How the web site www.trolleybus.net was born
Some forty years ago I went out with a camera to shoot the demise of London's
trolleybus system reaching into parts of London I had never been to before nor have I revisited every again even
though some locations are relatively close to me. In many cases it was more point and click before moving onto
another 'interesting' location. Thoughts of making notes of where I was at the time never occurred to me let
alone the fag of recording camera settings which some of my fellow enthusiasts were doing.
For a few years afterwards some of the pictures were used at slide shows, and then there were other interests to pursue, so the collection of slides were put away and ultimately ended up in the lofts of several houses for the next 35 years. It was only about 5 years ago that it was practical, and hardware affordable, to electronically store slides 'on the computer' and many hours were spent in pulling out family pictures spanning several generations to store electronically.
Also as the millennium opened it became practical to create private web sites using the free web space provided by some ISPs; and modems were 'fast enough' to upload material onto their web servers. What a great way it was, and still is, to share family pictures, and many long forgotten pictures were rediscovered. Unfortunately the reality was that the allocated space on the web server wasn't all that generous and this was soon exhausted as our enthusiasm for the 'project' took hold.
My early years were spent in Croydon and so the building of Croydon Tramlink was of interest to me and it was not long before an enthusiast web site sprung up that followed the progress of its construction. It seemed to me that pictures taken in the trolleybus era of local routes 630 and 654 might be of similar interest and I therefore took the plunge and organised a proper web hosting facility and acquired the trolleybus.net domain name. Since that time it has cost me roughly £150 in fees per year but I have had a lot of pleasure from the very many contacts that have been made.
Putting up pictures is one thing, but adding captions other than the obvious was something else and so I invited cyber visitors to help me out. It has been truly amazing the wealth of detail that has been provided that no end of research would have revealed. Unfortunately people's memories are fallible, but knowing no different I have to accept what is said at the time. Sometimes a single picture can generate up to 30 replies and I believe we all learn something from the ebb and flow of information that is generated. It has become a kind of trade mark for my site for memories to be published and clearly is responsible for a large number of visitors who repeated return to the site. It all makes it very worthwhile for the time and effort in its maintenance and we could say a return on its investment costs.
This all comes with unwelcome editorial responsibilities in a limited timeframe which juggles with the desire to add new material, but not allowing previous pages from becoming dated. While outwardly the site has a visually simplistic appearance the underlying programming contains many bespoke routines that are every increasingly complex especially with my desire to maintain browser independence. So very occasionally mistakes and errors of editorial judgement are made.