How can I help?

Frequently asked questions

Before contacting the webmaster please check to see if your question has been answered below. It's unlikely that you will receive a reply if the answer can be found below.

Username

Q. Can I change my username?
No, if it's really important that you change your username then your best bet is to ask me to cancel your account so that you can create a new one.

Password

Q. Why can't I login using the password that I was sent?
There's nothing wrong with the password. The password will have at least one letter that has been substituted for a number. For example the number 5 instead of a letter S. All you need to do is ensure that you are entering the password correctly.

Q. Can you send me my password?
You can obtain your password by clicking the Forgot Password link on the Login page.

Q. Can I change my password?
Yes, you can choose your own encrypted password by clicking the appropriate link on your member's page.

E-mail

Q. How do I update my e-mail address?
You can update your own e-mail address by visiting your member homepage.

Members

Q. How do I access my member homepage?
Near the top of each Urmston.net page you will see your username. To the left of this is a link called My homepage. You can access your member homepage by clicking this link.

Q. I've logged in before, why can't I login now?
At the end of April 2012 the list of members was reviewed. Any member that had not accepted use of the Urmston.net cookie was deleted in order to comply with new data protection laws on cookies. Members were notified in advance by a notice on the forum. Please note, if you failed to accept cookies your membership account was deleted. This means that you will not be able to login to your account or reset your password and your previous username will remain locked. If you wish to reactivate your previous username then you should contact the webmaster - quoting your username, and ask for it to be released. Once released, you will be able to register again using your old username; you will have to accept cookies when you register.

Q. How do I cancel my membership of Urmston.net?
You can fill out the form below to request that your account be closed. I actually prefer members to close accounts that they're not using as it makes it easier to maintain the membership. I don't want to keep unused accounts just to make it look like I've got a lot of members... if you're not going to use it please ask me to close it.

Q. How do I contact other members?
Every post on the forum has the name of the member who submitted the post in orange text. This is a link and by clicking the member's name you will be redirected to their contact form. If they have enabled their form then you can contact them, if not, then you cannot.

Q. Can you give me the contact details of a member?
No, I'm not allowed to disclose personal data. You can contact the member via their contact form if they have enabled it from their control panel. To contact another member just click their username on any of their forum posts - it appears as an orange link.

Q. Why can't I post live to the forum?
Regular contributors to Urmston.net may be granted the ability to post directly to the forum without their post being moderated. Those members that can post live will see an option to post live or have their post moderated on the forum post preview page; the default is set to post live. The option to have a particular post moderated can be selected if the poster has concerns about whether or not their post will breach the forum rules. Members that can post live can promote local companies within reason. The webmaster reserves the right to amend or remove any post that has been posted live. Posts that are inconsistent with the overall style of the foum will be amended to ensure consistency.

Q. Why have I lost my post live status?
If a post contravenes the forum rules it will be removed from the forum and the poster is at risk of losing their post live status. If a post fails to comply with the overall style of the forum it will be amended. If it continually fails to comply with the overall style of the forum then the poster may lose their post live status.

Forum

Q. I cannot accept cookies, can I still post to the forum?
You can post to the forum without being logged in as a member by using a pin number. You can set your pin number by clicking the appropriate link on your member's page. More information about this can be found here.

Q. I'm trying to post to the forum but it's asking me for a pin number, why?
If you're being asked for a pin number then you are not logged in as a member. You can post to the forum without being logged by using your e-mail address and pin number, but you need to login at least once to set-up a pin number - this can be done from your member's homepage.

Q. Why hasn't my topic appeared?
Before authorising a topic I check keywords in the topic title by searching the forum. If I can easily find an existing topic using any one of the keywords then it is unlikely that I will authorise the topic. I clearly ask you to check and use a similar existing topic rather than create a new one but some people don't bother checking and then they wonder why it's not appeared. If you decide to use a similar topic I may well rename that topic to make it more appropriate.

Other reasons why your topic has not been authorised are:

If you add a topic asking for someone to recommend a commercial service without enabling your contact member contact form then the topic will not be authorised. This is because most members are not allowed to recommend a product or service on the forum so they would need to send the recommendation to you directly via your contact form. Your contact form can be enabled from your member homepage.

If you add a topic about something that is covered elsewhere on Urmston.net, such as an event or a family tree request, then this will not be authorised. Although I accept that the family tree section of the website is not currently active... please bear with me.

