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.

Friday 29 April 2011

Celebrate the Royal wedding in Derby Market place today.

THE biggest Royal Wedding party in Derby is currently taking place in the Market Place, see my photograph below.

Here is a very short HD video clip I filmed about 1130 on the day:

There is live entertainment accompanying the satellite coverage on the Big Screen.Trestle tables have been provided for revellers to enjoy a picnic if you wish.

As you can see there is a there is a stage to the right of the big screen. The live entertainment will be led by singer Erin Parker.

It all started at 8 this morning. come along and join in the fun.

Erin has a passion for the 1940s with an image inspired by screen goddesses like Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall.

Dressed in period clothes, Erin performs songs packed with wartime nostalgia. Favourites like We’ll Meet Again, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Rum and Coca Cola and Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree all feature in her repertoire.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Video of Ellen MacArthur opening Heage Windmill on Saturday 23rd April 2011

Here is my latest short film, filmed in HD last Saturday.
Heage Windmill in Derbyshire opens up each year at Easter and closes at the end of October.
This year Heage Windmill was officially opened by the world famous Yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur on Saturday 23rd April.
This particular opening was even more special as its the 10th Anniversary season since its restoration was completed in 2002.

I was invited as a guest because I created their virtual reality tour in the interpretation centre located in the bottom of the mill. The weather on the day was glorious and sunny but unfortunately there was no wind at all so the sails were not moving.
There was a great turn out for this opening, a marquee had been erected near the windmill for the buffet which had a slideshow running in the corner telling you all about the windmill.

I have hopefully captured the feel of this event in my short film. Ellen MacArthur was born within a stones throw of Heage Windmill at Whatstandwell, famous for her world record of the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005.

Ellen MacArthur arrived at the mill on a 1954 BSA Bantam motorbike (which she refers to in her speech).

I met Dame Ellen after she had been on the tour around the mill with her parents, she is a lovely down to earth lady. She said she was really impressed with my VR Tour system and had used it when she had been on two previous visits.

If you would like to visit Heage Windmill this weekend and want more information then please visit their website:  Heage Windmill website.Why not visit this weekend after Fridays Royal Wedding celebrations.

The Ellen MacArthur Trust Aims to support, empower and enliven children suffering from cancer or leukaemia by introducing them to the joys of sailing on the sea

If you are not sure of the driving route to the mill then view my Driving to Heage Windmill video.
To plan your driving route to the mill use my map here : Heage Windmill Map Location.
You can buy their flour at the windmill or at the local farmers markets such as Belper Farmers Market.

Hope you like my film of this historic Derbyshire event. I hope Heage Windmill have a great year due to this publicity, the more visitors they get the more donations they will get to keep this mill running for future generations to appreciate.

If you have not seen my local videos before and enjoyed this one then subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow my blog to get notified about any new videos I make.


Tuesday 19 April 2011

Derby's new Wayfinding signs, Have you tried them on your smartphone yet?

The city's new Wayfinding system is the first of its kind in the country and is a technological breakthrough in location and direction signposting.
The state-of-the-art system combines basic sign boards with the latest technology to allow people to access additional information using smart phones.

Photograph of one Derby's new Wayfinding signs.
This sign is located on Corporation Street exactly where in THIS Google streetview there is a advert for an iPhone.
Derby's new Wayfinding system
Notice the strange coloured square symbol below the map (pointed to with a red arrow)

Photograph of a tag on one of our signs.
This particular tag was on the sign on Derby Market Place.
Derby's new Wayfinding system, Try it now on screen!

iPhone Screengrab of the website that is launched by this tag.
As you can see it displays a smartphone optimised website with
information relating to this exact location.
Derby's new Wayfinding system 3

iPhone Screengrab of Derby Quad's website as followed by "whats near me?":
Derby's new Wayfinding system 4

This is very clever stuff.

Saturday 16 April 2011

Video : Driving around Derby's completed Inner Ring Road in HD. March 2011

Following on from last weeks post of a time-lapse drive around the newly completed Derby inner ring road. I have now uploaded a real video of a drive around the loop in a clockwise then anti-clockwise direction. Filmed in H.D. The video camera was mounted right next to my time-lapse camera so you will see the same views as per my other video but at a speed where you can see them better.

The video file I uploaded to YouTube for this was 700Mb, one of the largest files I have ever uploaded.
The video is best watched in 720p mode or at least 480p mode and in full screen. You do need a fast PC and good broadband connection to do this.

The final link (Mercian Way) in Derby's inner ring road was opened on 16th March 2011, marking the completion of major work on the city's £36.2m Connecting Derby scheme.


