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.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Video - Christmas lights on peoples houses in Derby 2011.

Here is my latest video, one which I've been meaning to create every year but never got around to it. Its just a few clips of some houses in Derby that have lots of Christmas lights on them.
Lots of people have Christmas lights on their houses but some houses like those featured in my video really "go for it" in a big way.
Some people do this for Charity and some because they like to, I would do it too but those animated Christmas lights cost a fortune.
If your one of the people in Derby that do this for Charity then let people know in the comments where they can go and see your display.

Hope you like my video. Have I featured your house?
One of the clips is of the Furnace Inn pub rather than a house but I as in the area at the time so included it.

I may make more of these videos if I get time.

Hope you like the rather unique Christmas music :
Music - Tis' The Season To Be DUBSTEP! (Xmas) by IAMDINO
Used under creative commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Happy Christmas


Monday 19 December 2011

Video of 2011 Sheffield Christmas lights with night time views of Peace Gardens and Railway Station waterfall.

Here is a video I shot on Thursday/Friday night in Sheffield of the 2011 Christmas lights, I have also included
lots of night time footage of the Sheffield Peace Gardens and the Railway Station water feature.

We were in Sheffield to see two 80s bands, Adam Ant on 15th and Go West on the 16th, both at the Sheffield o2 Academy. Both gigs were great.

Here are some videos of the Adam Ant gig in Sheffield on Thursday 15th December 2011:

Ants Invasion.
Stand and Deliver.
Puss 'n Boots.
Kings of the wild frontier.
Vince Taylor.
Ant Music.
Red Scab.
Physical (You're So).

Here are some videos of the Go West gig in Sheffield on Friday 16th December 2011:
The Tracks Of My Tears.
Love the way you lie.
Black and Gold.
Bright lights bigger city (cover).

The cheapest train ticket from Derby to Sheffield is with a Derbyshire Wayfarer, this costs £8.90 and that's unlimited travel on train and bus all day! This ticket can not be put in the barrier machine at Derby so you have to goto the wide barrier entrance to get the guard to let you through, remember to keep the ticket.

Happy Christmas

Tuesday 13 December 2011

How to make a 2012 personalised calendar from your own photographs, easy to follow video tutorial. Free templates provided.

Updated to include Portrait aspect ratio templates.
I have had a few requests for my free templates with the photo frame geared up for images taken in Portrait mode.....

My 2012 Calendar Tutorial Guide.

Looking for a personalised gift this Christmas that will be enjoyed all year?
Its less than two weeks to Christmas and your wondering what to get, how about creating something unique that nobody else will have?

A couple of years ago I created a set of calendar templates and a video tutorial on how to use them.
The free 2012 templates have a decorative framed image area into which you can import your own images to produce the nice edge effect below.

My tutorial has proved very popular with over Thirteen thousand people following my guide so far.

Here is an example of what you will be able to create using my free 2012 Calendar templates.
Go on make someones day this Xmas by giving them one of the best and very unique presents that they can enjoy all year.

Here is one of my photographs using my new portrait aspect ratio templates :

My 2012 Calendar Templates. Here is January, what will you create?

My photograph of Derby's Guild Hall in one of my landscape calendar templates :

My 2012 Calendar Templates. Here is January, what will you create?

It will soon be Christmas and you may find this of use, I created an easy to follow tutorial on how to make a printed calendar using photographs YOU have taken.
The monthly calendar templates are provided free so you can make a unique gift for someone right now.
All you need is Corel PaintShop Photo Pro (or any photo editing software that supports layers such as Gimp, Photoshop etc), A colour printer, some Matt finish paper and 12 images of your choice.

If you are interested in giving it a go then have a look at my 2012 Calendar Guide page here :
Complete guide on how to make a 2012 personalised calendar from your own photographs. <-- Click me now to start making a great gift for Christmas.

I hope this has inspired you to have a go at producing a truly unique personalised Xmas present that you will be remembered for, for the whole year ahead. Use Matt Paper as I suggest and it will not cost a lot of money to make several of these calendars.

Matt Paper allows printing of high resolution images but has a finish that you can write on which you need for a calendar! Matt paper can be bought for as little as 4 Pence per sheet.

In my written guide I have supplied detailed instructions on how to use my templates with Photoshop and even the free image editing software Gimp.

If you do find my tutorial of use then please leave a comment on either the video or my blog post saying what you created.


Sunday 11 December 2011

Dunelm Mill , New store opens on Ascot Drive, Derby on December 15th 2011.

Dunelm Mill will open its new store on the corner of Ascot Drive and London Road this Thursday.
Thats December 15th 2011.
Dunelm is a Home textiles business with over 120 stores across the UK.
The Dunelm store that was located half way down Ascot Drive on the Osmaston Park Industrial Estate has now closed and relocated to this new larger store. This new Dunelm store has a floor space of 36,700sq ft so they can stock more lines. It even has a coffee shop "Pausa Cafe". It has increased the car parking spaces from 80 to 182. They offer a "Reserve and Collect" service where you can order items online

You may remember that this corner plot of land had been empty for a few years since B&Q relocated to Osmaston Park Road. Good to finally see it being put to use.
Here is a video made about B & Q Ascot Drive before it closed.

