Sunday, 30 December 2012

Top ten posts of 2012

As 2012 is almost over, I'm seeing it out with a look at the most popular posts of the last year. First, the top five of those written in 2012: 

  1. In August, I asked whether Spitalfields has London's ugliest example of facadism. I still haven't found a worse one, though there are some interesting suggestions in the comments ... 
  2. Second place went to a much more attractive piece of heritage: two marvellous Soho ghost signs
  3. Purely fantastical, many of the designs for a great tower for London could never have been built. Sadly, the one which was selected was not completed; its foundations are now under Wembley Stadium
  4. The Olympics had to sneak in somewhere, and did so via my selection of national Olympic Houses - from the Danes' LEGO stadium model to the craftspeople of the African village. 
  5. A piece of pure silliness takes fifth place: Aldgate's underground toilets still display advanced warning of changes made fifteen years ago!
Sometimes blogging can feel rather ephemeral, so it's lovely that posts from previous years are still getting visitors. Again, here are the top five:

  1. In top place are the morbidly fascinating catacombs of Paris, created from its underground quarries and filled with the bones of its dead. It's perhaps testimony to the power of the image search that a less skull-filled companion piece has never received as much attention. 
  2. Back in London, but originally from much further afield, the British Museum's wonderful Assyrian animal carvings are another long-term favourite. 
  3. Heavy rains have seen the Thames Barrier close several times in recent days. Thankfully, it's kept well-maintained, with an annual closure for inspections and checks. I took a look in 2008
  4. An Open House visit to a local property, Stone House, allowed me to share one of Lewisham's hidden gems. 
  5. The servants' bells at Tyntesfield are a reminder of the realities of stately home life. It seems that the New York Times was unimpressed by such British technology, however. 

I'll give special mentions to the ghost signs and Postman's Park pages which have also proved popular throughout the year. 

Finally, and most importantly, huge thanks to everyone who has read and commented throughout 2012. My very best wishes for 2013!


Hels said...

Re the Olympics, many thanks.

I have been fascinated by the money and effort put into developing special facilities for events that only happen once every four years and then only last for a couple of months (max). My interest has been mainly for World Fairs, but Olympic Games are equally as relevant.

That 53 African nations came together to create their own Africa Village in Kensington Gardens is smart, given that around 1890-1910 exotic villages were faked up for the amusement and education of local Europeans.

CarolineLD said...

Yes, and the difference was also interesting: this time, the nations chose how to represent themselves and the village was partly aimed at African people living in London as well as curious Europeans.

Having been fascinated by the Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale, I recently bought a book about world fairs in Paris and their surviving remnants - something I'm looking forward to reading in the new year!