Thursday 1 January 2015


When I were a lad, there was Woolworths. Today's Pound stores simply cannot compete. The only thing that comes near to the near-forgotten delights of our local Wooly's is Trago's in Falmouth, and that's a bit too big for my liking. It wasn't so much the sweets or the toys – I would head for the stationery aisle. I know – very sad. But the little sections and boxes for rulers, pencils, rubbers, and especially the geometry sets – that was the stuff to capture the imagination. Much later when, in 1988, I acquired my first Mac, I found it brought together much in me that the Woolworths stationery department had appealed to – patterns on paper, whether of words or design or a line of music, patterns of ideas in logic and philosophy and poetry. And, in addition, other things I hadn't yet realised as a boy – electronic technical things and communication by magic.

We leap forward many years and I'm still using a Mac. Those interests had propelled me, in addition to running an Applied Theology programme, towards managing my college's IT stuff. In retirement I still work on the database from time to time, but we've acquired other interests – especially Erin Mae and the world of the inland waterways. I thought the IT would gently fade away. But I hadn't reckoned with the Boaters Christian Fellowship. We joined the BCF, rather hesitantly, a year and a half ago, not quite knowing what we were going to find. But they turned out to be a good bunch, and we've enjoyed both the chance encounters they encourage and the more organised jamborees. And at this year's get-together in November, it transpired they needed someone to take on running the website – and that I probably knew more about such things that most members. And, of course, a website brings together patterns of both word and design, and ideas to be communicated through them. "The medium is the message" said Marshall McLuhan, and a website has become a classic example.

So, much to my surprise, I have become the webmaster of the BCF website. Naturally enough, I shall have my own ideas about how it develops, and how it serves the aims of the organisation, but there are limits in a volunteer setup – we quite rightly use one of the ready-made template systems out there suitable for non-techies. It's a trade-off between ease-of-use and doing what you really want to do.

But it's amazing how often I've found something in my background finding its fulfilment in what falls to me to do later on.


  1. You will find us there in the BCF database!

    1. Hi Cap'n! Actually, having trawled through the info passed on to me of members' logins and so on, I can't see you. I don't manage the full BCF membership list. Contact me by the website, and I'll follow it up.

      Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law. We had a similar loss at Christmas 6 years ago.

  2. Martin, you might like to add Captain Ahab's excellent blog to the blog list on the BCF website. I have, at long last, added Erin Mae to my blog list!