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Downing Street facts

While investigating facts about Downing Street 10 and Downing Street Briefing Today, I found out little known, but curios details like:

10 Downing Street in the 19th Century was guarded by two men who would sit outside the building in leather chairs, armed with a pistol. Each chair featured a drawer filled with hot coals to keep the guards warm, and a sphere-shaped hood to protect from the weather and improve acoustics.

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A stray cat named Humphrey was found and subsequently employed at 10 Downing street as a pest controller, eventually rising to the position of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. After being removed by Cherie Blair, his whereabouts remained unknown until a spokesman reported his death in 2006

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In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering when were the gates erected at downing street. Here are 34 of the best facts about Downing Street Cat and Downing Street Live I managed to collect.

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  1. When Winston Churchill moved into 10 Downing Street his cat Nelson kicked out the previous Prime Minister's cat, Munich, out of the house.

  2. The iconic black bricks of 10 Downing Street are actually yellow underneath. They were blackened by the London smog during the 19th century, and as a result were painted black during the 1960s since people were accustomed to seeing them that way

  3. The door of 10 Downing Street, residence of the UK Prime Minister, cannot be opened from the outside as it has no handle.

  4. The black bricks of the UK Prime Minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, were originally yellow - only darkening due to centuries of pollution. When renovations were made in 1958 it was decided to paint the brick black, as the color had become associated with the building in the public's minds.

  5. A cat named Larry was made "Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office" to get rid of rats at 10 Downing Street. He was fired after it emerged that was too lazy. His replacement Freya, proved to better. Tensions between them came to a head in a violent fight that had to be broken up by police.

  6. The last private resident of 10 Downing Street, the headquarters of the UK government, was a man by the name of Mr. Chicken.

  7. During restoration/cleaning work in the 50s, 10 Downing street turned out to be a completely different colour under a crust of two centuries of pollution. It's now regularly painted black over the yellow brickwork to keep the traditional grimed black look.

  8. There is a UK Government Position for a cat called "Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office" which resides in 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister

  9. The two resident cats of Downing Street had a fight so vicious that one had to be treated by a vet, one lost a collar, and the fight had to be broken up by armed police

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Downing Street data charts

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downing street fact data chart about One Year of Power Consumption at 10 Downing Street
One Year of Power Consumption at 10 Downing Street

Why is 10 downing street the home of the prime minister?

You can easily fact check why is 10 downing street painted black by examining the linked well-known sources.

Unlike 10 Downing Street or the White House, 24 Sussex is used almost exclusively as a place of residence by the Canadian Prime Minister. A Prime Minister's wife has said the residence is "completely lacking" in architectural value and is not worth saving - source

10 Downing Street is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, and not of the Prime Minister, but All British Prime Ministers also hold the title of First Lord of the Treasury

When was 10 downing street built?

In the 18th and 19th century, it wasn't common for the UK Prime Minister (or rather First Lord of the Treasury) to live at 10 Downing Street. Most PMs at the time were noblemen who lived at nicer addresses than the 'dilapidated' Number 10

How many houses in downing street?

Many UK prime ministers did not live at 10 Downing Street until the 20th century. Most owned nicer homes, while 10 Downing Street was smalll, dangerous, and unsafe.

The Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office is the title given to the official resident cat of 10 Downing street, the residence of the UK Prime Minister. The incumbent is a tabby cat named Larry. Their job is to control the vermin population there.

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The Downing Street Memo was the first website linked to a post on Reddit.

Number 10 Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister, was actually Number 5 Downing Street but was renumbered in 1779.

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In 1981, Margaret Thatcher was asked if she could name even two economists who supported her economic policies, Margaret Thatcher replied that she could and named two. On returning to Downing Street, a civil servant said to her, ‘It is a good job he did not ask you to name three.

The first post to Reddit, a link to the Downing Street Memo, submitted by co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, was downvoted by the only other member at the time, cofounder Steve Huffman.

The first ever post on Reddit was link to the Downing Street Memo from co-founder Alexis Ohanian. It was immediately downvoted by Steve Huffman, fellow co-founder. (23:47)

There are five cats living in Downing Street

The first link ever posted to Reddit, a story about the Downing Street memo shared by Alexis Ohanian, was downvoted by Steve Huffman. (Reddit's Co-Founders)

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