FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The year in review

Posted in England by folkestonejack on December 31, 2014

As the new year beckons I can only marvel at just how much it is possible to pack into a year, with the particular delight of seeing a rather wonderful festival of German steam midway through.

Steaming through Zwingenberg

Steaming through Zwingenberg

The Dampfspektakel 2014 may yet prove to be the last event of its kind, so it was something to be savoured whilst it lasted. I was delighted with the photographs that resulted, the result of good planning and patience (although some pressganged participants might argue they required a little too much patience!). It must have generated some interest, as my round up from the event was the most read post of the year.

Other popular topics were my brief updates on the many naval visitors to the Thames and the developments taking place in Folkestone Harbour. The full top ten looks like this:

  1. Dampfspektakel 2014
  2. Poppies at the Tower
  3. The first trip
  4. Alexander von Humboldt II
  5. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Open for business
  6. Niedersachsen F208
  7. The last days of the Folkestone Harbour branch
  8. Luigi in London
  9. Thames Barrier closure no. 48
  10. All change at Folkestone Harbour

Another personal highlight was the discovery of the stunning beauty of Malta. I’ve mentioned this to a few people and they have been genuinely surprised at my eagerness to return. It is fair to say the country tends to evoke a marmite response from past visitors – there is no middle ground, people seem to either love or hate the place.

I am already plotting a return to Malta in a year or two, hoping to see the results of all the restoration work on the island. In the meantime, I have revived a few memories with Nicholas Monsarrat’s wonderful novel The Kappillan of Malta (1973) and the story of a priest on the island during the dark days of World War II.

Tug Maria C passes Fort Ricasoli in the golden hour

Tug Maria C passes Fort Ricasoli in the golden hour

The beautiful city of Valletta

The beautiful city of Valletta

Other highlights of my 2014 have included the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, a wonderful night watching the British team pursuiters at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London and the marvellous James Plays at the National Theatre.

At the opposite extreme, my unexpected week in hospital after an insect bite was a strange interruption to the year. I am hoping that 2015 will be a little less dramatic, though to be doubly sure I won’t be venturing into my back garden without the insect-proofed gardening gloves I got for Christmas!

I dread to think how many photographs I have taken across the span of the year, but here are a few from 2014 that hadn’t previously made the cut…



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