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 28 November 2012

How to make a 2013 personalised calendar from your own photographs, easy to follow video tutorial. Free templates provided.

My 2013 Calendar Tutorial Guide.

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

Three years ago I created a set of calendar templates and a video tutorial on how to use them.
The free 2013 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 Nineteen thousand people following my guide so far.

Here is an example of what you will be able to create using my free 2013 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.

My photograph of Duffield in Winter in one of my landscape calendar templates :
My calendar template with one of my photographs of Duffield used on it. YOU can create this !
 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 2013 Calendar Guide page here :
Complete guide on how to make a 2013 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.


Saturday 24 November 2012

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012, The snowman buys gloves for the snowwoman.

Just over ten years ago I created a web page for My Favourite UK Television Adverts. This was extreamly popular but in recent years now everyone has broadband and we have YouTube I have decided to start updating my UK TV Adverts page again. The main reason for this is that there have been some really good telly adverts in recent years and there not on my adverts page.

One which I keep seeing at the moment is the John Lewis Christmas Advert featuring the snowman that goes on a long difficult journey to the city to buy a present for the snowwoman.

The music used is awsome, I don't normally like covers but Gabrielle Aplin's version of the classic Frankie goes to hollywood's song "Power of love" is very good and fits the little story really well.

If you have not seen this tv advert before then watch it now by clicking on the snowman :

Click here to watch this great tv advert now.
or clicking this link :
 John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012 with the snowman and snowwoman.

I guess the snowman must have been shoplifting to get these gloves as its not got any pockets for money or a wallet, I guess it could have had one of those contactless credit cards that you just swipe hidden in its snowy body ! Just enjoy the advert lol!

Music used in this advert :

2011 John Lewis Advert - Boy who can't wait for Christmas day
Last Christmas John Lewis also had a great advert with a nice twist at the end of the advert.

If you have not seen this tv advert before then watch it now by clicking on the image here :

Click here to watch this great tv advert now.
or clicking this link :
 John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011 - Boy who can't wait for Christmas day..


Wednesday 21 November 2012

Bonnie Prince Charlie battle re-enactment 1st and 2nd December 2012.

On the weekend of Saturday 1st December and Sunday 2nd December 2012 sees this annual re-enactment.

The video below is one I made at last years battle on Derby's 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 :

Want to learn more about Bonnie Prince Charlie? :

On Sunday, the Jacobite army will enter Derby, marching from the Court house on Corporation Street then down East Street and St Peter's Street and across the Market Place to Iron Gate, where they will challenge the mayor of Derby

The march starts at noon from Corporation street.

Interactive Route map for the Bonnie Prince Charlie parade in 2012 :

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.


Monday 12 November 2012

Derby's Christmas Lights Switch On takes place Saturday 17th November 2012.

So who is turning on Derby christmas lights in 2012?
Stacey Solomon and Carolynne Poole !

Derby’s annual Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Saturday 17th November 2012.
There are two switch-ons to see. The one in Derby's Market Place and one in Westfield Derby. Below I have provided all the details you need as well as info on the Ice rink and shop opening hours for Christmas.

Westfield Derby Christmas Lights Switch-on

Stacey Solomon will turn on Westfield Derby Christmas Lights :
stacey soloman 06

Visit Westfield Derby on Saturday 17th November for an afternoon of festive fun!

X Factor and 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here' star, Stacey Solomon will be helping Santa switch on our Christmas lights and will also be performing live on stage. It's free, just turn up on the day and join us as we start the countdown to Christmas.

And, it doesn't stop there... Stacey and Santa will be joined by a whole host of Christmas friends including Sam from Gem 106, the Heat Dance Academy and the winning choir from our 2011 Christmas Choir competition.

Exact Map location for The 2012 Derby Westfield Christmas light switch on

Stores will open at 9am and the countdown to the Christmas lights switch on will start at 2pm.

Westfield Derby shopping centre Christmas opening hours:
From Thursday, November 15, the centre will open until 9pm every Thursday and Friday.
This will be extended from Monday, December 10, when it will be open until 9pm on all weekdays. From Monday, December 17, Westfield Derby will be open until 10pm on weekdays.

Derby Christmas Lights swtich on - Market Place

X-Factor’s Carolynne Poole will be turning on Derby's Christmas lights :

Carolynne Poole

Entertainment will begin at 3.30pm, with the Capital FM roadshow hosted by Capital FM Breakfast Show presenters Dino and Pete featuring performances from local artists.
These will include Christmas carols from local choir Sing For Your Supper and a performance by musicians from Virtulight – part of Derby’s Festival of Light celebrations, who will start the show.

Exact Map location for The 2012 Derby Christmas light switch on.

There will also be plenty to entertain shoppers earlier on in the day as a selection of walk-about acts perform in and around St Peter’s Street from 2pm – 4pm. A festive parade, from The Spot down to the Market Place, will begin at 4.15pm and crowds and Christmas shoppers can expect to see Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost Stilt-walkers, the villainous Captain Hook (EastEnders & Gavin & Stacey’s Larry Lamb), Dame Able Mabel (Jason Sutton) and of course, Santa!

