The Moxon Society’s first website was created by Harry Moxon in October 1999, and by the time issue twenty-five of the Moxon Magazine was published the following April there were already forty members, a third of the membership. John Moxon Hill, who was editing the Magazine for only his second issue since the death of Founder Jimmy Moxon, wrote:
If you are not already on the “net,” you really should consider getting up-to-date with 20th Century technology – before we get too far into the 21st. Century !! The advantages are limitless. Letters can be sent by e:mail anywhere in the world for the cost of a local telephone call (In fact, for the cost of a BT minimum charge of 5p, probably a dozen different letters could be sent !) Many of the photographs appearing in this Magazine were sent to me as attachments to e:mail letters. GET WITH IT !
Seven years later, this explanatory note appeared in the fortieth issue of the Magazine:
NEW MEMBERS may well wonder why the Society has two web sites. It’s a long story – with a moral! The late Harry Moxon set up the original web site www.moxon.org.uk in the late 1990’s, and kept it updated until his death in April 2002. John S Earnshaw, Treasurer, offered to become Web Master, and take over Harry’s web site. That was where problems arose. The web site was in Harry’s own name, and despite sending them a copy of the death certificate, they refused to transfer the web site to the Moxon Society. Even after his widow, Gwynneth, had written to them to explain why she wanted the control moving from Harry’s computer (which she was now using) to John’s computer, they still resisted. During this period the web site was becoming out of date. It would have been easier to obtain probate on a multimillion pound will, than it was to get control of moxon.org.uk transferred! So, in the meantime, John set up another web site, www.moxonsociety.org as the only way of having up to date information available to members and the outside world. When eventually he did get control of moxon.org.uk, we decided to keep it going, not only because it had become well known, but in memory of Harry.
Hence there were for a time two sites, though the content of both was the same, and John continued as webmaster for another five years until he had to step down dure to wok commitments.
In October 2012 we announced that the website would henceforth be managed by Margaret Tucker Moxon, and the fact that she lived in Australia was – as John Moxon Hill had said years earlier – absolutely no barrier. Electronic communication had become the norm.
Margaret introduced a number of changes to the website to reflect this, explaining her reasoning in an article in Issue 50 of October 2012 but she was careful to reassure those not yet online:
We won’t forget those members who are not yet online – I know we technology enthusiasts call it “snail mail” but it is still a valid form of communication. But increasingly we will use Skype (ringing from the internet), social media such as Facebook and instant messaging as well as blogs. This will not only lower our costs but will facilitate speedier and two-way communication.
Margaret also set up three Facebook groups, and combined all this with managing the very lively and active Moxons Downunder group! By April 2013 we were able to report:
In the last few years there has been an enormous change in the style and use of the worldwide web – the Internet. The old style of static web page which John Earnshaw set up and maintained for the Society served us well, but we needed to look at the ‘social media’ like Facebook and Twitter which allow individuals to interact with each other easily, informally and in real time. Converting the web site was a huge task taken on very expertly by Margaret Tucker Moxon, and such is the effect of worldwide instantaneous communication afforded by the new– style Internet that it doesn’t matter at all that Margaret lives and works 10,000 miles away, literally on the other side of the world. It is a successful working example of the global village which brings us all closer.
In late 2017 Margaret in her turn sought to hand over the running of the website, and I volunteered to take it on. And in an uncanny echo of the problems which beset John Earnshaw when he tried to adopt the website domain name from his predecessor, there were problems again. It all took several months to complete, but the website you are on now is the result. It differs from the earlier site in that it has been redesigned and its structure simplified, due in part to a decision by the Committee to restrict access to much of the research data to Members. This was brought about by creating a parallel website which was closed to anyone without the password which was published in a supplement to the October 2017 Magazine (issue 60) and which will be changed after a notice in the October 2018 issue.
So this website, open to the public, was designed to give potential members and anyone interested in all matters Moxonian a taste of who we are and what we do, and to offer some information and access to membership. You will see throughout the site links to a page called The Benefits of Memberships, and another link to allow you to join – or to renew your membership – online. But never worry: we will still cherish members who are not online both with postal applications and with our print-copy Magazine twice a year!