing Common station was opened on 1 July 1879 by the District Railway on a new extension from Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway. Between 1886 and 1910 the station was called Ealing Common and West Acton after which it changed to its current name.


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The London Daily Newsletter Thursday 22 September

On 22 September 1735, Robert Walpole became the first premier to live at No. 10 Downing Street, London. Remembered for little in the way of legislation or leadership, Walpole was the first prime minister to occupy the official residence at 10 Downing Street. He took up residence there in 1735 and its proximity to Parliament, a mere five minute walk, surely contributed to Walpole’s longevity. It was said that while he was an accomplished debater he dominated the Commons by his omnipresence, most other members of Parliament making the trip to London infrequently.

Canning Town
Canning Town is a district in the West Ham area of the London Borough of Newham.

Prior to the 19th century, the district was largely marshland, and accessible only by boat, or a toll bridge. In 1809, an Act of Parliament was passed for the construction of the Barking Road between the East India Docks and Barking. A five span iron bridge was constructed in 1810 to carry the road across the River Lea at Bow Creek. This bridge was damaged by a collision with a collier in March 1887 and replaced by the London County Council (LCC) in 1896. This bridge was in turn replaced in 1934, at a site to the north and today’s concrete flyover begun in smaller form in the 1960s, but successively modified to incorporate new road layouts for the upgraded A13 road and a feeder to the Limehouse Link tunnel, avoiding the Blackwall Tunnel. The abutments of the old iron bridge have now been utilised for the Jubilee footbridge, linking the area to Leamouth, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on the western bank of the Lea. The area is thought to be named for the first Viceroy of India, Charles John Canning, who suppressed the Indian Mutiny about the time the district expanded. The population increased rapidly after the North London Line was built from Stratford to North Woolwich, in 1846. This was built to carry coal and goods from the docks; and when the passenger station was first built it was known as Barking Road. Speculative builders constructed houses for the workers attracted by the new chemical industries established in the lower reaches of the River Lea, and for the nearby Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company and Tate & Lyle refinery. The opening of the Royal Victoria Dock in 1855 accelerated the development of the area creating employment and a need to house dock workers and their families. New settlements around the dock developed, starting with Hallsville, Canning Town and Woolwich, and later the areas now known as Custom House, Silvertown and West Silvertown. The new settlements lacked water supply and had no sewage system, leading to the spread of cholera and smallpox. The casual nature of employment at the docks meant poverty and squalid living conditions for many residents. The industries around the dock were often unhealthy and dangerous. As trade unions and political activists fought for better living conditions and the dock area became the centre of numerous movements with Will Thorne, James Keir Hardie and other later becoming leading figures in the Labour Party. From the late 19th century, a large African mariner community was established in Canning Town as a result of new shipping links to the Caribbean and West Africa.[8] In 1917 50 tons of TNT exploded at the Brunner Mond & Co ammunition work in Silvertown, causing the largest explosion in London’s history and damaging more than 70,000 buildings and killing 73 people. In the 1930s the County Borough of West Ham commenced slum clearances. New houses, clinics, nurseries and a lido were opened. Silvertown ByPass and Britain’s first flyover, the Silvertown Way, were built along with other new approach roads to the docks. Canning Town was heavily hit by the bombings in World War II and Canning Town Council’s plan to rebuild the area focused on a reduction of the population, transferring industry and the building of new housing such as the Keir Hardie Estate, which included schools and welfare services. The slum clearances and the devastation of World War II, destroying 85% of the housing stock, led to the preponderance of council estates that characterise the area today. Post-war housing schemes followed the urban planning principles of the garden city movement. As demand for housing grew the first high rise buildings were built in Canning Town in 1961. In 1968 Ronan Point, a 22-storey tower block in Newham, collapsed and most of the tall tower blocks built in the area in the early 1960s were eventually demolished or reduced in size. The area has been undergoing significant regeneration. According to Newham borough council: ’The Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme includes the building of up to 10,000 new homes, creation of thousands of new jobs and two improved town centres. This £3.7 billion project aims to transform the area physically, socially and economically.’ Despite being a neighbour to many affluent Dockland developments, Canning Town remains among the 5 per cent most deprived areas in the UK with many long term residents suffering from poor health, low education and poverty.


