Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Is it snowing right now in Derbyshire, check out the live webcams to see.

This image is from one of the many live webcams we have in Derbyshire.
This webcam is located at Grindleford Village in the Peak District.

As we fast approach Christmas day you may be wondering if its going to snow on the big day. Well using the many live Derbyshire webcams you can see what the weather is like around the County without having to venture out.

If you want to see if its snowing on the day then check out my..
Derby and Derbyshire Webcams page.

I also list lots of other webcams at the bottom of the webcam page.

Here are a few other webcams in the UK
so you can see where it is currently snowing :

UK Map with many webcams on it, simply click on a webcam to view it:
A full UK map showing webcams.

Snow cams:

Castle Street, Dornoch, Sutherland, Northern Scotland.

Swaledale, North Yorkshire.


Wednesday 16 December 2009

Creating a personalised photo calendar using Paint Shop Pro

Get the free 2010 templates here : http://www.absolutelyandy.com/calendars/

Looking for a personalized gift this Christmas that will be enjoyed all year?
I will show you how easy it is to create your own personalised photo calendar.
Include images of friends, family, ancestors, or special places on your calendar to remind you of special people or events.
Photo calendars are a very thoughtful unique gift and they last all year.

Please watch the tutorial video first so you can see how quick and easy it really is to make a calendar.

So what do you need to be able to make your own photo calendars?
1) The Calendar templates (these are provided free).
2) Corel/Jasc Paint Shop Pro v7/8/9/10/11/Photo X2 (or any graphics package that supports layers).
3) 12 images of your choice.
4) A Colour printer
5) Some Matt finish photographic paper (aka high resolution photo paper).
I use..
Sumivision Matte Coated Inkjet Paper, this is 128g/m2 and costs just £3 for 100 sheets from a local compueter shop called PCB-Plus at 1 Jubilee Parkway, Derby.

Feel free to pass this tutorial around.

Monday 30 November 2009

Bonnie Prince Charlie battle re-enactment this weekend.

This weekend, Saturday 5th December 2009 and Sunday 6th December 2009 see the return after a two year break of this annual re-enactment.

The video above is one I made of the 2006 battle on Derby Cathedral Green.

On Saturday, a camp will be set up by Jacobite re-enactors at Swarkestone, which will be overwhelmed by Redcoat soldiers loyal to King George, then retaken by the Prince's men.
Map location :

On Sunday, the Jacobite army will enter Derby, marching from the Council House down East Street and St Peter's Street and across the Market Place to Iron Gate, where they will challenge the mayor.
This starts at 12:00
Do NOT got to Wilmot Street where it normally starts from otherwise you will miss the entire march!

Interactive Route map for the march:

View Jacobite re-enactment marching route in Derby. in a larger map

The bronze statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie on horseback that takes pride and place on the new Cathedral Green is by sculptor Anthony Stones and was unveiled in 1995, to mark the 250th Anniversary of the Prince's advance to the city.

Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie :

Interesting video about Bonnie Prince Charlie by Billy Connolly.

View my photographs from previous Bonnie Prince Charlie events :
2003 in Derby
2004 in Derby
2004 at Swarkestone
2005 in Derby

Turn up and show your support for all the people that take part in this re-enactment.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Windows 7 Audio Driver for ASUS K8V-VM motherboard, Solution to missing sound.

Have you tried the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating System yet?
If you had stuck with Windows XP rather than going over to the rather unstable Vista then you may want to try the new Windows 7 OS. Its a lot better than Vista, not difficult I know!
The ASUS K8V-VM Motherboard.
 I have installed it on an older machine which has an Asus K8V-VM motherboard in it.
It found all the hardware and installed all the drivers but there was no sound at all.
The Volume icon on the system tray showed a red cross in it, hovering over it showed "You do not have speakers or headphone plugged in", even though it did have.
It took quite a while to sort this problem out so I thought I would share this with anyone else out there who has no sound on their ASUS motherboard after installing Windows 7.

The driver I found fixed the problem and I now have sound on Windows 7.
Normally you would visit the download section of the Motherboard manufacturer but the audio drivers offered on the ASUS website for the K8V-VM would not install on Windows 7, but not to worry as I have the solution for you here.

It may be time to think about getting a new PC, ready to go systems are very cheap these days and come with Windows 7 installed so you know all the hardware is going to be compatible with it :

Here are the specifics :

The motherboard (Mainboard) is a ASUS K8V-VM, This uses an Audio Codec "Realtek ALC660" which is a 6-Channel Codec.

To get the Audio Driver you need to visit the website for the actual manufacturer of the Audio Codec.

So visit :

Click The Downloads button at the top of the page.
Click the High Definition Audio Codecs (Software) link
Tick "I accept the above" then wait for the page to update then click Next.
You will now see a page of files available for download, at the top of this list is..

Vista, Windows7 Driver (32/64 bits) Driver only (ZIP file)R2.37 2009/11/20 38690k

Click on the first Go link for Site 1 and download the ZIP file.
Once complete, extract all the files from it and run the setup.exe file.
Run through the installation and it will ask you to reboot.
You now have sound !

This codec may fix the no audio problem on many Asus motherboards. I notice on the Realtek site there is a seperate section for downloading Windows 7 drivers for the following codecs..

Please leave comment if this fixed the no audio problem on Windows 7.

UPDATE: I have noticed over the last few days that sometimes the sound stops working, looking in the devices shows that the driver has gone which is rather strange. Reinstalling it again brings it back to life, I had to do this about 5 times but then it seemed to stay working for ever. Bare this in mind.

If this happens again then I have a permanent solution and that is to buy a USB External Sound Card.
The one I'm looking at is a Creative Soundblaster X-fi Go, this DOES work with Windows 7 and you dont even need to open up your pc to install it.

Sunday 22 November 2009

iPhone UK TV streaming service for all the main UK TV channels

This is absolutely amazing, its NOT an App its a FREE website that allows you to watch 27 UK TV stations almost live (about 15-25 second delayed).
The quality of the video is stunning on 3G. Not even tried it on Wifi yet as 3G quality was amazing.

So now anywhere in the UK you can watch BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Five, ITV 2, BBC three, Film 4, E4, More 4, 4 Music.
As long as you have a good 3G signal or wifi signal strength.
If you have ever used the BBC iPlayer you will have noticed that it only works on wifi where as this works on 3G.

To watch TV now

On your iPhone, Run Safari and goto:

Then click on Register, all you need is an email address and a password. The login details will also work on the Web version of the TV viewer on your PC.
Then click on one of the channels and after about 10 seconds it will start playing that TV channel.
At any point you can tap the screen and click the Done button and it will return you to the webpage that allows you to select another TV station to watch.

