Web News

A Glimpse of the Past

Wimbledon Bourough
News, 2.4.26


A large crowd was attracted to 'The Pickle' at Merton on Monday evening, the attraction being the unusual spectacle of a river alight ..... Two old cottages were in danger, and a coffee stall was damaged .... the cause of the fire is not known, but it is believed that someone must have dropped a lighted match into the stream, on which inflammable oil was floating.
As mentioned in our Editorial, the Museum's web site has re-awakened. We are fortunate in having, in Michael Hart, someone to whom hours poring over incomprehensible coding and hyperlinks is a pleasure rather than a chore.

There is a penalty, of course, in that his idea of fun for a web site, and our more staid ideas of what a Museum web site should be, are likely to diverge.

For the moment, however, it suits him to develop his skills, and its suits me to let him do it. Gaudy is good, on a web site, because it makes the casual visitor stop that fraction of a second longer.

Legend has it that no visitor will stop at your site if the home page takes more than 8 seconds to load. Michael has solved this by taking choice away from the visitor - home page changes to the next page automatically!

Our plan is in three stages:

[1] First, we are tidying up the basic site by including all the usual details - how, where, when, etc. We have also included the basic product list.
[2] The next stage, which is being developed now, is to have more moving images, and adding graphics, pictures of exhibits etc. The last news letter is already there, and this one will be added. Those of you who have already visited will have spotted one immediate improvement the electronic newsletter has over the printed one - pictures are in colour, and, if you click on them, you get the enlarged version.

With the agreement of the committee, the Members 10% discount on our materials publications and books will be promoted - anyone who becomes a member at the same time as buying anything will be able to claim the 10% on that order.

[3] The third stage, which will go on for some time, is to start digitising our archive, and making this available. The first items will, probably, be the schools materials - like the ‘Wandle at Work' - a wonderful potted history that serves to introduce the subject to all ages.M

Because the free web space we have is limited we have already opened another account, and, where necessary, the two sites will link together.

In parallel with this, we hope to introduce a ‘closed' part of the site - only members who log on using passwords will have access. This will enable us to make committee business, for example, more widely available to members, whilst preserving basic security against outside prying.

To some extent we can handle all this development internally, but there are limits. The site can be used to promote sales, but to carry out the sale completely electronically is a huge step. For the time being we will content ourselves with stirring up the interest, and taking the cheques through the post!

However, one of the benefits of this sort of work is that it can be carried out at long distance, and shared electronically. If any of our members are interested in joining in this project, please make contact.

Nicholas Hart

Back to last item
Go to news index
Go forward to next item