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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
19th January 1966 Tippetts cantate Vision of St Augustine, premieres in London
19th January 1940 Comedian and Eastenders actor Mike Reid was born in Hackney, East London.
19th January 1917 The Silvertown explosion kills 73 people in the East End.
19th January 1907 Born today: Lillian Harvey, London England, actress (Invitation to the Waltz)
Spanish Rooms Fire
The scene of one of the most devastating fires in Londons past.
Location: 18 Denmark Place, Tottenham Court Road
Description: This location, recently demolished as part of the crossrail project, was where a late night club resided on the top floor.
Shortly after 2:30am, on the 16th August 1980, John 'The Gypsy' Thompson, a Scottish-born small-time gangster accused the barman of overcharging him for a drink.
Aggrieved, Thompson took a cab to an all-night petrol station in Camden, 20 minutes away, returning with a can of petrol. He poured it through the letterbox and lit the match.
The ensuing fire ripped through the premises killing 37 from all over the world:
DOLAN Peter Alan
LONDONO Luz Mary
SAGASTA-JULDAIN Juan Antonio
SOTO Carlos Alberto
TAYLOR-HARDING Eustace Ralph