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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th June 1955 Born today: Mick Jones, London, rock vocalist/guitarist (Clash-Havana 3 AM)
26th June 1946 Born today: Clive Francis, London England, actor (Masada)
26th June 1933 Born today: Claudio Abbado, Milan Italy, composer/conductor (London Symphony Orchestra 1982)
26th June 1909 Victoria and Albert Museum opens in London
26th June 1902 The Coronation of Edward VII has to be postponed due to the future king's appendicitis.
26th June 1902 Rioting in Watford after coronation festivities cancelled.
26th June 1816 The first prisoners, all women, admitted to newly built MillBank Prison in London.
Biker Denis Johnson worked here
The inventor of the hobby horse or first bicycle worked here.
Location: 69-75 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London
Description: Denis Johnson was a London coachmaker (1760-1833), married to Mary Newman in St Annes Church, Soho in 1792 and they had 2 daughters. He worked out of 75 Long Acre here for about 15 years from 1818.
Coachmaking was a main industry in this part of Covent Garden. About this time the 2-wheel velocipede was introduced by the German nobleman, Karl Von Drais and Johnson obtained one of these wooden machines and, seeing the potential it had, set about improving it.
His professional skills as a coachmaker enabled him to make an elegant machine which he patented and called the pedestrian curricle and then the hobby horse, it became Britains first bicycle and Regency dandies made them very popular.
The craze only lasted about three years and Johnson continued as a coachmaker until he died on Christmas Day 1833. The family business continued to trade here until 1867.
Tony Banks MP, the late Minister for Sport, unveiled the plaque in 1998.