This post is about what I’ve done with salisburyandstonehenge.net in 2012.
As of the 21st of December, I’ve published 121 posts on Salisbury and Stonehenge as well as a few static pages. I’ve tried a few new things – some ‘worked’ some didn’t.
Salisbury’s Road Names
My peculiar fascination with Salisbury’s road names continues. The first ‘odonymic’ post of the year was about Greyhound Lane, Wilton and the last one on Gawthorne Drive, Harnham. Gawthorne owned both the Red Lion and the Cathedral Hotel and was the captain of Salisbury’s first fire brigade, whereas some people think that the word ‘greyhound’ is derived from ‘gazehound’ – the breed has acute sight but little sense of smell, apparently.
In between there have been posts about Gibbs Mew brewery(Gibbs Close), a not-universally-popular Bishop (Gilbert Way), the link between my favourite psychobilly band the Cramps and Postman Pat (Glendale Crescent), the worlds premier opera festival Glyndebourne Close, ‘Amazing Grace’ Grace Close, the late, lamented GrangeGrange Gardens and more about monks Greyfriars Close.
There was also a ridiculously detailed post ‘inspired’ by Gramshaw Terrace about Edward Slow’s poem ‘Tha Hurcott Hunt’.
I’ve continued to post about Salisbury news that I’ve found on the internet and elsewhere. I’ve moved from doing summary posts to individual ones to a mixture of the two.
Many of these aren’t very detailed but some of them reflect the higlights of what’s occurred in Salisbury and the surrounding area over the last year:
- Salisbury playing Sheffield United in the FA Cup
- The publication of a ‘Core Strategy Development Plan’ for South Wiltshire – there’s detail about where new houses are going to go etc. It’s worth a read
- The announcement of Wiltshire Police Commissioner Election
- The royal visit – I hardly covered this at all. I’m a knee-jerk republican, and I was at work anyway. I have typed up a list of Royal Visits to Salisbury through the years
- Michael Johnson carrying the Olympic Torch in Salisbury – I did get some photos of the previous days events. I might post them on the anniversary
- New plans for Salisbury Market Place
- The similarity between Olympic Ceremony Hill and Downton Moot – not sure anyone else on the planet watching the Opening Ceremony thought “it’s Downton Moot”, but I did!
- The publication of Cornelia Funke’s ‘Ghost Story’ – I’ve started to do a commentary on this wonderful, spooky ghost story based in Salisbury
- ‘Come Dine With Me’ came to Salisbury
- Salisbury Illuminated Carnival – everybody I know who went said the Carnival was fantastic.
- Salisbury Fashion Week
- The Christmas Market war with Winchester – the poster in Castle Road went up, came down, then went up again
- The redevelopment of Salisbury Maltings – I’m a bit worried about this. I’m not sure how wide the ‘consultation’ will really be
There have been some interesting (or interesting-ish) news items about ‘the grey monster of Salisbury Plain’.
At the end of last year I posted some photos from the
Then there was a lot in the media about ‘proof’ that the bluestones were hauled from Craig Rhos-y-felin (Stonehenge news: Craig Rhos-y-felin, rocking horses and a Stone at the Stones). In June, Mike Parker-Pearson’s new book was published (Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson). More exciting still (or not!) in August a film crew descended on the Stones to film the sequel to the movie ‘Thor’ (Thor at Stonehenge).
Shocking news in September – the Eiffel Tower is ‘worth more’ than Stonehenge (Stonehenge worth less than the Eiffel Tower), although as far as I’m aware, neither is up for sale. Work has started on the new Visitor Centre (hooray!) and replica neolithic huts are planned (Neolithic Huts at Stonehenge)
The laser scanning of the Stonehenge seems to have revealed some interesting stuff, although I think a lot of it was already known or conjectured to a greater or lesser extent. There’s a 60-or-so page report on line somewhere. I thought I’d read it before writing anything, but I haven’t so far got around to it.
Finally on Stonehenge, I posted a piece about Thomas Warton’s 17th Century poem ‘Written at Stonehenge‘. This probably took longer to actually see the light of day than any other post I’ve published – partly because there was a lot of interesting obscure stuff to look at, and partly because I could procrastinate for England! The poems only a dozen lines long or so, but it takes in the Danes, Druids, Troy and the Night of the Long Knives. In a moment of madness (and lack of mobile connectivity), I created a few extra lines myself. They are truly appalling.
The expanding digital empire of Salisburyandstonehenge.net
I’ve been tweeting as @salisbury_matt for some time. Some of the stuff is salisbury-and-stonehenge-related, a lot of it isn’t. I’ve got in the habit of announcing when a new blog post is published, so if you follow me you’ll know when there’s new stuff.
You can also subscribe by email if you want – there’s a box on the right hand side of each page on the website.
I’ve also resurrected the Salisbury and Stonehenge Facebook page. I’m no longer posting any content to the Facebook page which isn’t on this website, but if you want to have a summary of new content from SalisburyandStonehenge.net show up in your Facebook timeline-thing then I think this will happen if you ‘Like’ the page.
I’ve also got a cunning plan to start using a second Twitter account called @sarum_matt. I don’t know whether this will work, but the idea is to tweet ‘what happened in Salisbury history today’ trivia every day. I’ve collected a couple of screen-fulls of dates and events. I’ll post something here when I’ve got it going.
What’s not worked
There are a couple of things I’ve done over the last year that haven’t worked at all or haven’t worked as well as I’d hoped. The website isn’t anywhere close to breaking even financially. Some of the affiliate and other adverts do partially offset the cost of running the website. So it’s a relatively cheap hobby! I enjoy it, and I’ve learned a lot.
I tried to run a ‘list of forthcoming events’, but gave it up – it’s comparatively tedious to do, and I worry about getting stuff wrong.
I didn’t make as much progress on the pages about ‘Ghost Knight’, but they’ve been fun to do. There will be more to come.
And I made no further progress at all on describing the rail journey from London to Salisbury. My passengers are marooned at Basingstoke. I enjoy doing this, so hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
All the best for 2013
I’m really grateful that people have taken the time to read some of the stuff I’ve written here. I’ve particularly enjoyed chatting about this sort of stuff with people on Twitter. Thank you.
All the best for 2013 – may the road rise up to meet you, and the sun be always at your back.
- An ‘odonym’ is a road name. I made ‘odonymic’ up. I’m not sure if an interest in road names make you an odophile or a odonist. Neither sound very good. [↩]
- The phrase ‘the grey monster of Salisbury Plain’ is shamelessly borrowed from the best-website-on-the-internet, Clonehenge [↩]
- I’m a little vague on details, I’m not great at Facebook [↩]