Search The Web

Custom Search

Friday 31 December 2010

That Was The Year That Was.

A look back at what has been a very momentous year for myself & my family.
Even though this video is 17 minutes long, i still missed out some events & people!

Vloggers Caravan Road Trip video playlist:

"Not The End Of The Pier" CD website:

AudioBoo -

A beach vlog.

Thursday 30 December 2010

AudioBoo - New Year Resolutions.


Tuesday 28 December 2010

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Celebrity DJs.

This morning i read that Planet Rock, a UK Classic Rock radio station, were changing their breakfast show DJ.
Now, for anyone who knows anything about radio and i would hardly call myself an expert by the way, the breakfast show slot is always seen as, probably, the most important in that stations schedule.

So, a change of breakfast show DJ is pretty big news. Especially as the DJ being replaced is none other than Alice Cooper. Yes, that Alice Cooper.

I have no idea as to why Alice Cooper is being replaced, if indeed he is. It is quite possible that he's just decided that his time as a breakfast DJ is done. But, i don't believe that, as his show is syndicated and is almost certainly not "live" anyway. Alice's show is being moved to an evening slot by the way.

All this leads me to wonder whether this is, maybe, the start of the end of the celebrity DJ?
Once again, i somehow doubt it, but i personally hope that it at least signals a change in the attitude of radio stations towards DJs.

Over the past few years it seems to have become increasingly fashionable for a radio station to have at least one "celebrity" DJ and often far more than that.
By this i mean a person who has been employed as a DJ because they have become famous elsewhere first. Many UK radio stations now have DJs who are first and foremost, actors, tv personalities etc etc.
Being a DJ is not their job, rather a, quite probably, lucrative sideline.

Quite possibly some of these celebrities have had some experience as a DJ in their past. But, my problem with this is that they have been employed as a DJ because of their celebrity status and not because of their skills as a DJ. They have been given their high profile radio show because of their celebrity, in the hope that their name will bring in extra listeners and to help sell some extra advertising.

Yes, i know that DJs often become celebrities in their own right, especially in this day and age. But, they became a celebrity for being a DJ and not the other way around.

So, does this actually matter?
Personally, i think it does. Although i suspect i may be in a minority on this one.

How many of these celebrity DJs actually work the controls themselves?
How many have any real knowledge of the music and the artists that they are playing?
How many have a real passion for the music that they are playing, or for radio generally?

To me, that is what a DJ should bring to a radio station. A passion for the music, the medium and the ability to present the show themselves.

When we think of all of our own personal favourite radio DJs from the past, that is exactly what you got. People like John Peel epitomised that and, thankfully, people like Bob Harris still do.
Maybe, these people aren't, or weren't the best DJs in the world, but they always command your respect, precisely because they know what they are talking about.

Maybe, i'm a little old fashioned in that i listen to the radio to hear music? Because of that, i want to listen to a presenter who knows what they are talking about.
I fully realise that a DJ such as Alice Cooper and others, certainly know their music, but i still don't tend to like them as DJs. I would much rather have a passionate and knowledgeable total unknown DJ, than one who is there because of their name and celebrity status.

How many potentially great radio presenters are being sidelined and kept out of work because of this current attitude towards DJs?

And just think, if this attitude had been prevalent, back in the 1960s and 1970s, would we ever have had such inspirational DJs as John Peel, Bob Harris and even Tony Blackburn?
Somehow, i doubt it.

So, i wish the new Planet Rock breakfast show DJ, Lucio Buffone, well and who knows, i might even start listening to the show now.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Monday 6 December 2010

AudioBoo - Camera Boo.


A new delivery.

The Secret Is Out!

Just in case you ever wondered.

When Is Local Not Local?

There seems to be a disturbing trend developing in the UK. The devaluing of the meaning of the word "Local".

Up to a few years ago, when something was described as "local", you knew exactly what that meant. Not anymore.

Two examples of this have occured recently, to really bring this home to me.

I was reading today of proposed strike action, to be taken by journalists at the Brighton Argus newspaper. The journalists are planning to strike on 7th and 8th of December.
They have voted to strike about low pay, a recent pay freeze and the closure of a final salary pension scheme. These are all valid reasons for strike action, but there is one other important issue as well. This being that in November several journalistic positions were transferred from Brighton to Southampton, 80 miles away and in a different County.
Apart from the obvious redundancies and job losses that this will cause. This also means that a part of the newspaper will, effectively, be produced from outside of the area that the paper actually covers.
Is the thin end of the wedge and the start of further job movements?

