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The London Christmas Quiz 2023: Answers

Thanks to all who sent in answers. The highest scoring entry was from Nicola Stanhope, with 13½ out of 25.


Congratulations to Nicola, who lives in London. This was a tricky quiz, harder than last year's Christmas quiz (when the top score was 17½ out of 25) so any score over half marks is very impressive. Before researching it, I doubt I would have scored that well!


Although the quiz was purely for fun, and I know a number of people enjoyed going through it without sending in their answers, I would like to offer Nicola two free places on a London On The Ground walking tour in 2024.


If you have not yet tried the quiz and would like to have a go at the questions to test yourself before you look at the answers below, please click here.


For details of London On The Ground guided walks and tours, please click here.


Please subscribe to London On The Ground (for free) via the form at the bottom of this page to ensure that you receive email updates on my walking tour schedules and blog posts.

 

And now, to the answers (please scroll down).


The London On The Ground London Christmas Quiz 2023

  

1) Which building, of which the picture below is a detail, was declared officially complete by Parliament on 25 December 1711?

St Paul's Cathedral

2) Which song, recorded in London by London-based artists, was voted Londoners' favourite Christmas song by Time Out readers in 2018?

Fairy Tale of New York (by The Pogues & Kirsty McColl)


3) In which season did a London football club last fail to win England's Premier League title after being top of the table at Christmas? Which club?

2022/23. Arsenal (half a point for each part of the answer)


4) Which popular Christmas pantomime character is based on a real life medieval London merchant?

Dick Whittington


5) Which journalist and author, who has edited several tabloids and was born in Paddington on Christmas Day 1943, is mother to a well-known TV presenter, whose show has a Christmas special?

Eve Pollard


6) What Christmas event first took place in Hyde Park in 2005?

Winter Wonderland


7) Which London Underground station name is also a traditional Christmas tree decoration?

Angel


8) In which year in the 1960s was the switching on of the Oxford Street lights postponed and why?

1963, out of respect for the assassination of US President John F Kennedy (half a point for each part of the answer)


9) In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, at which London building does Scrooge see people discussing his own death (as revealed by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come)?

The Royal Exchange


10) How many different kinds of bird went into a Tudor Christmas pie?

Five (pigeon, partridge, chicken, goose, turkey, encased in pastry, surrounded by hare and game!)


11) Which singer, who died on Christmas Day 2016 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery, appeared on both the number one and number two singles in the UK's Christmas chart of 1984.

George Michael


12) Which band played their Christmas Show over 16 nights at the Astoria in Finsbury Park between 24 December 1963 and 11 January 1964?

The Beatles


13) In which year was the homeless charity Crisis at Christmas founded in London? (a) 1959, (b) 1967, (c) 1981.

(b) 1967


14) The last time a game in the top division of English football was played on Christmas Day in London was in 1957. Who scored four goals for Chelsea in its 7-4 win over Portsmouth on that day?

Jimmy Greaves


15) In which year was the first documented performance of the pantomime 'Aladdin' staged at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden? (a) 1788, (b) 1823, (c) 1902.

(a) 1788

"They're behind you!" Source: The National Archives UK, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

16) Which popular children's fiction character first appeared by name in a short story published in London's The Evening News on Christmas Eve 1925?

Winnie-the-Pooh


17) Which poem, by the London-born creator of the character in question 16, starts with the line 'King John was not a good man'?

King John's Christmas


18) What was family name of 17th century master-carvers Gerard and his sons John and Mathias, who, among other things, produced figures for several Lord Mayor's Shows?

Christmas


19) In Old St Paul's Cathedral, a choirboy was elected each year to serve in what capacity from 6-28 December (until the practice was stopped by Henry VIII)?

Boy Bishop


20) Which type of folk play, presented in some parts of the country at Easter or Halloween, is a feature of Christmas/Twelfth Night in the southeast of England?

Mummers' Plays


21) Which film, set in London during the Christmas period and released 20 years ago, is now considered a modern Christmas classic?

Love Actually


22) Which London-born illustrator, who worked for Punch magazine, illustrated Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1843?

John Leech (look carefully at the illustration!)

"The Ghost of Christmas Present". Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

23) Which film maker, who was born in Mumbai on Christmas Day 1936 and died in London in 2005, was one half of the longest partnership in independent cinema history?

Ismail Merchant


24) In which year did central London first stage a major fireworks display to welcome the New Year (note, the answer should give the New Year and not the old one)?

2000


25) From 1878 until World War II, where was London's main place for the public gathering on New Year's Eve?

Outside St Paul's Cathedral

 

My next scheduled walking tour is Temple Bar: Portal to the City's Story (with Temple Bar Trust) on 18 January at 11am.


I will also be one of the guides on a tour of the church and tower of St Mary Islington, which includes unrivalled panoramic views across London from the top of the tower, on 13 January at 2pm.


To receive future London On The Ground blog posts and updates on my schedule of walking tours, please subscribe to the email list (via the form at the bottom of the page) and by following me on social media (icons also at the bottom of the page).


Happy New Year!

Bow Bells. Photo: Annemarie Fearnley

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