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The people & history of

Overview: The Arbroath pages have been in existence since 1995, and consistently top search results for Arbroath related information. Always maintained on a voluntary basis the site continues to expand and develop!

The Arbroath pages were first created in 1995 following a discussion in a local Pub ("The Portcullis" for those interested!) between Howard Cargill and David Spink. After initial Start-up funding from Arbroath Retailers and Business Association the day to day running of the site was undertaken - on a voluntary basis - by David Spink. At this time the site was known, and accessed, as "". An early favourite was the "Arbroath People" page - allowing those with a connection to Arbroath to list brief contact details - many members have been reunited with long lost friends using our list!

During October 2000 a formal business was created (with Howard Cargill, David Spink, and Allan Wallace as partners). Although retaining its original identity and goals it was also renamed "" and the main Internet address became "". The change of name reflected the owners intention to add a shop to sell Arbroath related goods worldwide - the shopping site continued for the next few years with modest success, selling items ranging from fresh Arbroath Smokies to Arbroath Football Club merchandise to books. Also at this time the popular "Shoppie Gossip" was created - running for the next few years, the Gossip page provided a summary of the months news events. Indeed the ex-controller of news & current affairs for BBC Scotland, an Arbroathian, even commented that he found the news summaries very useful!

The Arbroath Discussion Forum was added in 2001, and enhanced with new software in 2003. The discussion forum, at the time of writing, has over 600 members and over 10,000 postings made. The forum attracts visitors from all over the world and has many dedicated members visiting daily! In 2006 the forum received a boost of publicity when the "would-be-developer" of the Seaforth Hotel became a member and intense discussions on the future of the site became a daily event for several weeks.

The current Arbroath Gallery section was also added in 2003 - and has many images of Arbroath landmarks, landscapes, people, and events - mostly contributed by members. decided to back the campaign aiming to have Arbroath Abbey recognised as a "World Heritage Site" during late 2005 - quickly setting up a discussion area and petition page - this also gained the site useful publicity!

Following the untimely death of Allan Wallace in May 2006 the business reverted to a voluntary project with day-to-day operations undertaken by David Spink and Howard Cargill.

In late 2006 the Forum and most other parts of the site were moved to a dedicated hosting server - previously much of the site had been hosted at ZigZak Computers on a shared sever. The new server provided considerably quicker access, much more storage space, and a host of new and enhanced features ready for the sites future development plans!

During the early months of 2007 the decision was made to embark on a complete rewrite and update of the site - much of the coding and design was still based on the original pages developed in the 1990s! Adding improved navigation options, and a more powerful "content management" system were key goals. The biggest new feature was to be the "virtual streets" pages - representing entire real streets of the town in graphical form.

Early in 2009 events led to the closing down of the website completely. The forum part of the site had been the source of some interesting and sometimes heated local debate. Howard and David had to consider some serious issues that led to a conflict between their lives as local businessmen and the voluntary contributions made in managing "". On review it was the usual story of the few spoiling it for the many.

There is much more here than just the forum. It seemed a shame to lose nearly nineteen years of anecdotes, local lore, memories and other invaluable history along with the communication and service the website could provide to the town and its businesses.
It seemed clear to the management that a new owner, who shared the original vision, but was not in the same position of potential conflict, was what was required. Various options were considered and in June of 2009, David and Howard reached agreement with Dave Nicoll. Dave has been a long time member and a site moderator. So as of June 2009 the website crossed the Atlantic like so many Red Lichties.
Dave’s objective is to keep the site on line, keep it evolving and hopefully send it back to Arbroath when the time is right.

"" was back on the web on 1st July 2009.

The future for the site looks bright - the owners are dedicated to promoting Arbroath and supporting Arbroath events, projects, groups, and people! If you think there is something can do for you, your organisation, or your aims - please let them know!

(C) 1995-2013
* The images and text used on this site are copyright (unless noted otherwise) and may not be reproduced without written permission *

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