Simon Webb, is well-known as a maker of beautiful hand-turned writing implements that tell stories. He’s crafted pens from woods that include church pews, Isaac Newton’s apple tree, the mulberry tree at the Richard Jefferies museum, HMS Victory and more.
But it’s arguable that his drumstick pens beat it all.
‘I’ve been working this project and am now proud to reveal the result’ added Simon. ‘I’ve made a rhodium and gold fountain pen and included the signed section of the drumstick in the presentation box with the pen.’
It’s been a real thrill to do this and Nick has said he’s happy for me to use whatever is left of the wood for what I want. So I’m planning some cufflinks.
They’ll be available from me soon, complete with a certificate of authentication. See picture below showing a prototype where the hickory wood of the drumstick is surrounded by ebony in a sterling silver setting.
Said Simon: I’d heard Nick on the radio early before I set up at the event. The presenter asked if he did any gardening. He replied that it was a standing joke that he was a ‘zero hours’ gardener.
So when my stand caught his eye and he wandered over to me, I shook hands with him and said it was great to meet another zero hours gardener.’
Swindon’s own ‘gadget man’ launches drawing app to keep children entertained during lockdown
Introducing tech entrepreneur Joe Morgan
Swindon Gadget Man Draws Appy: Maths and physics whizz Joe Morgan has brought forward the release of his new free app: BAM The Drawing App. The aim? To entertain children locked down during Covid19.
The 39-year-old, who lives in Swindon, has launched his new tech product ahead of its original scheduled summer launch.
“Over the last two weeks, I’ve worked hard to get the app launched. I know it will be interesting and useful to young people at home during this period. Or indeed anyone who wants to draw and create original digital artwork.
In normal life Joe, 39, is a private maths and physics tutor. In his own time, he’s worked on his app for months getting it ready for launch later this year.
“I’ve always been a builder of ‘things’,” Joe said. “Since childhood I’ve been able to build models, treehouses, rafts and robots. And, about 13 years ago I learned computer programming and can now build computer apps online.
“I developed this app in the first instance to create an environment where maths and physics diagrams were easy to create. Many apps are too limited or too slow. As I built the app, I soon realised this is the fastest diagram and drawing app I’ve ever seen.”
Currently only available via the Windows app store, Joe created BAM the Drawing App, to deal with other issues he found with alternative apps.
“The first thing I wanted to address ensuring editing was quick and easy. Many apps take ages to edit when you want to squiggle and then change that squiggle. And that’s always frustrated me. With my app if you make an edit, the image changes with the edit and the ‘shape’ you’ve created moves with it in a logical manner. It doesn’t need making many, many small edits when you simply wanted to make one single change.”
The app also addresses these issues:
*If creating a segmented image around a single point eg. a triangle with a point at the top and strips of colour across the shape – if you move that single point, the drawing moves naturally with it.
*When you fill a shapewith colour, known as ‘Colour Splash’, changing that shape in any way makes the colour autofill the new shape.
*All buttons and functions come with a simple explainer video within the app. Thus, if you don’t understand what something does, you don’t have to come out of the app and search the internet for an explanation. You can simple click on the button and swipe right for the video to appear. This is called ‘Swelp’.
*An ability to send an original drawing to friends and family via email actually within the app itself.
*The ability to upload original work to a personal or public gallery – subject to some copyright disclaimers.
*The ability to send your artwork to trusted app partners to have the image printed on a mug or a t-shirt if desired (using affiliate links).
Joe said: “I see this app as not only being user friendly with the ability to share your original artwork if you wish. I also see it as a celebration of original work. You cannot import photographs or artwork from elsewhere into this app. It’s the canvas and it’s up to you if you want to create your artwork for your own satisfaction, share with family and friends or even use it to create your own merchandise!”
The app is now live and available via the app store in Windows 10. You’ll find it on the Apple app store in the near future.
Voices from all over the world come together to help people with Covid-19 and Lockdown
1st April 2020
Global Voices unite amidst Covid-19, in the form of a group of people, who want to help each other, during the current Covid-19 pandemic. They’ve joined forces to write and produce a book. And all in the space of a week.
The book, Surviving the Coronavirus Lockdown and Social Isolation is available as an e-book. Any monies raised will go to a mental health charity. All the participants have given their time, knowledge and support free of charge.
This collaboration includes 65 contributors, all committed to helping people in lockdown. and experiencing social isolation. They come from:
and United Kingdom.
How the book is arranged
The articles in the book offer ideas, advice, tips, and experiences that readers can draw from. They’re arranged under the following headings:
Conquering social isolation
Mastering mind and body,
Community, learning and teaching,
Work and organisations
Personal stories and the future.
