Cookham Discussion Board

General Category => COOKHAM DISCUSSIONS => Topic started by: Cookham Webmaster on April 07, 2019, 07:11:35 PM

Title: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Cookham Webmaster on April 07, 2019, 07:11:35 PM
I am afraid that I have inadvertently deleted the Cookham Discussions. Perhaps it is a good time to start afresh!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: aj on April 08, 2019, 10:22:58 PM
I do hope there is a restorable backup. These discussions are a small but nonetheless important part of our history. To lose this is to deprive historians of the future a valuable resource. This is why sites like the way back machine strive so hard to preserve internet history. You may think this is a trivial and unimportant thing. It is not. With the decline of permanent written records our digital age is at grave risk of being but an ephemeral footnote in history.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Birdman on April 09, 2019, 10:51:07 AM
Hi James - can you start again at page 1 please!! (hope you are well, by the way).

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Cookham Webmaster on April 09, 2019, 12:44:11 PM
The data for all the discussions is available on the server, as is the data for the classified ads, news and the reviewer. Interestingly enough the British Library chose for their archives a while back so there is a copy there for future generations!!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Paris on April 09, 2019, 03:38:28 PM
Can the back up be loaded again? It's not much use to anyone looking for info as they won't be able to access the back up if not reloaded in as much entirety as possible.

Or, looking slightly askance at this, and I'm not really doubting that a mistake had occurred, but the local elections are coming up so could the absence of the whole board be political?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Bathsheba on April 09, 2019, 03:52:38 PM
I'm pretty sure a school-grade php programmer could restore it. (Although php is not as cool as it was a few years ago, it's all python these days.)

Any kids out there willing to do this?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: windymiller on April 09, 2019, 07:29:30 PM
Another vote from me to have the old discussions restored if at all possible please. I have frequently searched through old threads for facts/figures/info from way back when.

Or, if the "data for all the discussions is available on the server", please advise how we can access/search that (if that is what is meant).  I would currently like to look again at the "Land for sale at Switchback Road" thread.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Watchman on April 09, 2019, 09:26:43 PM
Ditto to everything stated in the post immediately above mine. ^^^

Please restore the old discussions in their entirety.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: James Hatch on April 10, 2019, 07:54:28 PM
Well I am very disappointed that nearly eleven years of my village history has been erased! As for my health Birdman I am in fine fetal for an 89 year old. So far I have had a remarkable life in my travels around the world. A one on one meeting with Pierre Trudeau one day in the East Block in Ottawa. Another with his royal highness the Prince Charles in Dorchester. First notable meeting at the age of six with Lady Nancy Astor at White Place Farm, after that we had several memorable meetings, the last being at Cliveden in 1954 when Lord Bill Astor married Philippa Hunloke.

My interest in computer technology and video is still very strong, and I was hoping that the Cookham Society of which I am a member would look after my writings. To keep local interest alive here is the story of my Great Grandmother Merina Hatch. Which I have had to smile over the name Merina that use appear in the Last of the Summer Wine.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Paris on April 11, 2019, 02:06:19 AM
Any news yet on the restoration of past discussions?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: James Hatch on April 11, 2019, 02:48:55 AM
Hi Birdman,
I think you will find that a lot of my past work has now found its way to Cookham History.
I have reopened two slots here as you will have seen already. So all my old work will be in the new location, and anything new will be posted here, including my Great Grandmother Merina Hatch!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: grumpyoldgit on April 11, 2019, 04:46:25 PM
Another request for restoration of the history. Not for the first time, I had reason to look up a year-old planning application on the RBWM site, and confidently turned to to see what was discussed at the time. Shock horror!

My day job is solving people's computer problems, and the first thing I do when working on customers' machines is take a backup. I cannot believe you didn't have one readily to hand; and I urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to get the history restored in its entirety. If it makes it easier to restore, it could held in a separate "archive" category.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Cookham Webmaster on April 12, 2019, 11:31:37 AM is held on a server owned by Heart Internet and is backed up daily. To restore costs money.
The Discussions software is a package written by the US company Simple Machines, the programs are in PHP. As Bathsheba suggested if a PHP programmer would like to look at the program they could probably recreate the header record for the discussions, so if anyone knows a PHP programmer who is prepared to help?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Bathsheba on April 12, 2019, 05:13:06 PM
@Webmaster, Do you think you could ensure there's a copy of the most recent snapshot prior to the deletion, in case we can find a php programmer?