Its worth adding this to your homepage so it has its own icon (like an app has)
To do this goto the home page http://iphone.tvcatchup.com
then click the + button at the bottom of the Safari browser screen
Then click the Add to Home Screen button
Now edit the text as you wish, e.g. "TV Catchup" click the Add button.
Now if you press the home button on your iPhone you should see an icon on the home screen which will allow you to get to the TV channel selector page very quickly.

iPhone users who live outside of the UK trying to access the site will be informed they are “not authorized” to view the content.

This works on O2 3G but not sure if it works on Orange 3G, anyone confirm this?


Wednesday 18 November 2009

SmackTalk, One of the funniest Iphone Apps ever.

If you have an iPhone (or iTouch with headset mic) then this is one of those apps that you MUST have right NOW.

SmackTalk allows you to select one of several interactive characters that listen for a noise that rises above the background noise, like the sound of your voice. When it hears that a loud noise it starts recording. When it hears that you have stopped talking it stops recording and starts playing back the recording, only squeakier. The character moves about as though IT were talking. Of course once you hear it play back your voice in a funny squeaky manner it makes you laugh which then triggers off the recording again and once you stop laughing it plays your laugh back too!
There are also a few preset sounds at the bottom of the screen thay play when you touch them such as a Burp and a fart.

This app will have you in tears, so funny to see it.
This app costs just 59p

In your App store search for smacktalk

Let me know what you think of this app. If you don't find it funny at all then there is something wrong with you.

Friday 13 November 2009

Derby Christmas Lights Switch On 2009 with Eoghan Quigg from X Factor

Derby's Christmas Lights Switch On takes place THIS WEEKEND on Saturday 14th November.

Derby Market Place
Details for Saturday 14 November 2009:
4.00pm - Market Place Event begins
4.15pm - Parade leaves the Spot
5.20pm - Eoghan Quigg performs on stage.
5.45pm - 2009 Derby xmas Lights Switch-On

Derby’s festive celebrations will be given the X Factor when two of the stars from last year’s show switch on the Westfield and city centre Christmas lights in a joint ceremony and parade.

X-Factor finalist Laura White will switch on the lights at Westfield Derby at 2.30pm before attention switches to Market Place, where teenage sensation Eoghan Quigg will light up the city centre.

The Christmas parade will leave The Spot at 4.15pm, where a fairytale horse and carriage, carrying Santa, The Snow Queen and Ugly Sisters will proceed into the Market Place, arriving at 4.45pm.

Entertainment begins in the Market Place at 4pm, hosted by RAM FM's Dino & Pete.

At 4.10pm there will be traditional Christmas songs from the cast of Beyond the Barricade at Christmas, who will be performing their whole show at Derby LIVE's Assembly Rooms at 7.30pm.

This will be followed by performances from Fame Factor Runners-up, dance act Dynamite, followed by Fame Factor winner, contortionist Lucy Mather and The Ugly Sisters from the Pantomime.

Eoghan Quigg will top the bill, performing at around 5.20pm and the City's Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.45pm

More details : 2009 Derby Christmas Lights switch on.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

How to get the cheapest first class train tickets from Derby to London.

Please watch in HD and fullscreen for best clarity.

The train ticketing system in the UK is extremely complicated to understand.
Here in this tutorial I will demonstrate how easy it can be to track down the cheapest prices for your journey from Derby to London in First Class. You can use this method for any train journey of course and you don’t have to travel First Class.

You may be asking yourself why not just do the whole thing on the Trainline website, well the simple reason is they charge a £1 booking fee, plus an extra £3.50 for credit card payments and also a charge to have the tickets posted to you. So for this reason I think its best to use their site as a tool and then go and book the tickets in person. This avoids all those extra charges and you get the tickets in your hand rather than them getting held up by the postal strikes.

Why go First Class?
Once you have tried first class you won’t want to go Standard Class again, on a longer journey such as Derby to London (1 Hour 31 Min or more) it makes the journey a lot more relaxing. Travelling by first class often costs only an extra £5, or sometimes such as in my example video only £1 extra.

So what do you get in First Class on East Midland Trains?
1) Extra roomy seats to work or relax
2) Free newspapers
3) Free cups of tea/Coffee (served in a proper cup)
4) Free bottled water
5) Free snack cake
6) Mains socket for a laptop or mobile phone charging.
7) First Class menu with waitress service to your seat. (Food is not free)
8) Better clientele, so no noisy children kicking the back of your seat!
9) Reserved seats

Its worth pointing out that if you travel on a weekend or bank holiday then you do not get items 2 to 5 above which is why I have recommended weekday travel to get the most out the first class experience.
You never know who you may see in First Class, last time we went first class Jimmy Carr was in the same carrage!

Useful Notes
At weekend or bank holidays there are sometimes engineering works and other disruptions from time to time so its worth checking before you commit to buying tickets. East Midlands Trains have a dedicated page which lists any alterations to train services, usually for planned engineering works:

Be flexible
In order to achieve the lowest possible prices for your journey you need to be flexible in your travel times. For example if you go into this with set times in your mind of when you want to travel then you will pay a lot more.
Using the dates in my tutorial if you were to decide that you want the following travel times 27th November leaving Derby at 07.05 arriving in London at 8.57 First class ticket is £115 and 1st December leaving London at 18.55 arriving in Derby at 20.46 First class ticket is £62
So thats a total of £177 return, This goes to prove that you need to be willing to adjust your travel times about to maximise the savings.

Book well ahead
Contractually Network Rail must have the timetable set 12 weeks in advance,
Booking as early as possible gives you the best chance of being able to buy the
cheapest ticket for the journey you want to make. I have found in practice that you can still get real cheap tickets even just a few weeks before you want to travel as in this tutorial example.

Reserved Seats
When you get onto the 1st class coach and look for your seats you will notice a scrolling green message above your seats saying "Reserved Derby to London".
When you book your tickets you can choose if you want to be facing in the direction of travel and if you want a table with 4 seats or two.

Save more money by using the 2 for 1 London tickets.
There is a great website that you can use that allows you 2FOR1 entry to over 100 top London attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and more, when you travel by train to London:
In August barriers were installed at both Derby and St Pancras. When you get to St Pancras you put the ticket in the barrier and it will take the ticket from you so you will need to keep your inward bound tickets as proof when you use the 2 for 1 system.

St Pancras London
St Pancras station is where your journey will end, from here you can get on an underground train to anywhere or even the Eurostar to Paris.

Music Credits :
Fountains of Life by Champius
Licensed under Creative Commons

The Photograph of East Midland Trains at start is by Stephen Craven and licensed under Creative Commons.

The small timelapse video journey along London Road/Midland Road to the Railway station was filmed on 8th November 2009 at 14.57

Another reason for making this tutorial was so I could learn how to get to grips with Camtasia studio to capture my actions on screen. I will be making tutorials soon on how to make any sound into an iPhone ringtone and some Sony Vegas 9 stuff too.

