Author Topic: Winter Draw(er)s on!  (Read 636 times)

backman

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Winter Draw(er)s on!
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:23:07 AM »
I suspect that many of us are now returned from our late summer travels and the change in climate and shortening days in the UK,suggest that winter is around the corner. I am aware that it has been fairly quiet on the forum so does anyone want to start any new contributions or indeed share their thoughts on old threads? Any of the new collectors out there wish to pick our collective brains? Anyone acquired their long lost badge or indeed the top of their wish list during the summer months? How is Nursing History or collecting doing around the world?Any plans or events that you would like to share.What should we look forward to in 2019?
Over to you

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 08:15:24 PM »
Hi  :-\,

Well yes, I would have liked to help get things moving again after what seems to have been a quiet summer, but having just spent a 15 minute session on what has been a 30+C day on Crete typing what I believed to have been a scintillating start (!) I have just punched the delete key and lost the lot!!  Yes, I do it too... Back tomorrow...

Will

backman

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 06:17:25 AM »
Unfortunately I do know this finding all too well!

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2018, 08:42:59 PM »
Hi.  8)

No change in the weather here - 32+C average, and much hotter in enclosed exposed places.... But here I am again for attempt 2...

I started yesterday's lost message by saying that because of the imminent news I needed to avoid giving the game away before I could publish. That still applies.  I moved on to deal with our proposed book - still at the on- line catalogue stage with many acres still to complete. Anyone looking at our most recent news pages can see where we are at (top of first left col) and where we are still going...

We still have a serious shortage of PTS photographs. I fear that unless we get some new ones soon we may eventually run out of stock so if anyone has such photographs - we are desperate.. Any contributions to webmaster@schoolsofnursing.co.uk

One aspect that rarely mentioned herein is the constant work on the SoN site itself.  It is a daily process 24/7 365  - even when holidays cause me to close registrations. Moderation by Peter means that at least we can take our eyes off the ball, and Adrian (technical admin) is usually around to handle any problems - we seem to have been successful in keeping the site up (on-line) for several years now, but I do wish sometimes that I could make everyone aware of just what is really involved in running a website as large as ours.  Unfortunately that is not possible - especially from a security point of view. I think that we can claim success in those areas...

Well, not very scintillating today!!  I will just have to try harder tomorrow... maybe by then the response will pick up, though I suspect that some of us are enjoying late vacations... Me? I am off to our first floor balcony/patio to enjoy the night-time view of the bay of Chania and perhaps a cool beer - perhaps even a glass of red... Now that should attract one or two!!  Until tomorrow... (and before I accidentally delete again) Kalinichta…

Will.

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2018, 08:46:34 PM »
Hi.

Well, the ball moved!  And thanks to Peter (again) we have some new PTS photographs... But please, anyone reading this, don't stop now - the more photographs we have the happier I will be.

I thought that perhaps a little background to our operation might be of interest.  Our main base is on the Greek island of Crete, where several years ago I became aware of a (MS) nursing badge site whose members seemed to be having a little trouble. Uploading photographs and on-line galleries - so essential to a site dealing with a highly pictorial aspect seemed especially difficult, and since I already operated a successful website and had a lot of surplus space (and have big feet and a somewhat loose brain!) - I could not resist contacting members with the opinion that I could do better and at no cost!! An irresistible combination I felt - better at everything and free!!

Little did I then know...

Will.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 08:48:51 PM by wilfb »

backman

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 12:20:09 PM »
...And very grateful we are for you doing so, although at times you might not always believe that. For those of us that have been around for a while we were pleased to have some of the earlier sites for giving us a voice for our interest in Nursing and Medical history and particularly the study of the badges associated around those.We are in debt to Jennifer Meglaughlin,and those earlier enthusiasts(some still members of this forum)who started to explore the story behind some of those little bits of metal that we hold dear.Unfortunately her studies predated the availability of the internet but also the demise of the traditional schools of Nursing.Just think how much easier it would have been if we had then what we have now, before the collective knowledge of the history and variety of badges issued and awarded had retired and moved to a Greek island!!
I like to think however that this site now gives us a common forum to try and preserve our collective knowledge through our postings and photographs.This does however rely upon all of us to support it in whichever way we can no matter how small that may seem.Remember we need to use it or we could loose it! I am sure sure many of us would be saddened if it were not to be here?

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2018, 09:10:13 PM »
Hi.

Many thanks for that Peter, but never fear, as long as you all continue to tolerate my ramblings I will not desert!! And yes, Jennifer MegLaughlin remains a major inspiration for many of us, I feel sure. A sad loss.....