I have created a high resolution 360 degree view of this new Dunelm store so you can see where exactly it is located. Its like Google Streetview but more detailed and recent, as I only photographed it on Friday!
As you will see in my 360 degree view its quite a large store on the corner of Ascot Drive and London Road.

Click the link here to view my Dunelm Mill 360 view (or click the thumbnail image):
360 degree view of the new Dunelm store on Ascot Drive, Derby taken in December 2011.

The opening of this new Dunelm Mill Store will be conducted by the Mayor of Derby Councillor Les Allen, at 9am on Thursday December 15th 2011.

Dunelm Mill, Derby Opening Hours
Monday     9.00am 8.00pm
Tuesday    9.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 9.00am 8.00pm
Thursday 9.00am 8.00pm (9.00pm during lead up to Christmas)
Friday 9.00am 8.00pm (9.00pm during lead up to Christmas)
Saturday 9.00am 6.00pm (7.00pm during lead up to Christmas)
Sunday 10.30am 4.30pm

Smart Phone mapping pin for Dunelm, Derby. <-- Click this link on your Smartphone.

Want to see how it used to look around here back in 2008 then watch my Wilmorton by car video.

The NEW address for Dunelm Mill is :
Ascot Drive
DE24 8ST

Hope you find this of use.


Wednesday 7 December 2011

Toad in the hole - My first ever attempt at cooking this classic British meal.

For many years now I have  used Aunt Bessies Toad in the Hole or ASDA brand but thought I'd have a go at making my own from scratch. I have never made Yorkshire Pudding or Toad in the Hole ever before. For those that don't know, "Toad in the hole" is just a Yorkshire Pudding with Sausages embedded in it. I will describe making both below.
At this time of year why not serve your Yorkshire pudding with Turkey and cranberries !

The results were really good and I have made both Toad in the hole and Yorkshire Puddings several times now. If you fancy having a go at making them here is what I did.

Don't worry you don't have to be a trained cook to follow this, its very simple. I have written down very detailed step by step instructions. Read though them now before you start so you know its going to go well for you.

Andy's Yorkshire Pudding Recipe - Serves 4
350ml of semi-skimmed Milk.
250g of Plain Flour (I used Homepride Plain Flour 1Kg)
4 Large Free-range Eggs (I used Asda own brand free-range eggs)
Olive Oil (I used Asda Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

You will also need
A deep baking tray about 12" x 9" x 1.5" deep (i.e standard 33cm roasting tin). A4 sized !
Electronic measuring scales
Electric stick Hand Blender

1) Pre-heat the oven to 220C (Gas mark 7)
2) Pour some Olive oil into the baking tray until the entire base of it has about 2mm of oil covering it.
Put the tray onto the top shelf of the oven and leave it to get very hot while you prepare the batter mix as follows.
3) Using a small jug measure out 350ml of Milk.
4) Crack open the four large eggs and put them (White and Yoke) into the milk. (How to crack an Egg) Add a pinch of salt to the mix.
5) Using an electric stick hand blender, mix the milk and eggs for a minute, try and get as much air into the mix as possible by moving the blender up and down and around in the mix.
6) Using scales measure out 250g of plain flour. While plunging the stick mixer in and out of the milk/egg mix start adding the flour into the mixture slowly bit by bit.
7) Once all the flour has been added continue to mix for a minute, ensure that its fully mixed in and there are no lumps left at the bottom.
8) Leave this mixture to rest somewhere cold for 5 mins.
9) Once the oven has reached full temperature, remove the baking tray with the hot oil in it and immediately pour in all the mix and put the baking tray back on the top shelf of the oven. You should try and do this in less than 30 seconds.
10) Now leave it in the oven for 30 minutes. You should notice that after about 10 minutes the Yorkshire should start to rise. It's quite magical seeing it rise up out of the roasting tin.
Keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking.
11) You should be able to remove it from the roasting tin with little effort at all.
12) Personally I serve this with Chicken breast, French cut green beans, Stuffing, Mashed potatoes and lots of gravy.

Some Tips to help you.
Try and get plenty of air into the batter mix, this is what helps it rise.
You are best to only remove the hot oil from the oven for a few seconds in order to pour in the mix.
Do NOT leave the oven door open for ages otherwise the results will not be as good.
By "top shelf" I mean the second set of slots down, the very top one would be too hot and it would hit the roof of the oven.
My oven is a fan assisted oven, every oven is different so keep an eye on the pudding during the last 10 minutes of cooking to ensure it does not burn the top of it.
Don't be tempted to open the door during cooking otherwise it will deflate and never recover !
Use an Electronic Cooking Timer. rather than guessing 30 minutes.
I would say this pudding serves about 4-6 people if you are having meat and veg with it.

Here is what my Yorkshire Pudding looked like :
My Yorkshire Pudding
Click here for a larger photograph of my Yorkshire Pudding.