This is becoming an increasingly common situation and not just in the world of newspapers either.

My "local" radio station, ArrowFM, has recently announced that it is moving it's operations to Worthing. Worthing is in West Sussex and Hastings is in East Sussex. It also happens to be over 40 miles away!

But, once again, this is not a great surprise, as ArrowFM moved it's operations from it's studios in the heart of Hastings a few years ago. Admittedly, they only moved around 20 miles away. But, that was still at the cost of much local content, as the radio station was then combined with the local station for the Eastbourne area. This effectively diluted the local content for both stations.
This situation has now been taken a step further with the move to Worthing, which will combine even more local radio stations into one. Thereby depriving all of those local communities of much local content.

Now, i must stress that both the owners of the radio stations and the newspapers mentioned here, have done nothing wrong, or illegal here.
I must also declare that i have a bit of a vested interest in the provision of local radio content to the Hastings area. As i am the Chairman of Hastings Rock, which is a local radio station for the Hastings area. Albeit one that is only allowed to broadcast for a maximum of 28 days at a time and with a minimum gap of several months between broadcasts.

But, surely there is something wrong here when a local newspaper, or local radio station is allowed to effectively abandon it's home?
Surely, local should mean local?

I know the owners will say that they will continue to provide local content. But, how can they do that when they are based miles away from the town, will obviously have to share that local content amongst many local communities and when the people providing that content will probably have no connection with the local area?

And don't go thinking that this is something unique to the south of England either. This scenario is currently being played out across the country, where radio stations and newpapers are being merged and their operations shared. In my opinion, all this is to the detriment of the local people who these radio stations and newspapers are meant to serve.

Yes, they are commercial operations and they are all trying to make a profit in these difficult times.
In fact, i don't blame the companies themselves. Well, not completely anyway. I lay the blame with the regulations that allow this type of consolidation to legally take place.
I also can't help wondering what the radio stations original licence applications promised as well.

Surely the time has come for these outdated regulations to be reviewed?
Local people deserve nothing less.

At least i can console myself with the fact that when Hastings Rock returns in May 2011 (provided we get a licence that is), we will be broadcasting from Hastings, as we have always done.
So, for a month at least, local radio will be truly local once again.

(The views expressed in this blog post are my own and not necessarily those of Hastings Rock. Just in case anyone cares about that kind of thing)

Friday 3 December 2010

Thursday 2 December 2010

Late Night Snow Vlog.

An impromptu late night vlog, in the snow.
Yes, us Brits are a bit weird.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Social Media Journeys: Pointing The Camera At Yourself.

Social Media Journeys: Pointing The Camera At Yourself.: "A friend of mine recently watched one of my vlogs (video blogs), for the very first time. He told me this via Twitter and whilst he made no ..."

It can seem a strange thing to do, but anyone can do it. Honest.

Monday 22 November 2010

AudioBoo - Punked.


Punk and me.

Not The End Of The Pier CD.

Below, is a blog post that i recently wrote for the Hastings Rock MySpace page. I realise that it might not be of interest to all you may visit this blog. But, it does help to explain something that i've been heavily involved with recently.

"As some of you may already be aware, i have recently been helping to put together a CD of local bands and musicians, in aid of HPWRT (Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust).
Well, that CD has now been compiled & mastered & is now in the process of being produced, ready for release.

For some more details about this project, you might be interested in this article from our local newspaper, the Hastings Observer:

We are hoping to get the physical CD's back within two weeks and will then be able to start selling them and helping to raise some much needed money for the restoration of Hastings Pier.

Further details about where the CD's will be available for sale locally will be given nearer the time. But, i can tell you that the CD will have 15 tracks and will sell for £8.

For those of you who live futher afield, we are planning to sell this CD by mail order. We are currently looking at the costs of postage and packing. There will be a dedidcated CD website for PayPal payments etc and the information about this will also be given at a later date.

