Put up yer own plaque

It’s been snowing. I have enjoyed the cycle of news fed to me by social media that began with the pitter patter of excitement “IT’S SNOWING!!” and pictures of snowmen; turned into the slippery annoyance of cancelled trains and “It’s only a bit of snow” before being trampled into a dirty slushy mess of “CANADA NEVER HAS THIS PROBLEM!” Obviously all this weather has curtailed some of the walks we’d normally enjoy. But in another of our London Tales series, P and I found this on one of our regular jaunts to Leather Lane market. It’s just by the bike shop where the couriers hang out.

Leather Lane self-erected plaque

Leather Lane self-erected plaque

William FELTON’s carriage works was close to this spot. In 1803 he built a carriage powered by a steam engine designed and supplied by Richard TREVITHICK, the great Cornish engineer. The carriage made several trips from here with up to about 8 passengers. In July of that year, one trip was made via Greys Inn Lane, Dorset Square and Tottenham Court Road to Paddington, returning the same day via Islington. This was the first self-powered vehicle to run in the streets of London and the world’s first self-powered road people carrier. The London Steam Carriage heralded the age of the car. This plaque was unveiled by Francis Trevithick Okuno, descendent of Richard Trevithick, on July 6th 2003.

So if you have any relatives who have done anything of note on London’s streets, please either raise your own plaque or email us to let us know. W


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