As you can see its risen out of the roasting tin. The corners of the Yorkshire pudding are 5 inches high.
Quite often it will almost touch the top of my oven as you can see here.
Yorkshire Pudding

Fourth attempt at making Yorkshire Pudding :
Yorkshire Pudding

Don't know what Toad in the Hole is? See Wikipedia Toad in the Hole.

Andy's Toad in the Hole recipe - Serves 4-6
This is pretty much the same as above but we are going to add Sausages to the batter to create the classic meal Toad in the Hole.
You will need all the same ingredients as for my Yorkshire Pudding but also some sausages.
How many and what type is down to personal preference.
For a roasting tin of 12" x 9" I would suggest 8 to 12 sausages depending on how many people you are serving it to. The first time I made this I actually used 6 Vegetarian Quorn sausages and 6 Cumberland sausages.
I suggest part cooking the sausages for about 6 mins in a frying pan with Olive oil, this will make them look better when you cook them in the oven later. Once you have precooked the sausages like this, put them into the hot oil and back in the oven for 3 mins then remove the roasting tin and pour over the batter mix as per my Yorkshire Pudding instructions.

Slam it in the oven on the top shelf for 30 minutes.

This is what my first attempt at Toad in the hole looked like. This is half of it before the Gravy.
I used 12 Sausages altogether, 6 Vegetarian Quorn sausages and 6 Cumberland and apple sausages. This was far too much for two people, this is a large steak plate and its too big to get half of it on the plate!
My Toad in the hole
The wine is Gallo White Zinfandel Rose Produced by Ernest and Julio.

Second attempt at Toad in the hole, this one has 8 sausages in it but was still far too much for two people. I woud say it serves 4-6 people depending on how greedy you are :)
My Toad in the hole second attempt

I hope you enjoyed this and that it inspires you to have a go at making it yourself.
It always tastes better when you make it yourself compared with shop bought frozen ones.
Leave a comment if you followed my recipe and say how they turned out for you.


Monday 5 December 2011

Video - Bonnie Prince Charlie Annual Battle Re-enactment in Derby. Sunday December 4th 2011

Here is my latest video : Bonnie Prince Charlie Annual Battle Re-enactment in Derby.
I filmed it on Sunday December 4th 2011. Recorded in 1080p HD so you can watch it at fullscreen in high quality if you have fast broadband and a high spec PC.

Were you at this event?, Perhaps you're in my video.

In the City of Derby, every December since 1990 The Charles Edward Stuart Society have organised this colourful pageant and re-enactment battle on Derby Cathedral Green which culminates in the laying of wreaths at the foot of the Bonnie Prince Charlie statue.

At 02:00 you can see them reach the Jorrocks pub orignally "The George Inn", in Iron Gate, Derby was a coaching inn used by the Duke of Devonshire as his headquarters when commanding the Derbyshire Blues, in readiness for the invasion by Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) in 1745.

When the prince arrived in Derby on 4 December, he called at the inn and demanded billets for his 9000 troops. The event is re-enacted every year on the anniversary of the Prince's arrival.

My 2011 Video in Derby.

Hope you enjoyed my video, give it the thumbs up and comment if you did.

Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie :

For photographs of this event in previous years see my website :

And also :


Saturday 3 December 2011

Bonnie Prince Charlie battle re-enactment this weekend 3rd and 4th December 2011.

Update : 2011 video now online.

This weekend, Saturday 3rd December 2011 and Sunday 4th December 2011 sees 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 :

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.
For more information on this event see HERE.


Friday 2 December 2011

Video - Christmas lights from Home Bargains, Waterfall Lights and Colour changing acrylic decorations.

Christmas lights from Home Bargains, Waterfall Lights and Colour changing acrylic decorations.

These are some extreamly cheap but attractive Christmas lights I bought recently from Home Bargains in Derby.

The first lights are called "Waterfall lights" I would call them Dripping Icicle tubes. These are outdoor lights. It comes with 5 plastic tubes with 14 very bright white leds in each that sequence from top to bottom to give the effect of water droplets falling. It comes with mains adaptor and lots of cable.
Product bar code : 1031 8874
These cost £1.99, seriously ! How can they do it that cheap.

The second set of lights are "Colour changing acrylic decorations". These are small battery powered items with a very bright tri-colour led in them that changes colour every few seconds. There is a small slide switch underneath to turn it on and off. Its powered from 3 little coin sells. It comes with the batteries!

These cost just 69p each !!!
There is a similar type to this in Wilkos but they are not as bright and cost £1.50

I got these Christmas Lights from the two Derby branches of Home Bargains. The large Home Bargains is on Bradshaw Way next to Matalan and the original store is on Moore Street, off Normanton Road.

aka TJ Morris

Looking at the electronics I was wondering how they have managed to drive 14 leds in sequence using the IC with just 8 legs. Must be using charlieplexing, very clever.


Thursday 1 December 2011

Westfield Derby Christmas opening hours 2011, Get your presents during late night opening

If your planning on doing some Christmas Shopping in Derby then here are the opening hours
for Westfield Derby on the run up to Christmas.  In Derby, late night shopping is on Thursdays and Fridays until 11th December, from the 12th of December onwards its every weeknight!
As well as Westfield Derby there are shops in The Lanes and bespoke high-end boutiques in the Derby's Cathedral Quarter.
Derby's Westfield Shopping Centre.
Want to find a shop in Westfield Derby? use this A-Z listing for all 205 shops.

