Meon Matters on eastmeonhistory.net
By Denys Ryder for Meon Matters August 2013
Acting as ʻunelected and unpaidʼ keeper of past copies of Meon Matters, I had been looking for some way in which the more important articles, events and photographs of village activities could be made available in a readily viewable format than just old copies lying about gathering dust. Talking to Michael Blakstad, who was also looking for some suitable programme to display the more distant, and more interesting history of the village (pre 1975), we decided to amalgamate our ideas about how to record it in one single place and under the single heading of (eastmeonhistory.net) We little realised what we had let ourselves in for.
Michael had previous experience of setting up and running a website, but I had not. However, introducing Michael to a friend of mine, Robert Gerrard, (a computer expert ʻpar excellenceʼ) who showed us a programme, which was both easy to use as well as organise.
It had to be capable of being edited using any computer anywhere in the world, as well as to be safe from inappropriate material being added without the permission of either of us. It had to have a suitable indexing system, (and this is why I am telling you the history of how the website eastmeonhistory.net came about). It had to be easily searchable. Any site, showing past information, needs to be quickly and easily accessed by the viewer. We believe eastmeonhistory.net has both these facilities.
Michael has already ʻloadedʼ many of the more distant pieces of historical information onto the site and he still has a lot more to add, I am sure, after we have the Village History ʻOpen Day on September 28th in the Village Hall. I have been concentrating on the more recent period of East Meonʼs history by selecting interesting articles from previous issues of Meon Matters, which tells the story of our village from 1982 till 2009.
Having a committee decide which articles in Meon Matters to be included or not, would have never got the job completed. However, should you visit the site, and not find a particular article that you might think important to be included in the Archive, then let me know by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will research it and include it, if thought appropriate. As it is it, the whole collating and inclusion, to choose from 150 issues of Meon Matters, some 700 articles/events/photos, and index them has been a considerable job. To then go on and pick out over 3000 searchable names, places or events from all postings (technical term for articles included) so that the viewer can quickly find postings in which they might be interested, is a job I would not foist on anyone.
It is now done and ready for you, the readers of `Meon Matters, to visit the site.
When you visit eastmeonhistory.net, you will see on the top line of headings at the right hand end the words ʻMeon Matters Archiveʼ. Simply press this, and up will come a page. Enter in the search bar a name, place or event and see what comes up. Full instructions on how to ʻSearchʼ are there for you to use. I hope you find the whole site interesting.
Denys Ryder 05/07/13
Denys sadly died in 2018. The Meon Matters section of the website no longer exists, and all editions of the parish magazine are stored at the Hampshire Record Office