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Introduction :: History of this Site :: MLHS Archives

Acknowledgements :: Navigation Tips :: Take the Tour

  History of this Site

The 'Virtual History Tour of Marple & District'
has been on-line since 2001 with images viewed more than 3,000,000 times!

The Virtual History Tour of Marple & District came on-line in March 2001 and was one of the first Internet photo galleries of its kind. The original version of the site was created by Mark Whittaker and Peter Clarke and used free web space and the help of a number of people who allowed their collections of postcards and photographs to be scanned.

By 2003 the 'Tour' had become very popular and we invested in extra web space to allow us to continue adding more photos and to avoid the problem of 'pop-up' advertisements spoiling visitorsí enjoyment.

The site continued to grow beyond expectations and designs, primarily due to the great response from so many people who helped us to expand it, and by 2006 it held over 1,000 images. Unfortunately the html format originally used did not lend itself to the easy addition of new images into the existing galleries and it became increasingly difficult to update and maintain.

Drastic action was required and with the cost of web space reducing and free software becoming available that allowed database categorisation of images, Mark was able to completely reconstruct the site using an on-line photo album package called Coppermine. This enabled the albums to be updated, re-categorised and re-described to our heartsí content, as well as allowing searches, voting for favourites, sending postcards and keeping track of how many times each image was viewed.

Following the reconstruction in 2006 the 'Tour' has gone from strength to strength and by May 2016, 15 years after it was begun, it contained over 10,750 images that had been viewed a staggering 3,000,000+ times!

The success of the 'Tour' has been due to the constant addition of images, both old and new, and the contributions of the individuals mentioned on our acknowledgements page have meant that it has never stopped growing and there is always something new and unexpected to see.

As well as individuals there have also been notable contributions in 2009 from Marple Civic Societyís Archives and from Marple Local History Society since the site began. However, in March 2010 a more formal collaboration between The Marple Website and Marple Local History Society was agreed that over the coming months and years will progressively make all the images in their archives available to everyone around the world with an Internet connection.

How you can help
In order to continue expanding this great resource we need YOUR help to find new material. So if you think that you have any images that you feel would enhance this collection of Marple and District, including photographs, postcards, drawings or even video, then please get in touch with

We have the facility to photograph, scan and copy just about any kind of image without damage, including negatives, slides and even large old-fashioned glass plates. We will pick up and return your collection if you live locally or pay for recorded delivery postage if you are further a-field. We can even come to you and copy them in your home if you prefer not to let them out of your sight. Alternatively, for those of you with the ability create electronic copies yourselves, you can sent us your images by email or on a CD (please scan images at 300 dpi.)

We would also be happy to hear from you if you have comments about any of the images already in the galleries (have we got it wrong, or do you know something we don't?) or if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Enjoy your visit
Visit the 'Navigation Tips' for help and advice on finding your way around the site and check out the 'Acknowledgements' page for a full list of individuals who have contributed to these galleries. Then all thatís left to do is enjoy the 'Tourí!

   ...Designed, Hosted and Maintained by The Marple Website