Westfield Derby opening Hours:
From Monday 14th November to Sunday 11th December
Monday 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 9am - 6pm
Wednesday 9am - 6pm
Thursday 9am - 9pm
Friday 9am - 9pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm

Monday 12th December 9am - 9pm
Tuesday 13th December 9am - 9pm
Wednesday 14th December 9am - 9pm
Thursday 15th December 9am - 9pm
Friday 16th December 9am - 9pm
Saturday 17th December 9am - 7pm
Sunday 18th December 10:30am - 4:30pm

Monday 19th December 9am - 10pm
Tuesday 20th December 9am - 10pm
Wednesday 21st December 9am - 10pm
Thursday 22nd December 9am - 10pm
Friday 23rd December 9am - 10pm
Saturday 24th December 9am - 5pm 
Sunday 25th December Closed 

Monday 26th December 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 27th December 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 28th December 9am - 8pm
Thursday 29th December 9am - 8pm
Friday 30th December 9am - 8pm
Saturday 31st December 9am - 5pm
Sunday 1st January 2012 10:30am - 4:30pm 

Showcase Cinema Opening Hours
Monday 10am - 1am
Tuesday 10am - 1am
Wednesday 10am - 1am
Friday 10am - 3am
Saturday 10am - 3am 
Sunday 10am - 1am

Don't leave your xmas shopping too late !


Tuesday 29 November 2011

Review of Friday nights gig in Derby - The Smyths and RE: Order (The Smiths and New Order tribute bands)

On Friday 25th Nov 2011, The Smyths and Re:Order performed at the Darwin Suite (Derby Assembly Rooms). I my review I have Photographs, videos, Gig Dates, Set lists....

This was sold out and I can see why, The last time The Smyths performed in Derby was at the Flowerpot Pub where it also sold out. I have never seen a tribute band before so was not quite sure what to expect and here we have two tribute bands together! I managed to get a great position right at the front so had a perfect view of the performance by both bands. Were you there right at the front too? Did you enjoy the gig as much as me?

Re: Order were on first performing lots of well known New Order tracks.
Peter Hook (Jim) had the distinctive very low slung bass guitar.

Here is the Set list for Derby's gig on Friday 25th November 2011 by Re:Order
Thieves like us
Vanishing point
The village
Bizarre love triangle
Leave me alone
Way of life
Blue Monday
Perfect kiss
True faith
Love will tear us apart

Unfortunately their drum machine stopped part way through playing Blue Monday. I enjoyed the performance but personally think they were completely overshadowed by The Smyths.

The Smyths
Next up was The Smyths.

If you are a fan of The Smiths then I can highly recommend you go and see The Smyths, you will not be disappointed.
The Smiths broke up in 1987 and have never reformed, I did not get into them until it was too late so being given the second chance to see them is great.
I was completely blown away by not only their note-for-note performance, but also Graham Sampson's portrayal of Morrissey, he had got all the little quirks and mannerisms of the original artist so right.
I knew most of the songs very well so was able to sing along, Not something I would normally do but was enjoying this gig so much you just had to.
Every track was delivered with such perfection, you wanted it to go on for hours, but alas it had to end after 28 songs. At the end of the gig Morrissey oh I mean Graham climbed down off the stage and shook the hands of everyone at the front of the gig including me. You keep forgetting its not Morrissey.

I would go out of my way to go and see The Smyths again as they are so amazing. If you live in Derby then you will only have to wait until May neext year when they play The Flowepot yet again. I don't know if I can wait that long!

The only down side during the show was some idiot threw something at Graham, he was OK with it but did disappear off stage for a few minutes. The item in question actually landed right in front of me between the stage and the audience barriers, it was a "Happy 40th birthday" badge about 8" across. The crowd shouted "out out out", you know who you are !

At the end of the gig I got a Set List (see below). Apparently after the gig had finished someone fell off the balcony in The Darwin Suite!, The Paramedics were going up the stairs on the way out onto Derby Market Place. Not sure how that happened. Apparently hes going to be in hospital for some time.

Photograph of Graham Sampson as Morrissey:
The Smyths
Photograph by colour blind bob.

There is a set of photographs of both RE:Order and The Smyths taken at this Derby gig by Graham :
Smyths and Re:Order Photos at Derby.

Here is the Set list for Derby's gig on Friday 25th November 2011 by The Smyths:

The boy with the thorn in his side
Half a person
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before
Heaven Knows
Handsome devil
Still ill
This charming man
Pretty girls make graves
Reel around the fountain
What difference does it make?
Miserable lie
This night has opened my eyes
Hand in glove
These things take time
You've got everything now
Some girls are bigger than others
Shoplifters of the world
Girlfriend in a coma
Everyday is like Sunday
How soon is now
Meat is murder
---- oncore ---
First of the gang
There is a light that never goes out
Bigmouth strikes again

The tickets for The Smyths and RE: Order gig in Derby:

The Smyths Set List as used by Morrissey aka Graham Sampson at the Derby gig :

The Smyths will be performing yet again at Derby's Flowerpot in 2012 on Friday May 4th (note the year is wrong on this flyer !) :

If your not in Derby then there are plenty of opportunities to see The Smyths elsewhere as you can see.

