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FORUM CLOSURE
Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:09am
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All,

I have been instructed by Mr. Bill Bond to close the forum on the Battle of Britain Historical Society - at least for now. While Mark has summed up and given reason, I think there are several things requiring clarification.

Firstly the advertisements. The original forum put up on the Society website by its creator had advertisements (or at least they would have if a fee wasn't paid). The forum was a free ad on to the website, and added at the discretion of the website creator (who did a fantastic job I might ad). At some point Pippa took over the forum, and upon discovering that if one paid a fee for the forum then the ads would disappear. So for quite some time Pippa and her husband paid for the forum to be ad free. She made me promise not to tell anyone as she didn't require any thanks - that's the type she is and we were damned lucky to have her at the helm. An amazing lady that Pippa to be sure, and a great and loyal supporter and admirer of The Few. But when Pippa left it was agreed that the Society would not pay to keep the ads off as it is relatively expensive to do so. If our heroes could fly an aircraft with eleven other friends into a hundred plus German aircraft, shoot at them while avoiding getting shot, avoid collision, navigate and all the myriad of things they did each and every day - most certainly we could handle a few ads.

Recently there has been trouble on the forum. This certainly isn't the first time, and any long-time members will note that it seems to occur with some regularity. All blame or circumstance aside, it is an embarrassment to the Society. We have had good people leave the forum after this one, and Bill has noted that people have written to him quitting the Society because of these forum escapades. Recently there was even talk of legal action. When something like this becomes more of a detriment than an asset, it's time to re-examine. Being from the supposed 'land of the free' and a Journalism major at Univeristy, I am the last one to condone censorship. In one sense a person should be allowed their say. But when it degrades to school yard name calling then it gets damned silly. The Society is supposed to be a dignified organization to remember The Few, and the forum as of late (and in fact too often) does not reflect this.

I understand the feeling that this is 'our forum', and actually it should have been considered that way to a degree. But in truth Bill Bond - who created the Society - never wanted or advocated a forum because of the reasons we are now discussing. The forum was an addition that he relunctantly let happen because it could be a useful tool in educating those who come looking for anwers on the Battle of Britain. That we often discussed other topics was never really an issue, and I think a necessity since only addressing the BoB would likely have resulted in very long periods of silence. But membership in the Society is not an automatic 'right' to a forum, but rather something the serving 'Webmaster' created to allow discussion. And given any possible threat of litigation, it becomes an extra that could cause a quick demise of the Society itself. Most abided by the rules and all was fine; it only takes a few comments and reaction to cause major issue. As adults we should be able to disagree and not get nasty about things - but this has too often not been the case.

The above are mainly my thoughts. As currently serving 'Webmaster' I only follow orders, but thought some explanation was due. Particularly in respect to those good folks who have given much of their time to post valuable information on this forum (give thanks to the likes of Dean, Gerry, Andy, Paul etc). And of course the wonderful Pippa whose cheerful banter and way of welcoming and incorporating all caused me to join up.

Bill is going to put a bit up in the next Scramble and allow the membership to vote on the forum - so those of you who are members will have a say. Mark and I are exploring ways and types of forums where we might have better control or monitoring over who posts - as quite obviously this is necessary. In the meantime, and in the interests of the Society as a whole, I've been instructed to remove the forum until a decision and options can be explored.

To all who have posted and enjoyed the forum - do not dispair. When one door closes another opens and if perhaps we cannot meet and discuss our passion on this forum, another might take it's place. These days there are ways to get a site up on the web for free, and there are free forum tools. If anyone needs to contact me, I am at:

bigginhill1940@hotmail.com

In all fairness I will leave this message up for a bit to give all of those in the UK a chance to at least read this for explanation (since I'm in a different part of the world/time zone). And again remember I am strictly a volunteer and make no decisions so don't murder the messenger.

Thanks to all, and whatever you do keep up efforts to remember all those who fought and sacrificed in The Battle of Britain. They are what it's all about, not us.

