please empty your brain below

Way back when I used to run my own business the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was one of my clients, so I was able to drive into and park in the Tower. I once managed to get a private opening and viewing for the Jewels for my family.

I had a meeting in there with the management once, which was good; got a special pass (free) and had time for a wander around just before it opened to the public. I was the only person in the crown jewels bit except for some Beefeaters.

I've lived all over London, but Tower Hamlets, where I stayed for four years, remains my favourite London borough.

It's got an amazing history - as I'm sure you know and will tell us, DG - but I love the people there - not the City b/w**kers mortgaging the life and soul out of the place, but the long-term residents, East Enders born, bred and boozing on Whitechapel High Street, and as far removed from that travesty called Walford as you could ever imagine.

Oh, and Sylvia Pankhurst loved the place too, and that's good enough for me.

Thanks once again DG for a great borough tour.... better than a free leaflet!

My husband and I were once looking at the Crown Jewels and discussing them, along with hordes of tourists, and a guard said to us: "Och, it's guid to hear an English voice."

Sorry to be a total anorak, DG, but the Tower is not, traditionally, in Tower Hamlets - though I admit it is in the London Borough of TH today. The Tower hamlets were, of course, the villages around the Tower in days of yore and were in Middlesex. The tower was neither in Middlesex nor the City but was a royal palace and as such not "under" any local government corporation or whatever. The function of the Tower was of course to be able to control the city (not, please note defend it)- up to the 19th century Londoners used to have a vigorous reputation for rioting at the drop of a hat, especially if they thought their rights were being trodden on, so a garrison was needed to contain them. For this reason the King preferred the comparative calm of Westminster. It was reckoned that if the Londoners rioted they would get drunk and run out of steam before they made it a couple of miles along the river, which frequently proved to be the case.

The Mint was in the Tower for yonks too

A stupendous bit of trivia I've come across. There used to be a menagerie in the tower from the time of Henry III in the 13th Century. People used to pay to see the animals but, for a time, if you were prepared to feed your pet to the lions, you got in for free.

Could I have got in with my neighbour's dog I wonder...?

DG, you probably missed this because it was in East End Life a couple of weeks back but the reduced admission offer for LBTH residents is now valid all year long.

I didn't miss it, but the way I read it the £1 deal is now for kids only.

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