After a bit of a struggle with some HTML code I'm pleased to say that my garden
railway web site is back up and running with fully working menus!  Please
do let me know about any other errors on the site:-
The Blatchington branch garden railway
Recently had a problem on another website that I work on that may rarely
effect this page so can you please check that your browser is right up to
date and that the bottom line of this page ends with  the following message
'(MRMV = 10/01/2022 @ 12:00)' (or a later date).  If it doesn't please try 
pressing F5 or Ctrl+F5 to force your browser to reload the page from scratch.

As a point of interest if you are experiencing problems with any web page you
use frequently it's worth giving this a go!
Wishing all of you a good new year when hopefully things will gradually get
back to something like normal and once again we can travel to see friends and
enjoy sunny holidays.
As some may have noticed I've been working on this and other related sites over
the last few months adding colour and trying to clean up the layout.  The bulk
is now done but I'm sure there are bits that will need further work! Please do
let me know if you find a broken link or other problem.
Windows 11 has started to roll out but don't get too excited just yet! 
Beginning on the 5th of October Microsoft began the release of Windows 11 to
the world, to see if your machine can handle the upgrade from Windows 10
download the Pc health checker app from Microsoft which can be found via
settings, windows update, PC health check.

I've run it on my 4 machines and none of them have a hardware specification 
that allows for the update the newest machine being 6 years old.

I'll be watching to see if a new machine would be worth the investment.
Meanwhile if you are looking for a computer the second hand market may
be very well worth while if you are happy with Windows 10 but do be very
careful as there are loads appearing on Ebay and they are very unlikely to be
able to go to Windows 11 and some have very low specifications.
When it comes to selecting a new mobile phone contract everybody will already 
know it's mind boggling to pick one from the thousands that are available.
There may be many web sites that show lists of these and suggest they will
give you the best deal etc. but when it comes down to it you just have to
spend hours on google to search the right one down.

To get to the point and highlight how you can save lots of money I wanted to
point out my recent hunt for a new contract with EE to include a Samsung S21 
with unlimited minutes, texts and between 100gb and unlimited 5g data:-

- Firstly I rang EE direct and was advised that the best they could offer
  as an upgrade would cost me £57 a month with unlimited data;
- I rang Affordable mobiles where I got my last contract from and they said £55
  but only 100gb data;
- Finally via Google I found that EE were offering exactly what I wanted
  for £40.50 + a one off payment of £30 for the handset if I order via the web 

So I ordered via the web page thus saving me around £354 over the durration
of the contract.  The EE representative on the phone did not advise that
it would be so much cheaper via the web site - and this from a 'Phone' company!

Is this close to fraud/scam? I think so....
As most will know I have a 5 inch gauge railway round my house which is usually
open to the public a few times each year.  Sadly with the problems of Covid we 
decided not to open till things have really settled down properly as it does
take a lot of work to get things set up, advertised and for Jan to get the
catering sorted.

We're all hoping that we can get things up and running properly in 2022, hope
to see you all then.
NVDA 2021.3.1 has now been released and offers the usual range of updates, 
bug fixes and performance improvements, link this with BRLTTY 6.4 and Firefox 
96.0.1 and users will have a very fast and effective computer access suite 
which is all free of charge! although please do make donations to the products 
if you can to keep the development of future releases possible.

Please be warned that I've had problems with BRLTTY 6.4 and my Alva braille
terminals which I'm having to start manually, still looking into it so unless 
you are technically minded hold on for a while before updating.
Is it just me or do people find it annoying and somewhat worrying when business
websites are not willing to clearly provide an address or phone number?
The lack of full contact details puts me off using such companies as I feel
that they don't trust their own product or abilities to provide a service. Also
if there are further details of a product you require a string of emails starts,
plus consider that not all web pages are accessible to some computer users
so this lack of contact could actually be a form of discrimination.
So if you feel the same let's stop using such businesses and where possible
drop them an email to let them know that they have lost your business in therailway
Not that I'm much good at it but over the last few months I've been playing a
lot more with my guitars and added a couple of new ones too.  None of them are
high value instruments but all play nicely and are fun!  The latest to enter 
the collection are a Revelation RTE54 which is a very close run thing to a
Fender Telecaster, a Vintage V100 which is similar to a Gibson Les Paul, a 
Vintage v6 Stratocaster style and finally (for this year) a Vintage VSA500 
which heads towards the design of a Gibson 335.
This week I lost a very good friend to cancer, Tom Cunliffe who I first met 
when working in Hastings 30 years ago lost his battle with cancer last
week.  Tom was always very supportive to me in many ways especially when it
came to music, a excellent guitarist and mandolin player he gave me the push
I needed to keep playing and to try new things.

