You might recall that, a week ago last Sunday, we launched our, rather challenging, latest competition and posed the question what have the song London Bridge is Falling Down and your mobile phone got in common.
At stake were two four person Gift Vouchers for our Jack the Ripper Tour for the two lucky people who got the question right. Well we’ve closed the competition now and we’re ploughing through the winning answers to select the winners.
We’ll use our usual method of counting up the number of winning posts, tweets, or circles and Joanne, our ever efficient office manager, will pick a number and the people whose posts are at that number will be the winner and will be sent the Gift Vouchers. OK, we know there are more technical ways of doing it but, when it comes to internet technology we are absolute dinosaurs!
So now the moment you’ve all been waiting for with baited breath, cue the drum roll, hold your breathe, brace yourselves, get th…..(get on with it ed)
Here is the answer.
The song London Bridge is Falling Down remembers a very real event in London’s history.
In 1013 the Danish leader Sweyn Forkbeard (960 -1014) invaded London and managed to take the City, forcing the then King, Aethelred, to flee into exile where he sort the assistance of the Norwegian King Olaf 11 (995 – 1030). Are you with me so far?
Together Aethelred and Olaf headed for London with the intention of taking back the City and driving out the Danes. However, they met with fierce resistance and were successfully repelled by the Danes, who resorted to such primitive, though highly effective, modes of defence as hurling anything and everything at them, and tipping boiling oil and water down onto them from the well fortified London Bridge.
Retreating down river to Greenwich, Olaf had his men tear down the wattle and daub walls of the local houses and, using them as protective shields to cover their boats, he and his men headed back up river, tied ropes around the piles of the bridge, and using the next flood tide, they rowed down river and, literally, pulled the bridge down. The Danes fled and London was retaken. The Norse Poet Ottar Svarte, later immortalised the event with a poem that began “London Bridge is broken down.Gold is won and bright renown.”
Over time this poem became the song “London Bridge is Falling down my Fair Lady.”
And what does any of this have to do with your mobile phone?
Well, here’s where it gets slightly (OK incredibly) tenuous.
Sweyn’s father was Harold Bluetooth, after whom the creators of the wireless specification, which enables connections between computers, printers and mobile phones, named their invention “Bluetooth.” So there is the answer. And, whilst your pondering that, we’re off to draw the winning names which we will announce tomorrow!
Sadly nobody answered the question correctly but, not to worry, we’r still giving away a two person gift voucher just for liking us on Facebook!