(Anyone wanting a programming job at Facebook would know how to code in php.)

Although now we'd need to be careful not to clobber the new discussions, although @grumpyoldgit makes a good suggestion. Oh the joys of IT!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Cookham Webmaster on April 12, 2019, 05:50:08 PM
A PHP programmer can look at the whole thing on line, programs, data everything, this is a website on line not data held on our personal computers. The programmer can have the sign on. Although Python is the older language, apparently 83% are still PHP, although I think that will change. Python is much better at updating new versions than PHP. Perhaps because it is European.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: James Hatch on April 13, 2019, 05:49:50 AM
I have managed to claim back from the lost postings, this painting of Sir Stanley Spencer of the "The Mount." bridal path, which of late has been a very hot topic of conversation:

So turn up your sound

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Paris on April 15, 2019, 09:48:02 AM
If no friendly php programmer comes forward, how much would it cost to have the discussion board reloaded from the server?

From what little I remember of IT people doing such things at work, it actually took very little effort, just machine time while things uploaded.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: CLIPPER on May 01, 2019, 07:11:57 AM
Was nice to see the 'Sir Stanley Spencer Bridle Path' also known as the Pig Track.. which thanks to our recent Cllrs was allowed to be turned into a road with a car park at the top and bins... so anyone thinking they will see a similar view will be disappointed. It was good to see the you tube clip and the comment about Windsor Castle... however no mention of the Red Metal Barn in the right hand corner - since all be redeveloped  into a mini commune.

I'm really disappointed that this Cookham Discussion Board has lost all the history, where residents spent a lot of time campaigning , highlighting relevant issues about what was happening in Cookham - the positives and negatives, and as we are heading out to vote this Thursday.... if anyone wanted to know which Cllrs do what / did what to Cookham - this site would of been a really useful 'one stop shop'.

The Cookham Face Book Page is not as good, and I'm tired of seeing the Cllrs on film 'blagging'... as no one tends to voice opinions via FB as its so public. At least with this site, we had some security we could log in under a name and password, and feel free to voice opinions.

I still hope the Cookham Discussion Webmaster can back up all history... as otherwise what is the point of this board without able to see previous issues /resolutions and threads.  :-[

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Watchman on May 01, 2019, 10:28:36 AM
Re CLIPPERS comments above....

I must admit to having grave reservations of the "accidental " erasure of all issues, debates, advice and discussions on the old COOKHAM DISCUSSONS BOARD, especially those relating to the absurd behaviour of the dictatorial majority of Conservative Councillors
on the RBWM,  not least of whom their visionary leader, one Simon Dudley.

Especially as this erasure was achieved just two weeks or so before the Council elections - and was executed by an illustrious "Cookham Webmaster" -
a contradiction in terms, when given the circumstances - a person looking after the Website totally expunges the website he looks after!

As CLIPPER pointed out - the Discussion Board of old would have been a perfect one-stop reference for all things pertaining to both
Cookham and the Borough, as a whole.

Seems a shame that, nearly two weeks down the road, all we've had is excuses as to the continued absence of the old Board.

With no solution on the horizon .... unless of course said solution mysteriously appears AFTER the Local Elections have been carried out!

Oh, the irony!

Listen, I know that the Cookham Discussion Board is run by volunteers ... and to that end I'm sure we are all grateful, However could
someone please answer the following simple questions :  

Why was the webmaster tinkering around with the Board anyway?  
I don't buy the "it needs a new look to it" excuse!
If it wasn't broke, why try and fix it?
And now it is broke, how come it seemingly cannot be fixed?

