An A - Z
of London

Capital Numbers

An alphabetical guide
to London


A is for 'orses
B is for Bow Bells
C is for 21st Century
D is for Dome
E is for Escalator
F is for Fog
G is for GLC
H is for History
I is for Information
J is for Jellied Eels
K is for Keeping Safe
L is for London Transport
M is for Money
N is for Nightbus
01 for London
P is for Plague
Q is for Queen
R is for Red Route
S is for Streets of London
T is for Thames
U is for Underground
V is for Villages
W is for WestEnders
X is for Charing X
Y is a Year in London
Z is for Zoo

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P

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P is for Plague


With a history of overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions, London has always been a centre of death and disease. Here are some of the key illnesses to have plagued the capital over the centuries.


The Black Death: In 1348 this killed 40% of London’s population. The other 6 soon got better.

Malaria: Open sewers in the 15th and 16th centuries allowed malaria to decimate the capital – a disease soon to return again as global warming allows mosquitoes to breed on the Thames marshes.

Plague: Fever brought to London by rats, and brought to the rest of Britain by cowardly Londoners.

Cholera: The first Victorian sewers carried effluent to the Thames so efficiently that the river was considerably darkened in colour, even though it was the source of most Londoners’ daily water supply. The second Victorian sewers dumped all this effluent on Beckton instead, and are still in use today.

Typhoid: Even only a hundred years ago, you really wouldn’t have wanted to live here. Or die here.

Tube Flu: A virulent disease, spread by coughing over other passengers in a confined space.

xhaust-ion: A wheezy lung condition caused by breathing in roadside air 365 days a year.

Bow Leg: Sudden East End kneecapping arranged by one of the Kray brothers.

Foot In Mouth: Condition common to Ministers debating the future of the Dome.

Blocked Arterials: The regular clogging up of traffic beating a path to the heart of the capital.