Onward... 'Little did I know'...  Little did I know just how enthusiastic our collectors of nursing history, particularly our badges, were!  I think that just about every collector on the original MS site offered support immediately when I asked.  Which left me with an immediate problem - the offer of a better site at no cost - all I had to do then was prove it!

The site itself was still a figment of my (then vivid) imagination right then. The acceptance by original MS group members left me on the spot. Cliff-hanging. By my finger nails. The time I was (hopefully) at my best. So why did I keep asking God for help?  Large buccal cavities have a way of catching those that open them, out. Why also did I keep remembering sayings about, for example, 'not putting one's mouth into operation before ensuring that one's brain was in gear'? and the one about alligators and draining swamps? It was all somewhat terrifying...

'Better at no cost'.... There was only one option (failure was not a menu item for me), get on with it and stop moaning!!  And with that all became clear - I think.  A main site was a prerequisite. The 1974 'watershed' timeline was what I knew best - thus the main site had to include every SoN in operation at that time as a pro-forma.  Secondly we needed a bulletin board - essential for open communication on any aspect.  And thirdly we needed photo galleries for the badges. Three main aspects.

'Better at no cost' - Easy peasy. So why was I still asking god to help....

Will.
 

nursesue

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2018, 01:18:21 PM »
have been sat reading this post whilst in holiday in Corfu and yes temps between 30c-35c Back home now furiously scratching at those large red blobs left by the local mossie population Fortunatly my Greek is fluent enough to get to a chemist and buy antihistamines and creams to help! as well as ena Mythos parakolo at a local taverna to aid with pain reflief!!
Alas I have no PTS photos they have gotten lost in numerous house moves over the years but I do have some new badges and pics to post when I find time to download off my camera ( promise no holiday snaps) and an idea for a new thread- all I need is some spare time

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2018, 08:22:55 PM »
Oh' Sue!

And you a very experienced nurse...  You didn't need the pharmacy - helpful though it is I would not deny.  Tsikouthia! Rakis! Tspouro! The Greek 'cure all itches' (plus aches; pains; strains; sprains et al - et al...!  When we first arrived in Crete our local village lay priest and cantor took myself and our (Irish) builder under his wing and prescribed 'Tsikouthia' for our sore throats. After a week (and this is true) he returned, asking after our none-improved conditions. His puzzlement was resolved when he asked 'you are rubbing it on your chests aren't you'?.... and we had to admit that no, we had not really understood, we thought that we had to drink it...  www.cretanvista.co.uk/tsipouro.htm

But drinking it certainly gave us a boost after a hard day of building. Try it, you will, still itch, but it won't matter nearly as much. Or just rub it on those blotches - you never know..

Will.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 08:28:12 PM by wilfb »

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2018, 08:58:53 PM »
Hi.

The business.  'Better at no cost' - Easy peasy. So why was I still asking god to help....

Well, having chosen to start the site by basing it on the 1974 timeline (which I thought that I knew best) I made a discovery, and I quote from the site:-

Timelines.
The site is being constructed around timelines - each listed as a significant year  - the first being 1974.

'In 1974 there were 447 main schools of nursing and their satellites approved by the General Nursing Councils - a total of approximately 700 hospitals directly involved in nurse training (possessing a nursing school facility) -  spread across 24 geographical regions of the UK National Health Service. 15 regions in  England - plus 9 regions covering the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Including hospitals which did not physically possess a school - but in which students* spent part of their training raises the number to approximately 1600 hospitals. Not counting of course the Schools of Nursing of the armed services, each of which possessed it's own military hospitals.'

1974 is significant as a marker for the combination of individual hospital schools into group schools. Each containing all specialties available.

Other timelines will cover the situations existing at the formation of the first school of nursing; the first General Nursing Councils; eventual handover to the universities; and so on... Each timeline will be well marked by brief descriptions and date reference to avoid confusion -  although these may differ slightly according to usage'.


You don't need to do the math - I had just committed to documenting at least 1600 hospitals that were in some way involved in nurse training - and that was just the main body of the site. Still no forum; still no photo gallery. There was, I thought, some way to go. And only one way to do it  - to quote myself - get on with it and stop moaning!! And keep talking to God!!

Will.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 09:05:29 PM by wilfb »

backman

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 09:17:21 AM »
Talking to God is fine, it's only when he starts to talk back we start to be concerned!

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 08:59:48 PM »
Hi.

Thank goodness for that, I thought that my mobile was faulty....