But, in the meantime i thought i'd give you a rundown of the track listing for the CD, to whet your appetite.
1: Keith Foster - On The Pier
2: The Vindickers - I Wanna Be Geek
3: King Bathmat - Warrior Square
4: Logan Wilson Band - All The Losers
5: Ian Edwards - True
6: Claire Hamill - Oregon Inlet
7: The Possessed - Beautiful White Moon
8: Dr Fonda - Son
9: Arivmia - Sinners Myth
10: O'Donnell & Bell - Deck Chair
11: Rich Lown - Starting From Now
12: Mick Mepham - Driftwood
13: Soul Sanctuary - Gone Away
14: The Cajun Dawgs - Flammes d'Enfer
15: Red Diesel - Rise

For anyone who knows about music from the Hastings area, you can see that this a nice eclectic mix of styles, genres and ages. This is exactly what i wanted to see when i started to compile the CD.
All of the 15 tracks are original compositions, apart from one traditional song. The CD even includes 2 brand new tracks.

Here is a sneak preview of the CD's front cover:

I will be writing a further blog post when the CD is finally available.
So, hold off buying your Christmas presents for just a little bit longer.

Thanks and keep on rockin'

Andy Gunton"

Value For Money.


Just a few thoughts on how life changes our attitude to money & how we spend it, or don't spend it.

Since recording this i've had other conversations about this topic.

A beach vlog. Just look at those clouds on the horizon.

Thursday 18 November 2010

A Day In London With Mike & Rich.

A brief insight to a great day spent in London with Mike & Rich.
After exhausting them on a walking tour of parts of the city, we adjourned for a well earned pint, or two.
I didn't get my video camera out at all, except for at the end of the day!
Thanks for your company guys.

You missed a good day Steve & Gregor. Maybe next time?

Tuesday 16 November 2010

The Beatles and iTunes.

According to rumours circulating. Later today, Apple (the computer people, not the record label) are expected to announce that they have done a deal with The Beatles and that iTunes will shortly be selling The Beatles music, in mp3 form.

This announcement has been a long time coming and has been held up by previous ongoing court hearings about the use of the Apple name. Those issues were sorted out some time ago and it was widely expected that an announcement about the selling of The Beatles music would swiftly follow.
But, obviously, this was not to be.

So Apple will finally be selling Apple.
The first thought that occured to me about this was, does anyone really care anymore?

Yes, this will cause a nice burst of publicity for both Apple and The Beatles and will, of course, help to make some more, little needed, cash for both of them. But, i suspect most people will just be thinking, "what kept you?".

The Beatles are one of the few bands that have, so far, refused permission for their music to be sold in mp3 form. One of the other notable examples are AC/DC.
It must be said that this stance has certainly not hindered either band. AC/DC are one of the biggest bands in the world and we are all aware of the position that The Beatles hold in the world of popular music.

So, why the change of heart?
Well, apart from the obvious chance to make more money by selling their songs individually, i don't really see the need for this change of stance. After all The Beatles are the most famous band that there ever was and ever likely to be.
Their music has sold, consistently, for over 40 years now and shows no signs of slowing down. The recent re-release of all The Beatles albums, in remastered and repackaged CD form, was a huge money and publicity spinner. I even re-bought several of the CD's myself.

Maybe, after that recent re-packaging of the CD's there was just nowhere else to go, but into the mp3 market?
The Anthology series, a few years ago, had cleared out the outtakes and different studio versions of the classics. "Free as a bird" being an example.
So, i guess that, as far as The Beatles music is concerned, the cupboard is now bare and this was the obvious next step to keep that money rolling in?

Now, i know that all of the above sounds a little cynical. But, i honestly don't begrudge anyone making money out of their music and especially when it's as good as the music of The Beatles. In fact, i think The Beatles have been pretty good with the way that they've released their music over the years.
The Anthology was done well, as were the recent CD re-releases. They were good quality products.
There are many other bands and artists who have certainly not treated their fans as well.

I just wonder if a band as well established and unique as The Beatles really needs to go down this route? Especially after refraining from doing so for so long now.
For any new band, the mp3 route is an absolute must do. But, for The Beatles?

From what i can see, it is Apple and not The Beatles that stand to gain the most out of this. Especially, if those Beatles mp3's can only be bought via iTunes. (I sure hope that The Beatles haven't agreed to that)

Maybe, my concern and general apathy about this expected announcement comes down to the fact that i already own all The Beatles music that i've ever likely to want?
And maybe, i'd just like to see some bands and their music, remain just that little bit more special?

