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Readers' Sites

November 2009


I know that Oldie readers are a varied and interesting bunch, but it is always good to have these things confirmed.  For a while now, I have been asking readers to let me know about the websites they have created themselves.  I have had some fascinating responses, so I have created a directory in and I’d like to see how many more we can gather.

Generally the sites seem fall into two main categories – enthusiasts, and modest self-promotion.

Enthusiasts are my favourites.  The subject could be anything, and the range is impossible to predict.

For example, this site is a huge and daily updated list of Scottish Country Dance events in Scotland.  I cannot imagine that there is any other place in the world where such comprehensive information can be found.

Then there is this site which is a site for the remaining users of shortwave radio (an amusing read, incidentally, if you are at all technically minded). 

Or there is which is a work in progress, but is intended to become an illustrated list of all lighted marine navigational structures around the Scottish coast.  It’s of restricted use to me, but it’s clearly a work of great scholarship.

 My favourite, by a short head (so far), is which is nothing less than details and photographs of an Oldie’s collection of slide rules.  He has over 500, which is, he assures me , a small collection, by some standards.  Only an Oldie, I believe, would collect slide rules.  Who else has heard of them?

A number of readers manage websites for small organisations -  is the site an Oldie runs for his local church, and which is a small local museum, run mostly by Oldies.

Then there are those who set out to promote their wares; nothing wrong with that, but it’s a different motivation.  For example, one Oldie has launched an online magazine for opera lovers at; another runs through which she promotes her sheep dog handling courses and includes lots of information on the subject. is aimed at promoting the works of a pair of writers, one of whose novels “celebrate older people”.  Then there is which includes the personal reminiscences of a retired fighter pilot and explorer.

All these sites represent a huge commitment of time and effort, and for the rest of us are a window onto worlds about which most of us know nothing, and probably never even suspected were there.  In the slide rule site, for example, there are links to many other similar sites put together by other enthusiasts world-wide, and I was able to pull out a picture of the latest meeting of a slide rule society, which looked a very jolly affair.

If you have such a site, let me know.  If these others encourage you, have a go at creating one, and I will do what I can to promote the results.

There are two ways to build a website – from scratch, using a programme such a FrontPage or Dreamweaver, or one of many others.  Please do not even think about this method unless you know what you are about.  You will get into a hopeless and frustrated muddle, I promise.

The simplest way is to use one of the templates that are offered by the companies who rent you the computer space on which your website will sit waiting for people to drop by.  By using a professionally designed template, your site will not only look better, but will probably work more reliably, be easier to update and be noticed by the search engines.

Two such services in the UK are and  although there are plenty more.  They can also look after the purchasing of a web address, and forwarding emails to the site, and so on.  The downside is that they will extract a monthly fee from you, but it should only be a few pounds.

Please let me know if you have your own site, and would like me to add it to our new directory of sites made by Oldie readers.  Either email me or submit details through the website

It is, I suspect, going to be a mesmerising collection.