About brisray.com


I first started using the internet in 1998 using a dial-up modem and at the time there were just 2 and a half million websites. After a while I decided "I can do that" and this site was first written in May 1999 and first uploaded in June to Freeserve, which itself only became available in 1998. The original site URL was manworthy.freeserve.co.uk. It was called that because I used to live in Manworthy Road, Brislington, Bristol. Shortly afterwards I uploaded it to members.tripod.co.uk/brisray/. Tripod had been around for a few years and was owned by Lycos. I also had own domain name pointing to that, brisray.co.uk. There's a copy of the early website on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Patty helped with a lot of the inspiration of the web site and there was a great book by Mac Bride that helped a lot with the technical stuff.

HTML Publishing on the World Wide Web


In 1999, I was using a PC with a Cyrix 486 DX2 100 processor and 16Mb of RAM. Images were scanned using a Mustek 12000SP scanner. The computer was upgraded in September 1999 to an AMD K6 II 450 processor and 64Mb of RAM. In November 2000 this was upgraded to 182Mb.

After moving to the US in September 2001, the computer has become an AMD 1.5GHz processor with 256Mb PC2400 DDR SDRAM memory on an Abit KG7 motherboard. The system also has a Diamond Monster Sound MX400 sound card, with cheap Labtec speakers as I don't need sensoround sound etc. A Leadtek WinFast GeForce MX video card driving an Envison EN-5100 15" LCD monitor. Pioneer DVD 116. Logitech keyboard and Microsoft IntelliEye optical mouse. Logitech QuickCam and best of all a Verizon DSL connection. I'm using a HP Deskjet 812C printer attached to Patty's Mac for printing also a Microtek Scanmaster X6 on the Mac for scanning.

Finally got fed up of transferring files backwards and forwards to the Mac, so in April 2002 went on another spending spree. Video capture is now done by a Belkin USB VideoBus II. Scanning is done using a Visioneer USB 8920 and printing is now done by a Lexmark Z45. As these are USB devices they are joined to the computer via a Micro mobile USB hub.

In 2014, I have all sorts of computers but most of the editing for the site is still done on an older Toshiba Satellite P205-S6337 laptop. I use a Epson Artisan 810 all-in-one printer/scanner, which, of course, was discontinued a couple of weeks after I bought it. Any external video I need is captured using a Hauppauge HD PVR.

It's now January 2016 and nearly all the computers at home are now Intel i5's with 8Gb RAM and 1Tb hard drives running Windows 10. That also includes the web server, this version of which went online on January 16, 2016, and uses Apache 2.4 that was installed with WAMPServer. It replaces the Dell with Fedora Linux I've been using since 2005. It had Fedora 11 installed on August 28, 2009 and Fedora 13 on August 28, 2010 running Apache 2.2. That computer was later updated to Fedora 15.


The main editor I use is still Microsoft's SharePoint Designer 2007 which is older, but still a decent editor.

Image editing is done using Photoshop CS5.

Transfer of the files between my computer and the server is done using WinSCP and I use PuTTY to control the server.

Xenu Link Sleuth is still one of the best link checkers around.

In the past I've used all sorts of software, some of that is listed below:

Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set - some of the earlier GIF transparencies
Corel Draw 3 and Corel PhotoPaint 3 - Graphics processing
JASC Paint Shop Pro 3 - Graphics processing
Lemke Graphic Converter v3.6.2 - Mac graphics processing
Micrografx Picture Publisher v6 & v8 - Graphics processing
Microsoft Frontpage Express - HTML editing and layout
Microsoft FrontPage 2000 - HTML editing and layout
Microsoft GIF Animator - Producing GIF animations and transparencies
Microtek Scansuite v1.02- Mac software for image scanning
Microsoft's SharePoint Designer 2007 for editing a layout
Microsoft Web Publisher - FTP, used to transfer files from my PC to the server
Netscape Communicator v 4.6 - used for testing these pages
Smart FTP - used to transfer files from my PC to the server

Websites that provide functionality :-

Bravenet - Provider of the SiteRing webring, guestbook and chat features.

Google Webmaster Tools - It's almost inevitable that the site use things like Google Analytics, google Site Search and other tools from Google.

Gostats - Free site statistics.

Is It Up - Useful for checking if my site is reachable by other people.

Lycos Tripod - The people that hosted my site and provided the page counters.

PicoSearch - Free site specific search engine. These stopped the service in June 2014.

ProBoards - Provider of the message board

RingSurf - Provider of the RingSurf webring system

WebRing - Provider of the WebRing webring system


Background JPG - copied from the backgrounds supplied with Microsoft Office 97 Professional. This was the original background to the site pages.

