Category Archives: Uncategorised

Website Visitors

I never cease to be amazed by the number of visitors that we get on our Whittington Website, and Blog.

In the month of April 2017, there were 952 visitors and the total number since the beginning of the year now stands at 1,858.  The number of monthly visitors has practically trebled over the last couple of years since the Blog was introduced.

Our circulation is now double that of Wagtail, with minimal production costs.

John Keegan

Scottish Referendum No.2

A petition has been posted today on the Government & Parliament website petitioning that another Scottish Referendum shouldn’t happen.  It is possible to argue that this should be left to the Scots but I feel strongly on the matter, as we have family in Scotland, therefore  both Maureen and I have signed it.

If you would like to sign it click on the image below.  You will need to have an email address for the confirmation link.

Know Your SpID

In view of the current interest in Speed indicating devices (SpID) I decided to look a little further into them, because of my underlying lack of knowledge.

The Minutes of the PC meeting of the 16 January 2017 specifically mentions Speed Indicating Device(s).  It may be that they are referring to something other than an actual SpID (which have featured in their meetings a number of times over the years) but because of the lack of information about the discussion in the minutes it is not possible to be certain exactly what they were talking about.  The sum of money they have determined for 2017/8 is totally inadequate for a proper SpID.  Donations to this purpose from the County Champion have never exceeded £300, to Caton and £250 to Yealand Redmayne, so at best they would have less that £700 to spend.

A company named Auto-Mate Systems supply and install Radar Activated Speed Display Signs, which are typical of the equipment used by other villages.

The indicator is made up of two matrices, one displaying the speed and the other a variable message. The image below shows the key elements:

  1. Vandal resistant waterproof casing.
  2. Current speed display
  3. Message section

The primary consideration which has to be made is the power source.  The device can be either solar or mains powered.  I am advised that connecting to a mains power supply can be quite expensive.  Solar is apparently the preferred option.

Getting immediately to the most important aspect, cost. For the supply only of an Auto-Mate System comprising:
2 – Evolis radar activate speed display signs;
2 – Solar charge systems including solar panel, controller and battery pack;
2 – Mounting Posts
Programming of speed sign
Supply and installation of supplied equipment.
Excluding: Suitable foundation and fixing of mounting post.

Costs: The cost of the above equipment is £7,800 + VAT making a total, including VAT, of £9,360, if we are unable to reclaim the VAT.  In fact the Parish Council obtained a quotation, which was discussed at their July 2006 meeting.  At that time the figure was £7,100 (I think VAT as 17.5% at the time), and they contacted Cllr Airey to see if funding could be made available.

The speed sign comes with a 10 step rotary dial which can be adjusted to change the threshold speed, flashing speed and speed parameters. Each of these steps can be programmed with the programming lead and software.

Ultra-precise speed detection:
Precise to +/- 1 mph Speed detection via “Doppler radar 24.125 Ghz”
Detection range from 10 to 250 meters
Compliant with European and world regulations (EN300440…)
Mounting height from 0 to 5 meters
Filter to cancel distortion caused by reverse traffic.

The width of the detection cone (10° vertical and 17° horizontal) allows the sign to be mounted up to 5 meters high.

Data processing. Using this device data can be collected in order to produce a picture of the speed activity recorded, which could form part of a regular reporting process (similar to the current bi-monthly police report.

You can generate charts about :
– amount of vehicles
– average and maximum speeds
– Distribution of vehicles by speed range

Available functions:
– Export the raw file and the chart under Excel
– Export as a PDF file
– Compilation of files concerning several measurement session

Technical Datasheet

Auto-Mate Systems have very kindly provided me with a detailed quotation and a Brochure (in PDF format) which I would be delighted to send to anyone who sends me an email request.  Email me at

John Keegan