A good few years ago now, Mr Gibbons volunteered to do a website to list 186 North Sussex pubs for North Sussex CAMRA and his friend Alan Bartram who was the branch Chairman at the time.
As an experienced website designer I emailed Mr Gibbons to wish him luck, and to say, that if he had problems, I might be able to help.
(I had a look at Mr Gibbons' website. It was an 'old' html pages website, and it was ghastly. It is what is known in the business, as a 'website of last resort').
Mr Gibbons' new website soon fell over and died, so Mr Gibbons was a man with a major headache, and he came to me not just for help, but to pull him out of the mire. Not only did I pull Mr Gibbons out of the mire, I soon had Mr Gibbons, and Mr Bartram 'smelling of roses'.
(Over the years all of the scallywag monkeys have come to me for help. I'm a helpful kind of guy).
I built and gave Mr Gibbons a much better, database-driven website built on the Joomla! platform. I trained Mr Gibbons on how to use it. Mr Gibbons struggled to get his head around some fairly simple and logical Joomla! concepts. (I have trained many website students, and Mr Gibbons has been the slowest, and most challenging student of them all).
Quickly, my phone became red hot, and I would tell Mr Gibbons to put his problem in an email, so I could think about it. My email inbox was soon groaning under the weight of the problems that Mr Gibbons was having.
(Joomla! is a GLOBAL website project, and the online help and references are truly first class. A more resourceful and capable website student could have found the answers to most of his questions himself, online. However, Mr Gibbons preferred to bring his many problems, and lay them at my door).
Mr Gibbons did EVENTUALLY get to understand what he needed to know, and was able to press on with getting the pubs listed. Mr Gibbons showed Mr Bartram how to use the system, and he also contributed a few pub listings.
I did about 45% of the work, including setting up ALL of the 'printer friendly pub listings' which had pub details on one side of A4 and a Google map of how to get there on the other side. (I had Adobe Acrobat Professional that Mr Gibbons and Mr Bartram did not).
Listing 186 pubs was a project that took about four months to complete. Mr Bartram, the branch chairman, and Mr Gibbons the 'webmaster' were widely credited in CAMRA circles with bringing about 'transformational change', and they were more than happy to accept the plaudits. In fact they lapped it up. Mr Gibbons was able to pretend to the World that he was REALLY a 'very great and clever fellow', and he has been pretending ever since.
Mr Bartram and particularly Mr Gibbons have pedalled the myth that Mr Gibbons REALLY is God's gift to websites. This is a nonsense, a contrivance, a fiction and a pretence. Mr Gibbons is no more a website designer than he is a brain surgeon or rocket scientist.
The truth is that Mr Gibbons was able top populate the website space that I gave him. Mr Gibbons had shown that he could type, and that he has basic keyboard skills, and, many years ago, he was SENSIBLE enough to do as he was told.
Unfortunately, it wasn't long before it all unravelled for Mr Bartram and Mr Gibbons, because they got way too big for their boots, and made a serious error of judgement.
The two men who would doubtless declare and profess to their last breath to be championing and supporting local pubs, managed, instead, to engineer a major spat with three of our leading pubs.
This was to do with asking the pub owners to agree to allowing CAMRA members to have a discount on their beer and food. And, by the way, unless you agree to this, your pub stands no chance of being our branch pub of the year!
Mr Bartram and Mr Gibbons failed to realise the extent to which their demands might anger and annoy the pub owners, and their customers. So much so, that minibuses were hired to deliver and pack the AGM with people determined to vote Mr Bartram and Mr Gibbons off the committee.
It is widely seen that Mr Bartram and Mr Gibbons got their comeuppance and exactly what they deserved. The pubs website was given to someone else to look after. The loss of 'his' pubs website is something that has always greatly rankled with Mr Gibbons. That is why Mr Gibbons wanted me to set up this project.
To remain with this project, and to work with me, ALL Mr Gibbons had to do was:
- Perform (to the level of an 11 year old)
- Do his fair share of the work in a timely, efficient and effective way
- Be sensible
- Do EXACTLY as I told him to do
Mr Gibbons failed on all fronts, and he failed repeatedly, and spectacularly.
(I would really have welcomed having a willing, capable, competent, reliable and trustworthy project partner)!