Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

New local book, The Lost Gentry of Willington and Findern out now.

A new local book has just been published "The Lost Gentry of Willington and Findern"

The story of two families, the Wards and Spilsburys, who were of such importance to the past history of two villages, Willington and Findern . By Alan Gifford

This booklet investigates the Derbyshire villages of Willington and Findern , essentially in the 17th to19th Centuries, and establishes how two key families came to be so important but have now completely disappeared!

Links are established with both Warwickshire and British Columbia!
The 50 page A4 ring bound booklet investigates life in the villages and shows how their parish churches, the river and canal trades each played their part. The well illustrated text is presented with a colour cover (see above)
No other book has delved quite so deeply into the interaction between these two villages!

Copies are available from the author
Alan Gifford
4 Old Hall Drive
DE65 6DT

Priced £7-50 (p&p plus £ 2-00 ) and cheques should be made payable to Willington History Group.
The book is also available in some local shops in Willington and Findern.
All profits will go the funds of Willington History Group

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Video of Ducks and a Pheasant at Peak Village Outlet, Rowsley Derbyshire

Here is my latest local video, a simple one of the Ducks and a Pheasant at Peak Village Outlet, Rowsley.

If you have ever parked in the car park at Peak Village Shopping Outlet in Rowsley Derbyshire then you can't have failed to miss these Ducks. They can always be seen at the end of the car park near the river.

The River Wye flows past the end of the car park and into the Mill next door.
The food you can see at 0:23 is Duck food I bought from Squeaks and Beaks at Alvaston, Derby.
Is that Pheasant at 0:57 a Common Pheasant or some other breed? Anyone out there know which it is?
Never seen a Pheasant here before. You can see the female Pheasant at 1:34 and at 1:47 in the silly bit !
This footage was taken on Friday 23rd April 2010 at 4:18pm.
Hope you enjoyed this little video of the famous Rowsley Ducks.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

How to play music from your iPhone through your car stereo using a Belkin FM Transmitter.

Belkin FM Transmitter for playing iPhone through your car stereo.

How to play music from your iPhone through your car stereo.

My car stereo has a pair of AUX IN RCA sockets on flying leads at the back for connecting audio equipment to it but unfortunately at the time I installed the stereo I did not think I would ever need access to them so these are pretty much inaccessible without taking the dashboard to bits, not a task I really want to do.
So the easy way to be able to play music from the iPhone via the Car stereo is to use something called a FM Transmitter. There are many models of these available, some are dedicated for use with an iPhone/iPod where as others will work with any mp3 player via a standard headphone socket.

The model I opted for was a Belkin ClearScan FM Transmitter which I bought second hand from ebay. This consists of a small (about 3”) unit with a flying lead emerging from each end. Once lead has the standard iPhone docking plug on it which connects to the bottom of the iPhone. The other lead has a cigarette lighter plug on it.
See the photograph for how it looks. I dont think they make this model any more as there is a new one called the Belkin TuneCast Auto 4 for iPod/iPhone.

What does it do?
The FM transmitter takes the audio output from the iPhone and modulates it onto an FM radio signal which can be picked up via your car stereo. The transmission range is limited to just a few meters (as its designed to be used in a car). Its as simple as that really.

How to use the Belkin ClearScan iPhone FM Transmitter.
1: Remove the cigarette lighter from your dashboard, plug in the cigarette lighter plug from the Belkin unit into your cars cigarette lighter socket.
2: With the iPhone powered on plug the iPhone plug into the bottom of your iPhone.
3: Press the C button on the front of the Belkin unit and it will scan for a clear frequency and show it on the display. In my photograph it has found 107.0MHz is free to use.
4: Use the manual tune mode on your stereo to tune to the frequency it has found. So in my photograph tune in the stereo to 107.0MHz.
You will hear silence at this point.
5: Play some music on the iPhone by selecting the iPod icon then Playlists, Srtists or Songs.
You should now hear your music on your car stereo, Magic isn’t it!
If its an mp3 you are playing and your stereo has RDS then it will also show the song title.

This particular Belkin model has an extra feature in that it uses RDS to send the tile of the track being played to the stereo, so when you select a track it scrolls the song name across the screen.

Note: The volume on the iPhone can not be adjusted when connected to this device, its fixed at a standard volume.