By finally succuming to iTunes and the mp3, The Beatles will have changed and at a time when, in my opinion anyway, they didn't really need to.
But, maybe that's just me?

Sunday 7 November 2010

Saturday 6 November 2010

AudioBoo - No Nov Boo Vlog Blog Month.


November can be a busy month in social media land.

Sonic Deception?

As i do every Saturday morning when the BBC2 music tv show "Later with Jools Holland" is on, i settled down this morning and watched my recording of last nights show.

Whilst watching i thought, "I know, i'll write a blog post about how much i enjoy the  show and why". But, something else struck me whilst watching Kings Of Leon playing their final song.

Anyone who knows anything about Kings Of Leon will probably know that the band is made up of four members of the Followill family. Three brothers and a cousin.
But, how many people also knew that, when onstage, they are joined by a fifth member?

You could be forgiven for not knowing the latter fact. Especially if you've only seen the band perform live in the kind of huge arenas and stadiums that they tend to play these days.
The reason for this potential lack of knowledge, is that the fifth"member' is hidden behind the band. Behind the amplifiers and to the side of the drummers mini-stage.

During the course of the three songs that Kings Of Leon played on "Later.....", i saw this fifth member playing percussion, guitar and, i think, keyboards. I do believe he also helped out on backing vocals. But, because he was virtually out of sight and out of the light, this is not easy to prove.

Now, this is not the first time that i've noticed this little deception and Kings Of Leon are by no means the only band who do this, when playing live.
Many other bands also do this. Some more discreetly than others.

So, is this right?

Personally, i feel that any musician who is contributing to the live sound of the band, should be visible. And, by visible, i mean actually on the main stage and in front of those amplifiers and drum risers.
Not behind them.

After all, isn't this mini deception just as bad as auto-tuning a voice, or miming because of the vigorous dance routine that you're doing?

This is not a new phenomenon either. I have heard stories of hidden guitarists, hiding in the wings and playing a band members guitar parts for them. But, that doesn't make it right for this to happen now.

These days, music and especially live music, is a huge money spinner and ticket prices often reflect this. If i pay decent money to see my favourite band, I expect the members of that band to be playing the music that i'm hearing. If they need help, fair enough. But, i also want to see those helpers.
I fully accept that it's not always easy to reproduce what was recorded in the studio. But, at least be upfront about it.

Some bands do this properly and well done to them for that.
The band Keane, for example, now have an un-official fourth member, Jesse Quin. He was brought in to add bass guitar, guitar and percussion to the bands live act and has been touring with Keane since 2008. He always perfoms on the stage beside the other band members.

So, if Keane can do this openly, why not some other bands?

I guess, that in these days of backing tracks and miming, we should just be grateful that bands actually bother to play live in the first place? I'm certainly grateful for that.
But, just look out for those extra personnel, lurking in the shadows.

Thursday 4 November 2010

AudioBoo - A Worthwhile Cause.


Walking, charity, Twitter & heroes.

Social Media Journeys: Social Media - Local Connections.

Social Media Journeys: Social Media - Local Connections.: "Recently, i have been involved in helping to organise some local charity events/projects. Some more successfully than others i might add! Bu..."

The surprising, local aspect of social media.

Tough Decisions.

We all have to make tough decisions sometimes. I had to make one yesterday.
It's not always easy. But, when you know it's the right thing to do, you have to go with your instincts.

A beach vlog.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

AudioBoo - Sinking In.


The Spanish lessons are starting to have an effect. That and thoughts about learning, especially at my time of life.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Rock Nights - The Next Event. - Hastings Rock's Myspace Blog |

Rock Nights - The Next Event. - Hastings Rock's Myspace Blog |

This is a blog post from a blog i run on the Hastings Rock MySpace page.
Hastings Rock is a local rock music radio station, of which i'm the Chairman.

I thought i would start posting some of my blog posts, from there, to here.
I realise it won't be to everyone's taste.

Not The Only Show In Town (Social Media Journeys)

Social Media Journeys: Not The Only Show In Town.: "Talking about how we now migrate between different social media/networking sites. Those older sites are not, now, the only show in town. ..."

A video made especially for my Social Media Journeys blog:

But, i thought i'd share it here, as i think it's relevant.

A sort of follow up to my recent Walking & Talking video.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Death of the Walkman.

So, the Sony Walkman is dead.

