Dear reader,

After more than two decades, I have finally decided to suspend Urmston.net for the foreseeable future. Over the years I have invested thousands of man-hours to keep the site updated but changes in technology and in the way in which we use the internet, plus my change in circumstances, means that I can no longer devote the hours needed to maintain the site at the moment. I use WordPress for my other websites, so I’ve not ruled out recreating Urmston.net using WordPress at some point in the future. Indeed, it’s likely that I shall, if only to share the topics that were discussed over the years.

I have anonymised all personal data but have retained four characters before and after the '@' sign for all email addresses. By doing this, I would likely be able to associate any forum posts with the person who made the posts at some future point; if this person were able to provide me with the email address that they used.

I have retained the late, great David Smith's history of Urmston. Unfortunately, as I have anonymised the databases, I cannot reasonably publish the photos the were uploaded to the site because I cannot prove copyright. However, I will link my own photos.

How Urmston.net began

Urmston.net is a hobby of mine which started in 1999 as a way of developing my web building skills. At the time I was working as an Apple Mac Operator for a company based in Macclesfield and I really enjoyed my job. But I suffer from being both a creative and logical thinker so while my job was satisfying me creatively, I continued to yearn for a project which would exercise the grey matter.

A colleague introduced me to Active Server Pages (ASP) and the idea of storing web page information within a database rather than on a static web page. I started Urmston.net purely as a means of learning how to code using ASP. The fact that people started using the site was a huge bonus because it gave me the incentive to continue to improve the site by building new web applications using Dreamweaver. In 2004, my skills had developed to a point where I was able to get a job working on a corporate intranet, based purely on the skills that I had learnt in my spare time. I'm still working for the same organisation, where I recently received an 'Outstanding' in my performance evaluation, and they don't give those out easily.

In recent years I have struggled to spend as much time as I would have liked working on the site due to other commitments.