Blog break...

Normal service will be resumed shortly...

Get off that trampoline !

When I was younger, this was my playground....
Listerdale and Black Carr woods to the east of Rotherham. We roamed the woods between Wickersley, Dalton Magna and the Brecks for hours at a time, on foot or on bikes. We scaled the quarry walls, braved "the sledging hill", and ranged for miles....

Image produced from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Image by Alan Parkinson

My kids are out in the garden on their new trampoline... They have to, I've locked the door so they can't come back in...
They are enjoying it, and are making a bit of noise...
Play England carried out some research on attitudes to children's play and discovered some interesting things:

“47% of adults think it is unsafe for children to play out without supervision, and that 1 in 3 (37%) parents are concerned they will be judged by their neighbours if they let their children play out unsupervised.

Over a quarter of children (28%) say that, when they are playing, adults tend to think they’re up to no good and more than half (55%) of parents worry that the noise of their children playing outside will

upset their neighbours.

In reality 81% of adults believe children playing outside helps to improve community spirit. 70% think that it makes an area more desirable to live in.”

That's the background to a new initiative by the Geography Collective.

The LOVE OUTDOOR PLAY initiative, which will launch this week explores perceptions of children and play...
Our manifesto reads:

“Having the freedom to play outdoors improves the well-being of children and their communities.

Together, we are building a visible community to support reasonably safe exploration, adventure and play.

Wherever you see a Love Outdoor Play sticker, you’ll find people who welcome play and are looking out for young people.”

We are being backed by some wonderful people who are supporting the initiative already, including authors of a number of seminal books on attitudes to children's play and the limits that are often imposed on it.

Readers in the South Yorkshire area should also make sure that they buy a copy of "The Star"
in Sheffield tomorrow (Thursday) as there is an interview with me, about Mission:Explore, the GA, and exploring outdoor spaces....

OK, got to go and shout at my kids now as they're making too much noise *

* = only joking....

Five years ago this week...

...the world watched as Hurricane Katrina crossed the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward the coast of the USA and possibly New Orleans...

As the world looks on at the current inundation of Pakistan it is sobering to see the state of much of the city 5 years on, in one of the most powerful nations on earth...
There are a number of TV programmes in the schedules to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Katrina...

Jam today, jam tomorrow...

Thanks to @bldgblog for the tipoff to this story

China is undergoing a transformation in the rate of growth of car ownership.
It appears that one unwanted consequence of this surge in cars (unsurprisingly) is the traffic jam, but not just any old jam....

The one reported in THIS ARTICLE has apparently been going on for over a week !
Speaking of traffic jams, it's the Bank Holiday weekend coming up !

Update: it's now in its 11th day !!

Country Life

A rural scene, recently... Image by Alan Parkinson

I live in the countryside - the village where I live has a population of just over 500 people, and is around 8 miles from the nearest town... this is not the ultimate in rurality, but there's certainly plenty of fields round here !

The Independent recently had a very useful "rural rebranding" related article on the reality of the rural idyll...

Take a TwiTrip

I'm intrigued by the idea of the TwiTrip.
This is a day visit to a location, where the itinerary and other aspects of the day are determined by the twitter network of the person taking it asking for ideas on where to go and what to do, plus other aspects...

The first one I read about was about a trip to MANCHESTER.

Might give this a go sometime...

Online booking for GA Conference NOW AVAILABLE

You can now BOOK ONLINE for the GA Conference 2011.
Details are HERE.
Going to be another great event and look forward to seeing lots of you there :)

"Ok class, out with your iPads..."

I have just caught up with a project that is about to start in a Scottish school which has taken delivery of a large quantity of iPads.

Fraser Speirs is co-ordinating the project, and will be working with the devices with several different groups. Follow the project by following Fraser on TWITTER or reading HIS BLOG. Photos of the progress will also be appearing on his FLICKR account.

Going to be fascinating stuff - and will hopefully inform a project I'm also following which is going to involve some Year 9 geographers working with iPod touches to co-construct a curriculum project.
More on that later in the new academic year too...


Just caught this resource...

Collated by Hardy Leung - nice work !

Testing times...

Congratulations to those students who received their 'A' level (and AS) results this week, and the best of luck with your UCAS applications...
There is an in-depth analysis of the results, (with thanks to Paul Weeden and the GA's Assessment and Examinations Special Interest Group for their speedy and useful analysis) on the GA's WEBSITE.

Tuesday next week (earlier than usual this year) will see the release of the GCSE results.