List of upcoming gigs for The Smyths 2012:
Friday December 16th 2011 - New Cross, South London, The Venue
Saturday December 17th 2011 - Kilburn, The Good Ship
Saturday January 7th 2012 - London, Feeling Gloomy (Islington Academy)
Tuesday January 10th 2012 -  Club Babylon in Istanbul, Turkey
Saturday January 28th 2012 - Darlington, The Forum
Saturday Februray 18th 2012 - St Albans, The Horn Reborn
Friday February 24th 2012 - Wakefield The Black Flag
Saturday February 25th 2012 - Manchester The Ritz
Friday March 9th 2012 - Portsmouth The Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday March 22td 2012 - Putney, The Half Moon
Saturday April 14th 2012 - Blackburn King George's Hall
Friday April 20th 2012 - Sheffield O2 Academy
Saturday April 21st 2012 - Liverpool O2 Academy
Friday May 4th 2012 - Derby, The Flowerpot
Friday May 11th 2012 - Newcastle O2 Academy
Saturday May 12th 2012 – Glasgow O2 ABC
Saturday May 21st 2012 - Liverpool O2 Academy
Friday June 1st 2012 - Bristol O2 Academy
Saturday June 2nd 2012 - Oxford O2 Academy
Friday June 8th 2012 - Birmingham O2 Academy 3
Saturday September 15th 2012 - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
September 2012 - Leeds The Brudenell Social Club
Saturday November 3rd 2012 - Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
November 17th 2012 - Derby, Assembly Rooms

Videos of The Smyths:
Interview with Graham Sampson by Paul Morley at Derby's Flowerpot!

The Smyths perform at Feeling Gloomy (The O2 Academy in Islington, London):

Hope you enjoyed my review.

Did you know that The Smiths actually performed at Derby Assembly Rooms back in December 1983?
There are over 30 videos on YouTube of this gig from 28 years ago.

Here is a 37 minute clip of the 83 gig by The Smiths.

Whistle Test on the Road video clip at Derby Assembly Rooms.

The Smiths Room in Salford Lads Club, Manchester.
If your a fan of The Smiths then I'm sure you will have been to the Salford Lads Club in Manchester where there is a dedicated "Smiths room".
Google Streetview of The Salford Lads Club.

We visited there a few times and on the last visit in 2006 a really nice guy called Leslie took the time to show us around the entire club including the Smiths Room. In 2007 Leslie was on Channel 4's Secret Millionaire when Chek Whyte gave some money and help towards restoring the building.
You can still watch this episode on the 4od website. Fast forward to 19mins 32secs (you have to endure 3 short adverts first !)

My Photographs in The Smiths Room, Click to view large versions.
Salford lads club, ManchesterThe Smiths Room at Salford lads club, ManchesterThe Smiths Room at Salford lads club, ManchesterThe Smiths Room at Salford lads club, Manchester

There is more information about The Smiths Room here.

More information :
The Smyths website :

The Smyths on Facebook.

The re:order website :

Re:Order on Facebook.

If you are a Smiths fan go and see them now, go on what you waiting for!!

P.S. You will soon be able to see Graham on this years Christmas edition of Come Dine With Me !
The 2011 Christmas Special Come Dine With Me will be aired on Friday 23rd December, keep an eye out for their performance as guests on this show.


Thursday 24 November 2011

Plasma Ball, Sound Activated 8" lightning globe from Maplin Electronics. Great Christmas gift

You must have seen one of these before, if not where have you been hiding? Its an 8" Plasma Globe, this model is sound activated so it will pulse in time to your music. Its a great unsual gift for someone that has everything. I got this model from Maplin Electronics in Derby. The Derby branch of Maplins can be seen in my 360 view of East Street, its next to TK Maxx.

You can also get Plasma Balls from other shops such as Amazon. Rather bizarrely you can even get a 4 port USB hub based around a Plasma Ball !

I have made a HD video of this plasma ball in action so you can see what it does. As you can see if you leave it alone then about 50 strands of blue mini lightening reach out from the centre ball to the outer ball.
They move around randomly often splitting part way and turning pink when they reach the glass.
If you put your finger near the glass then an extra bright lightening arc connects from the centre ball to your finger tip and follows it around as you move. It does not hurt when you do this, just a slight tingle sometimes.

My video of this Plasma Ball in action:

Or click the link to view : Video of Plasma Ball from Maplin Electronics.

If you put a fluorescent tube near it then it lights it up!
I found that if you place a cap of tinfoil on the top then it concentrates the voltage of  multiple lightening strands, if you put your finger near the tinfoil then you get quite a spark and YES is does hurt. In fact it leaves a black burn mark on your finger tip !

