853’s top 10 posts of 2011

Early night or hair of the dog? While I wrestle with 2012’s first big dilemma, here’s the most read new posts on 853 from the past 12 months.

1. Riots: Woolwich sweeps up, Greenwich locks down (9 August)
(You’ll spot a bit of a theme in this year’s top 10. The riots saw huge increases in traffic for this and other local websites, and a few of those new readers have stuck around. If you’re one of them, a belated welcome.)
2. Greenwich Foot Tunnel is now officially closed (17 February)
(It’s not any more, but there’s still a huge demand for information about the Greenwich Foot Tunnel – information that, for a time last year, Greenwich Council simply wasn’t giving out.)
3. The night the looters stole from us all (9 August)
(“There’s been a lot of bullshit and rumours tonight.”)
4. Say cheese! It’s Woolwich’s Olympic shooting venue (6 April)
(For all the tantrums over Greenwich Park, it was actually the emergence of Woolwich Common’s shooting venue which brought about the biggest Olympic talking point.)
5. ‘Failing’ Blackheath Bluecoat school faces closure (13 September)
(If this was in Harlesden or Brixton, I’d expect this story would have gone London-wide now. But the sad tale of Blackheath Bluecoat has struggled to make it into the local papers, never mind anywhere else.)
6. Blackheath’s festival organisers speak out (18 February)
(Tom, Terry and Alex finally got their festival – but On Blackheath has had to wait until this September.)
7. Violent attack on cyclist in Bexley Village (8 July)
(Dartford thug John Nicholls captured on camera. He was later fined.)
8. Greenwich Peninsula Festival plans set sail (10 March)
(Like On Blackheath, a controversial event that never really got local press coverage for a time. I’ve neglected this a bit recently – I hope to find out the latest on Frank Dekker’s big scheme soon.)
9. Pulling the plug on the BBC’s internet history (25 January)
(I didn’t do much non-SE London stuff in 2011 – but this post about the BBC’s plan to delete old websites went far and wide. 11 months on, plenty of those sites remain live.)
10. All quiet on the south-eastern front (8 August)
(It didn’t last that way for long.)

Just bubbling under: Nationwide Building Society abandoning SE London, the Charlton Asda fire which never was (given a late boost by porky-spreader Fleet Street Fox pontificating on Charlie Brooker’s 2011 Wipe), and a shedload of Southeastern stuff starting with Olympic train cuts, a story one local councillor refused to believe. Hopefully this particular chap will be more up to speed in 2012.

Satisfyingly, most of the list contains stories which weren’t being covered elsewhere at the time, and I hope to do more of that in what’s going to be a fascinating 12 months ahead. Happy new year!


  1. Happy New Year Darryl and (selfishly) may you still have enough spare time to write 853.. I only discovered your blog recently, it’s excellent – great to read stuff that’s based on finding things out, rather than standard blogosphere opinions, having a moan etc.

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