diamond geezer

 Monday, December 30, 2013

dg 2013 index

Ten memorable London jaunts in 2013
New River, Finsbury Park1) New River: I took this artificial channel's 400th anniversary as a great excuse to walk its full length. Don't wait to follow me. [photos]
2) Paddington to Farringdon: For the tube's 150th anniversary I spent a week walking the entire length of the original route. It's changed a bit. [photos]
3) Television Centre: I did 'the tour', while it was still possible, before the BBC moved out. Even better, I went back to sit in the audience for a sitcom.
4) Open House: This year's highlights included two Docklands skyscrapers, Beckton Sewage Works and Stratford Market Depot.
5) QEOP opens: At long last London's Olympic Park was reopened to the public, at least partly. Most of you haven't rediscovered it yet [photos]
6) Clarence House: Open in Summer only, with the opportunity to stand in Prince Charles's drawing room. A fascinating (if brief) tour.
7) Jack The Ripper's murder sites: You can take a tour, or you can walk round the sites yourself. I'd say the latter beats the former.
8) Battersea Power Station: I got back inside, before the developers swallow the place whole.
9) Rain Room: Queuing for the Barbican's interactive shower was almost as memorable as standing underneath it, in the dry.
10) Victoria Embankment: There's a heck of a lot of interest crammed into Bazalgette's sewer cover. [photos]

Runners up: Bow fire station, Steam train 150, HMV, Bakerloo South, Sylvia Pankhurst, National Libraries Day, Labyrinth, Museum Mile, Stairway to Heaven, Walking the Hainault Loop, Harry Beck's plaque, The Widow's Son, Little Holland House, Royal Parks, Furniture, London Marathon, Hammersmith to Royal Oak, last trains, RAF Uxbridge, Roman Road Market, Lea waterbus, Crossrail 2, Nunhead Cemetery, Myddleton House & Forty Hall, Beanotown, Headstone Manor, Open Garden Squares Weekend, Cloth Fair, Ruislip Lido Railway, Brent Civic Centre, London Film Museum, Matchgirls 125, Platform 9¾, Shuffle Festival, Streatham Rookery, Gunnersbury Triangle, King's Cross Square, The Bridge To Nowhere, HMV, Totteridge, Nine Elms, London City Island, Mill Hill East to Edgware, London Designer Outlet, Jubilee Place, Hammerton's Ferry, Tate Britain, Heath Row, Capital Towers, Noel Roads.

Olympics: 6 months on, West Ham are coming, Around the Olympic Park, pre-reopening, QEOP open, East Village, one year on, still ticking over.
Stations: Custom House, Piccadilly Circus, West Ruislip, Aldgate East, Park Royal, St Ann's Road, naming rights, Barbican, Rayners Lane, the Croxley Rail Link, South Acton, Kensington Olympia, Putney Bridge, Charing Cross, Mornington Crescent, Waterloo → Southwark.
Buses: route 48, route 588, D8/97/339, route 388, white blinds, "New Routemasters".
Cablecar: ridership figures, Fly across the Thames, school visits, end-of-year report, Emirates Aviation Experience, promotion, local attractions.
CS2/Bow Roundabout: CS2x consultation, CS2x instructional videos, painted blue stripe, CS2x opens, the Bow Roundabout, upgrading CS2, scraped paint, Marshgate Lane bus stop closed.
London Loop: section 1, section 7, section 14, (section 16), section 22.

Ten favourite Out-of-London destinations
Eiffel Tower, March 20131) Paris: For a birthday treat I took myself to the French capital for the day, and je ne regrette rien. [photos]
2) York: A beautiful northern city - I tried to visit as much as I possibly could in a day.
3) Big Brother House: You may not have been impressed, but I got to sit in the actual chair, in the actual house, via the actual garden. [photos]
4) Bristol: There's much more to this city than its gorgeous suspension bridge. [photos]
5) Bekonscot: I hadn't been to this Bucks model village since I was six, and I'm glad to report it's just as magical today.
6) Saltaire: A Victorian mill village north of Bradford, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. [photos]
7) Library of Birmingham: This brand new civic building lives up to every good thing you've heard about it (and there's a great view from the roofs). [photos]
8) Salisbury & Stonehenge: All the international tourists do it, and you probably ought to too. [photos]
9) St Albans: The closest city to Greater London is packed with stuff to see, Roman or otherwise.
10) Amberley Museum: Stick this industrial heritage attraction on your to-do list for 2014.

Runners up: IWM Duxford, Joydens Wood, Gravesend, The British Postal Museum Store, Deal, Chess Valley Walk, Lullingstone, Brogdale, Bedford, Train Robbers' Bridge, Southend Pier, East Anglia Transport Museum, Mumbles, Henley → Marlow, Norwich, Heartwood Forest, Thanet, National Media Museum, Stewartby.

Ten other favourite posts from 2013:
The Greater London Solar System, View from the Shard, London Live TV, postcodes, NHS plc, Margaret Thatcher DIY obituary, bladdered, Parker's birthday, old for London, Uncle Jim's Fish Bar.

Half of my ten favourite photos of the year:
(or all ten here)

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