Well! There’s a thing! 50 posts on the Building London Blog in the past year or so!! Not something I originally expected thinking back to the spring of last year! So, very pleased! The original plan, aim, for this project was to produce a book, guidebook, to the materials, to their sites and buildings in London and their origin, part popular science and part tourist guide, and that still remains the long term plan, but, the suggestion of my step-son, Roo, to progress that aim via a blog was absolutely correct!
And it’s been a fantastic exercise! Learning in deep about the city we live! Digging out the stories associated with the sites, in and out of London! Visiting parts of London not seen before and seeing buildings that I’d been past repeatedly for decades, totally differently, seeing history and place coming together!
And some amazing highlights! Standing high above a Leicestershire granite quarry looking down 100s of meters into it’s depths, being rowed across flooded Cornish granite quarries, walking high up in to Welsh slate and granite quarries and going underground into Northamptonshire and Kentish stone mines!
I’ve really loved, and honestly been blown away by how supportive almost all of the people I have encountered on the way have been, them clearly enjoying sharing their passion and vocation and I hope I have reflected that in the thanks I have given in the relevant posts.
But it’s also been a bit of a rabbit hole! At times worryingly so! From the beginning I decided I wanted each post, each building material, each source to be correctly researched and referenced, something many blogs don’t do, ( and that’s absolutely not a criticism btw ) and so that has entailed significant time doing that research. Many, many hours staring at the computer screen reading obscure Victorian geology books etc, and reading the dozens of books bought over the past year now piled up on what should be a desk! But as the initial research is being done and the references logged on the blog, in the future many more posts will be shorter, more punchy, more pictorial. And there are dozens and dozens more posts in the pipeline! :-O 😀
Posts in the pipeline includes ones on Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Dean’s Yard, Kent stone mines, St Pancras and the Euston Arch, Westminster, Waterloo, Battersea and many more bridges. And visits out of London to Leeds, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Portland, the source of one of London’s key building stones, are also all being planned!
And some thanks. First to my mum who died in August this year, who was always very supportive, although she wanted more stories of the individuals involved, and that may happen at some point, Max, my London and South-East England, fellow explorer, Zoe for helping me get this all going in Cornwall, Cordelia for the Gog Cymru slate quarries recommendations and walks , Matt at The Londonist for linking to my Watergate Street post and giving me an unexpected, and ongoing boost, my step-son Roo for the suggestion to do a blog in the first place ( embarrassingly it hadn’t occurred to me ) and all the dozens of quarry operators, library staff and others who have helped along the way!
So onwards to the next 50! Please keep checking in and reading and ‘follow’/sign up, then any posts will come straight to you! And if you like what you read please give the posts a like and please comment and feedback if you have any thoughts!