I also took some photographs of the Plasma Ball:
Plasma Ball 4

Plasma Ball 6

If you want to see some real big lightening then see these photos

Derby Teslathon 2004.

Derby Teslathon 2005.

Hope you found this review of interest.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

The new Derby Casino Genting Club at Riverlights, Morledge, Derby Bus Station opens on 19.11.11

Derby's new casino opens at 9:30pm on Saturday November 19th 2011.or 19.11.11 as it says on their adverts.

My dedicated guide to it is here....
Derby Genting Club Casino, Derby Riverlights.

I'm sure if you live in Derby then you will definitely have seen the adverts for the new Casino that is opening in Derby. These adverts are everywhere even on buses. If you've managed to miss it well here is one such advert for it.

I have created a dedicated guide to this Casino here :
Derby Genting Club Casino, Derby Riverlights.
I have provided all sorts of information for people wanting to visit here such as opening times, very accurate mapping for smart phones and even a virtual reality 360 degree photograph showing the location of the Casino entrance.

The casino opens to VIP's on Thursday 17th and to the general public on the 19th.

The Overtones
The singing decorators who hit the big time with their doo-wop style will officially open Derby's newest venue. The Overtones, a five-part vocal harmony group who have had a meteoric rise in the last 12 months, will be the star attractions at the Genting Club, Derby's new casino and entertainment venue.

The club opens on Thursday at 9:30 BUT only to VIP members, the rest of you will have to wait until Saturday. On Thursday Suzanne Shaw and Maria Fowler (The Only Way Is Essex) will be there.

If you think I've missed anything please drop me a line.

Facebook page for this Casino.


Tuesday 8 November 2011

New music videos by White Town from the album Monopole - Missing Her Again, Till I Die and Invisible Elastic .

Do you remember the band "White Town" from 1997, most famous locally for the worldwide hit "Your Woman". The video featured local Derby footage. Well 14 years later and a new album has just come out and there are several new music videos, again featuring local scenes.

The new album by White Town is called Monopole .


These are my personal favorite tracks from it...

White Town - Till I Die

Did you spot Iron Gate, Cathedral Green and Derby Quad?

White Town - Missing Her Again:

Did you spot Elvaston Castle Old English garden and Swanwick junction at Butterley?

White Town - Invisible Elastic:

Did you spot the Cathedral Green Swingbridge

Hope you enjoyed these new tracks.

Thursday 3 November 2011

HTC Wildfire - Location to copy MS Office files so you can view them on the phone.

Do you own a HTC Wildfire and want to know where to copy Microsoft Office Files onto the phone in order to view them on the phone? Here is the answer.

This works for ms Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Even tried it with .xlsx files and the HTC has no problems showing the file.

1) Connect your HTC Wildfire phone to your PC via your HTC Micro USB Data Cable.
2) Use Windows Explorer to view the files.
3) Go to the office files that you want to transfer, highlight them and copy them to the clipboard.
4) Go to the SD card of the HTC and look for a folder in the root called Download
5) Paste your files into this folder.
6) Disconnect the USB device (left click on the little icon on right of status bar and select Disconnect)
7) On the HTC goto Apps - Office and after a few seconds of the black screen it should list your files that you copied over.
8) Tap one of the files and it will open. When opening office docs it seems to show a black screen with a green loading bar at the bottom of the screen.

I have only tried this out on the HTC Wildfire phone but I dare say it will be the same on the other HTC phones such as HTC Explorer, HTC Sensation, HTC Desire etc.

Hope this helps. Post a comment if your found it of use.
One thing through how do you select tabs on a Excel spreadsheet?


Wednesday 2 November 2011

2011 Markeaton Bonfire and Fireworks, Saturday 5th November from 5.45pm.

Its that time of year again when our annual free Bonfire and Fireworks event takes place at Markeaton Park, Derby.
There will be a Funfair on Markeaton Park from 2pm to 9pm

Stage entertainment from 4.45pm

Bonfire lit at 5.45pm

Fireworks at 6pm

Map for Markeaton Park Bonfire and Fireworks:

View 2011 Markeaton Park Bonfire and fireworks Display in a larger map

Access to Markeaton Park for the Bonfire and Fireworks is restricted for safety reasons.
The main entrance to the park, off the A38, will be open for pedestrians. There will be no pedestrian access through the Mundy Play Centre, or across any of the three bridges into the park.

The main entrance to the Mundy Play Centre will also be closed, and the Mundy Play Centre car park will close at 2.30pm. Anyone who parks in this car park to use the park during the day should ensure that their vehicle is moved by 2.30pm. Markeaton Lane is closed to all vehicles between 3pm and 9pm, to allow safe access for pedestrians. The Police will control the road closure.

Pedestrians coming from The University of Derby car park will be directed across the pedestrian crossing on Kedleston Road and will access the park from Queensway next to the footbridge over the A38. Pedestrians coming along Kedleston Road from the city centre will also be directed via Queensway. Pedestrians from the Quarndon/Allestree areas will be directed down Markeaton Lane into the rear entrance to the park.

If you don't want to get caught up in all the mud, crowds and traffic but want to see the fireworks then I suggest going on the roof car park at Park Farm, Allestree. Don't tell everyone though !