John Wheeler

    • Just a minute!Paul Dunn, Wed Feb 23 3:05am
      Just a bloody moment. It seems that decisions have been made about the future of this site without consultation which is somewhat ironic given its success that is based on a wide interest and input.... more
      • New Style New Ideas.PIp. , Wed Feb 23 2:38pm
        Hi Paul How's things. Just to set your mind at rest. There is NO way any of us would run away and pull the plug solely because of a few dickish insults and remarks. Hell we are made of sterner stuff... more
    • FACEBOOKKizzy, Tue Feb 22 4:50pm
      As this forum will not be running in the short and/or long-term, may I suggest that you join facebook and 'find' me on there: search for "Kizzy Rowland" - amazingly I am the only one on facebbok!... more
      • FacebookPaul Dunn, Wed Feb 23 3:27pm
        Kizzy - following your suggestion, I have sent a friend request.
    • Re: FORUM CLOSUREMark Andrew, Tue Feb 22 11:19am
      Thanks for putting up a full explanation I hope we can find a way forward, the world is changing through 'social networking ' as we now see in the Middle East. I feel my BOB brother would not want... more
    • The 'Yoof' we wish to enlightenKizzy, Tue Feb 22 9:23am
      Dear John et al (a please pass to Bill Bond if poss), I fear that in my 30s I may be the 'youth element' amongst us. Please can I heartily recommend that the BOBHS opens a facebook page instead of... more
      • Kizzy contact detailsPaul Davies, Tue Feb 22 1:21pm
        Hi Kizzy If this comes off could you let me know please, that is if I am welcome? My email is p.73davies@sky.com Thanks for all your help this year and all that you do, in Honour of The Few. Best... more
      • FacebookJohn Wheeler, Tue Feb 22 12:13pm
        An excellent idea Kizzy - thanks!
        • For Pip, a tribute.Paul "Battle of Britain fan" Davies, Tue Feb 22 1:17pm
          Pip, Can I just say a big thank you for supporting financially,and otherwise this wonderful forum. Without it I woul;d be less some marvellous friends. Without it I would not have met great men who... more
      • FacebookNick Peacock MA, Tue Feb 22 10:23am
        Hi Kizzy sounds a great idea, I have a Facebook page already so would not mind, minding a NEW BOBHS Facebook page if everyone here wants a temporary forum to natter in! Depends what others want and... more
        • for Nick PeacockKizzy, Tue Feb 22 8:27pm
          Nick Please can you find me on facebook - there are lots of Nick Peacocks!! Cheers Kiz
          • FacebookNick Peacock MA, Wed Feb 23 9:42am
            LOOK for Craig Peacock on Facebook I'm the handsome one! Haha!
        • Re: FacebookMark Andrew, Tue Feb 22 11:08am
          Nick I also have a Facebook for Yorkshiremen of The Battle of Britain please email me Mark
      • Face BookFace Book, Tue Feb 22 9:54am
        A sure fire way to grab today's lot Kizzy, I agree. Terrific little Face Book site here. p. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Central-Florida-WW2-Museum/42613023864
        • Re: Face BookMark Andrew, Tue Feb 22 11:26am
          That is one of the many interesting sites on Facebook that link to the period. I have one http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Battle-of-Britain-from-Yorkshire/100711066660337 another I use is... more
    • Goodbye Jack Dean, Pip, Bill Bond, and Dean SumnerPaul Davies, Tue Feb 22 9:00am
      Goodbye Jack, Dean and any I have missed. Paul Davies This is the Final, Final post. Please may I suggest that other members wishing to stay in contact link to my email or some other and we will get... more
    • Re: FORUM CLOSUREJohn Larder, Tue Feb 22 8:47am
      As a long term ex-member I think in some ways the forum has reflected the Society's attitude which in the past has included personal attacks on Stephen Bungay and Alfred Price amongst others, because ... more
      • Two of England`s finest authorsPaul Davies, Tue Feb 22 1:28pm
        Two of the finest Authors on the subject that I know of. I have praised their works many times. The finest ending to a book on the subject belongs to Stephen Bungay: The last sentence in the book... more
    • Goodbye and thank you Paul Davies F.R.C.T.A, Tue Feb 22 8:43am
      Goodbye John and thank you for all of your work. It has been an wonderful two years on here and I will miss the people, the events, the news and the information and stories here. It is indeed the end ... more
      • Goodbye Zoraida, Pip, Jon, Jonathan, CarolePaul Davies, Tue Feb 22 8:48am
        Goodbye Zoraida It has been fum. Goodbye to you all and to Carole (Marchand) Ventura it has ben an honour knowing you. Pip Thank you so very much for all that you have done. Best wishes to all on... more
    • Forum's futureJonathan , Tue Feb 22 7:08am
      I'm sorry to hear the forum may be closing down. I would like to second Rob's proposal. If we cannot continue as part of the BOB Historical Society, I think continuing our forum on Facebook, or as an ... more
    • Facebook pageRob, Tue Feb 22 5:57am
      Hi John Why don't you open a Facebook page, It's easy & free and would keep the forum open ? It's a shame to loose this kind of History, it's just an Idea. Cheers Rob... www.152hyderabad.co.uk
      • Re: Facebook pageMark Andrew, Wed Feb 23 11:25am
        Thanks A test site is up and running
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