In the YouTube link above you can see him performing one of his own songs which 
is, in my mind, brilliant and is part of a lovely legacy - please do give it a 
listen and also please do search for his many other musical clips on YouTube.
There are now several text to speech services that you can plug into your web
site to get them 'talking' to you but so far few sites take advantage of this

I've recently been playing with such systems to get the Tannoy working on my 
soundscape project and as a result of this work have added some new features to 
the feedback form on the contact details page listed in the contents section above. 

Now if you miss a field in the feedback form and try and submit it you will be
told which field is missing or if there is a problem with the email address,
please try it and let me know if it is useful or annoying!  I certainly think 
that the technique would be very useful on large forms where it can be quite
tricky to spot where you've gone wrong.
Following a visit from David & Alexander Henshaw from Miniature railway 
magazine earlier this year I'm very pleased to say that the Blatchington branch,
my garden railway, is featured in issue 39 of the publication which is released 
today.  For more details click on the link below:-
Miniature Railway issue 39 is out now as a 99p digital download!
For those of you currently on DLA you might find the following link of interest,
it's a very strange & scarey process for many, people being told that you cant
be blind as you are looking at them etc. & that is from the expert assessing 
you for the benefit!  Don't panic though, many are successful with their claim.
PIP assistance
Went to my good friend Mike gold's 50th a few days ago & Jan managed to catch
this picture of St. Paul's church Chigwell - hope you like it.

Thanks to John Squire I was lucky enough to get a trip to the Lynton & 
Barnstaple railway in his 1931 Rolls Royce to attend the lines gala weekend at 
the end of September.  Pictured above is the car with Sid, one of the locos 
that was in steam for the weekend - a boys dream too, I had the chance to drive 
the loco for a couple of minutes!  Many thanks to Tony Nicholson for the copy
of the picture - my camera decided to play up at the vital moment!
Just to show the world my mum was not the only person with green fingers in
this family, mind you it does help that it is the sort of plant you can
forget for up to a month without the bloody thing dying on you!
There are several reasons for why I started to build these pages, firstly it
gives me some practical purpose to play with HTML & Javascript, secondly it 
will eventually, hopefully, provide examples of both attractive and accessible 
web page design which can be used as an outline reference for others involved 
in web page creation - who knows, the contents might even be useful!

This site is constantly being tested with a variety of screen readers & access
devices including:-

* NVDA version 2021.3.1, with Espeak, Vocalizer and BRLTTY 6.4,
* Various Alva Braille terminals, mainly Alva satelite 584 pro,
* Mozilla Firefox 96.0.1 (64 bit), Brave 1.32.1, Google chrome, Opera, 
  Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi  on Windows 10 Creators edition 64 bit.
* Firefox on Samsung galaxy S21 running Android 12.0 (Accessibility suite 
  version 9.2?) and BRLTTY 6.2.

I'm no longer testing with:-
* Jaws screen reader due to lack of Braille support on 64 bit systems and
* Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8.1.  7 & 8.1 should not be a problem.
  Windows 11 testing shortly.

The upshot of all this testing is that these pages should be fully accessible 
by the blind & many of those using speech recognition systems.

I will be adding more detailed notes on design considerations with examples
of small HTML changes that will make all the difference to disabled
users being able to access your web pages easily.

The contents of these pages are always changing so please do visit frequently
to find updates.

If you have noticed any bugs on these pages or have found a broken link please
do let me know via the feedback form which can be found along with my contact 

I'm always looking for bits to add so let me have links I should include
especially if they use fancy HTML that is still accessible.

Just a small bit of legal stuff here, although most of the material contained 
in these pages is largely in the public domain please do contact me before 
using any text, photos or videos to double check that they are free to use.

Thankyou to provide the spoken prompts on these pages