Thursday, June 01, 2000
Capital numbers - June 2003
0 • The zero meridian passes through Greenwich Observatory in London, and also through Stratford, Leyton, Walthamstow and Chingford to the north, and Lewisham and Bromley to the south.
• Greenwich was fixed as zero degrees longitude by the International Meridian Conference of 1884.
1 • The Queen's postcode at Buckingham Palace is SW1A 1AA
• A hundred years ago London was the number one city in the world, with a population of over six million. A century later London is still the number one city in Europe.
• The 01 dialling code was introduced to London telephone numbers over a four year period in the late 1960s.
• The tallest building at Canary Wharf is at One Canada Square. The tower has 40 floors, 3960 windows, 4388 steps and is 800 feet (244 metres) high.
• Bus route 1 runs from Tottenham Court Road to Canada Water.
• The M1 motorway runs 193 miles from Staples Corner in London to Rothwell near Leeds, while the A1 trunk road runs 409 miles from St Paul's Cathedral in London to Waverley Station in Edinburgh.
• The Duke of Wellington's address, at Apsley House, was Number One, London.
2 • There have been two Olympic Games held in London, the first in 1908 at a very wet Shepherd's Bush Stadium and the second in 1948 at a no-frills post-war Wembley Stadium.
• There are two Mayors of London, Ken Livingstone (elected mayor of the Greater London Assembly) and Gavyn Arthur (Lord Mayor of the City of London).
• Bus route 2 runs from Baker Street to West Norwood.
• There are only two stations on the Waterloo & City Line.
• The A2 trunk road runs from Borough to Dover.
• Two series of Big Brother have been filmed in London (sorry, that's just another cheap plug for this post of mine).
3 • There are only three three-letter place names in London - Bow (E3), Kew (TW9) and Lee (SE12)
• Bus route 3 runs from Oxford Circus to Crystal Palace.
• There are three tram routes in London, all based in Croydon.
• Walt Disney (1901-1966) produced three films set in London - Peter Pan (1953), 101 Dalmatians (1961) and Mary Poppins (1964)
• The A3 trunk road starts at the Monument, crosses London Bridge and heads down to Portsmouth Harbour.
4 • There are four Royal residences in London - Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House.
• Dick Whittington was Lord Mayor of London four times, in 1397, 1398, 1406 and 1419.
• There are four plinths in Trafalgar Square. The north-west plinth is still empty (and has been for almost all of the the last 150 years) but the other plinths support statues to George IV (north-east), Sir Henry Havelock (south-east) and Sir Charles Napier (south-west).
• Many of London's (4-sided) squares will be open this Sunday as part of London Garden Squares Day 2003.
• Bus route 4 runs from Waterloo to Archway.
• The M4 motorway runs 193 miles from Chiswick (W4) to South Wales, while the A4 trunk road runs from Holborn via the Strand and Piccadilly and intermittently onwards to Avonmouth.
5 • There are five commercial London airports, although only two of these (Heathrow and City) are actually in London.
• Jack the Ripper killed five prostitutes in the East End of London in 1888.
• The Mayor of London sets the budget for five organisations - the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police Authority, the London Development Agency and the London Fire Brigade.
• The Congestion Charge costs £5 per day.
• Bus route 5 runs from Canning Town to Becontree.
• The A5 trunk road starts at Marble Arch and heads up Watling Street to Holyhead.
6 • Despite wiping out most of the city's buildings, only six people died in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
• One in six of Britain's workforce works in London.
• London is divided up into six travelcard zones, of which Zone 2 has the most stations.
• Six companies have been shortlisted to write London's masterplan for the 2012 Olympics.
• Bus route 6 runs from Aldwych to Kensal Rise.
7 • Only seven people were ever executed inside the Tower of London on Tower Green, including Lady Jane Grey and two of the six wives of King Henry VIII.
• 7 million people live in London (well, 7,172,036, to be exact).
• There are seven Home Counties - Berks, Bucks, Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey.
• London is the 7th most expensive city in the world, behind Tokyo, Osaka, Oslo, Hong Kong, Libreville and Zurich.
• 7 streets meet at Seven Dials, named after the six sundials on the monument erected there in 1694. The monument itself casts a shadow - this is the seventh dial.
• Seven Sisters on the Victoria Line is London's only numbered tube station. The area is named after 7 elm trees, planted by seven sisters just before they were forced to separate.