Contributors include the thoughts of children, teenagers, business owners, retired people. And also those with no convenient label but yet have something to say that can help others.
Using the hashtag #LetsResetNormal, the intent of this collaboration is: 1.To galvanise the positives and 2. Give people hope, direction and inspiration as we move towards an uncertain future together.
Nobody knows what the new normal will look like. We hope this is a positive way of bringing these ideas together to influence politicians, business owners, and, most importantly, citizens that good can come from the situation we are in. If we work together.
This is a movement towards radical, positive change.
All have given their time for free. There is no commercial angle to this and the book will be widely available free of charge. And what also makes this project exceptional is its short production time. From conception to publication, the process has taken a mere ten days. That demonstrates the commitment of all involved, to help others.
Richard Wintle, known to many Swindonians as the man photographing Swindon’s history through the decades, has been busy! As you’d expect for a press photographer, Richard has a VAST archive of photographs. And he’s put some of them into a book: A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story.
NB: Not only Swindon of course. Richard’s work took him far and wide.
Having seen a talk that Richard gave to Swindon Civic Voicemembers, I’ve a good idea of the gems that you’ll find in this book. See one extract from it below:
In Richard’s own words:
Surrounded by my archive of about four million film-based and digital images, gathered over more than four decades of press photography in Swindon, I’ve discovered connections that run through the archive that weren’t obvious at the time.
In the book I reveal the connection between the Magic Roundabout and the Seekers pop group. And the connection between a Eurovision Song Contest entrant and a flight over the North Atlantic. I show how a work experience boy saw history made, as well as the story behind finding an unknown Swindon pop idol.
Then you’ll see how come there were twelve winners of a Miss Thamesdown competition.
During the book’s meander I explain too, the pictures we took that were published at the time but can’t be published now.
A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story takes you on a voyage. A voyage of picture stories covered by Calyx Picture Agency. The journey traveres the decades, linking the protests, as the Railway Works closed, to Honda announcing it closure.
Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon’s History, meanders through a series of interesting links as it wanders the modern-day Swindon story. As it goes it visits many events and places. At the same time it explains some of the technological changes to the industry during and the back stories associated with the agency.
“Richard’s life as a press photographer gave him with an excellent vantage point to document major local events.Drawing on his vast archive of images, Richard has created a truly unique book, capturing local life in a way unlike any other publication “The Local Studies team, Swindon Libraries
Local author and writing mentor, Lis McDermott launches her latest book in aid of Jessie May
6th March 2020
Author and writing mentor Lis McDermott launched her latest book of poems, Blossoms Fall, at a charity event in Highworth yesterday.
Author’s Book Launch Supports Jessie May
Friends joined her at the book launch where she read some of her poetry. The event raised money for Lis’s chosen charity Jessie May, which provides ‘hospice at home’ care for terminally ill children. The charity is currently supporting 35 families across Swindon and Wiltshire.
“We had a lovely evening,” Lis said. “I’d like to thank everyone who came, everyone bought a ticket to attend and also bought raffle tickets on the night. In the end we raised £325 for Jessie May.
“I’d like to thank Wrag Barn for their support by donating their venue to host my book launch. Also Bower & Bailey Solicitors for sponsoring the welcome drinks and to every business who gave raffle prizes.”
Simon Smith, Managing Partner of Bower Bailey Solicitors said, “Jessie May do sterling work assisting children and their families in Swindon and Wiltshire. We’re pleased to be able to sponsor this event in support of Jessie May.”
About Jessie May
Jessie May, Children’s Hospice at Home provides hospice at home care for terminally ill children in Bristol, Swindon, and Wiltshire. The dedicated nurses provide care to children and families during a child’s life and after their death. A four-hour family respite session with a Jessie May nurse costs £300. Moreover the nurses support bereaved families for up to five years after the death of their child.
Lis McDermott – Author’s Book Launch Supports Jessie May
This is Lis’ second poetry collection. ‘Blossom Falls’, continues to explore similar themes to her first collection ‘A Tilted View’. Lis writes about life; the unfathomable issues of racial prejudice in society; her thoughts on Brexit, and some funny takes on her view of things around her.
The value of placing a content marketing, straightforward business feature or a Made in Wiltshire feature on this blog lies in the back links. The articles sit on here and Google does its thing of recognising the links to your own websites and social media platforms – thus helping your own SEO.
The rates for all of these services are modest to make them accessible. For the Made in Wiltshire posts there are two levels: for hobbyists or for professionals. I also do a bit of initial social media activity to get the pieces some traction. And then ad hoc after that.