As I sign off to join in the festivities, I want to say, Happy New Year to you all! Wishing all readers all over the world the best of health, good fortune and happiness in 2017. Here’s hoping it’s YOUR best year ever. Thank you for all the support. Once again, Blantyre Project has had an overwhelming year, the busiest yet!
Let’s recap for a few moments….
Over 800 unique history articles were added to Blantyre Project in 2016, as well as a further 2,100 photos! All stories and photos were archived not only on the website at http://www.blantyreproject.com where Internet traffic this year simply went crazy, but also on Facebook where social media comments are there, always for all to read. As always, the articles, photos and all history was preserved and archived in hardback books destined for local libraries and of course incorporated into open drafts of future books.
I had a setback in Summer when the Blantyre Project exhibition could not open at David Livingstone Centre (due to copyright issues caused by somebody else’s website.) However, in the latter part of 2016, I worked hard to get beyond that and have now drafted new content (unreleased online) which should see the previous hard work (put in by myself and staff at the National Trust for Scotland) able to get to the point of the exhibition being reconsidered for the public. Blantyre WILL have a history exhibition, I will see to that and make that commitment to you. I should have further news in early 2017.
In Spring, I started working at the new Queensferry Crossing meaning a lengthy commute and less time to write. So, unusually for me, I only published one small book about Blantyre’s Statistical Accounts in 2016, focusing on writing and adding content to the main website, wherever time permitted.
It meant also I had to suspend my monthly Blantyre Telegraph newspaper, something I hope to resume in due course. Despite time constraints and a rethink about work/life balance, there still was 2 or 3 uniquely researched new posts each day. Readers to the FREE site remain at a record high of almost 12,000 people all over the world.
I also found myself out and about, digging in the ground, tramping through the woods more than I’ve ever done. You guys are keeping me SO busy with things to investigate. At times I was swamped to the point of actually asking for content to be held back!
Several successful historical presentations were also presented at local Schools, Care homes, Public Halls and Bowling Club. That was something I thoroughly enjoyed, a real highlight!
So what about 2017?
A FANTASTIC year is shaping up for Blantyre Project. I’m thrilled to say 2017 will see THREE amazing new Blantyre books of utmost quality being brought to the history shelves. The previous books continue to sell well around the world and have supported Blantyre Telegraph in raising over £10,000 to date, for 63 local Blantyre good causes. Thank you to everybody who has ever bought a book. Since 2015, I have taken nothing from that venture. It ALL goes back into Blantyre to those who need it more.
I have SUCH a passion for writing about Blantyre. I would reveal that sometimes, i just “can’t wait” to open up the current manuscript. Really, I mean that. There’s not one day that goes by when I don’t record another fact into my research. It’s become a truly monumental archive of written information. 2017, will thankfully allow me more time in weekday evenings to spend on expanding the website, and time for such ventures like writing and getting history out to others. (I finished up at the new Forth Bridge before Christmas and although sad to be doing that, my new Construction Project will permit me a LOT more spare time in evenings.) Needless to say, I’ll be writing about Blantyre LOTS in 2017.
I hope you all continue to enjoy this website, it’s daily stories, photos and events. For now though, its party time, my glass is half full and family beckon me to closedown the computer.
Happy New Year!