Thursday, 22 January 2009

Do you know your family history?

Poole library is challenging people to find out more!

Following the release of the 1911 census last week, libraries in Poole have launched a Family and Local history week.

Poole central library and Broadstone library are encouraging people to delve into their past by hosting a series of talks and events. Jenny Oliver, who is running the ‘Poole and the Plague’ talk at the central library this afternoon said: “It’s a really dramatic story.”

Mrs Oliver added: “It strikes a chord with a lot of people and this event can provide information for the beginner or to anyone who has got stuck.”

The library is inviting local people to use free online databases such as Mrs Oliver added: “the 1911 census has just been released and people have got a whole new thing to look at.”

The Dorset Family History Society is also backing the event. Education and Liaison officer Debbie Winter said: “We have exhibitions, stands, books and CD’s for sale and are giving advice on starting a family history.”

Mrs Winter also thinks that there is greater interest following the release of the 1911 census but the first thing people should do is speak to their relatives: “talk to any living relative and gather information Documentation, birth certificates or a family bible,” she says.

The history week runs from the 19th-23rd of January and the library hopes to attract visitors in their hundreds.

To contact the Dorset family history society you can phone 01202 785623 or visit
To access the 1911 census you can visit.
To contact Poole Central library you can phone 01202 262424 or visit the website.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mammj News 21.01.09

Here is the TV bulletin of our first Mammj news broadcast. I'm the sports reporter at the end!

Mammj News 21.01.2009 from Mammj on Vimeo.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Gus MacGregor live at the Pig and Whistle

Gus MacGregor live at the Pig and Whistle from Mammj on Vimeo.

Bournemouth Folk Club live at the Pig and Whistle

Hidden away in a pub hall ostentatiously named ‘Centre stage’ the Bournemouth Folk club hosted the best of local folk talent on Sunday evening. The leading act was Switzerland born, Gus MacGregor, who is a veteran of the music circuit.

Casually walking on stage with a pint of lager in one hand and his guitar in the other, MacGregor immediately establishes a rapport with the throng of folk thespians that have gathered at the Pig and Whistle.MacGregor is perfect for a Sunday evening.

Early impressions lead to comparisons with songwriters such as James Blunt and MacGregor’s soft vocals and well crafted lyrics allow his music to wash over you in a similar way.Songs such as Rose Garden and Before the Unions Fell, let the listener connect with MacGregor’s past, resulting in songs that are often uplifting yet deep.

MacGregor, who picked up his sisters’ guitar and taught himself to play, cites Bob Dylan and Paul Simon as early musical influences and enjoys playing at smaller venues: “I think intimate venues for my music are perfect, just me and a guitar most of the time,” MacGregor says at the end of the night.

The crowd that earlier that evening was reprimanded for talking loudly during performances by Folk chairman, Paul Burke, was silent during MacGregor’s set and the atmosphere prickled at the end of each song.It was clear why MacGregor was top of the bill.

Of the many support acts, former Bournemouth University student Sarah Griffin, stood out from the rest. With a voice filled with sorrow, Griffin’s character really came through and her skill with the Mandolin was truly refreshing.

Unfortunately not all the performers were as strong as MacGregor and Griffin, with one performer being unfortunately unaware of her own vocal range. Alison Bailey, in particular, appeared nervous and uncomfortable on stage.

The Bournemouth folk club holds concerts at the Pig and Whistle every Sunday and Thursday and at £4 for adults and £2 for concessions, it is well worth experiencing the Dorset folk scene.

For more information on upcoming events in Bounemouth visit.

To contact the Bournemouth Folk Club visit.

For more information on Gus MacGregor you can visit his MySpace page.

Friday, 9 January 2009

4 for 4?

Are the top 4 in Men's tennis more dominant than ever before?

Ahead of the new season and with the establishment of what seems to be 4 dominant players at the top of the game, what do you think the chances of all 4 reaching the semi's at each of this years grand slams?

Assuming all remain fit, is there a chance they could do it?

Aus Open:
This is the most likely slam for all 4 to make the semi's in my opinion. Murray has started the new seaon very strongly and Nadal is looking more consistent on the slower hard courts. Federer has an excellent record Down Under and should be shoe-in for a semi final berth. As for Djockovic the winner at Melbourne Park last year despite losing to Gulbis in Brisbane his is likely to up his game to defend his title.
If someone is to come unstuck early on it may be against an on fire Nalbandian or Safin. Nadal has also struggled with hard flat hitters on this sort of surface so someone like Blake or Tsonga could cause him a few difficulties. The Australian Open also has a habit of throwing up a suprise package. Relative unknowns have reached the finals over the years including Gonzalez, Schuttler, Baghdatis and Tsonga last year.

French Open:
A good chance Nadal will bag another title here, the Spaniard is arguable the greatest clay court player in the games history and it would be a brave man to bet against him going far again this year. Last year we also saw that Federer and Djockovic are the best behind the imperious Nadal and both stand a good chance of reaching the last 4 this year as well. This leaves Murray as the weak link for Roland Garros. After teaming up with former champion Alex Correjta last year Murray showed signs of improvement on the red clay beating the clay court specialist Jose Acasuso before falling to Nicolas Almangro in the last 32.
It is clearly a big ask for Murray to reach the semi-finals this year and there are perhaps numerous player more than capable of defeating the Scot on their day. Ernst Gulbis, Nicolas Almangro and Nickolay Davydenko would all be confident of victory against Murray in Paris.

Nadal and Federer are almost certain to reach the last 4 again this year and Murray stands a pretty good chance as well if given a reasonable draw. In-fact, despite reaching the final 4 in 2007, Djockovic may prove the weak link here. Last year he seemed very rusty at the net and needs to improve his volleys if he is going to go far at Wimbeldon again. Players such as Roddick, Karlovic, Ancic and even Soderling or Youzney could all be stern tests this year.

US Open:
I think that Federer has been most dominant at the US in recent years and stands a pretty good chance of adding a sixth title to his collection. Both Djockovic and Murray are very strong at Flushing meadows and i would expect them to do well again this year. If feel that Nadal again may be the most likely to fall at the US. As with the Australian Open Nadal is vulnerable to strong flat hitting players such as Blake and Tsonga. The 2003 champion Andy Roddick should also not be counted out. With the vocal support of his home fans he is more than capable of taking out one of the big four.

It is very unlikely that the top 4 all meet their seedings and get through to the semi-finals of the slams. In fact this has only happened 3 times in the 21st century. Djockovic reaching the semi's at Wimbeldon and Murray at the French Open are perhaps the two least likely to happen. Federer's semi-final run must come to an end at some point but who outside of the top 4 can take him out over 5 sets? As for Nadal he is dominant on clay, very strong on grass and continually improving on hard courts but it is still a big ask to make the semis at all 4 this year.

One thing that is certain, these 4 players will battle on every stage for the big prizes.