Something smells rather fishy here ... allay all our fears please Webmasters and get the old Board up and running pronto!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Kate on May 01, 2019, 02:53:06 PM
Dear Watchman

As far as conspiracy theories go, that's a real cracker! You rightly surmise that the moderators on this discussion board are all volunteers. Some individuals are so mightily sick of these nasty comments that they may well give up and go elsewhere, thus you will have compounded your own theory.

Please do try and appreciate that mistakes sometimes do happen. The very nature of maintaining a live website is that sometimes it needs 'tinkering with' and if only we could find someone with the appropriate 'tinkering' skills we might be able to reinstate what has gone before. Perhaps you might help by trying to find a volunteer with php experience who would be willing to give up their time, as we do.

All the best

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Watchman on May 01, 2019, 04:31:42 PM
Dear Kate,

That was one helluva whopper of a "tinkering".
Wow!  :o
Wiping the entire Discussion Board in one fell swoop and done so before checking the alternatives or the consequences?
Would you not agree?

Perhaps my conspiracy theory is a "real cracker" in your esteemed opinion however sick it is not.
That is, quite wrongly, your summation.
These are NOT nasty comments - just one contributor's subjective criticism.
Sadly, if such criticism cannot be handled, then what's the point?
Deleting the messages at will, as is the case with some webmasters ?
Be honest - this was a cock-up of mammoth proportion, the timing of which was convenient with the solution seemingly non-existent!
Furthermore, I suspect I echo a few people's quiet thoughts on this matter in putting my "real cracker" conspiracy theory to paper.

And do also remember that, whilst I repeat that I appreciate the work all the volunteers do, the disappearance of the several good
citizens who often use the Cookham Discussions Board would also further serve to compound my theory.
ie., No Discussion Board.
Do remember the old maxim - it takes two hands to clap!

However if I have offended, I apologise.
But I still stand by my theory - whether a "real cracker" or not!
I'm afraid I do not know of anyone with php experience, however, why not adopt Paris's suggestion below....
I'm sure a small contribution from all the Boards readers would go a long way towards solving the problem.

All the best,


Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Kate on May 01, 2019, 05:17:58 PM
To all users

What's the general feeling? Do you want the discussion board to continue? In my view it would save a lot of effort and aggro just to take the whole thing down and end the problem, but it's you as users whose input is important. It would seem a shame for it to go after all this time but it's not my decision, I'm interested in what the wider users think. I'm not sure asking for donations to fund a fix is wholly appropriate as not everyone on this board lives up in the Dean / has surplus income.


Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Paris on May 01, 2019, 05:28:19 PM
Kate, I think if you look at this thread and the previous one where the alleged mistake was announced, you will see that users do want the old discussions back.

Like watchman and clipper, I too have my doubts about the timing of this issue; and surely you must admit that for a webmaster to not be sure of the back up/restoration procedure for a site they look after is a bit odd.  The most basic thing I believe most people are taught is not to delete without a back up or restoration method.  While your post asking whether we want everything back when users have already asked could just be another stalling tactic - if so, not a very clever one and rather obvious!

We will all have to see what happens tomorrow and in the days after the elections I suppose . . .

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: parasol on May 01, 2019, 08:18:51 PM
Hi Kate,

I used to view the forums as a useful source of information for what is going on in the Cookhams.  Recently they seem to have become a platform for people who want to hold forth on their own particular hobby horse, whether it is anti-social cyclists, the lack of stabling or conspiracy theories around the motives of land owners or local councillors.  This does not interest me so with some sadness my verdict is that I would not be sad to lose the discussion forums in their current format.

As someone who works in IT I can understand the views of people who say that mistakes like the recent deletion should not happen, but overriding that I appreciate that the site is run by volunteers who give up their free time to make available and I completely accept that in that environment mistakes do happen.  If users want more reliability then they need to be prepared to contribute.

Good luck with whatever direction the forums take.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Kate on May 02, 2019, 08:47:06 AM
Thanks Paris and parasol for your input.

Paris I wasn't asking if people wanted the previous posts reinstated - the more vocal minority have already made their thoughts very clear - I was asking if the discussion board should continue at all or simply be removed in its entirety which would solve your problem (you could use another forum) and would be of no loss to those like parasol who seem to have lost interest in the nature and topic of recent posts.