If you found my tutorial on how to get the cheapest first class train tickets of use then please rate and comment. Do you have any handy tips?


Tuesday 10 November 2009

Gadget Show, Great show for latest hardware reviews. Watch online.

If you have not seen The Gadget show on Five TV before and are into technology and hardware reviews then you can now watch this show live online using Five Tv on demand service which is free to use.
The consumer technology show is hosted by Jason Bradbury, Jon Bentley, Suzi Perry and Ortis Deley.

Watch the latest episode here : Gadget Show ondemand.
The previous 14 shows are also on there ready to watch when you want for free.

You can play them fullscreen too just like the BBC iPlayer service.
n.b. You have to sit through a 1 minute advert at the start of the show which you can not fast forward through.

The Gadget show is as good as the BBCs Click program.
Also you can win a massive set of prizes on this show, and I really do mean a massive set of prizes.

Update 19th August 2011:
Not sure if today's show was in Derby but the address you have to post your competition answer to is in Derby. Perhaps the house where all the gadgets were that Brian Belo managed to name was in Derby?
The Question was...
Morocco is in which continent?
a) South America
b) Europe
c) Africa
Post answer, name & contact phone number to GADGET SHOW 1601, PO Box 7557, Derby, DE1 0NP

The Gadget show is one of my favourite programs, always interesting stuff to see.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Pingtest.net - Check your Broadband connection round-trip time.

There is a new test now available for your broadband connection, this one is to test the ping time of your connection. See my results above.

A Ping test measures the round-trip time and records any packet loss. If you are a serious gamer then the ping time is important, it can be a matter life or death!

Use Pingtest.net to determine the quality of your broadband Internet connection. Streaming media, voice, video communications, and online gaming require more than just raw speed.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Video : Ripley, Sawmills, Ambergate, Belper, Milford.

Here is my latest video in my Derbyshire villages by car series.
This one is a drive from Ripley to Milford passing through Sawmills, Ambergate, and Belper.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Video : Heage to Ripley via Upper Hartshay, Derbyshire by car.

Here is my latest video in my Derbyshire villages by car series.
This one is a drive from Heage to Ripley via Upper Hartshay.

Driving Route Map:

View Heage to Ripley driving route (YT video) in a larger map

Monday 2 November 2009

Markeaton Park Fireworks Fiasco or Great night out?

Last Thursday I promoted Sundays Markeaton Firework display on my blog and put the start time for the fireworks as 6.00.

Looking into this a bit more on the Saturday I spotted that this was an hour earlier than it is normally due to start but 6.00 is what it said on all websites I had looked at.

On Sunday having googled for this event I was suprised to see that the first link to show up in google was a page on Ram Fm website that said the start time was 7.00
There was another webpage on their site that listed the correct 6.00 start time but that was much further down.

I was driving down Friar Gate at about 5.55 and could see hundreds of people walking towards Markeaton Park and thought their leaving it a bit late to see the Fireworks, and will have already missed the Bonfire.

Looking on todays Derby Evening Telegraph web version I see this very issue has been mentioned in the comments section.

I notice on RamFm website now (6pm) that the page with the wrong details has been deleted leaving the other one intact.

http://www.ramfm.co.uk/article.asp?id=928116 The page with the Wrong Details.
http://www.ramfm.co.uk/Article.asp?id=1555076 The page with the Correct Details.

But through the power of Google Cache (which is why the words are highlighted in colours) I was able to retireve the page which is here:
This page was still live online at 06:28:31 GMT.

What is strange about this webpage is that at the bottom it says "sponsored by Ramada Encore Derby, opening November at Pride Park". Well that hotel has been open for a year. When I saw that I thought perhaps this webpage is actually for the 2008 display but it says the date is "Sunday 1 November" so it has to be 2009.
No idea whats happened there but someones made a right mess of it.

So were you one of the people that missed the display?

Friday 30 October 2009

Video : Breaston, Draycott, Borrowash. Derbyshire villages by car series.

Here is my latest video of Derbyshire villages by car in HD.

This video was recorded on Monday 31st August at 1244 and is a drive through the Derbyshire villages of Breaston and Draycott. The trip starts in Long Eaton and ends in Borrowash.

Music Credits :Snowflake - Gloria (angel mix with DoKashiteru)
Licensed under Creative Commons

Please rate and comment if you enjoyed this drive. Subscribe to keep upto date with my latest local videos.

Thursday 29 October 2009

Markeaton Park Bonfire and fireworks Display, Derby. 1st November

This video is of footage I took at the 2007 display, Well this weekend sees the 2009 display. The 22-minute free show is this Sunday, 1st November 2009.
This year will be better than ever, with 866 fireworks!

The fun kicks off in Markeaton Park with a sponsored fire-walk taking place in front of the stage from 5pm. Entertainment will be compared by Ram FM's Dino and Pete, and provided by finalists from Ram FM and Derby LIVE's Fame Factor.

The bonfire will be lit at 5.45pm and the fireworks begin at 6pm.
A fun-fair will be running from 2pm to 9pm and a variety of stalls will be selling hot food.
Access to Markeaton Park for the display is restricted for safety reasons.
The main entrance to the park, off the A38, will be open for pedestrians.
However, there will be no pedestrian access through the Mundy Play Centre, or across any of the three bridges into the park.
Markeaton Lane is being closed to all vehicles between 3pm and 9pm, to allow safe access for pedestrians.

Please note: The fireworks display is stated at being at 6 on all websites apart from one of two Ram FM pages which says 7!
The derby council website, derbylive website, derby telegraph website, bbc derby website ALL say 6 so not sure what the correct start time is. Someone seems to have made a mistake with the starting time, so be aware you may have to wait for an hour.

At this time (Thursday) the weather for Sunday looks very bad with wind and heavy rain but you never know it may be ok by the time we get to Sunday.

Map location for the Bonfire.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Creswell Crags art and photography competition

You may be interested in this..

Creswell Crags starts the search for the next big thing in the creative industry.
Deadline for entries 15th November

For the next exhibition to be held in the dynamic temporary gallery space, we want to showcase local creative talent.
Are you an artist or photographer?
Be inspired by the stunning scenery of Creswell Crags to produce your own piece of art. We will choose five entrants from each age range to be displayed in the new exhibition.
One over-all winner will be chosen by art professionals to have their entry made into a postcard which will be sold in Creswell Crags gift shop to commemorate the opening of our new visitor centre.

Use any medium, colour or black and white, to create a unique piece of art.

All entries will be considered and split into 3 groups 12 and under, 13-18
and 19 and over. The judges will choose five designs they consider to be the
best from each age category.

