853’s top 10 posts of 2012

Twilight from a bus window, 31 December 2012

It was a wet end to a memorable year. Like the view out of the bus window above (can you guess where it is?) it’ll be a while until we know exactly what we’re looking at when we look back at 2012. But with so much going on, what stood out on this website? Here’s the top 10 from last year.

1) Olympic parking permits – a right Royal Greenwich cock-up (11 June)
(More than twice as many page views as the second story on this list, a LOCOG contractor ballsing-up parking permits during the Olympics caused fear and worry which Greenwich Council wasn’t able to calm. In the end, though – just as during 2000 – parking was a non-issue.)

2) First look inside Woolwich Common’s Olympic shooting venue (12 December 2011)
(With all the hoo-ha over Greenwich Park, the effects of the Olympics on Woolwich Common never got a look-in. But it wasn’t that people didn’t care.)

3) Will Tesco save or strangle Woolwich? (26 November)
(A massive worry, but under-reported in a borough where the council runs the most-seen newspaper. The jury remains out.)

4) Run to the Beat’s baffling road closure leaflet (9 October)
(All people want is information, honestly-delivered. If they don’t get information, they get angry. The consequences of a shambolic race are certainly still being felt in Woolwich Town Hall, and I’ll be keeping an eye on this in 2013.)

5) Council eyes 40,000-capacity arena for Greenwich Peninsula (16 February)
(Still seems barely-believable now. What happens when a council gets too close to developers.)

6) Silvertown Tunnel: Boris sacrifices Greenwich to win votes in Bexley (12 January 2012)
(The petition’s doing well – have you signed it?)

7) No horses, no Irish – NOGOE goes back to the 70s (22 February 2012)
(The jaw-dropping implosion of the anti-Greenwich Park Olympics campaign, which finally fizzled out during the Games themselves. Apparently LOCOG were lucky “with the weather [and that] there was no terrorist attack“.) (Correction: They’re still moaning.)

8) Greenwich peninsula cable car station: Final design revealed (8 May)
(The first half of 2012 was spent watching the mayor’s cable car appear…)

9) No Travelcards on the two-speed Thames Cable Car (19 June)
(…and the second half was spent watching it carry fresh air.)

10) Blackheath or Greenwich: How was your Olympics big screen? (28 July)
(For all the backslapping over the Olympics in Greenwich, Lewisham Council’s simple decision to stick a big screen up on Blackheath was one of the best of all.)

Also well-read in 2012: The Stephen Lawrence verdict (4 January), Greenwich’s Peninsula Festival closes its doors (7 August) and Has Greenwich Council blown a chance to transform Woolwich? (24 September), followed by various foot tunnel stories.

What’s coming up in 2013? We’ll finally see whether Blackheath, Greenwich Park and Woolwich Common will recover after being borrowed by the Olympics – and we should also get the On Blackheath music festival on 7 and 8 September as well as the return of the Greenwich Summer Sessions. Get set to see more tall ships on the Thames, too. At Greenwich Council, minds will turn towards the 2014 election. Maybe the foot tunnels will be fixed, too. Well, we can all dream.

Thanks for your comments and emails in what was a fascinating and busy year, particularly during the summer (and sorry for those I never responded to or followed up). Thanks also to Rob at greenwich.co.uk, who’s been excellent company at press events and council meetings, but has decided to move into pastures new, at least for the time being. His understandable decision means there’s even fewer eyes keeping an eye on Greenwich Council – something that should trouble us all. The calendar’s quieter for 2013, but there’ll no doubt be a few surprises on the way, and hopefully I’ll be able keep on delivering a few of them here. Happy new year!


  1. Has anyone else still got their parking permit on their car? Or is it just my husband.. i keep asking him to remove it but no joy.

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