Personally I think it would be a shame if the board disappeared altogether, but I absolutely empathise with those who are fed up of the finger-pointing. I give up my time despite these days living outside of RBWM so I would have little interest in the outcome of your local elections. The one person I feel most badly about is James Hatch, and I would love for all of his history posts to be reinstated where they could be easily accessed by local residents.


Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Paris on May 02, 2019, 09:50:30 AM
Well that's just about killed the board then, for me at any rate.  If people don't like the way it's going, then scrap it.  Although, being cynical and suspicious as I am I still believe there is more too this than meets the eye.  I shall just, as so rudely suggested, find another forum on which to air my opinions.  Maybe it won't be so full of self congratulatory press releases from rbwm. Which quite honestly are enough to get anyone's back up. 

As a parting shot I'd like to say thanks webmaster for carrying on in your spare time and to everyone who has posted and made the board so great over the years.  Shame if it does go, but hey, Cookham isn't run for the likes of me anymore, Cookham born and bred, but by those who want to mold it to their way of being, forgetting what attracted them here in the first place.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Watchman on May 02, 2019, 10:04:21 AM
but I absolutely empathise with those who are fed up of the finger-pointing.

I find it both extraordinary and frankly disappointing that you classify genuine concerns raised on this forum about the disintegration of the infrastructure of the Cookhams as "finger pointing".

Everything is NOT all sweetness and roses in this Parish Kate, and one of the purposes of a forum (whether you like it or not) is to point things out as subjective criticism, not to just sit by and watch as farmers, developers, building companies and the Council set about altering the beauty of the Cookhams just because they can.

The infamouus Village Plan ...
The Poundfield development ...
The small field by the Cookham Rise Infants School ...
The changing of a bridle way into a tarmacadamed path
The consent given by the RBWM to the conversion of a single standing pump-house in the middle of a field into a dwelling place
The chicken farm fiasco
The double yellow lines that appeared along Sutton Road ...
The erection of houses in flood plains ...
The "election" banners expounding the "achievements" of the present council members ...
The Woodlands Farm buildings fiasco ...

The list is endless.

And just because forummers have a grievance and then complain about their genuine concerns you label them as "finger pointers" ?

I've been around for a good few years ...but now I've heard it all !

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Bathsheba on May 02, 2019, 11:07:17 AM
I'm sure there's no conspiracy, just a mistake during refactoring, and we were all told that was happening.

So long as the data can be archived in some way, I'd be happy to restore it myself as a retirement project in 5 years time (I'd need to get acquainted with php). The idea that's already been mooted of restoring it to an "archive" section is, in my opinion, a good one.

But in the meantime, could a "programmer wanted" advertisement be placed on to see if anyone would come forward?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Kate on May 02, 2019, 12:18:20 PM
My use of the term 'finger-pointing' was in relation to unfounded accusations directed at those who are trying to provide this web facility for all participants. In that context I don't think it was unreasonable. To reiterate, I am not in a position to have a view on your local politics, although I can absolutely see that some of you are very unhappy indeed.


Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: CLIPPER on May 08, 2019, 12:50:33 PM
In response to the above, perhaps then the wrong people took over running the Cookham Web Page?. I say this, as the 'history' is what makes this discussion board so useful to all. Its not just a place to give a personal view - but as safe environment to voice an opinion.

The previous historical discussions have been of more value than say the Maidenhead Advertiser  - who even in the past have used this site to get ideas for stories to run.

Also RBWM used it to 'position' themselves on particular topics as well, to gain a consensus to how the 'Cookhams' felt on particular topics. Lets not forget some topics had not been closed but gone quiet.. you will still get that one 'farmer/developer' wanting to build all over Cookham!

It would be really useful to have all the history backed up, as who knows, one day the support of the residents that have campaigned for various issues, may be of use to yourselves in the future.

Why invent the wheel so to speak ?