These images will be professional printed where necessary and displayed in
Creswell Crags exhibition space. From each category of finalists one piece
will be chosen to be made into a postcard.

For full details of entry requirements :

01909 720378

Friday 23 October 2009

Video : Staggered time shift time-lapse Night Driving experiment

In this video I have been experimenting with mixing multiple time-lapse sequences together along a staggered time-shifted timeline. I hope to create some more of these as I think the effect if pretty cool just using a second hand camera that cost £30 !

I wonder what this would look like projected onto a massive screen in a nightclub?

Please watch in HD mode and fullscreen for best results.

The video is made from lots of photographs taken with a cheap second-hand modified Canon Ixus 430 digital camera. Because each shot is a long exposure photograph of about 1 second it means that any light sources such as car lights or street lights become long light trails.

I created the video in Sony Vegas Pro 9 using the import image sequence option. The rendered file that has been uploaded to Youtube here is 252Mb

Driving Route :
Starting on Holcombe Street in Pear Tree, Derby
Left onto Dairy House Road, Pear Tree Road, Normanton Road, Mill Hill Lane, Mount Street, Burton Road, Abbey Street, Macklin Street, Becket Street, Wardwick, Cheapside, Strand, Wardwick, Cheapside, Bold Lane, Cathedral Road, Full Street, Corporation Street, Morledge,
St Alkmunds Way, Ford Street, Stafford Street, Friary Lane, Curzon Street, Uttoxeter New Road, Corden Avenue, Chain Lane, Burton Road, Manor Road, Uttoxter New Road, Uttoxeter Old Road, Friar Gate, Bridge Street, Agard Street, Ford Street, Friar Gate, Vernon Street, South Street, Uttoxter Old road, Slack Lane, Cheviot Street, Lyttelton Street, Brakensdale Avenue.

Music Credits :
Abyss 2 by Jesse Valentine
http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/278217Licensed under Creative Commons

Please let me know if you like it.

Thursday 22 October 2009

Script recording and Batch Processing of images in Paint Shop Pro 10.

If you use the timelapse app on the iPhone then you may find this tutorial useful as it can be followed to prepare your image sequence for HD Widescreen use on Youtube.

In this tutorial I have used Paint Shop Pro v10.03 which is not the latest version I know but this version does everything I need.
The current version Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 (PC DVD) probably still has this function.

Corel Paint Shop Pro X has some functions that you may find of use and thought I would share them with you. There are two functions I use often these are Scripts and Batch Processing.

I use these to process hundreds of time-lapse sequence photographs that I have taken with a digital camera. The most common process that I need to perform on all of the photographs is to crop them to 16:9 ratio and make resize them to 1280 x 720 pixels.
Hidden away in the File menu (see image below) is an option called Script, goto this and there is one called start Recording.

Once you click on this everything that you do to an image from now on will be recorded and can be played back to repeat what you have done to another image. Because its a recording it means it will replicate all actions the same, time and time again.
As an example lets say you have a lot of images 1600 x 1200 pixel photographs ready to process for use in a Youtube HD video. You will need to open the first image in PSPX, Select Start recording from the menu. Resize the width to 1280 pixels and click ok. This will make the image 1280x960 pixels (as it was taken with a digital camera).
Now goto the crop tool and type in 1280 for the width and 720 for the height. Move the crop rectangle up and down until you select a suitable area that you want to use and commit the crop.
You now have an image that is 1280x720 pixels (YouTube HD video frame ratio).
Now goto the Script menu option and select Save Recording and save the script you have just recorded into the scripts-Trusted folder.

C:\Documents and Settings\yourmachine_id\My Documents\My PSP Files\Scripts-Trusted\

Give your script a suitable name such as Resize to 1280x720.PspScript
Now this script is saved it can be used on a single image at any time by just going to the script menu and selecting Run and loading the script.

Batch Processing of images.
What if we need to apply these actions to on hundreds of images?, well that’s where Batch processing comes to the rescue.

We will assume now that you have recorded your script and saved it ready for use and that you have a folder full of hundreds of photographs ready to process.

In the File menu you may have noticed that two down from the script option is something called Batch Process, click on it and it will show you the Batch Process panel as below.

What this allows you to do is run a script on a sequence of images in a folder, then save them into another folder. You have full control on which images, what script, what image type and where they get saved. In this one panel you have great control. Its worth familiarising yourself with the different areas of this panel so you understand it.

When you first go into the Batch Process panel it will be blank. So click on the Browse button and locate the images you want to process. And select them using the usual methods (i.e. Control-A to select all or Control shift to select groups of images etc). Click ok and these images will be added into the Files to Process list area.
Now enable use script and Silent mode and click on the script menu selector so it shows all the scripts available. You should see the one you recorded earlier in this list, select it.

In the Save mode area click New type, for Type select jpg jpeg
Click on Options and set the compression quality as you require it.
Now click on the Browse button and select a suitable place to save all the modified images in.
Remember this batch process will not harm your original images, it will create a duplicate set of images that have been altered by the actions that you recorded in the script.
If you are happy to start then click the Start button and watch it at work.

Paint Shop Pro has been around for many years and keeps getting better all the time.

Hope you found this of use, if so please leave a nice comment.

Monday 19 October 2009

Video : Long Eaton by car

Here is my latest driving video of Derbyshire, this time through the town of Long Eaton.

Points of Interest:
0:06 Going under railway line.
0:23 Tamworth Road (B6540)
1:00 Bridge over the Erewash Canal
1:10 Back to front speedcamera. Why is it pointing that way???
1:54 Home Bargains on left side.
2:01 On the left here is the Cheesecake shop. You must try one ! 2:18 Left onto Derby Road (A6005)
2:29 Bridge over the Erewash Canal
2:54 Trent College on the left.
3:20 Left onto Wilsthorpe Road (B6002)
3:38 West Park Leisure Centre on the left.
4:08 SB computers on left.
4:20 Long Eaton Railway Station on right.
4:32 Fields Farm Road
4:49 Bridge over the Erewash Canal
5:39 The Tappers Harker pub
6:34 Left onto Nottingham Road (A6005)
6:41 Left onto Market Place
7:08 Left onto Beaconsfield Street
7:13 Park up in Long Eaton Market Place car park.

Music Credits :
Water Santoor by Manish Vyas
Licensed under Creative Commons

Interactive Driving route map :

View Larger Map

Saturday 17 October 2009

Video : Shardlow and Sawley, Derbyshire by car.

I've just uploaded my latest driving video.
This one starts in the village of Shardlow, briefly goes into Leicestershire then back into Sawley and ends at the edge of Long Eaton.

At 4:10 you will notice that there is a speed camera pointing towards me. As you drive past it you will see that the road has the markings on it. Why is the camera pointing in the opposite direction to the road marks?
The marks are normally used as speed markers so that the two photographs that a speed camera takes can be used to prove the speed of travel.
I'm sure someone out there will be able to explain why the marks are NOT in the view of the speedcamera lens.