The weather is looking like it may be dry for this year.


Tuesday 1 November 2011

The 2011 Derby's Christmas Lights Switch on by Gareth Gates and Joe McElderry, Saturday 19th November 2011. Derby Ice Rink and Victorian Christmas Market.

Gareth Gates will turn on Derby Christmas Lights on Saturday 19th 2011 on Derby Market Place. While Joe McElderry and Dale Diva will be switching on Westfield Derby Christmas lights.

Remember - That's two seperate Christmas switch-ons for Derby.

Joe McElderry inside Westfield Derby at 4pm and then
Gareth Gates on Derby Market Place at 6pm.

If you are a new visitor to Derby then see my smartphone drop pin links below.

This is the  very same night that the New Derby casino near the bus station opens.

The show will begin at 3.30pm, on stage in the Market Place, on Saturday, November 19th.
Join a festive parade from Sitwell Street (just off Babington Lane) at 4.15pm or head down to the Market Place and enjoy a variety of entertainment, including DaleDiva, Trinity Band, pantomime stars Linda Robson and Mike McClean, Santa and headline act, Gareth Gates, leading up to the big switch-on event at 6pm.

This year the Derby Xmas light switch on will be done by non other than Gareth Gates !!!
The Pop Idol runner-up will join Birds Of A Feather star Linda Robson for the Derby switch-on, the show is hosted by Captial FM presenters Dino and Pete.

Map location for Derby's Christmas Lights Switch-on 2011:

View Derby Christmas Lights Switch on 2011. in a larger map

Smartphone mapping pins for smartphone owners:
If you are a new visitor to Derby then you will find my smartphone naviagation pins of use. Simply view this blog on your smartphone and follow my instruction below.

Gareth Gates on Derby Market Place.  <-- Tap this link for accurate location.

Joe McElderry in Derby Westfield.  <-- Tap this link for an accurate location.

When you tap one of the links above, it will launch your mapping application and place a "push pin" onto the map with the exact location of the switch on.
You can then use this marker to get walking directions from where you have parked.

For example on an iPhone you tap the "Directions" button at the bottom and this will pre-fill in the start location with your current location and the end location with the switch on location.

So all you need to do is just tap the "Route" button at the bottom then tap the walking icon and it will show you walking route. If you tap the bottom left icon 3 times then this will turn on follow mode, Centre mode and direction mode. What this means is that a blue flashing dot which represents you will stay in the centre of the screen and orientated in the direction that you travel in.

If you tap the middle button at the top, this will even show you which bus number and when the next bus to Derby from your nearest location.
My push pins are far more accuare than any other map as its not based on the postcode which most maps are. My map is based on local knowlege of the locations.

If you are looking for somewhere to park in Derby for these two switch-ons then best to get here early as this is going to be popular. This site shows all the local car parks

The Derby Victorian Christmas Market
A couple of weeks after the xmas lights are switched on, a Victorian Christmas fair will be held in Derby Market Place. About 30 huts will be in the Cornmarket from December 1st to 24th and will open from 9am to 5pm, except on late-night shopping days, when it will stay open until 7pm.

Useful Links :

Westfield Derby Store Guide Leaflet.

Derby Ice Rink
This year there will be an Ice Rink on Derby Market Place from December 1st until January 8th.
It will be open for skating every day except Christmas Day. This year it will be a real ice rink with proper ice rather than fake ice.

Westfield Derby:
2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry and DaleDiva will be switching on Westfield Derby Christmas lights from 2pm onwards. He will be turning the lights on at 4pm.

On Saturday 12th November Santa will be opening his brand new Wish Kingdom Grotto with some very special friends including Rastamouse and Sam and Mark.

Derby's Westfield awaits Joe McElderry to turn on this years Christmas lights.
Rastamouse is in da house meeting families and children throughout the day. See the CBeebies favourite for free, make sure you don’t miss out and pick up a free wrist band from Westfield Derby Concierge on the day from 9am.
Plus a free super-glittery craft workshop where kids can make their own tree decorations. All hosted by TV and Gem 106 boys Sam and Mark!

Joe McElderry Poster in Derby Westfield :

Joe McElderry

Belper's Christmas lights will be turned on : Friday November 25th.
This is also the night that the Scouts ping pong ball race will take place on King Street at 7pm.

Long Eaton :
Long Eaton's Christmas lights will be switched on by the Mayor on Friday 2nd December at 7.00pm.

The Bakewell Christmas Lights Switch on takes place at 4pm on Saturday 26th Nov 2011.

The Ilkeston Christmas Lights switch on will take place on Friday 25th November 2011, The lights will be switched on by the Mayor of Erewash at 7pm.

Ashbourne's Christmas lights will be switched on Friday 18th November at 6.30pm, in the Market Place.

Swadlincote's Christmas lights switch on will take place on Friday, November 25.
Seven-year-olds Jack Benton and Phoebe Johnson, both pupils at the town's Belmont Primary School, won a competition organised by South Derbyshire District Council.
An array of entertainment will be taking place as part of the celebrations from 11am.
It will include special performances from schools, dancers, cheerleaders, singers and a Santa stilt-walker.
Rides and stalls will be set up along Swadlincote's High Street.

