Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 21 January 2014
Britain has fully 108 preserved steam railways. The Economist notes that in 2011 they carried 7.1m passengers. Helping those passengers get from A to, well, usually a little bit further along the line and then back to A, are 18,000 volunteers. They range from the 20 miles of the West Somerset Railway (making it, according to the Daily Telegraph, the longest heritage line) to the 1.5 miles of the Ribble Steam Railway in Preston.
The roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre has focused attention on the safety of some of the West End’s oldest and most iconic theatres. It also saw a startling statistic across many newspapers – fully 32,000 spectators go to West End shows each night. A couple of matinees means that the West End attracts around 14 million visitors each year. In 2012, the West End grossed over half a billion pounds. And this is just from the West End’s 45 theatres. The Society of London Theatre has commissioned a report to survey theatre across the capital and the initial findings are startling – “We think there are more than 230 professional theatres in London, with a combined seating capacity of over 100,000.”
- Jane Seymour was the only one of Henry VIII’s six wives to be granted a state funeral. Undoubtably a reward for bearing the male heir the king so badly wanted.