Tuesday 6 October 2009

The Great Gorilla Run 2009, London. 7km fun run for charity to help endangered Gorillas.

This is footage I took at the finish line of the London Great Gorilla Run on Saturday 26th September 2009.

The run, in its seventh year, is one of the most popular annual events in the capital. This year the run was started by childrens television presenter Helen Skelton (Blue Peter).

The quickest gorilla-runner completed the 7km course in just 34 minutes. The slowest was Ian Redmond, who walked on all-fours for most of the circuit and finished in just under 2 hours.

Since the first Great Gorilla Run in 2003, thousands of people have donned their gorilla suits and walked, run or jogged the 7km City of London route that takes in sights such as Tower Bridge, Tate Modern and the Globe.

If you like dressing up and helping save endangered creatures from extinction, this is the charity fun run for you. By doing the Great Gorilla Run, you'll be playing a crucial role in helping save the remaining 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild.

If you would like to take part in this run next year then register for the 2010 run which will take place on Saturday 27th September 2010 by visiting here:

Last year runners raised more than £300,000 for the Gorilla Organization's conservation and development programme, helping to ensure the survival of the Gorillas.

For more information on this fun run visit the website:

Sunday 4 October 2009

Ross Noble, Things tour, Nobleism on DVD, Ross Noble's Australian Trip.

On Monday I went to see Ross Noble Things at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in London.
Ross Noble is one of the best stand up comedians around at the moment.
His current tour is called Things and is on at this theatre until 24th October 2009 so if you are a fan get yourself down to London to see him.

Shaftesbury Avenue
Phone: 0844 579 1971

Ticket information 0844 412 4658

Stalls £35.00
Dress Circle £30.00-£35.00
Upper Circle £25.00 - £30.00
Balcony £20.00-£25.00
Stalls Premium Seats £65.00

P.S. Dont miss his new series which started last Monday, Its a six-part series which started on Channel Five on Monday 28th September 2009 at 10pm.
Ross Noble combines two of his great passions – biking and comedy – as he takes
us with him on an epic, 26,000-kilometre, five-month road trip round Oz. Roaring
across the outback to the beyond and back again during an 85-gig stand-up tour,
Ross presents us with his highly idiosyncratic eye-view of the most quirky and
memorable sights, sounds and encounters of his adopted country as he bikes his
way between venues – and shares his observations with his audiences in typically
spontaneous style. Ross Noble’s Australian Trip September 25th, 2009 Ross’
brand-new six-part series starts on Channel Five on Monday 28th September 2009
at 10pm.

Ross Noble combines two of his great passions – biking and comedy – as he takes
us with him on an epic, 26,000-kilometre, five-month road trip round Oz. Roaring
across the outback to the beyond and back again during an 85-gig stand-up tour,
Ross presents us with his highly idiosyncratic eye-view of the most quirky and
memorable sights, sounds and encounters of his adopted country as he bikes his
way between venues – and shares his observations with his audiences in typically
spontaneous style.

The adventure begins in Queensland where Ross quite literally drives off the
stage of the Brisbane concert hall straight into the first leg of his journey.
Leaving behind the excitable crowds in Australia’s answer to Ibiza – Surfer’s
Paradise – he soon experiences the scorching hot silence of desert highways,
close emu encounters, admires the giant prawn of Lismore and visits Mad Max
territory before succumbing to the citrus delights of Orange World in downtown

I'm sure if you are a fan of Standup then you will know of Ross Noble
Check out his ideas on 24 and Ice Cream Vendors in this video.

P.P.S. If like me, you saw Ross during his last tour called Nobleism then you may be wondering when thats being released on DVD, Well the wait is almost over as Ross Noble: Nobleism (2 Discs) is due for release on 09/11/2009.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Speaking in Tongues Play, with John Simm.

On Saturday, I went to see a play called Speaking in Tongues at the Duke of York's Theatre in London.
Here is a photograph I took with my iPhone of John Simm signing autographs for the many fans outside the stage door at 10:05pm
The play stars John Simm (Life on Mars), Ian Hart (Harry Potter), Lucy Cohu (Torchwood) and Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave).

This play runs from 18th September 2009 to 12th December 2009 so you still have plenty of time to go and see this play.

Theatre location
Duke of York's Theatre
St. Martin’s Lane

Monday - Saturday: 7.30pm
Wednesday & Saturday: 2.30pm

Stalls: £48.50, £46.00, £41.00, £21.00
Dress Circle: £48.50, £46.00, £38.50
Upper Circle: £26.00, £16.00

The nearest Underground station is Leicester Square, the Theatre is about 3 minutes walk away (down Charring Cross Road, Down St Martin's Court past the Salisbury pub on the corner and down St Martins Lane)

Book your tickets here.

For more info see www.speakingintonguestheplay.com

The last play I saw John Simm in was Elling at Trafalgar Studios in summer 2007.

Have you been to see Speaking in tongues? What did you think?

Until you start looking you don't realise just how many things John Simm has actually been in. Of course he is most famous for playing Sam in Life on Mars. Lots of his work is available on DVD.
Next year he is doing Hamlet

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Dr Johnsons House, London. Compiler of first English Dictionary.

Do you remember an episode of Black Adder the Third called Ink and Incapability which features a Dr Johnson played by Robbie Coltrane?, well
yesterday I visited Dr Johnsons House in London, Samuel Johnson compiled the first comprehensive English Dictionary here.
This museum can be found at 17 Gough Square, London.

It was really interesting visiting this museum, if you get chance do it, just follow the grey signs near by and go through the archway into the courtyard area.

He was maried at St Werburgh's church, Derby to Elizabeth (Tetty) Porter in July 9th 1735.
Photographs of the wedding re-enactment in Derby.

If you would like to visit this museum then visit their website :

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Video of Derby Streets by car City Centre, September 2009

My latest Derby streets by car video in now online.
This one shows a lot of the new developements in the City Centre.
Westfield Derby
Derby Riverlights
Cathedral Quarter Wheel
Derby Quad
Jurys Inn Hotel
New road layout near Seven Stars pub.

All captured in HD.

The wicked music is Psychedelica Panic Part 3 by Tilkanuts
Licensed under Creative Commons

Hope you enjoy.

Monday 21 September 2009

DVD - The Damned United, Story of Brian Clough and Derby County

On Friday I watched a DVD, "The Damned United" which is a 2009 British sports drama film directed by Tom Hooper based on Brian Clough's tenure as manager of Leeds United.
Lots of the film is about Brian Cloughs time at Derby County, The film moves back and forth in time between his time at the Rams and Leeds United.
Of course this film was made after the Baseball Ground was demolished so filming was done at Chesterfield F.C's ground which looks sort of like the BBG.

