Monday 29th October 2018

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In the late 18th century Copenhagen Fields became a popular venue for radical demonstrations. In 1795 two such protests were attended by crowds of over 100,000, and one was followed by rioting in central London.

On 21 April 1834 thousands marched from Copenhagen Fields in support of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who had been sentenced to transportation to Australia for forming a trade union.

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Opposite Kings Cross St Pancras Station Square. Gracing the top of an otherwise ordinary Victorian building is a charming lighthouse style turret, making it one of the more enigmatic local landmarks.

The building occupies an important road junction between Gray’s Inn Road, Pentonville Road, York Way and Euston Road, giving it a Flatiron type presence on the intersection. Despite the prominent location, many tend to miss the lighthouse because it gives nothing away about its own history. Even the blue plaque on the ground level must be hands down the most indecisive blue plaque in London, throwing up more questions than answers, reading, “Oysters were once sold here…or was that a fairground?” It shows that there are many stories about the lighthouse’s construction and use throughout its history, but that none can be verified and many are tall tales. Other guesses for its original use include a helter skelter, clock tower and even a camera obscura.

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The most enduring and “official” view is that the lighthouse was built to promote Netten’s oyster bar, which occupied the ground floor. Oysters were a type of Victorian fast food, a sort of McDonalds of their day. Perhaps it was nothing more than an urban folly, serving no purposeful function other than ornamentation? Like all the other stories this one is no more reputable and is often thought to be unlikely. What is likely however is that no one will ever know its past function. Apart from why it was built, no one actually knows when it was built. A quick search on the Internet brings up references mostly to 1884, but 1875 is often mentioned as well.

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Spurs o Man City 1

An early goal for the visitors proved to be the difference between the two sides as Manchester City edged an entertaining but frustrating contest by the narrowest of margins at Wembley on Monday evening.

It was Riyad Mahrez who proved to be the match-winner, converting Raheem Sterling’s pass in the fifth minute, but we battled all the way to the end and were by far the dominant side in the second period, our lack of genuine goal-scoring opportunities being our downfall.

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City opened the scoring with the first attack of the game, but it was another avoidable goal from our perspective. It started with Ederson’s long clearance which Kieran Trippier tried to glance back to Hugo Lloris but Sterling sped onto the ball in the left channel. Trippier got back to cover but Sterling tricked his way past him down by the goal-line before cutting back for Mahrez to tuck home.

We responded well to the early setback though, Harry Kane firing just over from 30 yards, Toby Alderweireld glancing a header from a corner straight at Ederson, while a break down the right saw Moussa Sissoko have plenty of time to pick out a team-mate but his pass for Erik Lamela was intercepted.

The visitors always carried a threat when they came forward but for the most part we defended well and when they found a gap on 28 minutes, Lloris was there with a superb one-handed save to deny Mahrez at his near post, palming the shot onto the woodwork. At the other end, Kane looked to be in on goal from Lamela’s pass, but his first touch was slightly heavy allowing Ederson to rush from his line and slide in to get the ball first.

We ended the first half strongly and started the second period on the front foot as well, Sissoko driving us forward at every opportunity with Lucas Moura and Kane trying to force openings, although anything clear-cut was not forthcoming.

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In fact it was City with a glorious chance to double their lead on 54 minutes, Bernardo Silva sliding a ball across perfectly for David Silva eight yards who looked like he simply had to poke home. But the ball got caught up under his feet and although he managed to then find Sterling with a pass, his shot was blocked by Ben Davies inside the six-yard box.

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Lloris saved twice from Sergio Aguero inside 60 seconds, but we were continuing to have the upper hand in terms of possession and impetus, Lamela cutting inside but firing well wide as we pushed for the equaliser. Fresh legs were introduced in the form of Harry Winks and Dele Alli – his first action since playing at Milton Keynes against Watford last month – for Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele and we should have levelled on 80 minutes. A combination of Lucas and Dele dispossessed Mahrez on the left flank, Dele burst forwards and laid the perfect pass in to Lamela, 15 yards in front of goal, but he side-footed over the bar.

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City tried to take the sting out of the game in the final stages as we pressed them back, former Spur Kyle Walker causing a moment of panic in the visitors’ defence when his back-header almost found its way into the net. But it wasn’t to be.

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