Happy New Year to you all! Wishing you health, good fortune and happiness in 2015. Here’s hoping it’s YOUR best year ever. Thank you for all the support shown this last year. It’s been truly overwhelming and what a busy year it’s been.
Let’s recap for a few moments….
Over 800 unique history articles were added to Blantyre Project in 2014, as well as a further 1,700 photos! All stories and photos have been archived not only on the website at http://www.blantyreproject.com where Internet traffic this year simply went crazy, but also on Facebook where social media comments are there, always for all to read. As well as this, the history was preserved and archived by being published in limited edition hardback books destined for all primary schools and our local library. This is in addition to a massively heavy 500 page one off edition of Blantyre Project Book stored in Blantyre Library as a reference for all future generations.
Offline Blantyre Project did just as well, of course there was a new book, well received which has already generated many hundreds of pounds for the Haven Charity and delivered to all local care homes. Shipped now to 9 different countries, the book was a real labour of love and was to the best of my knowledge the largest book about Blantyre ever published in terms of pages and narrative. I can’t say enough how proud I am and how much I enjoyed the book launch night, the highlight getting to meet face to face with all those known names from Facebook. Unknown to many people, I spent half of 2014, working AWAY from Blantyre. This gave me LOTS of spare “hotel time” each evening to pick up Blantyre Project and my files. This situation continues in 2015 so I can’t rule out a Volume 3 with many articles already drafted. That second book however would not have been possible without the kind help of many motivated and dedicated individuals who offered their support, knowledge and kindly shared photos and stories. Thank you so much, you all know who you are.
Another highlight was the National Trust taking an interest and deciding to stock the Blantyre Project book at David Livingstone Centre and for their current interest and association with Blantyre Project to form a small display/exhibition (coming in 2015). I have to mention also the launch of Blantyre Project’s monthly newsletter which sold at 4 outlets within the town and has further raised many hundreds of pounds for the Haven, with every penny from those sales going entirely to The Haven. Wonderful!!
Several successful historical presentations were done in Blantyre library, Bowling clubs, Ladies Clubs and I even ventured as far out as Hamilton Golf Club. More are lined up in 2015 starting at Kirk Care in February.
Some friendships and stronger relationships formed with similar minded history enthusiasts. In particular I would like to say thanks to Robert Stewart, Alex Rochead, Gordon Cook, Alex Bowie, Robert Brownlie, Andy Bain and Jim Cochrane for keeping me SO busy with things to investigate. At times I was swamped to the point of asking for content to be held back!
2015 is upon us. So what’s in store?
I’ve already hinted above at the possibility of a third book in the “Journey in Time” series, but an exclusive is that I’m also working on another TWO books regarding Blantyre. Both are something very different this time, one being just a small booklet about a particular 19th Century character of Blantyre. That’s all I’m saying for now, but needless to say, I have the bug for writing about Blantyre and will be putting effort into that during 2015. As well as this I’ll be continuing to explore my own photography in featuring contemporary photos, after all today’s photos are tomorrow’s history. Finally, I will of course continue to post daily content on the main website and facebook. I have SO much more history to show you! All the best and here’s to 2015.