It stars Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, Timothy Spall as Peter Taylor, Jim Broadbent as Sam Longson.
It was an interesting film and would recomend it.

I did a screengrab from the film (see above) this is clearly some archive footage of a Rams fans being interviewed on the corner of Derby Lane/ Walbrook Road. In the back ground is Upper Dale Road and on the right background is the Cavendish Hotel.
Exact map location here.

Similar to my then and now photograph of this area, see the third one down on this page.

This film is available from Play.com, Amazon and ebay and all the usual places.
There is a short trailor for the film on play.com

Some good footage on YouTube of the Man himself:

Brian Clough v Muhammad Ali.

Brian Clough - the Derby County Years.

Brian Clough (in his own words).

Thursday 17 September 2009

Derby climbing centre

This is a live iPhone blog from Alter Rock, Derby climbing centre.

I am currently working on a project for the current World Wide Panorama event.

Watch this blog for infomation on that soon.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Video, Driving from Belper to Heage Windmill.

I created this video so you can see how to get to Heage Windmill from the town of Belper, Derbyshire. Why not go and see this windmill in action this weekend!

Use my Heage Route Planning Map if you want to plan YOUR journey to this windmill, Just click on the blue car in the midle of the map then click "Get directions".

Heage Windmill in Derbyshire, U.K. is the only working 6 sailed stone tower mill in Britain, The windmill became operational in 1797.
Heage Windmill was originally called Nether Heage Old Tower Mill, the gritstone tower was built by Edmund Lee in 1745 and originally had 4 sails,
During a severe gale in 1894 , its cap was blown off and the sails destroyed. The four sails were replaced with six sails.
A preservation order was placed on the mill in 1966 and the mill was restored by Derbyshire County Council
In 1997 after years of neglect the Heage windmill society was formed, with an aim to bring the mill back to working order.
Heage windmill was opened to the public on the 1st June 2002.

For more information on this mill such as opening times please visit their website:
Heage Windmill website:

If you want to see more details then please click on the "HD" button so it turns red, then click the fullscreen icon. (you will need a fast pc and fast broadband connection to cope with it!).

The name Heage comes from the Old English and means "high edge or ridge".
Heage village is 2 miles west of Ripley, 2 1/2 miles North East of Belper set on rising ground above the river Derwent east of Ambergate.

I would like to thank Brian Naylor and Alan Gifford for arranging for the windmill to be open for my driving video.

Follow the driving route using my interactive map

*** This video is not real-time, it is time-lapse ***
The real driving time covered 9 minutes

Points of Interest on route:
0:00 View of Heage Windmill from Church Street.
0:31 Start of drive at Derby Road (A6) Belper.
0:33 Belper Orangery (Mc Donalds) ahead, Left is Morrisons and Focus.
0:39 Right at island and up New Road (A609)
1:00 Over traffic lights and up Cheapside.
1:08 Belper Market Place on the right, Top of King Street on the left.
1:11 Left into Chesterfield Road (B6013), carry on going on this road.
2:58 Left into Church Street.
2:59 The White Hart public house.
3:14 Left into the entrance road for Heage Windmill
3:38 Visitor parking is here on the right side.
3:57 Four shots of the Windmill in action, two from my VR tour.

Music Credits :
Dragon Fly by Lustful
Licensed under Creative Commons

If you visit Heage Windmill then you will be able to have a go on my Virtual Reality Tour at the visitor centre.

Please rate and comment if you enjoyed this driving video through beautiful Derbyshire. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up to date with my latest local videos.


Sunday 13 September 2009

The Derby Market Place Big Wheel, Cathedral Quarter Wheel is ready for passengers

The Big wheel is back in 2011. <-- Click for details

This is a panoramic photograph I took on Sunday morning of the Cathedral Quarter Wheel which officially opened to the public on Saturday 12th September 2009.
It took 6 days to build, and is 60m (197 ft) tall in the Market Place, has 40 observation pods and weighs 365 tonnes!

The Big Wheel will be on Derby's Market Place until Saturday 31st October, so thats seven weeks so theres no excuse not to have a ride on it.

The ride lasts for 15 minutes so there is plenty of time to take in the great views it has to offer.
Commentary inside the pods has been created by Heart 106 FM, with facts about the Cathedral Quarter area, the history of Derby and key points of interest that you can see from the wheel.

If you listen to Sam and Amy on Heart 106 Breakfast show on Wednesdays then you may win a private gondolier for the family that evening !

The Cathedral Quarter Wheel is open from
10am to 10pm Monday to Thursday
10am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday
10am to 8pm on Sundays.

It costs
£5 for adults
£4 for seniors and disabled passengers
£3 for children under 1.4 metres, and free for children under three.

There is also a VIP Gondola which takes up to 4 people for £50.00
It has 1 disabled access gondola.

There is a 20% discount for Cathedral Quarter loyalty card holders. For more information, visit www.derbycathedralquarter.co.uk

If you have ever been on the Manchester wheel then you will aleady know what a great view you can get from these things, that wheel is exactly the same height as the Derby wheel. But unless you have been on a Derby Cathedral Tower Open day then you won't have been lucky enough to have seen the views over the city of Derby from such a high vantage point, so I think this is a great thing for the City of Derby.

Map location :

View The Derby Cathedral Quarter Wheel. in a larger map

Hope you enjoy this and get a chance to have a go on it.
Please leave your reviews of it in my blog. How far could you see?


Thursday 10 September 2009

Heritage Open Days this weekend, Your chance to visit interesting properties.

Its that time of year again when historic buildings open their doors to the general public.

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture.

To see a list of places that are open in the East Midlands see their website :
Heritage Open Days East Midlands.


Heritage Open Days in Derbyshire.


Heritage Open Days in Derby.

As you can see there are lots of venues open in Derbyshire to visit this weekend, some require you to book but are free.


Belper Farmers Market, 2nd Saturday of every month.

Belper Farmers' Market takes place on the second Saturday of every month.
The market runs from 9am to 2pm on Belper Market Place.

In my photograph here you can see a commemorative fountain for George Henry Strutt who had the Market Place paved in 1880.

The next Belper Farmers Market will take place this Saturday, 12th September 2009.
Heage Windmill will have flour for sale at this market.

This market is run by Belper Town Council, contact them if you would like to have a stall at this market.