I guess this was bound to happen, in this age of the mp3 player, iPod, iPhone, smart phone etc etc.
But, it is the end of an era in some ways. If only because of the revolutionary effect the Walkman has had in personal music listening and portable entertainment generally.
After all, without the advent of the Sony Walkman, would we now have all of the new portable entertainment centres that are so prevalent these days?

Of course, it would have happened sooner, or later. But, the Sony Walkman really started the ball rolling, back in 1979 and put the idea of portable music listening into peoples minds and ears.

I'll admit that i was quite surprised to hear that the Walkman was actually still being manufactured in 2010. Reports of it's death had obviously been exaggerated.

I'm sure that many younger people, my children for example, will never understand just how revolutionary the Walkman was. For the first time ever, you could carry your own music around with you and listen to it without disturbing anyone else. Well, most of the time anyway!

Before the advent of the Walkman. I can vividly remember myself and my music loving friends, having to carry around what were effectively, portable cassette decks. A bit like a primitive ghetto blaster in some ways. But, without the better sound quality, or headphones. Something that didn't always go down well with the general public!
Although this cassette player did have a headphone socket. Before the Walkman appeared, headphones just weren't that practical, or cheap. That was another aspect that does get overlooked. In some ways, those little foam headphones were, almost, as revolutionary as the player itself.

Suddenly, everyone could walk, or run, around listening to their personal choice of music. And, if you bought the C120 cassette tapes, you had a whole 2 hours worth of music to listen to. Wow!

As an early adopter of new gadgets, even back then, i bought a Walkman quite early on and i still own one now. I can remember spending hours compiling tapes of my favourite music. Frantically struggling to make sure that i got as close to the end of the tape as i could, without cutting off the end of a song.

Of course, the Sony Walkman was just the start. And not just for me either.
From the Walkman, i progressed onto the Sony Discman, with the rise of the Compact Disc, in the mid 1980's.
Then it was the Mini-Disc, in the 1990's. Whatever happened to the Mini-Disc by the way?
And, of course, the iPod, in the 2000's.
I wonder what the next decade will bring?

Now, we think nothing of carrying around our entire music collections in one, small, portable music player. My own iPod has around 5,000 tracks on it. And then, there are the videos, photos, podcasts etc.
All of this future technology was made possible by the idea and the invention of the Sony Walkman, in 1979.

So, rest in noise the Sony Walkman, 1979-2010.
400 million sales and countless damaged eardrums, can't be wrong.

I suppose all that remains now, is that undignified scramble to snap up the last remaining items on sale, so that they can be put up for auction on eBay?
Maybe, i should dig out that big red brick of a Sony Walkman that i have myself?

Monday 25 October 2010

666 - The video of the beast.

My 666th YouTube video.

When your wife's in Rome, record a video.

Talking about travel, trust & personal space.

Playlist of my California Road Trip videos:

A beach vlog.

AudioBoo - Trains and planes. But, no boats.


Another beach Boo. It's amazing how walking there inspires me.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Social Media Journeys.: Blogging For Action.

Social Media Journeys.: Blogging For Action.: "On Friday October 15th, myself and 5,693 other bloggers, took part in this years Blog Action Day 2010. This has now become an annual event, ..."

Latest blog post from: Social Media Journeys.

(Code - N982UXP7KCWG)

Friday 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - Water

When thinking about this topic. The first aspect that came to my mind was the very real danger, in future years, of wars being fought over water.

It has often been said, that the next major war between nations, will be fought over the supply of water. The signs for this are already evident in various parts of the world.

Rain falls where it feels like and rivers are no respecters of national borders and therein lies the problem.

Some countries are lucky enough to be, at the moment anyway, self sufficient in water supply. But, many others have to rely on the water that flows into their country, via rivers, from across the national border.
So, what happens if that water supply dries up, or is diverted?

Just taking one major river, the River Nile, as an example, can show some of the potential problems.

The River Nile runs through many countries, most notably Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan & Egypt. But, it also has sources, or contributary lakes in Tanzania, Congo & Rwanda.
That's a lot of countries to be affected by one river. Albeit, one that has two parts. This situation is mirrored in many other parts of the world.

Egypt was called, by the Greek philospher Herodotus, "The gift of the Nile" and it most certainly is. Without the River Nile, that great ancient civilsation of pharoahs, tombs and magnificent monuments would never have existed. That's how important a river can be.

