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.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Visit Sheffield by train from Derby using a Derbyshire Wayfarer to save lots of money.

Sheffield is a city just 35 minutes away from Derby by Train.

Sheffield currently has a big wheel located on Fargate, seeing as Derby are not having one this year why not have a ride on their wheel. The Wheel of Sheffield costs £6.50 for Adults/£4.50 for Children and the 60m high ride lasts for about 13 minutes. You can book it online using the web address above.

There is a special train ticket that you can get that I've not heard of before but the savings you can make
are pretty good.
Normally two return train tickets Derby to Sheffield would cost £34.80 (or £26 if you manage to catch one of the few cheaper journeys available)
But if you ask for a Derbyshire Wayfarer all day travel ticket then it will only cost you £15.10 !.
Not only that but for £15.10 you can actually take three children as well.
Not only that but you can use the Derbyshire Wayfarer on all buses in Derbyshire.
Not only that but you can also make unlimited journeys all day on both train and bus.
As you can see the Derbyshire Wayfarer is outstanding value and well worth it.
For a single person the Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket costs £8.90 (includes one child) so even that's cheaper
than buying a normal return train ticket. (Derby to Sheffield=£8.70 + Sheffield to Derby=£8.70 Total=£17.40). You save £8.50

It consists of a single normal train ticket that is stuck onto a blue "Derbyshire Wayfarer" card, you only get one ticket regardless of how many are travelling on it, its just the price paid that indicates how many it covers. Of course you cant put the ticket through the automatic ticket barrier at Derby Railway Station because of the card its stuck on so you simply show the ticket to the guard and they let you though.

In the month of August there is a free daily tour of the town hall which takes place at 2pm each day. Just
meet in the reception of the hall to go on the tour. The tour lasts about an hour and is very interesting if
you are into history.
Sheffield Town Hall was officially opened on 21st May, 1897 by Queen Victoria, you can see a photograph of the opening day in a display case in the reception of the Town Hall, during the tour they will tell you about the key she turned to open the doors.
There are plenty of places to visit such as the Crucible Theatre, The Winter Gardens, Sheffield Museum.

At some point in the next week or so I will be posting a video of Sheffield that I took of some of the sights
and a tour of the Town Hall.

If you have not been to Sheffield before or have not visited for a few years then why not take a trip there.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The King of Rome, A true inspiring story about a famous racing Pigeon from Derby

I created this video back in 2008 but now I have a blog it seems like a good place to show it off, I was asked to create this video to help promote one of the more unusual exhibits that was in Derby Museum.

The owner of the "King of Rome" was from a Derby family of Pigeon fanciers, Charlie Hudson was born in the 1870s, in 1913 his short-distance racing pigeon won a race from Italy to Derby which made it a much sort after bird. Charlie lived at 56 Brook Street in the West end of Derby, next time you drive down that road spare a thought for him.

My video is about this bird.

The video - The King of Rome, famous racing Pigeon from Derby

I also have a High Resolution version of this video on my Vimeo channel here :


A book has been produced about this famous bird "King of Rome by Dave Sudbury Illustrated by Hans Saefkow"

If you enjoyed the song that was inspired by the story then a CD of his work can be bought from the singers website :


If you would like to learn more about this Pigeon and its owner then see my feature on it :

Hope you enjoyed my video


Friday, 13 August 2010

Derby to Manchester at 678mph, Ultra high speed driving time-lapse video made from 8026 photographs

Here is my latest video, this one is a very fast driving time-lapse video of Derby to Manchester at an equivalent average driving speed of 678mph!

This video was recorded on Friday 30th July 2010. The first frame was captured at 10:01am in Derby
and the last image was captured at 2:24pm.in Manchester. There were three breaks in the journey, the first at Leek, the second at Maccesfield and the third at Stockport.

My Derby to Manchester Driving video:

Locations seen in the video.
Because of the very high speed of this timelapse video, the timecodes I have provided are only accurate to a second. Seeing as the video is being played at 25 frames per second, the distance covered in just 1 second of playback is great so landmarks will pass you very quickly.