Original background image

The images in Optical Illusions are from various sources, some have been drawn in Corel Draw 3. Most are GIFs, the main ones being saved at 100dpi and 3" and 100dpi and 1" for the thumbnails.

The images in the War Stories and my dads Navy Days section are from my collection of photographs. These were scanned at 300dpi, reduced to 100dpi and resized to 3" for the larger photos or 1" for the thumbnails. They were retouched in Micrografx Picture Publisher before being resaved as JPGs with 20% compression.

Banner GIFs - the first ones were produced in Corel PhotoPaint and then the transparencies added in Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set. Later ones were produced in Micrografx Picture Publisher and the transparencies added using Microsoft GIF Animator. The newest pages in 2014 use CSS for styling text.

The text is all mine (including any spelling mitsakes).

Site History

All the updates to the site can now be found on the Latest Updates page.

Sources and Inspirations

One of my favourite sources of general information is Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable published by Cassell. The Pears Cyclopaedias published by Pelham have also been used extensively.

HTML and the Web

Teach Yourself HTML - Mac Bride - Hodder and Stoughton

PC Plus and PC Pro magazines - Articles and features

JavaScript Goodies - J Burns & A Growney - Que

Optical Illusions

Thanks to an email from Peter Shearn, a fellow Bristolian, who reminded me of the cafe at the bottom St. Michael's Hill.

Thanks too to Patty Waltermire, Mark Griffiths, John Mitchelmore, Pat Boggs and Ken Slayton who sent me more material for these pages.

The Day the Universe Changed - J Burke - BBC

Eyewitness Art - Perspective - A Cole - Dorling Kindersley

Illusion in Art and Nature - R L Gregory & E H Gombrich - Duckworth

The Magic Mirror of M C Escher - Bruno Ernst - Tarquin

Optical Illusions - Bruno Ernst - Taschen

Optical Illusions and Other Puzzles - J Slocum & J Botermans - Books UK

Visual Allusions - N Wade - Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Visual Magic - Dr. D Thomson - Breslich & Foss

You Won't Believe Your Eyes - National Geographic Society

Ryanbut - now gone, but it was the first optical illusions website that I found.

SOHO - another early site.

Palmyra - another early site.

War Stories

The Gang of Four (even though there were more than that) from 266 OP Bty and other friends.


Mr. Robert Goddard for allowing me to use some of his programs on the site.

Dads Navy Days

There were two official photographers on board HMS Warrior, Kingsley Jones and Norman Ford. I should imagine that many of the photographs of Warrior on this site were taken by these two men. As the original photographs are not marked with the photographer I can't say for sure who took which photograph, but for the ones I do these are credited alongside the photographs.

I would like to thank the following people for contacting me about the site and providing me with some very useful information :-

Mr. Ignacio Amendolara - for sending me a photo of ARA Independencia

Mr. John Birch - for information and photographs about the collision with HMS Phoebe

Mr. Ken Booth

Mr. Don Cruikshank - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe

Mr. Victor Pedro Driussi - for sending me a photo of ARA Independencia

Mr. Vic Flintham - for information on the planes carried by HMS Warrior

Mr. Geoff Flewitt - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe

Mr. Albert Gauthier

Mr. John Hake

Mr. John Harris - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe

Mr. Bill Hartland - writer of the HMS Gambia Association web site

Mr. Ray Holden

Mr. Les Jefferies - for the photograph taken just after the collision between Gambia and Phoebe

Mr. Des Johnson

Mr. David Killelay

Mr. Steven McAllister

Mr. Bernard Mouzer OBE RVM

Anita Neads

Mr. Jorge Nu?z Padin - for information and photographs of ARA Independencia

Mr. Tony Pearce

Mr. Will Porrio

Mr. Jerry Proc

Mr. Carlos Rufino - for information and photographs of ARA Independencia

Mr. Tom Spowart

Mr. Paul Stanley

This started off from dads collection of photos and documents but for background information I have also consulted the following people and sources :-

Aircraft Carriers - An Illustrated History - A. Preston


This started off when some American friends asked me about where I came from. Having always enjoyed living in Bristol and being interested in local history I decided to write these pages. Most of the photos I have used come from my collection, but I have also consulted the following sources :-

Mr. Will Fancy of the Bristol Labour Movement History Group

Mr. Vic Flintham - for information on Vampire jets

Mr. Keith Hallett

Karen Payne

Katie Jones - for the photo of the Vampire jets

Mr. Nick Richards - who helped with information about Tom, St. Mary Redcliffe's church cat

Mr. Paul Stanley

Mr. Michael Synge

Mr. William Wood - for the photo of the Vampire jets

Various leaflets and publications from the city museums, tourist information offices and sites of interest. Our local paper - the Bristol Evening Post. These publications are from my own collection apart from those marked.

