Web Site Related News

February 2008 Starting work in some of my spare time on converting some of the documents on the site from scanned images into text based documents that are more readily visible to internet search engines. I am quite pleased with some of the early results that are effectively enabling as new but completely faithful reproduction of damaged and discoloured documents.


December 2007 Many thanks (again) to all of you who assisted in the complete collection of the all Vulcan Magazines into 1 readily accessible place (here). For 2008 I am moving onto the Vulcans ancient advertising material of which I have a rich seam of going back to 1918 at which point it tails off with nothing earlier than 1897. Again if you have anything that may make a good addition to the information and material on the site it is as always greatly appreciated.

May I also draw your attention to the rescue of Tasmanian Government Railways Locomotive  H5 produced at the Vulcan in 1950 by the Derwent Valley Railway for restoration to full working order. I have incorporated a specific page to the restoration of this locomotive and I am sure that the guys at the Derwent Valley Railway will keep us posted with their progress.

December 2006 Have finally completed adding copies of the Vulcan Magazine supplied and sourced by Brian Orrell with assistance from Bert Lyon and Jimmy France. Only three issues are now missing from a task I originally imagined would be hard to complete. The three missing issues are Volume 1 Number 2 Summer 1948, Volume 1 Number 5 Spring 1949 and Volume 4 Number 8 Winter 1958.
May 2006 Have renamed the file name of the noticeboard page in an attempt to stop spam postings of html.
February 2006 Another large batch of material has landed so most of this month has been spent burning out the scanner in preparation for a large scale update of the site.
23rd May 2005 Pushing more content onto the Vulcan site and upgrading some of the scanned images of the Vulcan Magazine especially some of the earlier ones printed on poor quality paper now I am more clued up on digitally enhancing them. I'm biting the bullet with regard to the hosting cost and upping the site to 1GB to accommodate the new material.
14th November 2004 Link for Firefox 1.0 web browser added, at last an open source web browser that is a great replacement for internet explorer. Will install and run alongside internet explorer and at the time of writing is immune to viruses, popups, adware, spyware, it's twice as fast your existing browser and has Google built in as well.

Just download it and choose you options during setup, it even imports all your favourites and personal settings from internet explorer. Plus its totally free and you don't have to remove internet explorer to get it to work.
10th March 2004 Starting a revamp of the Vulcan Foundry part of the site, partly due to the large volume of material recently received from Roy Whittaker, Colin Ralphs and Ian Ralphs all ex Vulcan Apprentices.
6th March 2004 Site mysteriously regresses to its December 2003 state along with the counters and someone's claim to being the 10,000th visitor !
12th Jan 2004 Donate button added - not that anyone will.
6th Oct 2003 Fully fixed
3rd Oct 2003 Things seem to have gone tits up somewhere on the sites host server, the whole site and its supporting file extensions were erased on Friday night (03/10/03). Have re-uploaded the whole site but some functionality may have been lost. The contents of the noticeboard from June 2003 have also been lost, plus the page counters & the ability to post comments. Once the server side file extensions have been restored by easyspace I should be able to repair these functions.
15th May 2003 Got away with it for two months but when the site hit 10% over the 30 Mb mark got a gentle reminder to cough up more cash or delete stuff. So having coughed up we now have up to 100Mb of space till Sept 2004.
15th Mar 2003 Space is getting tight on the server now as it is near the current 30Mb limit on the basic hosting package at easyspace. When I splash out and upgrade it there will be a whopping 100Mb to play with. 
28th Jan 2003 Updating the site is getting to be a nightly affair due to the large volume of material coming in at the moment. The vast majority is of use to the site but will take some time to organise into new pages. We now have a Reunions page and a developing one for Winfrith and will probably have one featuring material from the 'Apprentice Magazine' prior to the 1980's. Have also just acquired another apprentice training school brochure that is earlier than the one already posted, this too will be incorporated into the site soon.
29th Dec 2002 There were a few bugs in the site until recently (broken links etc due to the creation of separate year pages) these have now been fixed. Have checked Novembers site statistics and over 245 unique visits were made to the site. The webstats read like a whose who of the engineering world and include AEAT, AMEC, Australian Marine Technologies, Balfour Beatty Rail, Bechtel, BNFL, Computer Sciences Corp, Foster Wheeler USA, Nukem, Scottish Power, Serco Assurance and the Water Authority of Western Australia
13th Nov 2002 Got quite a few high resolution images of photographs now suitable for printing, these images are only used at around 50% of their original size on the site. I may indicate this adjacent to the relevant ones, so in the meantime if anyone wants one for printing off let me know.
7th Nov 2002 Site now ranked in number one in search engines keywords 'Risley Apprentice'
6th Nov 2002 Jellycounter ditched as far too slow in responding, this was causing pages to take up to a minute to fully load. Frontpage extensions purchased (14/yr)from the service provider this will permit 'advanced functions' to be put on the site, including an instantaneous counter.
3rd Nov 2002 May add a bulletin board so you can post stuff and leave messages etc. But again this requires the addition of  frontpage extensions or upgraded hosting to enable fancy script to be run (cgi/perl etc). This adds to the cost of this late night hobby/pastime so if you see me in the pub buy me a drink for me efforts.
2nd Nov 2002 At the suggestion of Ste Droughton a hit counter has been added to the ex-apprentice homepage. Lack of server side frontpage extensions forces the use of the most excellent free counter from www.jellycounter.com

Having checked the site stats at easyspace the previous single page clocked over 190 unique hits during October alone.