10 interesting Brixton facts! Get ready for the challenge…

21st August 2016

Brixon facts Thinking Bob socials are all about discovering London with new people. Find out more here.

We hold regular Brixton socials and here are a few interesting things we’ve found out on our many walks, talks and drinks nights.

Brixton facts

  1. On the first Sunday of August every year there is a cultural explosion on the streets of Brixton known locally as the Splash festival. To celebrate the independence of Jamaica a wealth of local up and coming talent take to the pop up stages. And you might just catch the next big thing – In 2010 Katy B headlined the event performing with the Illersapiens!
  2. Brixton has its own currency! Launched on 17 September 2009 the notes are available in B£1, B£5, B£10 and B£20 denominations and depict local celebrities and famous Brixtonian’s, such as the late David Bowie.
  3. Former British Prime Minister John Major spent part of his childhood in a two-room flat off Coldharbour Lane living with his father, former Music Hall performer Tom Major-Ball.
  4. Brixton’s Tate Library was one of the first free public library’s in London. Built in 1893 it was a gift of Sir Henry Tate who also gave us a vital element to the perfect cuppa –  Tate and Lyle sugar!
  5. It’s home to Nuclear Dawn. Known as the ‘one with the skeleton in it’ the mural is one of many hidden away on the walls of Brixton. Most of which were created after the riots of 1981 and can be found within walking distance of each other.
  6. Mr. James Smith of Tooting chose Brixton as the site to build the UK’s first purpose built department store, naming it after the original Bon Marché in Paris.
  7. Built in the 1880s, Electric Avenue was the first market street to be lit by electricity. The road gave its name to Eddy Grant‘s 1983 single “Electric Avenue“, which reached #2 on both the UK and U.S. singles charts.Brixon facts : electricAvenue
  8. At least 9 cinemas opened in the Brixton area between 1910-15.  Some of the cinemas were situated in railway arches and were later closed on safety grounds. The Ritzy is the sole survivor.
  9. Deep beneath Brixton’s streets runs the lost River Effra. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I sailed the Effra in her royal barge, to visit Sir Walter Raleigh at his Brixton home.
  10. The 1920’s saw the opening of the Astoria Theatre (now the Brixton academy) which was described at the time to be larger than that of Drury Lane and an auditorium capable of seating 4,000. Sold for £1 in 1983 it started its journey to becoming the music venue it is today seeing the likes of Madonna, The Smiths, Sex Pistols, The Police, Wham and Culture Club pass through its doors.

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Brixton facts: sources

http://readers-cafe.com/tag/food/ http://www.brixtonsplash.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Avenue http://www.o2academybrixton.co.uk/Info/About http://www.thebohemianblog.com/2013/07/urban-exploration-lost-river-effra-uk.html

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