Here are the dates for the next few months :

12th September
10th October
14th November
12th December

My map location for this event :

View Belper Farmers Market. in a larger map

Did you know the first market was held in Belper in 1739.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Heage Windmill, My Virtual Tour wins a Judges Special Award at Renaissance Heritage Awards 2009

Since 2007 I have been working with the volunteers at Heage Windmill to help promote the great work they do by using my panoramic photography skills. Back then it consisted of just two 360 degree panoramic photographs taken inside the cap of the windmill where people can not go due to safety reasons. This mill exhibit was popular with visitors and in 2008 I offered to take some new 360 degree photographs for them. What started off as a simple idea soon became a major project consisting of 26 full 360 x 180 degree (spherical VR) photographs all linked together by hotspots.
This allows disabled people or anyone that is not able to climb the mill stairs the opportunity to take a really good look around the windmill. I designed the virtual tour for them so that when you hover the mouse over areas of interest then it tells you what the various parts of the workings are used for.
Because my VR tour encompasses the entire windmill site it is also useful if you visit on a rainy day.

In July, Heage Windmill won the Judges Special Award in the Renaissance East Midlands Derbyshire Heritage Awards 2009 (see photograph of the plaque) ...
"For an innovative solution to providing access to the mill, delivered by volunteers, to a very high standard."

As well as creating the high resolution full virtual reality tour at the windmill I also created a reduced mini vr tour for their website which you can take a look at here :
Heage Windmill mini Virtual Reality Tour.

Heage Windmill is open every weekend from April to October, why not go along and see this great windmill in action. There is nothing quite like seeing the only working 6 sailed STONE tower mill in Britain turning around in the wind.

For more information please visit their website :
Heage Windmill website.

You can even buy Heage Windmill Flour from Belper Farmers Market. The market runs from 9am to 2pm on the second saturday of every month and takes place on Belper Market Place.

To see a list of the other winners see the website:
Renaissance East Midlands Derbyshire Heritage Awards.

My interactive map for Heage Windmill:

View Heage Windmill in a larger map

I have also created a driving video of how to get to Heage Windmill from Belper :
Belper to Heage Windmill video.


Thursday 3 September 2009

Darley Park Concert, Britains biggest FREE classical concert.

This Sunday, 6th September 2009 sees the annual Darley Park Concert, Britains biggest FREE classical concert.
The concert takes place in the natural amphitheatre of Darley Park which is located in Darley Abbey, Derby, Derbyshire, U.K.

My interactive map for this event.

Starting at 5.30pm, With an amazing firework finale, attracting crowds of around 30,000.
2009 is the international year of Astronomy, marking several momentous events – the 40th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon and the 400th anniversary of the use of the telescope by Galileo Galilei to observe the moon and planet Jupiter.
Sinfonia VIVA and regular Darley Park concert conductor, James Holmes will be performing a spectacular programme of music with links to all things astronomical.

Admission is FREE, car parking is £5.
Personally I’ve found its best to walk in or get someone to give a you a lift as this event attracts so many people that you may have trouble parking nearby.

Its also worth taking a torch with you as its not very well lit on the entrances into Darley Park and due to the large amount of people you may tread on someones toes !

Programme of music:
Strauss/Townend – 2001 : A space Odyssey
Mozart – Overture: Magic Flute, Der Holle Rach
Hayman – When you wish upon a star
Sousa – Sousa stars and stripes forever
Williams – ET Adventure on Earth
Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries
Strauss – Music of the spheres, Tritsch Tratsch Polka
Dvorak – Song to the Moon
Mancini/Mercer – Moon river
Mercury/Townend – Bohemian Rhapsody
Williams – Star Wars: Imperial March, Throne Room, Closing sequence

The photograph here is one I took during the amazing firework finale at the 2004 concert.
Some more of my photographs in 2002.

More info:
Sinfonia ViVA website

This is a Derby Live Event.

Looking at the weather it may rain about 6:30 onwards so take a good coat!

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Silly Scissors, they have not really thought this one out. wtf!

Click on this photograph of some Scissors I bought from Wilkos (Victoria Chambers, London Road, Derby).
The Scissors are encased in plastic, now read the instructions on how to remove them from the packaging.

"To Open, Carefully cut packaging with Scissors".
Now hang on a God damn minute, the Scissors that I bought are still in the packaging so how on Earth can I use them to cut them out of the packaging that they are in!

Great if you own other pairs of Scissors but if your a first time Scissors owner or perhaps you broke your ownly pair of scissors then its game over man !

The packaging should carry a warning to say "These scissors should not be purchased unless you already possess a pair that work ok".

Are YOU a "first time scissors owner" or have you always had scissors around you?

Lets run with this scissors theme, but don't run with scissors obviously!


Derby Restaurants, Food Hygiene Star Rating scores announced.

Derby City Council’s Food Hygiene Star Rating Scheme, commonly known as Scores on Doors is a pilot project being run in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency that provides information about hygiene standards within food businesses in Derby.

The Council has just released the results to the public.
Its list includes every Premises in the city of Derby that sells food and I really do mean every one, such as The Potato Lady on St Peters Street, Rachel's Flyin' Sausage on Shaftesbury Street South, Costco Customer Café on Wyvernside there all in the list!

Derby City Council's Food Hygiene Star Rating Scheme
View the results here (PDF Acrobat reader required)
"Scores on Doors" August 2009 Premises' Star Rating List

Scores are..
5 Stars Excellent Performance Very high standards of compliance with food safety legislation
4 Stars Very Good Performance High standards of compliance with food safety legislation
3 Stars Good Performance Good level of compliance with food safety legislation
2 Stars Satisfactory Performance General compliance with food safety legislation
1 Star Poor Performance Some non-compliance with food safety legislation
0 Stars Very Poor Performance General failure to comply with food safety legislation.

Learn more about how the council score by reading their here.

So now you can check to see if your local restaurant is any good.

Saturday 29 August 2009

Shardlow Car Boot Sale, on Bank Holidays.

The next Shardlow Car boot sale is on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31st 2009
7:00am to 12:00 on Shardlow Village Hall field, The Wharf (Western side) Shardlow

Booters £5.
Buyers admission 20p

This is Shardlow Car Boot Sale as seen on Bank Holiday Monday. August 2012

This car boot sale only takes place on Bank Holidays spring - Autumn so this is the last one in 2009.

My map location for Shardlow Car Boot Sale:

View Shardlow Car Boot Sale in a larger map

Shardlow Car boot sale used to take place on the land at the back of the former Grove Hospital but this was demolished in 2007, since then the car boot has taken place on Shardlow Village Hall field.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Webcams in Derby and Derbyshire, new local webcams now online

I maintain a list of all the current webcams I have found that feature content from within the city of Derby
and the County of Derbyshire.

I have just updated my webcam list to include some new ones that you may not have seen before.

See my local webcams here :
Webcams in Derby and Derbyshire

For each webcam I have listed what type of webcam footage it offers and if you need to install a Browser plug-in to view them.

The most popular webcam in Derby is of course the Peregrine Falcons on Derby Cathedral, this webcam has been in place since 2006
and attracts online visitors from around the world and is extremely popular.