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The London Daily Newsletter Thursday 22 September

On 22 September 1735, Robert Walpole became the first premier to live at No. 10 Downing Street, London. Remembered for little in the way of legislation or leadership, Walpole was the first prime minister to occupy the official residence at 10 Downing Street. He took up residence there in 1735 and its proximity to Parliament, a mere five minute walk, surely contributed to Walpole’s longevity. It was said that while he was an accomplished debater he dominated the Commons by his omnipresence, most other members of Parliament making the trip to London infrequently.

Stratford
Stratford station is a large multilevel railway station in Stratford, east London. The station served as a key arrival point for the London 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Stratford was historically an agrarian settlement in the ancient parish of West Ham in the county of Essex, which transformed into an industrial suburb following the introduction of the railway in 1839. As part of the growth of London in the late 19th century, Stratford significantly expanded and increased in population, becoming the centre of administration of the Borough of West Ham in 1886 and it has formed part of Greater London since 1965. The more recent economic history is underpinned by a move away from railway works and heavy industry towards becoming a significant commercial and cultural centre. Stratford station was opened on 20 June 1839 by the Eastern Counties Railway. Central Line services started on 4 December 1946, extended from Liverpool Street station in new tunnels after being delayed due to the Second World War. The Docklands Light Railway opened on 31 August 1987 reusing redundant rail routes through the Bow and Poplar areas to reach the new Docklands developments on the Isle of Dogs. The low-level station was substantially rebuilt in the late 1990s as part of the Jubilee Line Extension works, with a large new steel and glass building designed by Wilkinson Eyre that encloses much of the low-level station, and a new ticket hall. The Jubilee Line opened to passengers on 14 May 1999. With the great increase in services and passengers since the Second World War, Stratford has changed from a fairly busy junction into one of Britain’s major rail interchanges.


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The London Daily Newsletter Wednesday 21 September

On 21 September 1936, Franco was named as generalissimo (supreme commander) in Spain. Franco became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco. When the Popular Front came to power (February 1936), he was made military governor of the Canary Islands, a significant demotion. In July 1936, Franco joined the military uprising that precipitated the Spanish civil war. He flew to Morocco, took command of the most powerful segment of the Spanish army, and led it back to Spain.

Debden
Debden is a suburb in the civil parish of Loughton, in the Epping Forest district of Essex.

Debden takes its name from the ancient manor of Debden, which lay at its northern end. The name (Deppendana in the Domesday Book of 1086) is derived from the Old English dep, ’deep’ and den, ’valley’. Debden originated as a manor of 40 acres in the Ongar hundred of Essex. The manor became the property of Waltham Abbey in 1086. By about 1254 the manor of Loughton had absorbed Debden. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the manor passed to the king and later to private owners. In 1944 John Maitland sold 644 acres of land to the London County Council for the building of a housing estate. The Debden Estate was constructed between 1947 and 1952. Debden station on the London Underground is a renaming (1949) of the Chigwell Lane railway station, which was originally opened on the Great Eastern Railway in 1865. The area is predominantly residential, but is also the location of Epping Forest College and the De La Rue printing works.


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The London Daily Newsletter Wednesday 21 September

On 21 September 1936, Franco was named as generalissimo (supreme commander) in Spain. Franco became a general at the age of 32 after commanding the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco. When the Popular Front came to power (February 1936), he was made military governor of the Canary Islands, a significant demotion. In July 1936, Franco joined the military uprising that precipitated the Spanish civil war. He flew to Morocco, took command of the most powerful segment of the Spanish army, and led it back to Spain.

Stonebridge Park
Stonebridge Park is an area of north London in the London Borough of Brent.

Stonebridge Park station was opened by the London and North Western Railway as part of their “New Line” project on 15 June 1912. It closed on 9 January 1917 and reopened for Bakerloo line trains on 1 August 1917. Stonebridge Park was not the name for this area before the arrival of the railway. The current station platforms and associated buildings were first built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1948 and designed by John Weeks following destruction of the original structures by bombing in the Second World War. From 24 September 1982 to 4 June 1984 it was the northern operational terminus of the Bakerloo line – London Underground’s Stonebridge Park Depot is 500 metres to the north-west of the station.


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The London Daily Newsletter Tuesday 20 September

On 20 September 1258, Salisbury Cathedral was completed. Salisbury is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain – work commenced in the year 1220. The Spire, the tallest in England (123m) was added a generation later. Built in stone and glass, it has always been a setting for great occasions, for huge colourful processions, a majestic and awe-inspiring church. It is the mother church of the Salisbury Diocese, an area that covers most of the counties of Wiltshire and Dorset. Every year over 600,000 visitors come from all over the world to the Cathedral and Close, the largest and best-preserved in Britain.