I wish all students receiving their results next week the very best of luck, and thanks for choosing Geography :)


A topic that should perhaps be on your KS3 Geography SoW (it's certainly on the one that I'm developing for courses later in the year...)

There's a recent striking New York Times SLIDESHOW on the dumps of Agbogbloshie in Ghana...
See where the e-waste goes to, and the use that people make of it...

A web search for Agbogbloshie produces a whole range of possible leads and resources.

I was particularly taken by the gallery of images by Andrew McConnell.

I think I am going to have to return to this topic later in the year...

Google Earth Weather Forecasting

When I taught weather with Key Stage 3 pupils, I used to use a Met Office pack which had some outline maps of the UK, and some reusable stickers with weather symbols on. It's still available for sale from the MET OFFICE shop for £15.

Students could be video/audio recorded standing in front of the board, to which the map was 'blue-tac'ed (is that a word ?)

Some colleagues used a 'green screen' setting on their camcorder and a tarpaulin from B&Q to rig up a more professional studio style effect.

Noel Jenkins produced a neat web based solution on his Juicy Geography website.

Now this can be done using a website based on GOOGLE EARTH...

I tried it out and it's a really neat tool that I'm sure I would use if teaching about weather forecasting and the way that the information is collated and presented.
Symbols are dragged onto the UK map, which can be re-sized and positioned accordingly, as in the example above. A large range of symbols is included, and they are satisfyingly large and clear. A LOGO can also be added e.g. a school crest or departmental 'logo' of some kind.

Once this has happened, pressing a button marked PRESENT THE FORECAST will start a Google Earth tour which mimics the slow pan across the country in various directions that the BBC uses in their forecast...

Election down under

A few geographical connections here, apart from my Australian twitter-mates, who have been tweeting through the night/day.

The first is that the Labour candidate who called the snap election, Julia Gillard is the daughter of people who travelled to Australia as "ten pound poms". The Liberal party candidate Tony Abbott was also born in Britain, to Australian parents.

My Slideshare presentation on the Ten Pound Poms is embedded below as a reminder...

GIS Pilot & NQT Conferences

Had a very useful day yesterday...

Many thanks first of all go to Bob Lang, Mark Smith and Paul Atkinson for their advice and guidance in a long day at Solly Street.

We had a run through of the 2 day course that will be going around the country from late October 2010 through into 2011, trying out some of the activities, going through the sequence and putting the software through its paces. We also discussed the need to separate visualisation software from GIS.
I look forward to working with colleagues who sign up for the events.

Also had first sight of the new flyers for the NQT Conferences that I will be leading in 3 venues in March 2011: I'm being sent to Coventry for one of them....

The aim of the events is to bring NQT teachers together, part of the way through their first year, and to share successes and look ahead to the first part of their career at ways that the GA can continue to support them.

Fire up the Quattro !


Another one of those projects which distracted me from what I was supposed to be doing for part of today...
Following a "psychogeographical" diversion earlier, I came to AMICITIAS.

This is a games project involving mobile devices... looks good...

Sausage tax...

Image by Alan Parkinson

The famous Lincolnshire sausage...

There is an attempt at the moment to secure "Protected Geographical Indication" (PGS) status for this famous banger. This is to be funded by a sausage tax apparently...

I have blogged about this designation before...

P.S: Sausages not actually from Lincolnshire but from local butcher...

Something else to charge...

A 3 MiFi mobile wi-fi dongle, which I tried out at work today (no phone signal at home) - got 4 devices connected fairly quickly and without any problems - will allow me to circulate with iPad at events / venues where there's no WiFi (such as the GA...) and quickly demonstrate something online or recap a slide from my presentation via Keynote. Also used it all night in hotel room yesterday without problem. Just need to try it on a long train journey now...

Also been downloading apps from the Android market onto the Acer Android handset that I'm trialling with the WILD KNOWLEDGE software. Works very smoothly, and can see why a lot of people like the Android experience... The Wild Knowledge Android app is very near.

W3G Conference

Just been announced as a "guest blogger" at this event, which takes place in Stratford upon Avon in late September.
It is described as:

A free, one day conference, themed on the "3 W's of Geo".

Large in scope but intimate in scale, w3gconf is targeted firmly at the geographic community at large, from the geographic professional, be they GIS or Web 2.0 to the latent geographer who's heard about this thing called "location" and wants to know more.

W3Gconf will take place in the Holiday Inn, Stratford upon Avon, on the 28th. September 2010

See you there !

How big is that ?

Something that I used to do when it came to answering the question "how big is that ?" was to compare the size of events with something that was more relevant to the students (and to me, if I'm honest...)