Burton-on-Trent xmas lights
Burton's Christmas lights switch on will be done by Chesney Hawkes on Sunday 20th November 20 at 5pm. This will take place at Burton Market Place and will be followed by a Spectacular Fireworks show !
If your too young to know who Chesney Hawkes is well his song "The one and only" was heard as the ring tone in the 2011 film Source Code

Video of Chesney Hawkes:


Monday 31 October 2011

Derby of the Dead - Derby zombie walk 2011 videos. A unique event raising money for a good cause.

Shoppers looked astounded as the 150-strong army of zombies invaded Derby on Saturday. This was "Derby of the Dead". Here are some videos of the first ever Zombie walk in Derby. The horror began in the Market Place at noon on Saturday. There is a Facebook page dedicated to the Derby Zombie Walk.

Video of the Derby of the Dead around the Strand, Derby.

The Derby Zombies as seen on Sadler Gate, Derby.

Were you on this walk?

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Derby and Derbyshire webcams updated.

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 as well as Staffordshire webcams.
I have just updated my Derby webcam list as quite a few have now gone offline but I have included 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 and if they work on an iPhone. Live webcams are great for checking out the weather if you are about to travel somewhere as you can see for yourself if its raining or snowing etc.

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.

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 ! I'm sure we can do better than that !

Just think of how many people out there in Derby who 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 live !

I have had to remove several webcams as they have gone offline, I will add them back again if they return. The following have been removed.

1) Mercia Marina in Willington. Dead ! UPDATE 31/10 Reinstated as link now updated and working.
2) Ram FM, Iron Gate, Derby. Taken over by Capital FM
3) Broomfield College bird feeders. A real shame this one has gone as it was one of the best webcams.
4) Hathersage, Gone !

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 please get in touch with all the details and I will add it to my list for you.

While looking for other local webcams I found a new one in Derby but then realised its actually a Derby in the USA.

Live streaming webcam in Derby, Wichita, Kansas.
This is a view of their New Derby Public Library at 1600 E. Walnut Grove. A pity we don't have a live webcam of Derby library !

I have added a few new local webcams, I will let you see if you can spot them.
On my Stafforshire webcams page I have added a live webcam of Burton on Trent, this has a great view of High Street where the infamous Burton Bollard is located.

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


Friday 21 October 2011

Who is this Actor and what is being filmed here?

Last Sunday morning while on a break in London there was some filming being done on Duke's Road, Camden. I took these photographs on Sunday 16th October 2011.

Anybody know who this actor is and what they are filming?
Looks like its set in the 1940s, I don't recognise the actor. Could be a film or a TV series. I'm sure someone out there will recognise this.

Who is this actor ?

More photos of the filming :
Who is this actor?

Filming taking place in Dukes Road, London in October 2011
Filming in Dukes Road, London

Filming taking place in Dukes Road, London in October 2011
Filming in Dukes Road, London

Filming taking place in Dukes Road, London in October 2011
Filming in Dukes Road, London

The filming was attracting lots of attention from passers by, The only reason I spotted it was because of the old bus.

Duke's Road is a side street off Euston Road which is the main road that runs past St Pancras International railway station.

I posted this question on Answerbank HERE.

Here is a Google Streetview of this road.

I found these videos of other filming going on in this location in the past.
Dancing in Dukes Road.

Eurovision Flash Mod Dancing.

Looks like Duke's Road is a popular place!

Post your answers to who and what is going on as a comment to this post.


Friday 14 October 2011

Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds gig in Derby on Saturday 12 November 2011.

Did you know that Adrian Edmondson has a band called The Bad Shepherds? Well I saw them in London at the Great British Beer Festival and really enjoyed them so much that could not wait to see them again, And thankfully they happen to have a gig in a few weeks in Derby.

Adrian Edmondson &The Bad Shepherds perform in Derby on Saturday 12 November 2011.
The show starts at 8.00pm
Tickets are £17.50 from Derby Assembly Rooms Box Office or the old way by phone 01332 255800

If your old enough then I'm sure you will remember Ade Edmondson as Vyvyan in the early eighties TV show The Young Ones. If your not so old then you may know him as the star of the ITV series The Dales.

The band have a couple of Albums out, the last one was Hook Or By Crook in November 2010.

The Bad Shepherds play punk songs on folk instruments. Not as a gag, but because they really like the noise. They think the songs are better than people remember. They love folk instruments. It works.
They do songs by The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Jam, Sham 69, The Undertones, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Specials, Talking Heads, Squeeze and others, even Kraftwerk! Alright, they're not all punk, but they come from roughly the same era.
They've mostly given the songs a kind of Celtic feel, and they've stuck in the odd reel and jig here and there. But occasionally they just thrash!
They've always thought the excitement of a reel taking off is the nearest thing to the excitement of watching punk live in the 70s.

Here is my video of them performing Rise by Public Image Ltd at the Great British Beer Festival.

More info on the band on their website :

Hope you enjoy the show.