Time - Information
00:30 This journey starts in Derby on the A38 heading down to Markeaton Island
00:33 Left at island onto A52 to Ashbourne
00:35 Here is the turn off for Mackworth Estate
00:44 Kirk Langley, Derbyshire
00:52 Brailsford, Derbyshire
01:05 Yeldersley, Derbyshire
01:11 Ashbourne round-a-bout, carry on A52 down the hill
01:16 2nd exit carry on along A52
01:18 1st exit carry on along A52
01:20 Mayfield, Staffordshire. Up the steep Swinscoe Hill
01:26 Swinscoe, Staffordshire
01:32 Calton Moor, Staffordshire. The A52 becomes the A523 here.
01:38 Waterhouses, Staffordshire
01:44 Winkhill, Staffordshire
01:51 Bottom House, Staffordshire
01:57 Bradnop, Staffordshire
02:06 Leek, Staffordshire
02:11 Stop in car park at Leek
02:14 Back on journey on the A523 North
02:30 Rushton, Cheshire
02:40 Bosley, Cheshire
02:43 The A54 crossroads
02:48 Oakgrove, Cheshire
02:51 Macclesfield, Cheshire
03:04 The Silk Road A523/B5470 round-a-bout
03:05 Stop at Tesco due to road works on Silk Road
03:15 Back at The Silk Road A523/B5470 round-a-bout
03:16 Up Hibel Road A537 to top and back down again
03:18 Left onto Beech Lane/Manchester Road A538
03:23 Tytherington, Macclesfield
03:27 1st exit back on the A523
03:35 Adlington, Cheshire
03:39 Poynton
03:49 Hazel Grove, Stockport
04:04 Great Moor
04:18 Stockport
04:24 park in Leisure centre car park for a break
04:29 Waiting to turn left back onto A523, now raining.
04:37 Left back onto A523
04:38 On the left is the chimney of the Hat Museum !
04:49 Heaton Chapel
04:53 McVities factory on left. You can smell those Ginger Nuts.
04:56 Levenshulme
05:05 Longsight
05:11 Left onto Plymouth Grove
05:20 Right onto Oxford Road
05:28 Left onto Great Bridgewater Street
05:53 Right onto Deansgate
05:41 On left is Hog's Head pub (amazing value food here)
05:45 Left onto Bridge Street
05:48 right onto Chapel Street
05:50 Arrive at Hotel.

Total filming time 154 mins (9240 seconds)
8026/9240= Photograph taken every 868ms

Want to know which roads I travelled on then please use my map here, It is very accurate if you zoom in or best still use the link below the map so you get a full web page map you can control
Detailed Driving route Map:

View Derby to Manchester timelapse car journey, July 2010. in a larger map

Music Credits:
The two excellent tracks I have used in my video are by Kazmo. See his page here:

Music part 1 (00:00 to 03:01 ) is Vermilion (NG Cut) by Kazmo.
Licensed under Creative Commons.

Music part 2 (03:02 to 06:21 ) is Glazia [2010 Preview] by Kazmo
Licensed under Creative Commons.

If you enjoyed my video please leave a comment.
Hope you like it.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Dovedale Stepping Stones, health and safety gone mad as stones height increased.

I'm sure you can't have missed last weeks news about Dovedale Stepping Stones.
Derbyshire County Council and the National Trust had placed new stones on top of the existing ones to make them more "accessible" for visitors.

The story even made it into the National Newpapers, as you can read here.

Daily Express Newspaper Article.

Daily Mail Newspaper Article.

The stones they have added onto the exisiting ones to make them a lot higher, see how it looks now HERE.

A Facebook page has been set up to request that the stepping stones be returned to the way they were before, Join the Facebook group and post your comments on here :

Dovedale Stepping Stones Facebook Group.

Return the Dovedale Stepping Stones to their former natural glory on Facebook.

How about fitting some handrails either side and some traffic lights so people know when its safe to go :)

Here is a 360 dregree VR Photograph I took in in early June 2010 BEFORE the stones height was increased.

Download Adobe Flash to display this panorama.

To see my high resolution fullscreen version of Dovedale Stepping Stones click the link here:
Dovedale Stepping Stones High Resolution 360 photograph.

Iphone Map locators for Dovedale.
If you are viewing this blog on an iPhone then you can click the link below to launch the iPhone Maps application with a push pin location that you can use to located the stones.

Dovedale Stepping Stones iPhone Map Marker.

The link above is for walkers, if you want a location point for driving then use the following link

Dovedale Car park iPhone Map Marker.

Once you have clicked on the link above and your Map application has loaded up, simple tap the Directions button at the bottom of the iPhone. It will be prefilled in with Current location for the start and Dovedale Car Park for the end so all you have to do is tap the Route button and it will show the driving route you need.

For a large map showing all the details such as the walking paths etc click the link here:
Dovedale Stepping Stones Map.


Friday, 6 August 2010

How to make a Drop Pin show on iPhone Maps via a web page link.

Something which I find annoying on the iPhone is when viewing an embeded custom google map in Safari, if you click on the link below the embeded map it launches the Maps application and loses all of the markings and pointers that were on the embeded map.

I have found a way to create a link on a web page that when veiwed in Safari on your iPhone it will launch the Maps application and put a drop pin onto the map which you can then use to get directions to or view streetview on your iPhone.

To see this in action you need to be veiwing this blog post on your iPhone. I imagine this will also work on an iPad, perhaps someone can let me know if thats the case.