• Bus route 7 runs from Russell Square to East Acton.
8 • London has eight postcodes - N, NW, W, SW, SE, E, WC and EC.
• There are eight Royal Parks in London - Bushy Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park, Richmond Park and St James's Park
• The walled City of London had eight gates - Aldersgate, Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Cripplegate, Ludgate, Moorgate and Newgate.
• Bus route 8 runs from my house to Victoria.
9 • Nine railway bridges have been built across the River Thames in London - Alexandra, Blackfriars, Hungerford, Grosvenor, Battersea, Putney, Barnes, Kew and Richmond.
• London has nine canals, the longest of which are Regent's Canal and the Grand Union.
• London's doomed Royal Mail underground railway has nine stations and runs from Paddington to Whitechapel.
• The Hogwarts Express leaves from Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross.
• There are currently only 9 stations on the East London Line, although there are plans to extend it.
• Bus route 9 runs from Aldwych to Hammersmith.
10 • London's most famous address is 10 Downing Street, home to the Prime Minister.* Usually
• City Hall (the new home of the Greater London Authority) has ten floors.
• The Thames Flood Barrier has ten gates, the largest four of which weigh 3700 tonnes each.
• There are ten London Underground tunnels under the River Thames, four of them part of the ten-mile-long Jubilee Line Extension.
• The A10 trunk road runs due north from Monument to Kings Lynn.
• Bus route 10 runs from Kings Cross to Hammersmith.
• What's the most famous number in Wimbledon? 10 is.
11 • The Chancellor of the Exchequer lives at 11 Downing Street.* Usually
• London used to have 11 docks - St Katharine, London, Surrey, West India, Millwall, Poplar, East India, Royal Victoria, Royal Albert, King George V and Tilbury.
• Average traffic speed in central London is 11 mph, up from 8 mph since the introduction of the Congestion Charge.
• There are 11 Premiership and League football teams in London - Arsenal, Brentford, Charlton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leyton Orient, Millwall, QPR, Tottenham and West Ham. And no longer Wimbledon.
• There are 11 stations on the Jubilee Line Extension.
• The A11 trunk road runs for just three miles from Aldgate past my house to the Bow Flyover, then restarts 40 miles away near Duxford and heads for Norwich.
• Bus route 11 runs from Fulham to Liverpool Street.
12 • The Millennium Dome is supported by 12 enormous yellow masts, each weighing 105 tonnes.
• London has 12 Underground lines - Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo & City.
• The A12 trunk road runs from the Blackwall Tunnel nearly past my house and then up to Great Yarmouth.
• Bus route 12 runs from Dulwich to Notting Hill Gate.
13 • There are 13 National Trust properties in London, although I've only been to one of them.
• There are only 13 motorway junctions in Greater London - three on the M1 (j1, j2, j4), five on the M4 (j1, j2, j3, j4, j4a), one on the M11 (j4) and four on the M25 (j4, j25, j28, j29).
• The A13 trunk road from Aldgate to Southend is home to the innovative Artscape project.
• Bus route 13 runs from Aldwych to Golders Green.
14 • There are 14 mainline rail termini in central London - Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Euston, Fenchurch Street, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Moorgate, Paddington, St Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo.
• The average daily maximum temperature in London is 14°C (well, actually it's 13.5°C, but that rounds up).
• When electing members to the Greater London Assembly, London is divided up into 14 constituencies.
• London has 14% of England's population living in 1% of the land area.
• Bus route 14 runs from Tottenham Court Road to Putney Heath.
15 • Fifteen is the name of Jamie Oliver MBE's hyped new restaurant at 15 Westland Place - the TV project in which he trained 15 kids to become chefs. (from Luca)
• There are 15 spaces in the Sadler's Wells car park. (from Darren)
• 15 of the 92 original metopes (sculptures from the Parthenon) are in the British Museum in London (and the Greeks want them back). (from Luca)
• There are 15 interactive KidZones stationed throughout the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. (from Darren)
• Scaryduck was born in Fulham on February 15th. (from Scaryduck, who else?)
• Bus route 15 runs from Paddington to Blackwall.
16 • There are 16 stations on the Victoria line.
• Sixteen floating barges were used to create the River of Fire along the Thames for London's Millennium celebrations, each with around 2½ tons of fireworks that were launched in a sixteen minute display.