The parade will be led down to the Market Place by The Ambassadors of Borrowash brass band. Once the parade reaches the Market Place the crowds will then be treated to performances from local band The Struts and X-Factor’s Carolynne Poole.
The Struts are Luke (vocals), Adam (guitars), Gethin (drums) and Jed (bass) and they are based in Derby. Their influences include The Stones, Queen and Kasabian and they have a new rock n roll vibe, a blend of vintage and fresh. Singer-songwriter Carolynne reached the live shows stage of this year’s X-Factor competition, with Gary Barlow as her mentor in the Over 28’s category.
She was the first act to leave the TV talent show, when Louis Walsh controversially took the vote to ‘Deadlock’ after first saying he wanted to ‘keep Carolynne’, causing Gary Barlow to walk off stage. A Facebook page entitled "Bring back Carolynne Poole a judges decision should be final" received over 12,000 'likes' in less than 24 hours.

The lights will be turned on at approximately 6pm by a selection of performers involved in the event and they will be joined by The Mayor of Derby, Councillor Lisa Higginbottom and the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Martin Repton.

Stacey Solomon will be here at Westfield Derby to turn on their Christmas lights.

Derby Ice Rink
It proved popular last year, drawing people to one of the city's most attractive shopping areas. Derby's Cathedral Quarter. The ice rink is located on the Market Place in Derby, in front of the Assembly rooms.

Opening Times:
The rink will open from Saturday, December 1st to Sunday, January 6th between 10am and 9pm.
Peak prices are: adults £8.50, over-60s and students £7.50, under-16s £6.50, family ticket (four) £27. Off peak: £6.50, over 60s, students and under 16s £5.50, family ticket £21

Each skating session lasts 50 minutes

You can book your tickets online using their website : www.derbyicerink.co.uk


The Derby Santa Run 2012 at Elvaston Castle on Sunday December 9th (in aid of Rainbows Hospice)

Join Elvaston Castle Santas On The Run event and help raise money for Rainbows Children’s Hospice. It is taking place in the beautiful grounds of Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire on Sunday 9th December at 11.00 am.

Derby Santa Run 2011

The term ‘run-up to Christmas’ is taking on a new meaning this year as thousands of people all over the country clamber into Santa suits for a series of festive fun runs to raise money for children’s hospices. Watching hundreds of sweaty Santas pummelling the bridal paths in the beautiful grounds of Elvaston Castle should be a hugely entertaining spectacle in its own right. Knowing that their seasonally sporting silliness aids the essential work of Rainbows Children Hospice should be incentive enough for many more people to get on board.

Anyone can sign up for the event. You don’t have to be Olympic fit, just in reasonable, er, ‘elf’.  You can run, jog or walk the 2.2 and 4.4 mile circular route and by taking part this Christmas you can help make a real difference, get fit and most importantly have fun.

All entrants will receive a Santa suit on registration and everyone is asked to try and raise a minimum of £20.00 in sponsorship.

Fantastic prizes are on offer for the most money raised by both the adults and children! So what are you waiting for - go on sign up

Suits may be posted,collected prior to the event at local collection points or on the day at the event - details will be confirmed once registered

Derby Santa Run 2011

Location : Elvaston Castle, near Derby.
Sunday, 9th December at 11.00am
Distance:  2.2 miles and 4.4 miles

Join hundreds of Santas for Derbyshire’s Santas on the Run event. Put on your santa suit and run, jog or walk the 2.2 mile route. or for the more serious runner out there hit the 4.4 mile run and do the track twice!

Runners will be timed with results being posted onto the website the following day. We encourage all fundraisers to raise as much money as possible.

For more information on the 2012 Elvaston Castle Santa Run see :

Map location for Elvaston Castle Charity Santa Run.


Tuesday 6 November 2012

Google Street View is recapturing Derby right now (Nov 2012)

update : These new Google Street Views are now live.
I'm sure you have all seen and used Google Street View but I noticed that Google are currently recapturing the streets in Derby at the moment.

The google street view car had to stop on Friday afternoon while I had my car door open, it then sped past me ! I did a double take as could not believe I had seen an actual Google Streetview car.

Keep an eye out for it in Derby. Its a black car with a distinctive 360 degree camera mount on the top of it. It has a orange stick man logo (google streetview icon) on the back of the car. 

The google Street View car looks like this :
Google Street View car

It was also spotted on Pear Tree Road on Monday 5th November 2012 so its obviously re-photographing Derby at the moment.

The last time Google mapped out the streets of Derby was back in 2008. A lot has changed in Derby in those few years. For example look at this streetview below of Derby Bus Station, it was captured in August 2008 so there is NO bus station built yet !

View Larger Map

Control the 360 view above using your mouse. 

You can see the Google streetview car that captured Derby in 2008 as its reflected in the large windows of the building on Derwent Street. You can see it here :

View Larger Map  

Are YOU a google streetview driver? How did you get the job?

Did you know that Google Street view has even mapped out some Canals in the UK?
Have a look here - Tow path on the Llangollen Canal. Pity its not gone across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct seems to stop at the end of it.