Saturday 9 April 2011

New Video : Driving Time-lapse of Derby's completed Inner Ring Road. March 2011

I have finally got around to uploading my video of a time-lapse drive around the now finished Derby Inner Ring Road. I filmed this on Sunday 27th March 2011.
It is made from photographs sequenced so that it looks like video footage.

I have driven it in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions to give you an idea of how it looks in either direction.
To enjoy my video at its best you need to watch it in Full Screen mode and at 720p (if your PC and broadband can handle that).

The final link (Mercian Way) in Derby's inner ring road was opened on 16th March 2011, marking the completion of major work on the city's £36.2m Connecting Derby scheme.

My Video :


Wednesday 6 April 2011

Andrew Handyside, The reason you should be proud of Friargate Bridge.

For several months now I have been doing extensive research on the company Andrew Handyside, in case you have never heard of them well they made the very ornate Friargate bridge here in Derby.
As well as our bridge they were renowned around the globe for their high quality iron work.

I have discovered so much about this company that I ended up creating a dedicated blog to the company which I will use to show the world what they have done.
They really did put Derby on the map in the Victorian era and yet I doubt the people of Derby realise this because it seems to have been forgotten in time. Well I'm going to put the record straight here and really promote their history in a way that has never been done before.

If you have not seen my Andrew Handyside blog then go and have a look at some of the amazing things that were all made right here in Derby, they are located all over the world.
People are really proud of these Victorian items and yet we let his bridge rot.

So far I have posted articles on Fountains, bridges and roofs.

Here is a typical high quality cast iron fountain that was made in Derby by Andrew Handyside :
Chateau Impney 2


Tuesday 5 April 2011

Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Derby by Alan Godfrey. Great for research.

For some years now I have been using old maps to help learn about how Derby used to look, I have some great maps produced by Alan Godfrey and these are very handy if you want to know where things used to be in Derby such as Roads that have gone or been diverted. The maps are ideal for local historians, transport historians, and family historians.

There are currently 3 maps for the Derby area, two dating from 1899 and one from 1913. They are very detailed. In order to help you work out what area each map covers I have created a modern map showing the precise area that is covered by the three maps, that way you know which one to buy.

See my map below. Best to click the link below the map so you can get a full size map.

These maps are available from good local book shops or online.

I have created a map showing the precise area covered by each of the Godfrey local maps so you can see which map is the correct one for your area.

View Alan Godfrey Maps - Coverage area for Derby maps. in a larger map
Best to click the link above to get a good view.


Monday 4 April 2011

How to download all items listed on a webpage with a Firefox add-on

I found a very handy free add-on for Firefox that allows you to download all items linked to on a webpage. I found this very useful and I’m sure you may do too.
My use for this was on the Derby City Council e-planning website. Building developments that require planning permission appear on the councils planning website. The documents page lists everything relating to planning permission.
On some developments there can be many documents to view. These are normally in .PDF format (Acrobat Reader) or in .DOC (Microsoft Word Document).
All the files are in a clickable list on a single webpage. Now obviously this can be quite time consuming clicking on each link and waiting for it to download then clicking back over and over.
The Firefox add-on “DownThemAll” allows you to do exactly that in just a few mouse clicks it will download all of the documents into one folder so you can view them off-line at your leisure.

How to install this add-on in Firefox.
In Firefox goto the Tools menu and select Add-ons
Click on the Get Add-ons tab.
In the search box type downthemall
Against the DownThemAll! Add-on click on the “Add to Firefox” button. Then the Install Now button, then the “restart Firefox” button when its finished installing.

Now an exampe of how to use it:
So in my example I want all of the documents for the Derby Canal Restoration so I goto this page that lists all the documents : Derby Canal Restoration Planning Ducuments.
There are currently 174 documents on this page.

To download all the documents you simply right-click anywhere on the page (not on a link) and the sub menu will show, just select “DownThemAll!” and the add-on will show where you can select which files you want.
Press Control A to select all the files then right-click and select “Check selected items” You can now deslect any files you don’t want. 

Now click the Start button and it will get all the files for you. All the PDFs and Docs.
A very useful add-on !

Saturday 2 April 2011

My latest World Wide Panorama theme entry accepted - The Derby Canal at Swarkestone.

The current themed event has just gone live on the World Wide Panorama website and the theme for this event was "Limits" so for my entry I created a 360x180 degree VR photograph from the top of the restored accomodation bridge of the former Derby Canal at Swarkestone.
Click the link here to see my panorama entry for the Limits theme :
Derby Canal bridge at Swarkestone.

This requires Flash (i.e. if you use YouTube then it will work ok).

Please check out the many other entries around the planet by other VR photographers :
All entries for the Limit event.

Keep an eye on my blog for some more posts about the former Derby Canal.