• Bus route 16 runs from Victoria to Cricklewood.
17 • 17 London boroughs lie alongside the River Thames, from Hounslow and Richmond in the west to Bexley and Havering in the east.
• The longest continuous tunnel on the Underground is 17.3 miles long between Morden and East Finchley on the Northern line.
• 17% of all the workplaces in the UK are in London.
• 17 different nightbuses terminate in Trafalgar Square.
• The popular beat combo East 17 were named after the postcode of the area of London they originate from - the lovely village of Walthamstow. (from Scaryduck)
• 17 mosaics at Leytonstone tube station commemorate the films of Alfred Hitchcock, who was born just down the road at 517 High Road.
• Bus route 17 runs from London Bridge to Archway.
18 • Bus route 18 runs from Euston to Sudbury.
• Bus route 18 also runs from Sudbury back to Euston.
• At night, bus route N18 runs from Trafalgar Square to Harrow Weald.
• At night, bus route N18 also runs back from Harrow Weald to Trafalgar Square.
I told you I was stuck on 18...
19 • There are 19 tennis courts at the All England Club in Wimbledon, SW19.
• Victoria and Waterloo stations both have 19 mainline platforms, more than any other stations in London.
• London is the 19th largest conurbation in the world, with a population of nearly 12 million people.
• Bus route 19 runs from Battersea to Finsbury Park.
20 • There are 20 road bridges across the River Thames in London - Hampton Court, Kingston, Richmond, Twickenham, Kew, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Putney, Wandsworth, Battersea, Albert, Chelsea, Vauxhall, Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars, Southwark, London and Tower.
• Medieval London Bridge was 20 feet wide and was supported by 20 stone arches.
• EastEnders is set in the fictional London borough of Walford, E20.
• Since April 2000, all London telephone numbers have begun 020.
• The roof of the Millennium Dome covers 20 acres.
• London has 20 regional radio stations.
• The A20 trunk road runs from New Cross down the Old Kent Road to the docks at Dover.
• Bus route 20 runs from Walthamstow to Debden.
21 • There are 21 underground stations inside the Circle Line.
• Royal gun salutes mark special royal occasions on certain days of the year in London. The basic Royal Salute is 21 rounds. At the Tower of London 62 rounds are fired on Royal anniversaries (the basic 21, plus a further 20 because the Tower is a Royal Palace and Fortress, plus another 21 'for the City of London') and 41 on other occasions.
• Campaigners are trying to get 100,000 signatures on a petition to keep the tube open late until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights - that's 21 hours a day.
• The A21 trunk road runs from Lewisham to Hastings.
• Bus route 21 runs from Lewisham to Moorgate.
22 • St Paul's Cathedral, at 112m tall, is the 22nd tallest building in London. It was the tallest for over 200 years until the Crystal Palace transmitter (222m) was erected in 1950. Now, in 2003, six of the top ten tallest buildings are in Docklands. (from Smoke magazine)
• The A22 trunk road runs from Purley to Eastbourne.
• Bus route 22 runs from Piccadilly Circus to Putney Common.
23 • Only 23 countries took part in the 1908 Olympics, held in London.
• The Crystal Palace transmitter broadcasts ITV on channel 23.
• Big Ben's four clock dials are 23 feet square.
• The A23 trunk road runs from Westminster Bridge by County Hall, through Brixton and Streatham, past the site of the old Croydon Airport and on down to Brighton.
• Bus route 23 runs from Liverpool Street to Westbourne Park.
24 • The tube station with the most escalators is Waterloo, which has 24.
• Kiefer Sutherland, star of the TV show 24, was born in Paddington in 1966.
• The A24 trunk road runs from Clapham Common to Worthing.
• Bus route 24 runs from Hampstead Heath to Pimlico.
25 •The M25 motorway nearly encircles London, running 118 miles from Dartford to Thurrock (but not the two miles over the Dartford Crossing). The London Orbital cost £909 million to build, was completed in 1986 and the western sections carry 180,000 vehicles every day.
• There are 25 wards in the City of London, each with its own alderman.
• The new London Assembly at City Hall has 25 elected Members.
• It costs £25 to adopt a rabbit, dormouse, starfish, seahorse, ant, stick insect, giant millipede, gecko, lizard, duck, dove or chicken at London Zoo.
• There are 25 stations on the Bakerloo line.
