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Champagne!Some additional news!

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A seat at Royal Albert Hall for only £375:00!


The Royal Albert Hall is putting five of its "best in house" seats up for sale. It is asking £375:00 in total for the five debenture seats, which command exceptional views of the stage.

The seats, come with a lease of 858 years and provide free access to about two-third of events at the venue. The owner also has to pay an annual service charge of several hundred pounds.

Seats were sold for £100 each to finance the hall's construction in the 1860s. About 1,200 are still owned privately. These five seats have been in the same family for generations.



Make Chinatown more .... Chinese?

London's Chinatown is to be made more authentically Chinese with the help of a £2 million revamp. This new development will include a new screen garden, a timber pagoda and replicas of ancient Chinese dragon statues to guard its nine entrances.


TUBE FACTS - London

The Tube is the oldest Underground network in the world. The Metropolitan Line having opened on 10 January 1863. The carriages originally had no windows.
The London Underground network has 275 stations and 253 miles (410km) of track and handles 1,1 billion journeys over 364 days a year.
The busiest stations are Victoria and Oxford Circus, each serving more than 85 million travellers each year.
Every Tube train travels the distance from London to Sydney ( 10,500 miles) seven times a year. A total of 408 escalators and 112 lifts keep passengers moving throughout the system.



Savile Row - London

Savile Row was laid out in the 1730s as part of the Burlington Estate and is named after Lady Dorothy Savile, wife of the 3rd Earl of Burlington. Henry Poole & Co ( No: 15 ) is the oldest bespoke tailors on Savile Row, established in 1806 and remains a family business.
The Duke of Windsor is said to have introduced Clark Gable and Gary Cooper to Savile Row tailoring.
Hardy Amies ( No: 14 ) said: " A man should look as though he has chosen his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them".
Gieves & Hawkes ( No:1 ) has been on the Row since 1912 and earned its reputation meeting the tailoring needs of the Army and the Royal navy.
There are 19 bespoke tailoring businesses on Savile Row employing more than 100 skilled craftsmen.
About 7,000 suits are produced annually on Savile Row, representing a £21 million turnover.
Prices for a Savile Row two-piece suit start at about £ 2,000.
Kilgour ( No:8 ) boasts that it takes more than 80 hours of skilled tailoring to make one of its suits.



Underground Music

From The Guild of Registered Tourist Guides - Bulletin:

Licensed buskers have now been allowed on London's Underground stations for more than two years, and the scheme is proving a route to success for musicians as well as being popular with passengers from Baker Street to Waterloo and beyond.
In its first two years, at least three buskers have been spotted by top record companies, while two-third have been approached to play at weddings, auditions and more unusual events including:

a music industry reception for the Queen at Buckingham Place
auditions at various West End musicals including Cabaret
a party for the Finnish Royal family and another for the Ambassador of Taiwan.

In 2001, London Underground won a change to the Law that legalised busking and working with brewer Carling, which sponsored the Live Underground Scheme. Now there are 36 stages, presenting more than 280 licensed artist who perform over 3,000 hours of live music a week.



London is NOT expensive!

Suddenly, London is not such an expensive city!
London has slipped from sixth place to eight in a league table of the world's most expensive cities. From cars to CDs and cigarettes to cinema tickets, a new report shows how sterling's fall over the past year has made the capital a relatively cheaper place to live. The study, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, looks at the cost of living for expatriate workers rather than local residents.
The index is calculated using a basket of everyday goods, including food, transport and entertainment, in more than 130 countries.

WORLD LINE-UP
1. Tokyo / Japan
2. Oslo / Norway
3. Osaka Kobe / Japan
4. Reykjavik / Iceland
5. Paris / France
6. Copenhagen / Denmark
7. Zurich / Switzerland
8. London / England
9. Geneva / Switzerland
10. Helsinki / Finland
and
130. Tehran / Iran



Just numbers ...!

ONE FOR THE ROAD ......

30.6m is the number of cars in Britain, double that 30 years ago. Parked end to end, they would stretch around the Earth twice
61 per cent is the number of cars on the road with one occupant. This rises to 85 percent for people commuting.
26 per cent is the proportion of households without a car.
191 miles is the distance the average person walks per year, compared with 237 miles in 1991.
6m is the amount of parking tickets issued in London last year, more then the capital's adult population.
81 per cent - men with driving licence compared to 69 percent in 1975.
61 per cent - men with driving licence compared to 29 percent in 1975.
2 per cent - the amount of land taken up by roads in Britain.



London Eye

London Eye - High and Mighty
At 135m ( 443ft) the wheel is nearly three times as high as Tower Bridge.
Its 80 spokes are made from four miles of cable.
The steel used in construction weighs 1,500 tonnes - heavier than 250 double decker buses.
The wheel turns about 60,000 times per year.
Its 32 pods can carry up to 15.000 visitors per day.



Marble Arch - London

MARBLE ARCH MAY BE ON THE MARCH
Marble Arch was design by John Nash in the style of Rome's Constantine Arch and built in 1827 as the chief entrance to Buckingham Palace and is now one of London's busiest roundabouts. Marble Arch may be moved piece by piece to a more dignified location.
The confluence of Bayswater Road, Edgware Road, Oxford Street and Park Lane is one of London's busiest gyratories, used by almost 6,000 vehicles an hour at peak times. Transport for London has a few alternative positions for the Arch. Watch this space!
Did you know that the Arch is made of white Carrara marble from Italy,
stands near the site of Tyburn where 21 people could be hanged at once
had two rooms inside used by the police for almost a century
has a temporary ice rink beside it each winter.



Overbooked on your flight

Lawyer's suit vs. airline takes flight
By Helen Peterson l New York Daily News


A Manhattan lawyer scored a victory for any flier who's ever been left stranded at the airport. Continental Airlines has been ordered by a Manhattan judge to pay $3,110 to attorney Thatcher Stone, who sued after he and his 13-year-old daughter were bumped from a flight headed to Colorado last Christmas.
"I am so pleased. I mean, they ruined my vacation," Stone said.

The overbooked flight was supposed to take him and his daughter to Telluride for a holiday ski vacation. Their luggage - including ski equipment and winter clothing - was loaded onto the plane, and the airline refused to remove it, Stone said, leaving him unable to make other ski plans.
Continental refunded Stone the price of the $2,000 tickets on the spot after failing to come up with another flight for him. But when he wrote the airline a letter requesting reimbursement for $1,360 he had prepaid for ski lodge accommodations, lift tickets and his daughter's rental equipment, he was told the airline is responsible only for up to $400.

"They picked the wrong person to tango with," Stone said. "I teach this stuff in law school."
He filed a lawsuit in Small Claims Court, convincing Judge Diane Lebedeff that he had a breach of contract case. Lebedeff noted that being bumped from a flight is an issue "rarely explored in detail, notwithstanding that more than 30,000 passengers a year could raise similar claims."

She awarded Stone $1,000 for the inconvenience of being bumped, $750 for loss of use of the winter clothing and skis, and the $1,360 he originally sought for loss of prepaid items.



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