On this day in 1951 Britain's first supermarket opened on Streatham Hill (Co-Op and Sainsbury's had opened stores earlier, but neither would be recognised as a conventional supermarket). Premier Supermarket, owned by Express Dairies, was the brainchild of Patrick Galvini; Galvini had seen the concept of self-service stores whilst posted in the US with the Naval Information Service. Premier would expand to thirty-nine stores before being sold to Unilever's Mac Fisheries in 1964.
Premier Supermarket on Streatham Hill
On this day in 1666 the Great Fire of London began when, shortly after midnight, a baker's shop on Pudding Lane owned by Thomas Farriner caught alight. Although the Lord Mayor of London Thomas Bloodworth remarked at the scene "a woman could piss it out", the fire would rage for four days. Eighty percent of the City was burnt to the ground, with thirteen-thousand houses, eighty-seven churches, and St Paul's Cathedral all destroyed. The official death toll from the fire was only six people, but it's more likely that hundreds perished.
The Great Fire of London
I’m trying to reduce my reliance on social media, as Facebook et al massively limit how many people can view links to external websites unless the author pays an extortionate amount to promote them. Please consider subscribing on the link below to receive a weekly email about London's fascinating history! (Your details will never be shared with any other parties)