We tend to take our rivers and even our rainfall for example. But, the times they are a changing.

The rather large elephant in the room now, is climate change, global warming, or whatever you wish to call it.

This adds a whole new dimension to the future of water supplies to many countries.

It is already thought, that the current conflict taking place in Sudan, is at least partly caused by a dispute over water. This is something that is likely to be more common and widespread in the future.
And not just in Africa either.

The Middle East is another potential flash point.
It is thought that the Dead Sea could be extinct within 40 years. Although the Dead Sea is, obviously, not a river. One of the reasons for it shrinking, is the diversion of the water that would normally feed it.
The Dead Sea is supplied by the River Jordan. Another one of those rivers that has fed ancient civilisations.
The River Jordan is used by Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Israel. All, bar Lebanon, have diverted, dammed, or built reservoirs for use of the river for their own countries water supplies.

It doesn't take a genius to work out the potential future problems that could result between these countries. One of which is a nuclear power!

With the ever increasing rise in the worlds population, especially in the areas with the worst natural water supplies. And, with the added problem of the changing climate, which could result in reduced rainfall and river levels. The future does not look very good.

For me, the issue of future water supply, is as potentially dangerous, if not more so, that any threat from terrorism. In fact, it could even lead to future terrorism.

The time for action, is now.

But, what can we do?

Thursday 14 October 2010

Social Media Journeys.: Power To The People?

Social Media Journeys.: Power To The People?:
"I have just read an article in The Word magazine. One of my favourite magazines as it happens. In the article, the writer mentioned that he ..."

New blog post from Social Media Journeys.

Social Media Journeys.: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet.

Social Media Journeys.: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet.:
"For somebody who is a, self confessed, social media junky, i was actually quite late onto Twitter. I'm afraid that i was one of those peopl..."

New blog post from Social Media Journeys.

Thursday 7 October 2010

AudioBoo: Hastings Pier Fire - 2 Days On.


An update on the aftermath of the fire on Hastings Pier.

Hastings Pier Memories.

Yes, i know that i've been talking, Tweeting, blogging and uploading videos about the fire on Hastings Pier quite a lot over the past few days.
But, i make no apology for that.

This is one of those momentous local stories that comes around, thankfully, very infrequently. It is also the first major local story, on this scale, to have happened since the advent of the social media tools that have enabled myself and others to comment in this way.

Everybody in the town and far beyond as well,, have their own perosnal memories of Hastings Pier and now we have a new way of actually recording our thoughts. We are also now able to share those thoughts and memories with anyone who might care to read, or listen to them.

One thing that has struck me over the past few days, has been the amount of comments, messages etc that i have received from people across the UK and beyond. All those people have their own personal memories of Hastings Pier, from when they have visited it themselves. Often as a child on holiday with their family.

That is one thing that sets this story apart from most others. The sense of genuine grief is felt and shared by people who live far away from Hastings itself. That, i feel, is quite unusual.

I read a blog post by another local blogger yesterday. In it they mentioned the fact, for many locals, Hastings Pier was just.....there.
It was an ever present landmark in our lives. Every Hastonian alive today will not have known a time in their lives when the pier was not....there.
It gave us all a sense of comfort seeing it there day, after day. Even if we didn't actually realise that at the time.

Obviously, we still don't know the final outcome and future of what is left of the pier. It may have to be demolished. It may rise again from the ashes. It might just be left as it is.

Ironically, this final option might make it a tourist attraction in it's own right. A bit like the similarly burned down West Pier, in Brighton. In that scenario, Hastings Pier might attract more visitors than when it was actually open. Death can be a good career move after all.
In some ways, that has already started to happen over the past few days. There has been a constant stream of people, both local and out of towners, coming to have a look at what's left of the pier.

But, whatever the final outcome. For many, myself included, it will just not be the same structure that we all associated with. The building in which all of our personal memories were lived out, is no more.

The Hastings Pier ballroom that played host to just about every major rock band, in it's time, is a ruin.
No future building could ever bring back those days and those memories.
The stage that i stood on when i helped to host Beatles Day, has gone and can never be replaced.

The amusement arcades have now been reduced to ashes.
Those same arcades that i remember taking my, then, young son to. We would spend happy afternoons bashing crabs heads with big mallets and working our way through the, especially collected, bags of 2p pieces in the various slot machines.
Those days can never be re-created.

