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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th March 1969 Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was born in Lewisham, London.
17th March 1954 Born today: Lesley-Anne Down, London, actress (A Little Night Music, Moonraker)
17th March 1954 Born today: Wally Stocker, London, rock vocalist/guitarist (Babys-Missing You)
17th March 1931 Born today: Eunice Gayson, London England, actress (Dr No, From Russia With Love)
17th March 1928 The first James Bond girl, from Dr No, actress Eunice Gayson was born in Croydon.
17th March 1921 Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain's 1st birth control clinic (London)
17th March 1904 The Daily Mirror's Handcuff challenge to Harry Houdini at the Alhambra Theatre.
17th March 1845 Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London
17th March 1789 Born today: Edmund Kean, London England, tragic actor (Shylock)
Thomas Crapper Flush House
Thomas Crapper's home, non-inventor of the toilet flush.
Location: 12 Thornsett Road, Bromley, London
Description: Thomas Crapper (1836-1910) died here and was buried in Elmers End cemetery. He had lived for the last thirteen years of his life here but the house bears no blue plaque, because the Historic Buildings Committee of
the Greater London Council was not persuaded on 22 November 1979 that he had made an
important contribution to human sanitation.
The British royal family took over Sandringham House in Norfolk in 1861, and refurbished it in the 1880s. Queen Victoria was sufficiently impressed by Crapper's reputation that he was invited
to install the drains and probably the plumbing, including some thirty lavatories with cedarwood seats and enclosures, and so it was that the flower beds at Sandringham and at Park House next door, where Princess Diana was born are filled with Crapper manhole covers, and the syphon became a royal flush!
Crapper manhole covers can be found all over the UK; there is even one in Westminster Abbey, in the cloisters near the deanery - and is apparently popular for brass-rubbings.
Crapper became caught up in the myth, probably not helped by his surname, that he invented the flush toilet. He didn't, but he did contribute to several patents and improvements in the field of water closet efficiency.