Q. How do I strip the formatting from something that I want to post to the forum?
There is an icon called Paste plain text - it's the third icon from the left. If you want to remove the formatting just copy the text, click the icon - this will open a small window, and paste into the window.

Q. Why are some members able to promote local businesses but I'm not?
There is an exception to the Rule 8. Some members are able to post directly to the live site without their comments being moderated by the webmaster first. These are trusted members who regularly post to the forum and comply with the forum rules. As a privilege of being able to post live, these members have far more freedom in general, and I don't mind them recommending local businesses within reason. If you are a new member and you want to recommend a local business then you can always contact the person directly via their contact form. Instructions on how to do this are listed on this page. If you think you qualify as a trusted member then please let me know and I will review your account.

Experience of running a website for over a decade has taught me that some people will happily register different accounts to promote their business. I have a low tolerance towards anyone attempting to use the forum as a means of promoting a local business and a zero tolerance towards new members that do this. A typical example would be where a new member posts a topic about where to find a particular service. And then another new member replies and suggests a local business. And then another new member will agree with this... and basically it's the same person or a conspiracy. I will (and have) cancel the account of anyone that I suspect of doing this.

Miscellaneous

Q. Where has the Yearbook section gone?
I've removed the Yearbook section for the time being as it needs to be completely rebuilt. It will be back later in the year with all the information as it was.

Q. What's wrong with the price box on my classified ad?
It's likely that you're putting a £ sign into the price box when it will only accept numbers.

Q. Can you give me the e-mail address of someone who has posted to the guest book?
No, I don't capture any contact details for the guest book.

Q. Can you send me one of the photos that appears in the Gallery?
The majority of photos are uploaded by members and visitors to the site. I cannot give you the details of the person who uploaded the picture but if you give me the picture reference - it's the picture ID that appears in the URL part of your browser when you're looking at the picture on screen, then I will attempt to contact the picture owner on your behalf. At which point, my involvement will end as they can contact you directly.

Q. Can you answer my question about local history?
The best way to get an answer to a local history question is to use the forum.

Q. I contacted you about something, why have I not received a reply?
If I've not replied to you it could be because:

i. Your comments were rejected by my filtering rules. There was a time when submitting the contact form below would cause the form content to be converted into an e-mail and delivered to me. I have since changed this process to avoid having to store personal data on my own computer. The information is now stored in a secure online database similar to the database that stores all the forum posts. However, before I get to read your enquiry, the form information is subjected to a number of rules. Each rule will assign a weighting if triggered and if the overall weighting exceeds a certain percentage the entire form data will be deleted automatically without me ever seeing it. For example, let's say that filter 1 checks the e-mail address field for a web based e-mail address and applies a 40% weighting if one is discovered. For members, the reply e-mail address will be the e-mail address associated with their account. Filter 2 might then check the comments field for non-qwerty characters and apply a 25% weighting if any exist. And so on. If I then set the overall weighting at 60% then it's easy to see why someone using web based e-mail may struggle to get a reply; because you're up to 40% before your comments have even been checked. These percentages may have been exaggerated slightly for this example but there are about 30 filters in total that check for things like spaces between letters, non-standard characters between letters, swear words, variations of swear words etc. The thing is, I've tested it over a couple of months and adjusted the overall weighting to the point where it now seems to be just right. If you have a genuine enquiry then providing that you keep it fairly simple, there's no reason why you shouldn't get a reply - even if you're using a web-based e-mail address.

ii. My reply e-mail was filtered by your ISP's web filters. I reply to your enquiry by submitting a web form which automatically generates an e-mail and sends it to you. Some ISPs may treat auto-generated e-mails as spam so you may find that my e-mail ends up in your spam folder. The best way to avoid this is to add www.urmston.net your your whitelist - the list of trusted sites. Unfortunately, if my reply e-mail gets rejected by your ISP then there's not much that I can do.

If you cannot login to your account it's likely that your account was deleted because you didn't accept cookies. Please follow the advice above under the Members heading.

Contact the webmaster

Please note, if you contact me about an issue that I have already identified in the section above then it's unlikely that you will get a response. Urmston.nend by clicking the link on your member's homepage.

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Existing members should use the contact form that can be found on your member homepage.