A Brief History of the Theydon Bois Village Website
The beginning of the 21st Century saw acceleration in the use of systems whereby
data, text, sound and pictures could be transmitted at high speed and in digital
form. This "New Age" of Information Technology embraced both Britain and the
rest of the world, information held on computers linked via underground cables
and space satellites could be instantaneously transmitted worldwide. This
system co existed with the current communication mediums of the telephone
radio and television but such was its progress that it was expected that these
"Broadband" systems would soon link individuals directly making the earlier
The integration of this technology with the present telephone
systems had already encouraged millions of people in Britain to exchange messages
and data via electronic mail (E-Mail) and given them direct access to extraordinary
amounts of information held on computers across the world. An Englishman,
Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 devised the method by which this information could
be accessed when he proposed a hypertext system for the scientific community
at CERN, this computer language became known as HTML (Hypertext Mark Up Language)
and the system of linked computers was called The World Wide Web (WWW). Its
development over the last decade of the 20th Century had allowed anyone with
a computer connected to a telephone line anywhere in the world to have detailed
information relating to practically any subject.
THEYDON BOIS SITE
It had also become possible for individuals to establish their
own presence on the World Wide Web, which allowed them to propagate information
they held across the globe. TB resident Tony Mitchell had first experimented
with a few web pages for the village in 2000 but in March 2001 he met with
two further residents, Frank Jones and Jim Watts and a group was formed to
create the Theydon Bois Village Web Site. The aim was "…to provide a presence
on the Web for our community and an opportunity for individuals and local
community organisations to experiment with the Web". It would advertise the
village and provide a "notice board" and pictures and information on all TB
activities. The "Domain Name" for the site or its URL (Uniform Resource Locator),
the information you type into the address bar of a Web Browser to locate the
site, was www.theydon.org.uk and the group also purchased the "Domain Name"
www.theydonbois.org and this also located the site.
At the initial group meeting duties were distributed as follows:
Frank Jones (the TB Parish Clerk) would mainly be responsible for Content
(Co-ordinating information contributions, financing and sponsorship). Frank's
role has now been taken by Madeleine Murphy the new TB Parish Clerk.
Tony Mitchell who originally started the site would now Manage it (looking
after promoting the site, public awareness community relations' village use
Jim Watts would act as the Editor (he would design and edit the new
site, "post" it on the Web and be responsible for its update).
The intention from the beginning was that the site would be
available for all in the village who wanted to contribute or put up relevant
information or involve themselves in its running and the group therefore sort
to involve the Parish Council.
LOCAL AUTHORITY INTEREST
The Parish Council agreed to provide "seed funding" for the
New Web Site of £400 a year at its outset, which would pay for the Domain
Name and Web Hosting (the rented computer servers from which the site is accessed)
fees, but it was intended that the Site would eventually become self supporting
financially through local sponsorship. TBPC formed a committee responsible
for the site, which included Frank, Tony, Jim, Parish Councilors and members
of the TB Village Association.
A formal presentation of the Web Site was well received at the
July meeting of TBPC and much enthusiasm was engendered generally.
During the summer of 2001 many more pages of information and
pictures were added to the site, which then held more than 14mb (megabytes)
of information on the village. By August they were receiving 60 - 70 "hits"
a month, some from places as far away as Indonesia or Australia. A number
of village residents indicated that their families across the world now kept
in touch with what was happening in TB through the web.
The creation of the Village Web Site was a great step forward
for Theydon Bois, which although a small community, proved itself to be well
to the forefront of modern innovation in the age of high technology. It was
hoped that the Web Site would continue to expand and prove a useful source
of information, not only to villagers but also to anyone world wide and also
serve to advertise Theydon Bois and all it had to offer.
We are grateful to Trevor Roberts for the use of
this extract from his Local History Report on Theydon Bois for 2001.
2005 News Item:
The web site committee now has the following members:
Tony Ames, Peter Fitch, Cllr. Mathew Hayday, Cllr. Sue Jones, Ted Martin,
Adrian McCarthy, Tony Mitchell, Madeleine Murphy, Trevor Roberts and Jim Watts.
The contact people for the site and their duties are as below with the addition
of Adrian McCarthy who is now responsible for the Primary School part of the site.:
2003 Site News Item:
At present the site committee comprises eight village people; Peter Fitch,
Cllr. Peter Gooch, Ted Martin, Tony Mitchell, Madeleine Murphy, Cllr. Margaret
O'Conner, Jim Watts & Joy Wainwright. The contact people for the site
and their duties are as below:
Madeleine Murphy (Parish Clerk) who will mainly be responsible for Content (contributions,financing, sponsorship),
Tony Mitchell who originally started the site will now be responsible
for Community Relations (public awareness, village
Jim Watts who will look after Site Issues (design, editing, updating & posting the site on the web).
These are not exclusive areas and we will all overlap and could use more
help. So please remember the Web Site is for ALL the village community, if
YOU want to help build it, have some input or ideas on how we should proceed
- contact us and let us know. At least let us know what you think of it so
far and keep us informed of Village Activities and News. WE NEED YOU!
Last updated: 9th September 2009