The City Derby needs some more webcams, can you help by providing a webcam stream for the city?
We only have 2 webcams in Derby, that's very poor ! We can do better than that

Just think of how many people out there in Derby have permanent broadband connections and a computer that is "always on"
and have a nice view out of their window.
Also lots of businesses around Derby that could have a webcam to generate publicity for their company, How about a pub cam.

Its so easy to setup a webcam these days it would be great if we could put Derby on the "webcam map".
In recent years it has become possible to buy what is known as an IP Webcam which is the simplest method of getting a webcam
online. All you have to do with an IP Webcam is connect it directly (via Ethernet cable) or wifi to your Broadband Router, it
has its own web server built in. you just configure the camera via a webpage and thats it ready to go.
I will be posting full information on how to set one of these up in a future post so watch this space.
In the meantime you can follow my instructions using some free software to get your Derby webcam online.

I have added several new Derbyshire webcams that may be of interest, these are.

1) Mercia Marina in Willington, Derbyshire looking out over all the Narrow boats moored at this new marina on the road between Findern and Willington.
2) Quarnford in Buxton, Derbyshire located on the highest village shop in Britain!
3) Monsal Dale, Derbyshire looking down the Dale towards Monsal Head and the River Wye.
4) Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. A choice of 3 webcams to look at!
5) Newhall near Swadlincote, Derbyshire. Part of a weather station website.
6) Ram FM, Iron Gate, Derby. This offers a view looking down onto Friar Gate from the Ram FM studios.

This brings the total webcams in Derbyshire to 17, come on lets see if we can get more online for the County.

If YOU know of any webcams in Derby or Derbyshire that I have missed or one that you have just set up and want promoting then post a comment
to this and I will add it to my list for you.

See my current webcams list here :
Webcams in Derby and Derbyshire


Monday 24 August 2009

Book, The History of Bemrose School, Derby, 1930 - 2005

I helped with this book when I took many photographs for it with Marilyn Thompson, It features 15 of my own images along with many many others and is a great book for any Bemrosians out there.

The History of Bemrose School, Derby, 1930 - 2005
Moorleys Print & Publishing, Ilkeston
Published in June 2009

This book has just been mentioned in the local newspaper..

This from The Derby Evening Telegraph on August 18th 2009
"A BOOK exploring the history of a Derby school has proved a big hit, with more than half the copies printed already sold.
Launched in June, The History of Bemrose School spans 75 years of school life and was complied by former pupils over five years.
The idea came about after Donald Sarfas, 89 – among the first intake at the school when it opened in 1930 – met Marilyn Thompson, a former Bemrose librarian.
They advertised in the Derby Telegraph for ex-pupils to share memories, many of which feature in the book.
About 550 copies of the 1,000 printed have already been sold, through Derby Museum and Art Gallery and the publisher, Ilkeston-based Moorleys Print and Publishing.
The firm's Peter Newberry said the book had sold well.
He said: "As people have bought and read the book there have been quite a few comments and we have considered producing a revised edition in the future once the current run has sold out."
The book is priced £12.95 from Derby Museum and Art Gallery, in the Strand, from Amazon

 or by visiting moorleys online shop.

Details about The History of Bemrose School, Derby, 1930 - 2005

There can surely be few past and present pupils of Bemrose School, Derby, who feel indifferent about their time there or who take the view that their Bemrose experience had little or no impact, for better or worse, on their subsequent lives and lifestyle.

A book giving an account of the first 75 years (1930 – 2005) of the school is therefore to be warmly welcomed. For that account to include among its many contributions at least one from someone who was among the first intake way back in 1930 is truly remarkable, and the book is enriched by Donald T Sarfas’s reflections on those early years and also by the chapter on the distinguished man after whom the school is named.

It is entirely appropriate that the authors and compilers took a chronological approach based around the work and legacy of each person who has taken on the mantle and daunting task of being the school’s Head Teacher. It gives the book its overall shape, and the ability of the various authors to offer not only narrative but, in many cases, insightful evaluation also adds greatly to the interest. It is the perception within some of the observation that is particularly striking, so that a whole host of people whom one never had a chance to meet come alive on the page and cease to be mere names.

Most striking of all is the realisation, which comes from the book, of the extent to which all pupils who attended the school in those first 75 years have been ‘creatures of their time’. Even within the time period 1930 – 1971 during which the school had the comparatively uncomplicated remit of being a Grammar School for Boys, pupils’ experiences were largely determined by the social, political and economic context in which the school was operating, by the facilities available within that context and by the staff, including the Head Teacher, who happened to be in charge at the time.

Thus, for all that a mid-1930s pupil would find he had in common with a pupil from, say, the 1950s, what would and does strike each of them are also the many differences as the school sought not only to move with the times but was also a prisoner of them. For the many staff who served the school for 20 years or more during its grammar school years, the extent to which they had to come to terms with changes of regime is something that the book highlights well. The change, for example, from the end of the Macfarlane to the initial Bennett years brought with it contrasts in operational style which the respective authors touch upon and with which those who experienced those years will readily identify.

Most fascinating of all in many respects is to read not about the years when one was there, but about the years when one wasn’t: how different things were for the lads who attended the school during the war, for example, when fields were lost to sport in support of Digging for Victory. I also greatly enjoyed the account from someone who joined at 13 plus. Written with feeling, clarity and insight his is a most welcome addition to the overall coverage. Those particular contributions are some of the strongest in the first part of the book.

For all the excellence of much of the narrative and analysis of the grammar school years, for me the most moving and gripping contributions lie among some of those which cover the years 1972 to 2005. These accounts contain some first class writing, and among them are some honourable attempts to give a fair and balanced view of the many trials and tribulations that beset the school as it found itself at the mercy and whim of national politicians and cash-starved and sometimes ideas-impoverished local councillors.

It is clear that since 1971 there has been many a heroic attempt made by those who continue to love and honour the school to keep the school (as an institution and as a site) afloat in the most tempestuous of conditions. Those of us who have little or no knowledge of the years post 1971 owe these brave writers a particular debt of gratitude.

The book is so wide ranging in its coverage that within it there is something for everyone. Nobody will agree with everything that is written about the years that cover their own time there, largely because this book is not so much “The History of …. “ as “A history of …” with room for personal contributions that are frequently idiosyncratic and anecdotal. Agreeing with it all does not really matter, however. The writing is often partial, and as such is both evocative and provocative, with much of it coming from the heart. Some of the views and recollections will doubtless fuel many a tavern conversation for years to come.

The publishing of this book is a very worthwhile, commendable enterprise. I hope it is sufficiently successful as to warrant a second edition. That would then create the opportunity for the publisher to make various amendments and additions that the collective wisdom, knowledge and memory of hundreds of Old Bemrosians are already bringing to Moorleys’ attention.