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article imageThe day an elephant walked on the River Thames

By Alexander Baron     Feb 1, 2014 in Odd News
London - Some areas of Britain have suffered torrential flooding in recent weeks. Two hundred years ago, it was very different, and a lot colder.
Who would you expect to see walking across the River Thames at Blackfriars Bridge, if not the great JC himself? The magician Criss Angel? How about Dumbo the Elephant? That is what happened in February 1814, which tends to indicate that the ice was somewhat on the thick side. Clearly there was no talk about global warming in those days.
The River Thames has in fact frozen periodically throughout history, but two hundred years ago today saw the beginning of the last of the Thames frost fairs. A chronology of these was put together by Charles McKay in the second volume of his 1840 work The Thames And Its Tributaries. McKay was the bloke who wrote ...Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds - bitcoin proponents take note.
Currently, the Museum of London has a feature about the 1814 frost fair on its website.
There have been lesser freezes including within living memory - for some of us. Here are a few pictures from 1963, but it's unlikely we will ever see anything like the 1814 event again, at least not as far down the river as the capital.
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