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National web award for Brookmans Park

The Brookmans Park Newsletter has won one of the top prizes in a national Internet award ceremony.

The community spirit behind the site was recognised in the New Statesman’s New Media Awards 2000 with the 'Overall Merit Award' for having, “served the public interest in developing a democratically accountable civil society during the previous 12 months”.

There were 48 other sites nominated for the Overall Merit Award click here to see the full list.

Last year the site was commended in the Local Democracy Section of the same awards for “the use of new technology in empowering individuals locally”.

At a ceremony at London’s Serpentine Gallery on Tuesday July 11, attended by about 400 guests, the site was presented with a trophy by cabinet office minister, Mo Mowlam.

The Newsletter is based on content provided by the community for the community.

Thanks to the North Mymms Local History Society, the large history section contains a dozen books, most of which were out of print and unavailable in shops or libraries. 

The society gave permission for the books and old prints, etchings and photographs to be reproduced on the site. As a result demand for the books has grown and some are now into their second reprint thanks to being promoted on the web.

There is a slide show in Real Video 28K and 56K with commentary on the site, again thanks to the NMLHS.

A search facility across more than 10,000 local names from the Domesday Book to the present day has enabled hundreds of people to research their genealogy.

Only last week the great, great grandson of 'The Pretty American', featured in one of the local books on the site, found out about his family history here and organised a family reunion on the strength of it.

Then there were the two American families, living thousands of miles apart in the States, who met up on this site searching the history of their family name Mims.

It is also the place where picture galleries of local events, like the annual Village Day, are stored.

The Gobions Woodland Trust has allowed its surveys and reports to be published on the site.  As a result there are full colour plates of the local fungi and butterflies.

But perhaps the most active part is the 'Have Your Say' section where local issues are aired and often referred directly to the local authorities or companies involved. 

Many of those who use the site regularly nominated it for the awards, such is the sense of ownership and community involvement in the Newsletter.

More details and pictures will be added later as well as a link to the New Statesman's site and a feature on the awards.

July 11, 2000

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