And, i'm sure that every person, both local and from elsewhere, has their own similar happy memories of the time they spent on Hastings Pier.

And that, i think, is why the sense of grief and loss is so great for so many people.
We have witnessed the end of an era.
A part of our lives has been destroyed. A part of our lives that can never be rebuilt, or replaced.

Hastings Pier as we knew and loved it, is now consigned to history.

But, whatever the final outcome. We will always have those fond memories.
They will always be just....there.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Well Done Everyone.

I posted a blog post, earlier today, on my Social Media Journeys blog. It was called "Citizen Journalists" and relayed my own experiences yesterday. The day that Hastings Pier burned.
In it i mentioned how i had used various social media sites to get my photos, video & audio podcasts onto the Internet and how they had been spread by others and then used by other sites.

But, i was by no means the only local person who did this and that is what i want to recognise in this blog post.
I want to say "Well done everyone", to all of those local people who helped to show the world what was happening in our town yesterday. Without us, the coverage would have been nowhere near as extensive, especially in those early hours of this major news story.

When i first got down to the seafront and the pier, at just before 6.30am yesterday. There were no media people to be seen anywhere. Not even from our local newspaper, the Hastings Observer.
One of their reporters did turn up a bit later, on his own and without a photographer. I think i even over heard him saying that he couldn't get hold of anyone on his phone!

This was a major news story, possibly the biggest the town of Hastings has had for many years and there were no local news reporters present to record it. Or, any other media outlets for that matter. Even though the pier had been burning for over 5 hours at that point.

So, what did the established local and national media have to do? They had to rely on you and me, the citizen reporters.

We were the people whose photos and videos appeared on numerous news websites and social media sites generally.
We were the people who were on the scene first and who captured the really defining images. Those powerful images of the pier burning in the darkness, or in the early morning light. Before the media cavalry arrived.

I have seen video and photo's from many local people used on various tv programmes, news websites and even national newspapers.
One local photographer, Andy Wilson, who i know via Twitter, had one of his photos used by The Guardian newspaper, as it's lead front page image
Well done Andy.

We were also ably assisted by all those other locals who passed on our images etc. Whether by Twitter, email or other means. You also helped to get this historic story "out there".

I only hope that the efforts of our local citizen reporters is appreciated when the Hastings Observer brings out it's special "Hastings Pier burns" edition this Friday.
I think it is only fitting that they are. After all, it was us who provided the world with those first dramatic images of that dreadful fire.

I could now go off into another rant and maybe i will, about how woeful the Hastings Observer were with their initial coverage of the story. About how they were comprehensively beaten to the story by the Brighton Argus, amongst others.

I was contacted, via Twitter, by the Brighton Argus asking for permission to use my material, at 09.00. My YouTube video was linked on their website by 09.20 that morning. They also had one of my photos on their site, by the same time.

By contrast, the first Tweet of the day from the Hastings Observer was at 10.30am.

It wasn't until around this time that any mention of this huge local story first appeared on the Hastings Observer website. I could go on, but.....

So, well done everyone.
You did your town proud yesterday.
You recorded a little piece of history. And it's just as well that you did. Because there was nobody else there to do it for us.
And for that, the whole town and the media world in general, should be eternally grateful.

PS: For a local poets version of events. Watch this. It's well worth it.

Hastings Pier - Picture Memories

My own pictorial memories of Hastings Pier.

All photo's were taken by myself.
I'm not sure why so many were taken in the snow!

Hastings Pier: 1872 to 2010 RIP

Tuesday 5 October 2010

AudioBoo: Hastings Pier Fire - The Aftermath


It's been one hell of a day.

AudioBoo - Hastings Pier Burns


Recorded whilst standing on the beach watching Hastings Pier burn. A sad day for everyone in the town.

The speech part of this AudioBoo only goes up to the 2 minute 10 second point. The rest is just background noise. I couldn't get the recording to stop!

Hastings Pier Burns: 5th October 2010

A very sad for Hastings. Hastings Pier played host to so many gigs, by the biggest names in music, in it's heyday.

Thursday 30 September 2010

Social Media Journeys

An introduction to the new project.

Visit the Social Media Journeys blog:

If you want to contribute, please get in touch & tell us your own story.
I already have one new contributor.

A beach vlog.