Around London – A clowning Sunday, and Sir William Ramsay honored…

February 10, 2011

Clowns turned out en masse for the annual clown service held in honour of the ‘father of modern clowning’, Joseph Grimaldi, at Holy Trinity Church in Dalston last weekend. The London-born clown, who lived from 1778 to 1837, is became widely known for his pantomine performances and is believed to have been the first ‘white face’ clown. He has been honored at a “clown service”, held on the first Sunday in February, since the mid-1940s. It was originally held at St James’ Church, Islington – where Grimaldi was buried – but was moved after the church was demolished. His grave is preserved in a memorial garden on the site.

• Sir William Ramsay, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist credited with discovering the noble gases, has been commemorated with a blue plaque at his former home in Notting Hill. The Glasgow-born Ramsay moved to London in 1887 when appointed chair of chemistry at University College London and it was while living at 12 Arundel Gardens, Notting Hill, that he discovered the five noble gases. Ramsay lived at the property until 1902. He died in 1916. English Heritage unveiled  the plaque on Wednesday.

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