Drop pin on iPhone Maps via html example.
Click the link below and it will close Safari and open up the Maps app and show a drop pin on it.


Hopefully you should have seen that the Maps App was launched and a red Drop Pin was placed in the middle of the River Derwent.
If you want the html code for this simply click the link on a computer (rather than on an iPhone)

If you are wondering how on earth to find precise Lat/Long coordinates for your drop pins then I suggest using the Google API Polyline Encoder tool, its not really designed for this purpose but I often use this tool because its very quick, easy to use and very accurate.

Goto the Utility here:
Interactive Polyline Encoder Utility

How to use the tool to find Latitude and Longitude positions.
1) First type in a place you want to find in the field marked "Center map at:", this will get you a map of the area. You don't need to be really accurate at this stage.

2) Click the Hybrid button for high accuracy positioning of your pointer.
3) Drag the map view around to get it so you can see what you want to see, Zoom in to help accuare placement.
4) Click on the map where you want a mark placing. As soon as you click you will notice that a green marker will appear on the map and the Latitude and Longitude fields show accurate position data.
5) You can move the green marker around by simpy clicking on it and dragging it to where you want it. the Latitude and Longitude data will update as you move it around.
Its as simple as that, you are in full control of the marker.

This post may be of use to some people wanting to create web content that will work on an iPhone map.
If you found this of use then please leave a comment.
The next thing I need to see how much more you can do with the iPhone Maps application.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to install and use an EverMore USB GPS receiver with Autoroute 2010 on Windows 7.

This blogpost may be of use to some people. A few years a go I bought a cheap GPS Receiver off Ebay so I could use it on a laptop with AutoRoute.
Here are details on how to connect, install and get it running on Windows 7 with Microsoft Autoroute 2010.

Here is a photograph of the EverMore GM-R700 GPS Receiver, as you can see it consists of a small unit (4cm x 5cm) that houses the GPS receiver and an RS232 to USB convertor with a flying USB lead on it.

EverMore GM-R700 GPS Receiver.

When you plug in the USB connection from the EverMore GPS Receiver into a laptop running Windows7 it will show this error.

You need to get the correct driver for this so visit the Silicon Labs website and download the latest driver from their driver page here:

Click the link in the first section "XP/Server 2003/Vista/7" - VCP Driver Kit.
As I am using Windows7 I downloaded the file "CP210x_VCP_Win_XP_S2K3_Vista_7.exe"

Install this driver software and then you should get this message above the status bar :

Make a note of the COM port that has been allocated to the GPS, in this example its COM4

You can now Run Microsoft AutoRoute 2010.
Click on the "GPS Task Pane" icon at the top (the red compass)

On the GPS pane panel thats now appeared on the left side, click on the "Configure GPS..." button and select COM4 and click the OK button.

Now click the Green play button, If you have ticked the "Provide navigation" box then it will show a safety warning screen just click on "I agree".

In the bottom left of the AutoRoute screen it will show
"GPS [Status: Searching for satellites Sats:0]"

Allow a few minutes for the unit to update its Almanac and Ephemeris data.
After a while the number of Sats should increase. As you can see in my example below (marked with a big red arrow) I can see 8 Satellites parked up here on Vernon Street in Derby.
You need to be able to see 3 sats before it can locate your position..

Screengrab of AutoRoute 2010 in use with my GPS.

For comparison here is a screen grab of the location map app on my iPhone 3GS, as you can see it maches up with where AutoRoute thinks I am parked. Of course its nice on the iPhone as you get a real satellite image of where you are.

iPhone Mapping App location.

One point worth noting is that make sure you fully boot Windows7 before you connect the GPS to the laptop otherwise Windows will misidentify the GPS as a Mouse and install a mouse driver for it causing the mouse pointer to fly around the screen out of control!

Hope someone out there finds this blogpost of use.

For reference :
The EverMore GM-R700 is a 16 Channel GPS unit with Standard NMEA-0183 at 4800 baud.


o2 surprises, Have YOU ever won anything in the hook a duck game on pay as you go or are they unobtainable?

If you are on a o2 Pay as you go phone then you will be familiar with the "Hook a Duck" game known as o2 surprises. When you top up your phone with £10 or more they send you a text message with a special code that you type in to the o2 suprises website and it gives you two chances (three chances for £15 top up) to try and win a prize. BUT without fail the prizes you win are never anything like the ones it taunts you with at the top. Never won a Plasma Television, have you?

o2 Surprises website.

As you can see her in my example.

About to try and catch myself a good prize in the o2 Surprises game.

After my three goes I have won nothing of any use at all !

I am on o2 unlimited yet I often seem to win free text messeging or somthing as pointless.

If you play the damn Hook a duck game then have you ever won anything of use or are the good prizes unobtainable?. Post a reply if you have won a good prize.