Dagenham Heathway
Dagenham Heathway station was opened in 1932.

In 1932 the electrified District line of the London Underground was extended to Upminster through Dagenham with stations opened as Dagenham and Heathway and today called Dagenham East and Dagenham Heathway. The station was constructed and initially operated by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway with services provided by the District line from the outset. The station changed to its present name in 1949. Services on the London Tilbury & Southend line at Dagenham East were withdrawn in 1962.


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The London Daily Newsletter Tuesday 20 September

On 20 September 1258, Salisbury Cathedral was completed. Salisbury is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain – work commenced in the year 1220. The Spire, the tallest in England (123m) was added a generation later. Built in stone and glass, it has always been a setting for great occasions, for huge colourful processions, a majestic and awe-inspiring church. It is the mother church of the Salisbury Diocese, an area that covers most of the counties of Wiltshire and Dorset. Every year over 600,000 visitors come from all over the world to the Cathedral and Close, the largest and best-preserved in Britain.

West Acton
West Acton is a station between Ealing Broadway and North Acton on the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central line.

The Great Western Railway built its Ealing Broadway branch and opened it for freight trains in April 1917. The Central London Railway subsequently abandoned its policy of no through running with any other railway and secured powers to build a short extension from its terminus at Wood Lane to connect with the new Great Western Railway branch. Central trains used the line from 3 August 1920. West Acton and North Acton were built and owned by the Great Western Railway and both opened on 5 November 1923. The current station – replacing the original building – was designed by the Great Western Railway on behalf of London Transport as part of the 1935-40 New Works Programme. The design was by the GWR’s architect Brian Lewis and it was completed in 1940. The station is a Grade II listed building.


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The London Daily Newsletter Monday 19 September

In 19 September 1991, the Iceman, a Stone Age wanderer and the most ancient human being ever found, was discovered in the Similaun glacier in the Alps on the Italian-Austrian border. His frozen body was found along with artifacts of his vanished way of life. An examination of his gut contents showed the man took his last meal not long before setting out on a hike from which he was never to return. The meal was a simple affair, consisting of a bit of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat, one of the few domesticated grains used in the Iceman’s part of the world at this time, some other plant, possibly an herb or other green, and meat.

Wembley Park
Wembley Park is a London Underground station, the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium complex.

Tracks were laid through the area by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan Line) when it extended its services from Willesden Green to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Services to Harrow started on 2 August 1880 although Wembley Park station was not constructed until later. The station was constructed to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the MR at Wembley Park, a former country estate bought by the company in 1881 as a destination for excursion trips on the company’s trains. The station opened for the first time on 14 October 1893 and initially operated to serve only Saturday football matches in the park. It opened fully on 12 May 1894. Later in the 1890s, the Great Central Railway’s (GCR’s) London extension was constructed adjacent to the MR’s tracks. The tracks pass under the entrance building but the station has never been served by mainline operators. In 1905 the tracks were electrified and the first electric trains became operational. Between 1913 and 1915, the MR added additional tracks to double the line’s capacity. On 10 December 1932, the MR opened a branch line north from Wembley Park to Stanmore. Originally, the MR served all stations south from Wembley Park to Baker Street station but the line suffered from congestion due to limited capacity on the tracks heading into Baker Street. Following the combination of the MR and London’s other underground railways to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the LPTB took steps to alleviate the congestion by constructing new Bakerloo Line tunnels from Baker Street to connect to the Metropolitan’s tracks south of Finchley Road station. From 20 November 1939, the Bakerloo Line then took over the Metropolitan stopping services between Wembley Park and Finchley Road and the Stanmore branch. To handle the exceptional passenger numbers associated with the 1948 Olympics held at Wembley Stadium, the original station building was extended and given a new ticket hall and additional circulation routes and platform stairs. At the opening of the Jubilee Line on 1 May 1979, the Bakerloo service from Baker Street to Stanmore was transferred to the new line. When the UEFA European Football Championship was held at Wembley in 1996, a large staircase was constructed leading down from the 1948 extension and under the newly-built Bobby Moore Bridge, which had opened in 1993. This was intended as a temporary structure and remained in its unfinished state until 2004, when extensive work began on the station in conjunction with the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. Additional facilities were provided to handle event crowds, and the staircase was completed in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2007.


