As the new year approaches, it's time to look at what has happened here in the last year. First, this year's top five most-read posts:
- Walking Rotherhithe Tunnel (unofficial subtitle: I did it so you don't have to). Since thinking of the experience still makes my lungs smart, it's good that I've been able to share it painlessly with so many people!
- Much more pleasant was my visit to the London Sewing Machine Museum. Highly specialist, yet absolutely fascinating, this museum highlights not only mechanical but also social history: a real hidden gem.
- Fabulous ceramics make Lloyd's Bank on Strand the finest cashpoint in London. Discover its story in Tea, Fish and Finance.
- It's a film star, an engineering marvel, and a thing of beauty, so St Paul's Cathedral Geometric Staircase deserves its place on this list. I saw it on a triforium tour of the Cathedral which also took in the library and Great Model.
- No London-y list would be complete without the Underground, especially in its 150th birthday year. It's represented here by the Edwardian beauty and missing apostrophe of Barons Court underground station.
It's always nice to see older posts still being read, and here are the five most-read this year:
- Perhaps Downton Abbey accounts for the rising popularity of a post on servants' bells, inspired by a visit to the wonderful Tyntesfield.
- One of my favourite London transport stories, Drama on Tower Bridge combines my favourite bridge and a heroic double-decker bus driver.
- Shippams of Chichester features the finest clock-with-wishbone-ornament you'll ever see!
- An Edwardian souvenir of the Tower of London made for a fascinating photograph - its row of hansom cabs particularly caught my eye.
- Perenially (un)popular is what may be London's ugliest example of facadism - although it has strong competition from this year's winner of the Carbuncle Cup!
My pages on ghost signs and Postman's Park were joined by a new page, unusual London places to visit.
Outside these pages, I share more information on similar topics on Twitter and the Caroline's Miscellany facebook page. A more unusual offshoot is a serial novel inspired by a post title, Victoriana and the Telectroscope. Created and co-ordinated by Ralph Hancock, it's now up to chapter 9! I contributed chapter three; why not add a chapter yourself?
Finally, and most importantly, huge thanks to everyone who has read and commented throughout 2013. My very best wishes for 2014!