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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd July 1989 Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe was born in West London.
23rd July 1986 The Prince Andrew, Duke of York, second son of Queen Elizabeth II , was married to Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey.
23rd July 1975 Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends, premieres in London
23rd July 1966 England beat Argentina 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to reach the World Cup Semi-Finals.
23rd July 1947 Born today: David Essex, London, rock vocalist/actor (That'll be the Day)
23rd July 1946 Born today: Andy MacKay, London, rock sax/oboe (Roxy Music-Dance Away)
23rd July 1940 Blitz all-night air raid by German bombers on London begins
23rd July 1900 Pan-African Congress meets in London
23rd July 1863 Alexandra Park opens in North London
The Princess Alice Disaster
This is where one of the worst disasters on the Thames occurred.
Location: Galleon's Reach, Plumstead
Description: One of the worst losses of life in The River Thames was the Princess Alice Disaster which happened on 14 September 1878.
The Paddle Steamer had taken over 700 passengers from London Bridge to Gravesend for a gorgeous Summer's day out.
On the return journey it was passing this point in the bend of the Thames when it collided with a huge collier steamer on it's way from Millwall to Newcastle called Bywell Castle. Both saw the problem and maneouvred but to no avail - 750 passengers were plunged into the filthy rivers.
Over 100 were pulled safe from the River, which had been heavily polluted by a recent sewage dump nearby.
The memorial in Woolwich Cemetery states that 550 people died but it's certainly more than that.