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The London Daily Newsletter Monday 19 September

In 19 September 1991, the Iceman, a Stone Age wanderer and the most ancient human being ever found, was discovered in the Similaun glacier in the Alps on the Italian-Austrian border. His frozen body was found along with artifacts of his vanished way of life. An examination of his gut contents showed the man took his last meal not long before setting out on a hike from which he was never to return. The meal was a simple affair, consisting of a bit of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat, one of the few domesticated grains used in the Iceman’s part of the world at this time, some other plant, possibly an herb or other green, and meat.

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a large business development on the Isle of Dogs, centred on the old West India Docks.

Canary Wharf was the site of cargo warehouses that served the docks based in London E14, taking its name from sea trade with the Canary Islands. The docks were, as recently as 1961, the busiest in the world but fell into declie after containerisation. The project to revitalise eight square miles of derelict London docks began in 1981 with the establishment of the London Docklands Development Corporation. At first, redevelopment was focused on light industrial schemes and Canary Wharf’s largest occupier was Limehouse Studios, a TV production company. In 1984, Michael von Clem, head of the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston, was visiting the Docklands looking for a site for a client’s food processing plant and noticed that there was empty land. Thinking of relocating City of London offices, von Clem contacted his opposite number at Morgan Stanley who said that a large scheme with critical mass would be necessary. It was also agreed that a new Tube line would be required to make the scheme viable. Canadian developer Olympia and York bought the project idea. Critically, Olympia and York agreed to meet 50% of the proposed cost of an extension to the Jubilee Line. Construction of Canary Wharf began in 1988 with phase one completed in 1992. The property market collapsed in the early 1990s. Tenant demand evaporated and the Jubilee Line work had not started as Olympia & York collapsed. The scheme went into administration. For a while it seemed that Canary Wharf would be a white elephant, accessible only by the Docklands Light Railway. In December 1995, an international consortium backed by the former owners of Olympia & York bought the scheme. At this time its working population was around 13 000 and over half the office space was empty. Probably the critical event in the recovery of Canary Wharf was the much-delayed start of work on the Jubilee Line, which the government wanted ready for the Millennium celebrations. From this point, potential tenants began to see Canary Wharf as a alternative to traditional office locations. The remaining phases were completed and new phases were built. Canary Wharf is now very successful with tenants including major banks and news media firms. Jubilee Place opened as a shopping mall in 2004. The immediate impact of Canary Wharf was to raise land values in the surrounding area. Canary Wharf is now connected to central London via the Canary Wharf DLR station, opened in 1991, and the extension of the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf tube station, opened in 2000. A river boat service from Canary Waterside connects Canary Wharf to the City of London and Greenwich.


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The London Daily Newsletter Friday 16 September

On 16 September 1741, one of the most renowned pieces of English sacred music, George Frederic H?ndel’s Messiah, had its premiere in Dublin, Ireland. It is far and away his most highly esteemed and popular work.

Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square

Charing Cross gives its name to several local landmarks, including Charing Cross railway station and is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. It was where King Edward I placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile. It was one of twelve places where Eleanor’s coffin rested overnight during the funeral procession from Lincolnshire to her final resting-place at Westminster. At each of these, Edward erected an Eleanor cross, of which only three now remain. The original site of the cross has been occupied since 1675 by an equestrian statue of King Charles I. A Victorian replacement, in different style from the original, was later erected a short distance to the east outside the railway station. Formerly, until 1931, Charing Cross also referred to the part of what is now Whitehall lying between Great Scotland Yard and Trafalgar Square. At least one property retains a Charing Cross postal address: Drummonds Bank, on the corner of Whitehall and The Mall, which is designated 49 Charing Cross (not to be confused with the separate Charing Cross Road). Since the second half of the 18th century, Charing Cross has been seen by some as the exact centre of London, being the main point used for measuring distances from London. The railway station opened in 1864, fronted on the Strand with the Charing Cross Hotel. The original station building was built on the site of the Hungerford Market by the South Eastern Railway, designed by Sir John Hawkshaw, with a single span wrought iron roof arching over the six platforms on its relatively cramped site. Charing Cross tube station has entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines, originally separate tube stations called Strand and Trafalgar Square, and provides an interchange with the National Rail network. The station was served by the Jubilee Line between 1979 and 1999, acting as the southern terminus of the line during that period.


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