Little slices of London's history

The Beeb, The Strand, and Charles II

This day in London history: on the 14th of November 1922 the British Broadcasting Company started life at Marconi House, The Strand. and “listening-in” quickly became a popular pastime

According to one writer, the name of The Strand is of Saxon origin and is mentioned by name in the Saxon Chronicle; apparently it is recorded that this is where Earl Godwin and his son Harold drew up their land forces in the insurrection that they headed against Edward the Confessor in 1052.

The diarist John Evelyn stood in The Strand to watch Charles II’s triumphant procession after the Restoration, and wrote in his diary on the 29th of May, 1660. “This day his majestie, Charles II, came to London, after a sad and long exile and calamitous suffering both of the king and church, being seventeen years. This was also his birthday, and with a triumph above 20,000 horse and foot, brandishing their swords and shouting with inexpressible joy; the ways strew’d with flowers, the bells ringing, the streets hung with tapestry, fountains running with wine; the mayor, aldermen, and all the companies in their liveries, chains of gold, and banners; lords and nobles clad in cloth of silver, gold, and velvet; the windowes and balconies well set with ladies; trumpets, music, and myriads of people flocking even so far as from Rochester, so as they were seven hours in passing the City, even from two till ten at night. I stood in the Strand and beheld it, and bless’d God.”

Back to the BBC: the UK government licensed the UK’s six major radio manufacturers to form the new outfit, which initially had a staff of four, and was financed by a Post Office licence fee of 10 shillings, payable by anyone owning a receiver, and supplemented by royalties on radio sales.

In 1926 the company was dissolved and the British Broadcasting Corporation formed with a royal charter.

7 responses to “The Beeb, The Strand, and Charles II”

  1. […] club first met at a tavern in Shire Lane off Fleet Street, and later at the Fountain Tavern on the Strand. In the summer the club repaired to the Upper Flask tavern in Highgate for their meetings. The club […]

  2. […] with Hanway are Red Lion Square, once rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Oliver Cromwell and Strand, where he lodged and could be seen walking to the Coffee House near the Royal Exchange, where he […]

  3. […] word name with no street, road, lane or similar qualifier. A couple of others are Bishopsgate and Strand, and more will follow here in the course of […]

  4. […] is one of those singleton, or one-word, street names, like Cheapside, Houndsditch, Piccadilly, Strand, and many others. And – yay! – the name is what it says. From Elizabethan times there was a […]

  5. […] is one of those singleton, or one-word, street names, like Cheapside, Houndsditch, Piccadilly, Strand, and many others. And – yay! – the name is what it says. From Elizabethan times there was a […]

  6. […] and developed by Nicholas Barbon; and for a time he lodged with his sister in lodgings in Strand – a name, apparently, of Saxon […]

  7. […] Bacon’s other connections to London streets include the Strand (or just Strand, if you prefer), where he was born, and Bleeding Heart Yard. He was an unsuccessful […]

About Me (and my Obsession)

My obsession with London street names began in the early 90s when I worked in the Smithfield area and happened upon Bleeding Heart Yard. In my wanderings around London, I kept adding to my store of weird and wonderful street names. Eventually it was time to share – hence my blog. I hope you enjoy these names as much as I do.
– Elizabeth


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