The rationale behind this site


The intended audience: those with whom I shared my schooling in Stanmore, Middlesex during the middle of the twentieth century.
The site comprises: I hope this web site will be regarded as a repository where fellow pupils feel they can share their memorabilia.  The content comprises photographs, documents (including site plans) and names and memories of teachers – primarily organised chronologically and then alphabetically - from the schools I attended (and Blackwell - which I didn't attend, but it did share some staff with schools that I did attend… and also a few 'chums' from earlier times went there).
The purpose of the site: to stimulate the memory and interest of site visitors… and to provide me with a mild, intellectual, semi-technical challenge.
Reasons for developing this web site?  Mainly for fun… but also for vanity - because one wanted to see if one damned-well could.
The 'local history' stuff is a bit different - an analogy might be that I can indulge my interests by going on little adventures of exploration and investigation… and those site visitors who share these interests can come with me.
I asked a chum at work, Tom Young, a developer of a very successful web site, his reason for making it.  He initially offered some rather lofty rationalisation… then he hesitated and said "Nah! - to be loved".  With that I can concur.
Grateful thanks are due to: those individuals that have contributed material to the site - several of whom I was, until recently, quite oblivious… but now, I am delighted to say, I am not.

In the mid '90s, an old secondary school pal in his late-forties confided that he was having increasing difficulty recalling the names of his school chums – some 30 years hence!  So together we noted-down all the names that we could remember so that by the time we reached our dotage we wouldn't have 'lost' anyone permanently.

Now however, one can remind oneself of several fellow pupils' names by simply visiting web-sites that list the names of all the pupils who have registered against a particular school.  But several chums with interesting recollections or memorabilia wouldn't be able, for a variety of reasons, to access and contribute to existing web-sites.

One is cognisant of the dangers of 'living in the past' - but nevertheless, as a trivial and wholly forgivable indulgence, I have aimed to amass and catalogue memorabilia from a number of sources to help stimulate the memories of others.

A couple of teachers appear in old school reports or 'scrapbooks' – where only initials appear.

Web-site design considerations

When I developed this site I made a deliberate decision to, rather than make it 'pretty' (I am not artistic), make it consistently rapid to access - even when the web-server is relatively busy.  It takes a bit more development effort to make web-pages appear rapidly - but don't site-visitors deserve it?

I have tried to put the majority of site content within two-clicks of the 'Home' page - this has necessitated using a relatively 'flat' structure.

Another feature of this site, that required a conscious decision during development, is unconstrained page 'views'.  Page width varies with the user's window and text is displayed using whatever default size the visitor's browser has set for its font (with Internet Explorer the font and its size can be selected using: 'Tools', 'Internet Options', 'Fonts'; and: 'View', 'Text size' …).  This seemed a prudent measure given that I, like most of the expected visitors, am no longer blessed with perfect sight.

C.P. 1/7/06