Crossrail in action; this image shows one of the four multi-purpose gantries being used to carry over 70,000 sleepers and 57 km of rail inside the tunnels under London (Crossrail)

This week St Bride's will be welcoming guests to the Wellcome Auditorium in London for our 6th Annual Seminar.  We look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday and, in anticipation, we thought it would be opportune to share a few "facts" and "curiosities" about our capital city that many of you may not know;

  • The excavation of Crossrail, the largest archaeology project in UK history, has produced 10,000 previously undiscovered artefacts.  The oldest is 55 million years old.
  • Over 300 languages are spoken in London, more than any other city in the world.
  • London has 13 "protected vistas" that cannot be obstructed.
  • With 60,000 streets and more than 100,000 points of interest, it takes trainee taxi drivers 2 to 4 years to acquire "The Knowledge".
  • On average, a bus crosses Waterloo Bridge every 16 seconds.
  • In 2013, the lost property office at Heathrow logged 34,000 items.  These included violins, a kayak, stuffed animals and a Rottweiler.
  • In the rain-swept winter of 2014, the Thames Barrier was forced to close a record 50 times in 2 months.  It costs approximately £16,000 each time the barrier is shut.
  • The current holders of the "Tube Challenge" are Geoff Marshall and Anthony Smith.  Together they visited all 270 stations on the underground network in a record-setting 16 hours 28 minutes and 27 seconds.
  • For every 2 stops along the Jubilee Line between Westminster and Canning Town, life expectancy of residents reduces by 1 year.
  • In 2013, London's emergency services responded to 1.1 million calls.  32,500 of these call-outs were for incapacitated binge-drinkers.
  • Between 2010 and 2013 the Met Police attended 1,300 "removal of object" incidents.  491 were for rings stuck on fingers, 79 for people trapped in handcuffs, and 18 for children with heads stuck in potties!

Rest assured that the Annual Seminar on Wednesday promises to be equally enlightening!