Will.

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 08:34:34 PM »
Hi.

So that is what I did, stopped moaning and got on with it!  I designed the main page, a pro-forma which would be database friendly and allow photo insertion, got out my hospital year books; copies of the King Edwards Fund Schools of Nursing directories; NHS Reorganisation bulletins and a host of other resources; and three months or so later (stretching the patience of my wife to the limits) completed the last of the 1600 or so entries.  http://www.schoolsofnursing.co.uk/Regions74.htm

With the aid of our software engineering son we added a free Google search engine - and bingo - all worked as advertised!  For free* and better than anything I had seen on-line at the time. Masses of information, all searchable (an essential).

But it was, of course a pro-forma. Electronic index cards. Not very exciting for three months hard work. Like a game of Ludo! What was needed were other parts of the site - and links to a 'Home' page 'Schools'  'Region'  'Forum' (which did not yet exit but was another essential), and pages
covering  'Collecting'  'Galleries' (photographs - another essential)  'History'  'Bibliography'  'News'  'Contact' and an outside link to National Archives. I just got on with it!!  No moaning - and my mobile still did not answer! The page looked like this:-

http://www.schoolsofnursing.co.uk/

Clever me!! So what next? A bulletin board? Interactive of course. 'Easy Peasy' - just watch this I thought.  And then thought, and thought, and thought... Three months work and still major parts missing!  Lets try God again.....

Will.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:39:43 PM by wilfb »

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 09:03:41 PM »
Hi.

With still no reply from above I began to search for a bulletin board.  It had to facilitate full interaction between members and allow for the addition of sufficient photographs to allow  the illustration of any point made, be it a nurse photograph, ephemera example or perhaps a nurse badge etcetera. 

The phpBB was, and still is a superb example of free open-source software offered in various incarnations and was an obvious front-runner for allowing unfettered interaction between members.  I simply became overwhelmed by the possibilities. Then I came across a board attached the the 'Chesterwalls' website - a superb site hosted by Steve Howe.  ( https://www.chesterwalls.info/author.html )  Steve was amazingly helpful. The appearance, and facilities offered seemed exactly right for me and the program was available free from the SMF (Simple Machines) website.  It still seemed complex to me, but it seemed attractive, and was free.  Once again Adrian (our technical Administrator) was on hand . All I  would have to do was design the sections and subsections to be added!  Did I say All?  Definitely not easy-peasy, but I had experience gained from teacher-training, and more especially from carrying out and later teaching research methodology.

And I needed every atom! Presenting information was never simple. Presenting it in an attractive manner - well, I still just hope that I at
least got some of it right! But  I would have to wait and see on that one... And there was still the small matter of photograph galleries for the display of member badges.  I had heard that one member had around 700!!  Seven hundred

Oh' dear, what have I done.... 'Better at no cost'  - I was becoming more confused by the minute...

Will.

wilfb

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Re: Winter Draw(er)s on!
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 08:29:01 PM »
Hi.

The 'No cost' was the easy part - I already had an account with a major ISP (still have) for my other sites - I was simply using the surplus space to donate to the new SoN site.  But having said that I could not think of a better use for the space I paid for anyway - a nursing history site!  Wow!  'Wow' indeed. But it was to be free 'to users' and of course had to be fully usable whilst maintaining security for users.  So the bulletin board had to be visible to all - but only usable by members. Thus anyone can read and search the mail site, compliments of 'Google', and anyone can read the bulletin board - with the exception of the 'Dining Room' (members only) but only members can read/write to the bulletin board.  A security measure to protect member details (user name and email address only) from outright abuse....

And of course the site is continually moderated and supervised for abuse.  And tools to handle both.  Much time and effort goes into this aspect and the precise details are not public.

The board, 'boards' is perhaps a better description as there are now several in operation, and specific 'topics' can be started by any registered member.

So now we had a fully searchable main site (with several sections) and an infant (though fully controllable) bulletin board (also with several sections).  All that was needed now (I thought!) were decent photograph galleries - capable of handling thousands of photographs and fully searchable.  I was acutely aware that one member had already told me that he alone had more than 700 badges.  That thought, and awareness that we would need several galleries to include such things as photographs of ephemera et al was making me nervous...

Very, very nervous!  Where on earth would I find such an overall, fully searchable (not much point in having a finding cabinet full of photographs if people could not find the one they wanted) and the photographs had to be unloadable by members.

And all still needed to be better, and for free!  Oh' well, better get on with looking...

Will.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 08:33:10 PM by wilfb »