Alan Buckman
 
 

Firstly, thank you for clicking on the link that brought you to this page.

Over the years I've lived overlooking Chatham Maritime Marina, this website has been through several guises, but the camera I setup six years ago - as an experiment - has proved to be, by far, the most popular feature.

Attracting hundreds of viewers each month, it has become a widely used tool - by the local community, by the bertholders of the marina below and even a fair few international visitors who regularly drop in to look at this small part of north west Kent.

Frequent visitors will know that I've dabbled with asking for donations to keep the camera operational in the past. I received some generous sponsorship at that time and most contributors were understanding when I chose to remove views of the marina due to a privacy complaint. Sadly, though, a few were not. Those few, thought it acceptable to expect that their donation gave them the right to tell me what I should do with my time and equipment. As I hope you'll agree - I did not share there their view!

With the privacy issue now just water under the Medway bridge, I've replaced the original camera with a newer, sharper model and added a second even higher definition camera. The latter is primarily aimed at users of the marina, who will now be able to zoom in and check on their boats in more detail than ever before.

All of this comes at a cost, however. There is an estimated annual cost of around £120 a year just to keep the website running - and that's before any one-off costs of upgrading or replacing cameras. The recent camera upgrades represent a £150 investment alone.

As you may know, I have recently declined some very generous offers to fund this development and cover some of the camera's ongoing running costs. I declined these offers - not because I don't appreciate the sentiment - but because I've always looked at this as a hobby. It's just a hobby that's evolved into a community project and it's therefore the whole community that should consider making a small contribution - not just the generous few. In that way, it's fairer to all and easier for me to retain complete 'ownership' of the project. Where it develops from here and how long I will continue to offer the cameras to the public will always then be my choice, without further obligation.

On that principle, I'd welcome donations to the project - you can do so via the PayPal Donate button on this page - but if you do decide to contribute, please see it in no different way than buying me a coffee to simply say thanks.

And that's the point. A little thanks goes a long way.