Interesting things about Hammersmith and Fulham

Hammersmith and Fulham is a very popular Borough for families, offering good schools and easy access to a multitude of fantastic attractions. There are also plenty of interesting stories about the area and a number of things that even the residents may not know. Here are some of the best ones.

In 1908 the Summer Olympics were held in London. White City Stadium was the host and an impressive 2,008 athletes took part (only 37 of them were women). The move to London was made due to financial difficulties in Rome following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906. Surprisingly the event was the longest in the history of the modern games, lasting 187 days, and Great Britain topped the medal charts.

Although the Olympics are a fantastic piece of history the most enduring story is how the modern marathon distance was set. As part of the 1908 Olympics a route from Windsor Castle to the stadium was plotted. In stretched roughly 26 miles but a little extra distance had to be added so that the runners could finish near the Royal box. As a result the total was 26.2 miles; the distance is the same today.

This is not the only interesting sporting story in the Borough. From 1874, the Hurlingham Club was the headquarters of polo for the whole of the British Empire. The sport was run from a 42 hectare site in Fulham.

The BBC was the first company to broadcast TV programmes in colour. It happened in 1967 and the broadcast originated from Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.

Britain’s first speed bumps were also installed in the Borough. In 1984 they were built on Linver and Alderville Roads. Since then the speed control measures have spread across the UK.

The botany industry in the UK can trace its roots back to Fulham Palace. The Bishops of London resided in the palace from the 11th century until 1973. In that time they introduced a number of trees to the grounds, including maple, magnolia, acacia, and tamarisk.

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