I first started researching the history of Netherthong in 2002 and I began to realise, that with the amount of information that was becoming available, publishing it as a book was not going to be the answer. The only alternative was to set up a web site in 2005 and the large number of people who have visited the site and supplied information, memories and photographs has more than justified that decision. What is encouraging is that in July 2017, 12 years after the start, I had a new visitor who had been born in Rob Roy, the house standing by itself on the right hand side of New Road opposite Netherfield Drive, and she corrected the dates of several photographs and supplied a number of her own which are dotted through the various chapters. They include two good photographs of the ” big snow ” in 1947 and some great ones of the school including the school orchestra.
In 2010 Google Analytics was installed and this system records very comprehensive data each time anyone clicks on my History. It includes the number of sessions, the number of users, page views, the pages read per session, the average session duration, the Bounce Rate ( the percentage of single page sessions of which there was no interaction with the site ), the percentages of new sessions and returning visitors. There is a pie-chart comparing these percentages and there is also a moving monthly chart, updated daily, of the number of visitors per day. At its peak there were 500 a month but over the years that number has steadily dropped to between 250 – 350 . As I said in the first paragraph, people are still discovering the site and 70% of the current visitors are first timers.
The Analytics also details the nationality and language groups of the visitors. The UK is obviously top with 72% followed by the U.S. with 20% and Australia, Canada and New Zealand feature as they are countries that villagers would have emigrated to. Other countries on the list include Brazil, Russia, Germany and Italy. Since it was installed there have been over 16,000 visitors to the site, many of whom have been returning visitors, and this figure does not include the people who would have visited the site in the five years from its start in 2005 to 2010 during which time no statistics are available.
I find it hard believe that after 15 years of research just how much information I have accumulated about this delightful little village of ours. The History has a word count of over 250,000 plus 315 photographs, maps and other ephemera and this compares with Moby Dick at 209,117 words, East of Eden at 226,741 and yours and my favourite bedtime read of War and Peace with 544,406 .
The History is split into more than 80 chapters and, because of the large amount of information in certain categories, I decided it would be appropriate to split them into more easily manageable chapters of between 5,000 to 7,000 words. Crime and Punishment needed to be split into four with the Wesleyan Church , All Saints Parish Church, Football, Deaths, Deanhouse Workhouse/Hospital and Interesting Odds and Bods all being split into two. One exception is A Netherthong Story which is nearly 11,000 words long, much of it written in Yorkshire dialect. ( I’m not sure if anyone has actually read it from start to finish ).