Thursday, 31 December 2020

Top posts of a strange year

2020 was certainly different, and this blog had its own uncharacteristic period of silence. The end-of-year round-up is therefore slightly smaller than previous years, with a top three rather than the usual top five. So let's look back on some brighter moments!

The top three posts published in 2020 are: 

Section of a mosaic frieze saying 'Aux Belles Poules', with rose wreaths at either end of the words, and blue borders; and its reflection in a mirrored ceiling.

 In third place, a look at a less-known piece of Parisian history: the former licensed brothel, Aux Belles Poules. Uniquely, its decoration has survived and been restored. 

Interior of a dovecote: the walls are white, with a checkerboard pattern of square niches for the pigeone; a central wooden post extens to the roof, with a ladder which is curved to match the curve of the dovecote.

 Second place goes to another Parisian post: a  look inside a mediaeval dovecote, now incongruously sat in a suburban housing estate. 

A dirty, dusty sign says 'Trains to Stevenage' with a British Rail logo, and below that, 'Moorgate'. It rests on some dirty and abandoned-looking steps.


The most popular 2020 post is, though, a very London story: a look at the secrets of Moorgate Underground Station, right in the heart of the City.

And the all-time top three are: 

Photograph of a clock extending from a building facade on a scrolled bracket. The clock has a rectangular face with the word 'Shippams' above the dial, 'Meat & fish pastes' below. A large metal wishbone hangs beneath it.

 A fantastic clock from an iconic Chichester brand, Shippam's sandwich paste, takes third place. The post also has some great comments, with memories and family connections.  

A photograph, taken in low artificial light, of rows of femurs end-on to the camera to form a wall, with one row of skulls about half-way up and another towards the bottom of the image.

In second place, a look inside the catacombs of Paris

Photograph of a tunnel entrance. In the foreground is a metal arch between stone posts, with a height restriction sign on the top and a black-and-yellow horizontal bar. There are warning lights to either side, and a raised barrier. Round traffic signs indicate no overtaking for 1.25 miles. Beyond the arch are two cars driving along a narrow two-lane road towards the arched mouth of a tunnel whose interior appears dark. The approach is lined with trees and a brick building.

 The most popular post continues to be my walk through Rotherhithe Tunnel - a walk which is, frankly, best experienced virtually!

Of my pages, Unusual London visits remains the most popular (even if the visits are currently strictly virtual).

Photograph of a triangular stone pediment, inside which are the words 'Facts not opionions' in embellished Victorian lettering.

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