Odds and Ends
As an American moving to London, you’ll want to get to know your city from the inside out. There is no point in living in London if you’re going to stick to the safe and known tourist attractions. You need to step out of your new London rental and explore the city of foot, drinking in the marvelous and the magnificent as well as the parts that are not included on the tourist maps. London is a city of firsts and spending some time in the city exploring these monuments to world history, will give you a better idea of the impact that this city has had on the world.
The first airport in the world was built at Croydon in 1020. The first flights were to Europe and then on to the different parts of the British Empire. As early as 1928 the airport was revamped to include a terminal and an airport hotel. The word airport only came into existence at around this time and it specifically refers to a place where you have to pass through customs control.
The Croydon Airport Society is one of the largest groups of aviation enthusiasts and pilots in Europe. Dedicated to preserving the history of the world’s first airport the Croydon Airport Visitor centre is housed in the first terminal ever built for international air travel. It is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month from 11am – 4 pm.
Gas and Light Company
For years, the world was lit by gas lamps, and today there are still over a thousand gas lamps. The Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company was started in 1812 and the site still exists today with a commemorative plaque in Great Peter Street. This company was the first in the world to supply gas directly to the streets and homes in the city.
Living in London is not about exploring the city from a distance. This city is best experienced as an intrinsic part of life. These little gems of history will make your time in London and enriching and rewarding one.