I found this bit of harware very easy to use and for anyone out there who wants to play their iPhone music through their car stereo its perfect.


Monday, 19 April 2010

Money saving vouchers for Derbyshire attractions From April 20-30th, Celebrate St.George's Day

Last weeks Derbyshire Times newspaper had some great money saving vouchers for lots of local attractions but don't worry if you mised them as you can print them yourself using the link I have provided below:

These vouchers offer some great savings but are only valid between Tuesday 20th April to Friday 30th April 2010. So why not celebrate St.George's Day by visiting some great local places.

There are also some Golden Tickets which offer even greater savings but are valid on specific days within this time period. There are some good savings to me made such as entry to Chatsworth House and Garden for just £2.10 on 30th April, this would normally cost £11.50 each. So two of you could get in for just £4.20 instead of £23 !

Remember these vouchers are only valid between Tuesday 20th April to Friday 30th April 2010.
For more information on the "On Your Doorstep" offers please visit :


Or here is a direct link to the vouchers (a 3.46Mb PDF document) so you can print them off and start saving money:

The following attractions and venues are participating in the Derbyshire On Your Doorstep campaign:

Bakewell Old House Museum
Brown End Farm Cycle Hire
Crich Tramway Village
Cromford Mill
Denby Visitor Centre
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
English Heritage Hardwick Old Hall
English Heritage Peveril Castle
Haddon Hall
The Heights of Abraham
JNL Swadlincote Ski & Snowboard Centre
Sir Richard Arkwright's Musuem Masson Mills
Midland Railway, Butterley
National Stone Centre
National Trust Kedleston Hall
Peak Practice Golf Driving Range
Pooles Cavern & Buxton Country Park
Rudyard Lake Steam Railway
Speedwell Cavern
Peak Cavern
Strutt's North Mill, Belper
The Herb Garden
Treak Cliff Cavern
Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre
East Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant
Beth's Poetry Trail
English Heritage Bolsover Castle
The Burrows Gardens
National Trust Calke Abbey
Creswell Crags
National Trust Hardwick Hall
Heage Windmill
Peak Rail
Rosliston Forestry Centre

Hope you find these vouchers of use, get out there and explore beautiful Derbyshire. Now there is no excuse.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

A new webcam for Derby. Friary Street and the inner ring road. Great live view.

At last we now have a brand new webcam for Derby. This one looking over Friary Street.

This new view over the city is kindly provided by Smith Partnership Solicitors and gives you a great view over Friary Street where Derby inner ring road is being constructed at the moment.

If you want to view the live webcam feed now click this link here:
Live webcam view of Friary Street, Derby.

Here is a map showing the area covered by this webcam.

View Friary Street webcam. in a larger map

This is one of many live webcams for Derby and Derbyshire which can be found on my webcams page.
Is anyone else out there in Derby willing to put a webcam up?, just think how many people out there that have broadband internet and a great view, all they need is a IP Webcam and you can share your view with the world. Please get in touch if you would like to add YOUR Derby webcam to my webcams page.

All you need is a ip webcam and you can transmit your view to the world.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Mercia Marina, World Wide Panorama - Willow Tree Tea Rooms VR Photograph.

My latest entry on the World Wide Panorama website which has just gone live. The theme for this panorama event was Food so as always wishing to promote Derby and Derbyshire things with my panoramic photography I decided to capture the Tea rooms at the Mercia Marina complex at Willington.

Here is my entry:

Willow Tree Tea Rooms at Mercia Marina, Willington.
Once you have clicked on the link above wait for the interactive panoramic photograph to load in
It is best viewed in Fullscreen Mode.
In case you have never heard of The World Wide Panorama:
The World Wide Panorama began in March 2004 and has become an ongoing series of events. Photography takes place on the solstices (longest and shortest days of the year) and equinoxes (day and night of equal length). There is also a "best of" each year.
I have contributed 19 360 degree panoramic photographs over the years.

A VR panorama (VR for virtual reality) is a specially created computer image that goes all the way around the viewer. It is a revolutionary way to document a particular place and time – the next best thing to being there.

VR panoramas are interactive - Use the mouse to rotate the panorama, use Shift and Control to zoom in and out.

Take a look and explore the world through VR photography.

Hope you enjoy