I deem that it is time for a dose of omphaloskepsis, and to find out which of my miserable scrawlings captured your attention the most during the past year.

Not the easiest of years, with surgery in January that was supposed to have me recovered in a few days that actually took several months, and was a right pain (literally) to deal with. I also found out that home delivery of food now needs a very high minimum spend, which is difficult for a single person to achieve without stocking up on loads of frozen food, and booze.

Things were settling down nicely until the most exceptionally annoying thing I have had to deal with in years – the persistent hacking attacks on the website. In all my years of managing websites I’ve never seen anything as aggressive and persistent as this. The level of attacks being more suited to a bank or retailer than a small information website.

What was particularly stress inducing is that the hacker was spoiling the pages, while leaving them active resulting in lots of emails from people accusing me of ruining the website with adverts and the like.

Eventually, the problem was solved at some cost to the wallet and the nerves, even if I still wake up in the middle of the night at times and feel compelled to check if the website is working.

However, this year also saw a number of great opportunities to write about some amazing things. Of course, writing is it’s own reward, but there is still a frisson of excitement when something you’ve written turns out to be popular or eye-opening.

From being able to show of the amazing Bank tube station upgrade project, to spending time researching myths and debunking them, writing is a salve that restores the mind.

It’s a privilege to be in a position to use the website to get access to off-limits places and share them with a wider audience so the more people can see what goes on behind closed doors and building site hoardings.

Onward to 2019!

The top 10 countdown of what you read in 2018

(note, these are individual articles, if I were to do it by category, the alleys of London series would trump the lot, which is lovely)

  1. Behind the scenes at London Underground’s Bank tube station upgrade
    • London Underground don’t often let people into their construction sites, so this, after months of planning was a highlight for me, and a great opportunity to show off a really big and transformative building project.
       
  2. London’s Pedways are back – and they’re magnificent
    • Probably the best bit of architecture to open this year, and a delight to walk along.
       
  3. London Underground releases a new tube map
    • As the old saw goes, everyone loves a new tube map, and this one was notable for what was missing (Elizabeth line) as much as what was new (walking routes).
       
  4. Details released for RAF’s 100th birthday flypast over Central London
    • One of my favourite types of article – to find about something people are likely to be annoyed they missed seeing, and tell them how to see it. A magnificent display that excited a lot of people (and annoyed a handful who felt offended that it was during the working week), and was stunning to watch.
       
  5. London smallest police station, in Trafalgar Square… isn’t what it’s claimed to be
    • This was sparked by trying to look for the man that every other website said was responsible for the “police box”, and who didn’t seem to exist. And a day in the National Archives uncovered the truth about this famous attraction.
       
  6. The 80 year old tube train that could run on the Underground again
    • A project that is fundraising to get some old tube trains back on the rails and carrying passengers again is always going to peek your interest.
       
  7. This Tudor London map overlay is marvelous
    • The Layers of London project is doing amazing things with maps, as as a bit of a historical maps obsessive, not only is this a clever way of showing them, it’s damn useful as well.
       
  8. See inside Crossrail’s Farringdon Station
    • This was supposed to be just a preview, a short lived article that would offer nothing of interest a few months later. How little we knew.
       
  9. Hackney Wick’s brutalist new London Overground station opens
    • After the disappointment of the previous item, this was a triumphant opening of a very exciting development on the Overground.
       
  10. Elizabeth line opening date set for 9th December
    • Erm, well that article aged well didn’t it.

And finally:

The IanVisits website has been running now for just over a decade, initially as a personal blog, later adding the events listings guide to the offbeat and geeky events in London.

A hobby is now taking up a lot more time and energy to report on wider topics, of history, architecture, and of course, transport.

Apart from time — which as I hold down a full-time job is in short supply — the website has operating costs to keep it alive.

Advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but increasing demands on hosting costs, particularly following recent events causing the website to need to be “hardened” above normal hosting standards, have made it more expensive to run.

Having failed miserably at winning the lottery, it’s time to seek alternative options.

That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It’s very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of the IanVisits website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what IanVisits provides, then please support the website here.

Thank You

Ian

Also on ianVisits

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Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

12 comments on “Your most read articles on IanVisits during 2018
  1. Maurice Reed says:

    Great work Ian.

    Best of luck in 2019 let’s hope it’s better than 2018

  2. JP says:

    Bravo Ian. I am somewhat bereft every time that I go and cut the hedges for the aged parents in deepest darkest Dorset and am sans internet access. Grateful that my life is not Online and Offline as I hear ever more frequently on the no.11 bus, nonetheless I greet the 21st century at the train station and devour your scribblings with joy.
    Thanks a bundle for your regular and inciteful entertainment.
    Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year, with a bit of CrossLiz line thrown in at the end…

  3. Thank you, Ian, for all of your wonderful writing. I hope that you have a happy and healthy New Year.

  4. Thanks for your efforts this year; in spite of the persistence of attackers, another year of quality articles, thank you!

  5. GT says:

    Thank you – very much.
    Glad the hacker(s) were defeated.
    PLEASE: Keep up the “Alleys” & “Pocket Parks” items – a perennial source of interest.

  6. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Looking forward to more new information in 2019. Happy New Year.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thank you, Ian, for a great website and weekly newsletter. I am very glad you overcome a fair number of difficulties this past year.

    With best wishes for 2019!

    Andrew

  8. Alex Bird says:

    Thank you, Ian, for all of your efforts in the face of adversity. I greatly enjoy your blog posts, particularly the railway news roundup. Your exhibitions closing soon is a helpful reminder of the things I need to get out and see.

    All the best for a hopefully trouble-free and prosperous new year.

  9. Nicholas Bennett says:

    Happy New Ian and very many thanks for all your work. I’ve been to quite a few events that you have listed an I’m really grateful for your notifications. As a rail enthusiast your rail news is a must read.

    Good up the good work.

    Best wishes from a loyal reader.

  10. Julian says:

    Echoing the previous comments. Thanks Ian, always an interesting read.

  11. Annie says:

    Thanks from me too Ian, really appreciate all the interesting articles and information.
    Best wishes for 2019

  12. ADS says:

    many thanks for persevering. i’ve setup a (small) quarterly payment to help pay for the running costs.

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