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Farewell to the People of Preston

26th March 2006 • Dave

This next week will be a pretty momentous one for me. After eight years I will be leaving Preston to move to Worcester. I simply want to publicly extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people who have been my Preston family these last few years. You know who you are. Thank you.

For my final weekend, my good friend Martin Roberts and I were sure to support the local leisure industry in Preston by getting to a dozen or so pubs and at least one curry house. Martin may regale you with the gorier details over on his blog at but I am too knackered and busy moving home and job to take time out to do that in much detail here.

Martin arrived on Thursday and wasted no time getting the weekend’s festivities underway. We attended a local landlord’s fiftieth birthday party at the Plungington Hotel. I think it’s true to say a good night was had by all.

Friday evening was the night of the crawl which went something like: the Grey Friar, The Fox & Grapes, Vic & Station, the Exchange, Old Black Bull, New Britannia Inn, Dog & Partridge and Roper Hall.

After enjoying ome cooked Chilli on Saturday we managed to add three more to our list: University Tavern, Moorbrook Inn and last but by no means least the Stanley Arms.

I can think of another half a dozen old favourites, but time an finance are now against us, not to mention the danger of serosis of the liver. I last saw Martin staggering in an Epsomwardly direction. We had a tremendous weekend and were able to catch up with many of the good folk of this fine city.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped make my final weekend in Preston a memorable one. They can take the man out of Preston but never Preston out of the man. I am sure Preston will be glad of the break.

Worcester, bring it on!

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9/11 conspiracy theory – Digital Spy

23rd March 2006 • Dave

I have heard quite a few of these lately. I wonder is this because some of them may hold some water, or that as a society we are paranoyed to the point where nothing can happen without us thinking that someone having a hidden motive. There are 3 sides to every story, yours mine and the truth.

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Blogs About blindness

20th March 2006 • Dave

This is a pretty good roundup if you’re into this sort of thing. I always feel a bit like I’m snooping when I read the overtly personal blogs, so usually avoid them like the plague. Something which someone may share with me in a private conversation is not something I want to read announced on the Internet. but then life would be dull if we were all the same.

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Meet the Bloggerati – Independent

20th March 2006 • Dave

Some interesting offerings here. But who has time to read all this anyway? I hardly get through my RSS News feeds never mind blogs. I only really right mine to help me remember stuff I’d probably otherwise forget. Oh and try to get in side the head of bloggers. But I’ve never felt the need to tell you which colour boxer shorts I have on.

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Time for ACB Radio to Move On

20th March 2006 • Dave

Dear ACB Radio Listeners and Friends,

On behalf of the ACB President, ACB Directors, the Board of Publications,
ACB staff and ACB Radio volunteers, I would like to take this opportunity to
express our utmost gratitude for your continuing support of one of the most
enduring and influential projects of it’s type in the online Blind
Community. Whether you listen for ten minutes per month, or for ten hours
per day, you are the reason ACB Radio has been online for six years.
Without your support there would be no point. Thank you.

Since I became interim director of ACB Radio in July 2003 ACB Radio has
continued to evolve thanks to the tireless efforts of our magnificent team
of volunteers and the continuing support and interaction with our listener
community. Over the past two and a half years ACB Radio has facilitated
internet coverage of: an increasing number of ACB State conventions
including Washington, Florida and Pennsylvania amongst others, the two most
recent ACB national conventions in Alabama and Nevada, and in December 2004
ACB Radio was honoured and privileged to be invited to broadcast the Sixth
General Assembly of the World Blind Union live from South Africa. This
event included the highlight of my career to date, working with Geoff Shang
to make possible live and exclusive coverage of an address to the World
Blind Union by the elected president of South Africa Thabu Mbeki. It’s not
every day our community can tune into an address concerning blindness from a
world leader, and ACB Radio was there! We would not have been there without
you the ACB Radio listeners.

The numbers of ACB Radio volunteers, listener hours and email group members
have continued to increase with people checking in from places as far apart
as France and Fiji! In the last couple of years ACB Radio has established
web, production, technical and administration teams as well as researched
and implemented an interactive web content management system, as well as
designed a broadcaster database system in-house to manage contact and
scheduling information for ACB Radio Interactive. We now have title
streaming and monthly programming on the ACB Radio Café, and new flagship
shows like Marlaina and Tuesday Topics on Mainstream continue to engage
listeners and connect our community. ACB Radio now offers a selection of
podcasts and highly relevant blindness RSS news feeds including Assistive
Technology News, Guide Dog News, Blind Sports News and Blind Arts News.
Finally, for the last two years ACB Radio has been consistently ranked in
the top two or three search results for the words “blind and radio” on the
world’s leading search engine Google.

For personal reasons I recently chose to take a temporary break from ACB
Radio. This was not a decision I took likely, but one which I believed was
in the best interests of myself and ACB Radio. My break was taken with the
full knowledge and support of the ACB President, and provided me with a
valuable opportunity to gain some well needed rest and perspective. During
my break it became obvious to me that the time had come for some kind of
change both for myself and for ACB Radio. This was purely a personal
decision, taken after careful thought and private consultation.

Three weeks ago I was offer a technical support position with Dolphin
Computer Access in Worcester here in the UK. This is a fulltime position
with a leading developer of screen access software both for desktop PCs and
handheld PDAs, presenting a range of new and stimulating challenges. On
Wednesday 1 March I spoke to the ACB Radio President and indicated that and
in order that ACB Radio be enabled with some fresh direction, and in order
that I can pursue this opportunity with Dolphin, after nearly 3 years of
service I wished to stand down as ACB Radio Director. My resignation was
accepted immediately and is effective at the end of the month.

When I informed the ACB President of my intention to stand down, I also made
it perfectly clear that I wanted to use my remaining time to help the
president to find a workable interim solution until a permanent replacement
could be found. Eventually ACB will want to advertise for and appoint a new
ACB Radio Director. However, plans for an Interim solution are
well-underway and I am confident an announcement will be made in due course.

You can be sure that I am definitely not turning my back on ACB Radio. I
was an ACB Radio volunteer for a long time before I was ACB Radio Director.
ACB Radio has been an important part of my life for six years. I will
continue to be a loyal ACB Radio supporter for as long as possible.
Eventually, once I’m settled in my new post with Dolphin, I hope to be back
as a ACB Radio volunteer.

It has been a pleasure to serve the ACB Radio community for these last two
and a half years, and I have made many great friends around the world
through my work with ACB Radio. I have found ACB people to be warm and
welcoming, and I sincerely hope I will remain part of ACB’s extended family.
I would certainly love to be around in 2011 when ACB celebrates it’s
fiftieth birthday.

ACB Radio works best when we work together. I am confident that when my
successor or successors are announced, you will do as you have done with me,
in lending your valuable and constructive support.

All the best and many thanks.

Dave Williams
Director, ACB Radio

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