The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – One of London’s most long-established and best-loved sporting events!
Every year two teams of eight beefy men – and one very small person known as the cox – lock horns for the annual boat race between England’s two most prestigious universities. The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race sees these highly competitive top university teams race each other from Putney to Mortlake along the River Thames.
The distance covered in this prominent race is a shade over four miles and never fails to make a marvellous spectacle in the early springtime. In fact this popular and formidable race attracts around a quarter of a million spectators to the banks of the Thames, whilst millions more watch it live on television.
The first Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race took place in 1829 but it was not until 1856 that it became an annual event and has now taken place 158 times! Cambridge has won to trophy 81 times, a tad more than their rivals who have had 76 victories. During their 158 contests there has only been one dead heat which occurred in 1877.
In fact so alike are the two teams that both Oxford and Cambridge race in blue with Cambridge boasting a slighter lighter blue kit.
Occasionally a rower would come along and his sporting physique and style would transcend the norm. Stanley Muttlebury, or “Muttle” as he was more commonly known, was one such athlete, who became a legendary figure for Cambridge after his sensational rowing exploits in the 1886-1890 rowing team.
A London Grand Prix has not taken place since 1938. Although according to an announcement made by Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, plans are in motion to return Formula One to the streets of London.
Under the £35 million scheme, Formula One cars would speed around the capital, with the likes of Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton shooting past some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including the Ritz Hotel, Hyde Park Corner, Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square, the Embankment and Trafalgar Square.
The London Grand Prix proposals took place at the Royal Automobile Club in London. The exclusive automobile club was founded in 1897 and was designed to develop motoring in Britain. Today the Royal Automobile Club is one of the UK’s finest private motoring clubs and the London Grand Prix proposal event was a star-studded affair, which was hosted by two leading names in the world of motor racing – McLaren drivers, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
The announcement that Formula One racing is to return to the British capital has, however, come under criticism, namely because similar plans were made eight years ago but failed to materialise.
In 2004 the former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, backed plans for a London Grand Prix to be re-introduced to London in 2007, plans which of course never took place.
Confident a Grand Prix will arrive in London this time, Ecclestone insists the race will surpass the Monaco Grand Prix in terms of glamour and prestige, which is of course currently the most high-status motor racing course in the world.
With the London Olympics now just round the corner, London is fervently making last minute preparations for what is to be one of the biggest events in city has ever hosted.
According to recent research, it is predicted that an onslaught of hundreds of thousands of extra visitors are to arrive in the capital during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, despite earlier perceptions that potential visitors or even Londoners themselves may be put off by the prospect of being so close to the Olympic Games and there might even be fewer coming to London than normal.
In a report published by market researchers at Forward Data, the number of tourists arriving in London during the Olympic and Paralympic Games looks set to rise by approximately 30% over previous years, which equates to some 250,000 extra visitors.
In preparation for the unprecedented increase in visitors to London this August and September, Heathrow Airport is to recruit almost 500 new passport checkers.
With there now being just weeks left until the start of the Olympic Games 2012, all eyes are on London and the athletes participating in the world’s biggest sporting event. As the world gears up to watch the likes of Tom Daley, Shanaze Read, Eleanor Simmonds and Shelly Woods, the police of London are also preparing for the salvo of people, action and excitement that is about to arrive at the British capital.
While London’s police force has a huge job to do this summer there is one lesser known trait of Her Majesty’s London constabulary that more than deserves to be mentioned.
In the London Olympics of 1908 the police force of London’s Square Mile, known as the City of London Police, won a gold medal at Tug of War. The triumphant team of ‘pullers’ did not stop at one medal as the crew also claimed silver in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912 and went on to be crowned champions at Tug of War in the Antwerp 1920 Olympic Games.
As the Tug of War event was withdrawn from the Olympics after the 1920 Games, London’s Square Mile police force remain reigning champions!
As well as the champion tug of war crew of officers remaining unsung Olympic heroes, London’s Square Mile police remain the London Metropolitan Police’s lesser known police force.
‘Mine to Medals: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals’ at the British Museum
“And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards as victors wear at the Olympian Games” – William Shakespeare Henry VI, Part 3 – Act II Scene III.
You have until 9 September 2012 to head on down to the British Museum and learn about the production of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in an exhibition titled ‘Mine to Medals: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals’.
This free exhibition is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
From the design process of the medals made by David Watkins and Lin Cheung, to the mining of the actual metal by Rio Tinto, this unique exhibition provides visitors with unique insight into what has become the modern Olympic Games most poignant and well-recognised symbols.
Although it’s not just information about the history and production of the Olympic medals that is being focused on during the ‘Mine to Medals’ exhibition, as the exposition is also focused on the role Great Britain has played in the creation and development of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Samples of the gold, silver and bronze medals the top athletes will be awarded with this summer are on display at this rare and one-off event, ranging from the Games that took place in the small Shropshire town of Much Wenlock in 1850 to the medals given to the winning athletes of the Paralympic Games that took place from 1960 and 1984.