• Bus route 25 runs from Oxford Circus past my house to Ilford.
• Nightbus N25 ferries drunken revellers home from the West End to the East End every night, and is exceptionally convenient should I ever want to be dropped home at dawn.
27 • There are 27 stations on the Circle line, and 27 stations on the Jubilee line.
• According to the latest Census, 27% of the population of London were born outside the UK.
• The London station with the longest name is Silvertown & London City Airport on the North London Line, which has 27 letters.
• Bus route 27 runs from Camden Town to Turnham Green.
26 • At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the 26 mile marathon race from Windsor to White City was extended by 385 yards to finish in front of the Royal box. All modern marathons have been 26 miles 385 yards long ever since.
• The boardgame Monopoly features 26 London streets, from the Old Kent Road to Mayfair.
• A London football team has won the FA Cup 26 times (Arsenal 9, Spurs 8, Chelsea 3, West Ham 3, Wimbledon 1, Charlton 1, Clapham Rovers 1).
• The Docklands Light Railway is 26km long.
• Bus route 26 runs from Waterloo to Hackney Wick.
28 • Greater London stretches 28 miles down from Crews Hill in the north to Old Coulsdon in the south, and 36 miles across from M25 junction 14 in the west to North Ockendon in the east.
• London's highest-numbered postcode is that for Thamesmead, SE28.
• There are 28 stations on the Hammersmith and City Line.
• The steepest gradient on the Underground network is 1 in 28, between Bow Road and Bromley-by-Bow.
• The Croydon Tramlink is 28km long.
• Bus route 28 runs from Wandsworth to Westbourne Park.
29 • According to the latest Census, 29% of London's residents are from a non-white ethnic minority.
• Only 29 runners have completed every London Marathon, from 1981 to 2003.
• Bus route 29 runs in two overlapping sections, from Palmers Green to Camden Town and from Wood Green to Trafalgar Square.
30 • A red London Routemaster bus is 30 feet long and can seat 72 people.
• The Gherkin can be found at 30 St Mary Axe. It has 40 floors, 18 lifts and is 180m tall.
• The A30 trunk road runs from Hounslow to Land's End.
• Bus route 30 runs from Marble Arch to Hackney Wick.
31 • There are 31 bridges over the Thames in London - 20 road bridges, 8 railway bridges and 3 pedestrian bridges.
• There are 31 junctions on the M25.
• The glass front of City Hall is inclined at an angle of 31 degrees to the vertical.
• Bus route 31 runs from Notting Hill Gate to Camden Town.
32 • The London Eye has 32 capsules, each of which makes 8000 rotations in one calendar year at a speed of 26cm per second.
• The tallest building at Canary Wharf, One Canada Square, has 32 lifts, capable of travelling from the lobby to the 50th floor in 40 seconds.
• Bus route 32 runs from Edgware to Kilburn Park.
33 • There are 33 London boroughs - Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster, plus the City of London.
• Only 33 of London's 275 Underground stations are located south of the Thames.
• Bus route 33 runs from Hammersmith to Fulwell, the final destination of London's last ever trolleybus on 8 May 1962.
Today sees the end of my month-long Capital Numbers project, an attempt to list as many interesting number-based London-related facts as I possibly could. I was intending only to go from 1 to 30 but, as you can see, I got rather carried away and went up to 33 instead (mainly because there were still some really good facts around that I hadn't used yet). It's been frustrating trying to find something interesting for every number, sometimes desperately so. Thanks for your help if you contributed any of the facts that I used. It's been intriguing to discover how much more interesting some numbers are than others (17 is far more interesting than 18, for example, and 25 beats 24 by miles too). It's also been pretty challenging to link all these facts to other London-based websites, just to make the list hyper-dimensionally interesting, so I hope you've managed to click on a lot of those as well.
I've decided that all this effort throughout the month deserves to be commemorated in some way, so I've assembled all the facts onto their very own Capital Numbers website. You can click here (or on any of the other links in this post) to find your way in. There's also a new link at the top of my sidebar to the right. As a bonus for website readers I've gone a bit further than 33 on one of the pages, just to use up a few more ideas that wouldn't fit on this page, and I've finally managed to find another vaguely interesting fact about the nigh-impossible number 18 too. I hope you enjoy all of it. And I shall look forward to having a rest in July, from all the numbers at least.