This website started out as a theoretical project. However, the depth of Hatfield's history and its contribution to the world in which we live in so surprised its would-be researcher that he soon decided it was a tale that needed to be told.
Having accepted a voluntary redundancy package but being too young and too poor to retire, it seemed like a good idea to get another piece of paper (to prove you could be over forty and not be totally brain-dead). As fate would have it, he spotted an ad for a postgraduate level diploma in digital media management at Birkbeck College.
The course needed a project so he initially hoped to develop a website for a local specialist museum. However, as they didn't seem interested, he settled for Hatfield – the town where he had lived since 1990.
The webmaster has a tendency to do rash things to liven up an otherwise unremarkable life. However, following the example shown in the picture, he had several months to ponder the error of his ways – while waiting for multiple fractures to heal.
To this day he maintains he was just harmlessly sitting back in his parachute harness and enjoying the view when the county of Kent barged into him.
Having lived in South London for a few months before moving to Hatfield, it seemed a very green and pleasant place in comparison (admittedly, a comparison based on just one person's experience, over a short space of time, many years ago).
He was also vaguely aware that Hatfield House was historically important and 'cool stuff' like the trials of the first tank and planes like the Comet racer, Mosquito and Comet jet airliner had first flown here. Plus, Steven Spielberg had filmed Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers in Hatfield as well.
When he mentioned his plans to create a website on Hatfield, the two people he was talking to in a local pub fell about laughing. It seemed even local inhabitants didn't hold the town in particularly high esteem.
Within a few months of starting to research the town's history, he soon realised there was more to Hatfield than its 1950s new town image – a whole lot more.