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: James Hatch on May 08, 2019, 02:42:59 PM
Well put Clipper. I have noticed that the follower crowd have grown of late, and at times when most Cookham residents should be counting sheep! Or should it be sawing logs! All indicators that Cookham is getting World wide attention.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: James Hatch on May 08, 2019, 08:53:52 PM
Just to let you know that I have started to go over Hatch family history in the section that the Webmaster kindly provided for me. I now have to try and gather ten years or postings.

By the way I am using a photo technique which I am also using in the Photo Hobby section.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: CH on May 13, 2019, 04:30:56 PM
I'm sorry to see the problems that have been had and the discussions being lost.

I'm a Cookham resident and while I don't often contribute I really do value having the discussion board available.  Please don't dispense with it altogether - that would be a real loss, even if the historical posts can't be reinstated (hopefully they can).

I recognise that the loss of the history is unfortunate, sad, disappointing and even suspicious for some and could have been a useful reference library.  However, the discussion board is of most value because of current information about what is going on in the village TODAY. 

Please don't lose the discussion boards - the passions this has sparked show how much it means to people. 

By the way, the volunteers who keep this going are marvellous - thank you!

p.s. if it's possible to ask Thames Valley Police to only post when they need to and about things that are relevant to Cookham, that would be great ...  ;D

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: paddo on May 25, 2019, 12:34:56 AM
"I am afraid that I have inadvertently deleted the Cookham Discussions. Perhaps it is a good time to start afresh!"'

What!?? I don't get it how on earth did you "inadvertently" delete an entire forum that had been running for years? I don't think CTRL+A DELETE would have done it...or spilling coffee on your keyboard.

I'm sure you could reinstate it as (I'm sure you know) nothing online can ever be deleted. Was there something you didn't like on the forum?

Something very odd going on here.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: CLIPPER on May 30, 2019, 07:00:56 AM
So any news with getting the 'history' back on line?

More developments are being put forward in Cookham, and we need that history to see what opposition /reasons was raised before... before we are all wiped out with more 'opportunistic housing' !!!

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Watchman on May 30, 2019, 09:29:53 AM

I honestly believe that you can say goodbye to the old Discussion Board.
How long has it been ? two months plus ? . and yet not a whisper on action taken to restore it.

Which backs my theory that its deletion was, after all, a politically motivated move which has now backfired spectacularly.

Okay - I'm laying down a challenge to the adjudicators to prove me wrong.
Don't hold your breath folks!

PS - and please - no bleeding hearts defending all and sundry for this gross negligence and railing against genuinely dismayed posters .

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: Cookie on June 02, 2019, 04:49:23 PM
I have just looked at the Discussions page after some time away, and can't believe that all the accusations, complaints and even the conspiracy theory continue!

No-one wanted to lose all the information but, to the best of my knowledge, the Discussions page was accidentally deleted while the Webmaster was setting up an upgrade to the site. This is unpaid work and done as a labour of love for the benefit of Cookham people - for which continuing thanks and appreciation are due, not criticism. Who out of all the complainants can say that they have never made a mistake that has inadvertently affected others?

Perhaps those making demands and accusations should remember that is not a compulsory facility and that there are no ownership rules or rights attached to anyone visiting the website - we are all very fortunate to have it at all.  As a service run by volunteers, it could be closed down at any time.

Presumably if - as some claim with apparent authority - it is still possible to retrieve the lost information, then skills are required which the Webmaster may not have.

Instead of criticising, why don't those complaining - some of whom appear to have so much expertise about the potential requirements of re-establishing the page - either offer their own or their company's technical services free, or pay the bill for the website restoration work?

Sniping will achieve nothing, other than to get the website closed down once and for all, which I would guess is now a strong possibility. I have to say that, if I were the long-suffering Webmaster, after seeing so little appreciation shown for all the time, hard work and even personal money I had invested into over many years, I would walk away and get on with the next important charitable project in my life.

Title: Re: Cookham Discussions
Post by: fision on June 04, 2019, 09:41:05 AM
Well said Cookie - a lot of moaning but very little help coming forwards to help the webmaster.

Having personally managed sites in the past, accidents do happen and whilst back-ups may exist, sometimes the level of technical capability to implement exceeds the manager which appears to be the case here with it being PHP based.