Q. Why are we doing it?
A. Because we have grown up in this village and consider it to be our 'home'. We have both married local people and have lived in the village. We have loved ones buried in the churchyard. We both believe that such a website is our way of helping to keep the community informed. When families leave the area it is surprising how often they return to see friends or to rekindle memories of previous years, something that can now be done via the internet - and we are playing a small part in seeing that happen.
Q. What do we make out of it?
A. Nothing in monetary terms! This is something that has been asked of late - sadly a reflection of modern times in that it is assumed that everything must be done for profit. The expenses normally involved in running a website are often met by various means - advertising being the usual method! (Though not in our case!) as the Parish Council very kindly contribute towards the running costs. The only thing we get out of this website is the satisfaction of knowing that other people are getting as much pleasure in reading about the village and its history as we are in compiling and updating the information.
For those unaware on what's involved here is brief synopsis on the procedure:
First, choose a domain name - i.e. "weekstmaryvillage"
Second, choose a type of domain - i.e. ".co.uk" or ".com" or one of the many others available.
Third, register your chosen name with a 'hosting provider' after having chosen a 'plan' (various plans allow a variety of functions and larger amounts of web storage space - but naturally, the price goes up!)
We currently have to pay approx. £80 per year to our hosting company which includes their handling of our domain name (they have to look after it even if we have no storage space!). In addition we have to pay Nominet (the web domain name governing body) about £8 every 2 years by way of a Registration Fee.
The website involves an untold number of hours spent researching, discussing, chatting, drinking tea and coffee, etc. and, more importantly, actually creating and maintaining the web pages which some of you may notice is usually updated every day or so and particularly at the beginning of each month and has been since we started in December 2005. The only major expense that we have shared is that of the 2 webcams purchased - very expensive items! - these showed a view of Linda's very busy birdtable. Sadly they do fail and we had to decide to refrain from spending another £300.
Q. What do we want people to do to help us?
A. The existence of the website relies heavily on being able to update the appropriate pages, particularly the Calendar of Events, to reflect an accurate picture of life in the village. We do not want people to forsake other forms of advertising for their functions, etc., but to remember that there are those for whom a computer is, or is becoming, part of the family scene and would like to read about the information on screen. (In fact some have far more than one computer in the house. Do you remember when only some families had a car, now nearly everyone has at least one vehicle with many having two or more - computers are following that pattern. According to national statistics, phones and tablets have surpassed the use of main computers!)
The magazine is one example of two technologies co-existing. The printed version is perfect for many, whilst the electronic version (on our website) is perfect for those living away from the village or for past reference when the magazine has been mislaid or disposed of. If residents have something that would be of interest to those around them, such as old photographs of bygone days, or historical documents, then that is the ideal type of content that could be made available to all our 'readers'. We must preserve our history and the internet helps us to promote that interest. So let's all pull in the same direction.
Q. What is the future of the website?
A. Currently, our plan is to continue to build up the historical sections as a means of reference and education for those in and around the village; for new arrivals to the village; to enable those departing the village to continue to keep in contact with the local news and events. We sincerely hope that other sections of the website will also continue to grow. In this digital age we hope that a variety of photographs will continue to give pleasure to all. Sadly, there may be some who do not want pictures of themselves shown on the website under any circumstances - perhaps they feel it is an intrusion of privacy and we do respect that feeling. We do not intentionally or purposely identify any individual if to do so would cause undue embarrassment or invasion of privacy. We ask that you respect our integrity in choosing such pictures. We do feel that people make a village and therefore a website without people would be a very austere representation of Week St. Mary!
As long as we are able (physically and mentally) to continue to maintain this website, we will do so. It is our small way of giving something back to the village that is, and has been, our 'home'. By the time we are unable to keep up this work it would be hoped that suitable new owners would have been found.