Adams's Chronicles of Bristol - This was written between 1623 and 1648 (Bristol Central Library)

Archive Photographs ~ Bedminster - A Bantock - Malago Society / Tempus

A Survey of Parish Boundary Markers and Stones for Eleven of the Ancient Bristol Parishes - Temple Local History Group

Bedminster Between the Wars - L. Vear - Redcliffe Press

Bristol - P. Macdonald - Petmac Publications

Bristol and its Adjoining Counties - C M MacInnes & W F Whittard - British Association for the Advancement of Science

Bristol as it was in the 1890's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol as it was 1874 ~ 1866 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol as it was 1914 ~ 1900 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol as it was 1939 ~ 1914 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol, England - H. G. Brown & P. J. Harris - Burleigh Press

Bristol ~ Historic and Flourishing - R. Bailey - Jarrold Colour Publications

Bristol in the 1850's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol in the 1880's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol Observed - J. H. Bettey - Redcliffe Press

Bristol ~ Official Visitors Guide - City of Bristol / British Publishing Company

A Bristol Panorama - D. Street - Redcliffe Books

The Bristol Riots - Susan Thomas - Bristol Branch, The Historical Association

Bristol: Sea-Port City - M. Ballard - Constable Young Books

Bristol's Historic Inns - H. Eason - Redcliffe Press

Bristol's History (2 volumes) - C. Wells & R. Winstone - Reece Winstone

Bristol Suburban Walks - Bristol City Council & City Line

Cathedrals, Abbeys & Famous Churches of Bristol, Bath & Malmsebury - G. Home & E. Foord - J. M. Dent & Sons

The Clifton Guide - M. Pascoe - Redcliffe Press

Curious Bristol - R. Clinch - Bossiney Books

Domesday, A Search for the Roots of England - M. Wood - BBC Publications

Heroes and Hotheads - P. Macdonald - Petmac Publications

A Higher Form Of Killing - R. Harris & J. Paxman - Hill & Wang

Historic Towns ~ Bristol - E. A. Freeman & Rev. W. Hunt - Longmans, Green & Co.

History of Bristol's Suburbs - F. C. Jones & W. G. Chown - Reece Winstone

History of Railways in Britain - F Ferneyhough - Osprey

Home Town - J. Dodgson - Drive Publications / AA

In & Around Bristol - Unichrome Publications

Man the Builder, An Illustrated History of Engineering - J P M Pannell - Thames & Hudson Ltd

Memories of Bristol - Mail Marketing / True North Books

More Offbeat Bristol - J. Belsey - Redcliffe Press

Offbeat Bristol - J. Belsey - Redcliffe Press

The Oxford Popular History of Britain - Ed. K.O. Morgan - Parragon

Parish Church of St. Mary Redcliffe - Judges Limited

People in Camera - C Ford & A Porter - National Portrait Gallery / Granada Television

Phenomena, A Book of Wonders - J Michell & R J M Rickard - Thames & Hudson Ltd

A Popular Retreat - D. J. Eveleigh - City of Bristol Museum / Kingsmead Press

Redcliffe Caves Guide - Axbridge Caving Group

St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol - A Scott - White Line Press

Secret Underground Bristol - S. Watson - Bristol Junior Chamber

Set in a Silver Sea ~ A History of Britain and the British People - A Bryant - W Collins Sons & Co

A Shocking History of Bristol - D. Robinson - Abson Books

A Social History of England - A. Briggs - Weidenfeld & Nicolson

SS Great Britain - N Fogg - SS Great Britain Project

The Story of Bristol - B. Little & J. Sansom - Redcliffe Press

A Study in Democracy - E. Jackson - Co-Operative Wholesale Society

A Survey of Parish Boundary Markers and Stones for Eleven of the Ancient Bristol Parishes - Temple Local History Group (Bristol Central Reference Library)

A Taste of the West Country in Food and in Pictures - Theodora Fitzgibbon - Pan

Under the Black Flag - D. Cordingly - Harvest / Harcourt, Brace & Co

The Very Bloody History of Britain - J. Farman - Red Fox / Random House

West Country Place Names - C. Davey - Abson Books


The Bristol Evening Post

Riot - The 1831 Reform Riot

Riots - Up to the Bristol Bridge riot

Western Daily Press

Association of British Counties

The Counties of England

UK placenames *

Terre Haute

Mr. Steve Caldwell for information on Steve Martin

Country Magazine (Feb/March 1999 issue)

A Higher Form Of Killing - R. Harris & J. Paxman - Hill & Wang

Indiana Historical Society

This page created 5th June 1999, last modified 26th December 2016

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