A few months ago there was the excellent GULF OIL SPILL COMPARISON tool which showed how big the spill was in comparison to your local area (and other similar tools have also been produced as part of the whole map mash-up phenomenon...)
Now there is BBC DIMENSIONS (which has the web address "How big really".com)

A similar tool is called IF IT WERE MY HOME, and overlays countries over the size of the USA to explore scale.... (an expansion from the original Gulf Oil Spill map....)

And the final part of this post is a mention for OXFAM, who are campaigning to raise money for the catastrophic Pakistan Floods.
The web page which asks for assistance has a shocking map which shows the sheer scale of the flooded area as compared to that of the UK....

This map has since been added to the BBC DIMENSIONS site, which suggests that new maps are being added all the time...

...and while we're on the subject of MAPPING, BING MAPS now has an ORDNANCE SURVEY option as you zoom in the scales (I like the labels on the zoom scale too saying COUNTRY, CITY and STREET)
Not sure where the school is though that's marked on the map just about where the GA HQ is...

(N)ice pylons...

An item for my (relatively) new Iceland blog: NICE LAND ICELAND

A proposal to put a string of pylons shaped like human figures, which would go some way to reducing the visual impact on the landscape of this development...
Or is a pylon a pylon no matter what shape it is ?

Researchers in Residence

I mentioned this scheme earlier.
It is designed to link academics with teachers.
I am grateful to Nanasha Oyofo for passing on this report of an example...
If you like the sound of this project, the details of how to potentially get involved are included at the bottom of the blog post.

Sustainability in sport: a geographical analysis

The world cup and 2012 Olympics were used by a researcher in residence to link the geography curriculum to real-life situations, and enrich teaching even further at Cardiff High School. The project was part of a UK-wide scheme that is looking for geography teachers to host enthusiastic researcher scientists.

The scheme, Researchers in Residence (RinR), funded by RCUK and the Wellcome Trust places geography researchers in schools to enrich 11-19 year old classes. ….

With anticipation high prior to the 2010 World Cup, Lesley Williams, Geography teacher at Cardiff High, was inspired to host a researcher who could apply their technical expertise to a sport themed study, sourced through the Researcher in Residence scheme.

“I wanted to improve links with Cardiff University and to tap into a nearby pool of experts who could add so much to the curriculum and our students’ learning experience”, Lesley explains.

“One specific goal was to highlight to the students the real world application of elements of their geography study, through the sustainability in sporting events project for example.”

The placement…

RinR regional coordinators matched Lesley with Dr Andrea Collins, a social science researcher from BRASS[1], whose research involves assessing the environmental impacts of sport and major events. Working in consultation with Lesley, Andrea developed a range of engagement activities that would enable pupils to think creatively about the negative impacts big events can have on the environment and how they could be reduced. Andrea explains, “my placement was spent with Year 9 pupils and teaching staff from the Geography Department.

The Stadium is one of London 2012’s venues for the Olympic Games.

My placement involved; contributions to classroom sessions on ‘London 2012 Olympics and Sustainability’ and ‘Greening Events’. Judging a poster competition on ‘Making Big Events more Sustainable’, and organising an educational tour of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

The year-long poster competition involved students creating a promotional poster highlighting the issue of sustainability in sporting events and recommending preventative measures that could be taken to reduce environmental damage. Winners of the poster competition went on a bespoke tour of Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, that included a talk from the stadium’s environmental manager on the different measures taken at the grounds to make games more sustainable.

Many of the in-class activities Andrea developed encouraged students to use their creativity, problem-solving and reasoning skills to find solutions and fully grasp the subject matter of the project.

Groups of students worked together to create mock ‘bids’ for the 2012 Olympic games and presented their ideas to the rest of the class. They were also tasked with evaluating the 2004 FA Cup in Cardiff, an exercise that involved analysing past data on visitor numbers, modes of transport and food consumption relating to the event. Following an initial analysis, students then recommended measures event organisers could have put in place to limit the environmental impact of the event.

Suggestions included care sharing, advance travel planning and the use of ‘combi’ tickets, (tickets that are redeemable on public transport as well as grant access to the stadium).

Interactive activities like a poster competition and visit to Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium provided a context and stimulus that students could use to apply the concepts they were learning about in class. Such activities required students to appreciate the many factors incumbent in organising large scale events and the precautions that must be taken in order to mitigate their environmental impact.


On reflection, all parties involved in the placement have noted specific benefits gained as a result of the experience. Andrea notes, It [the placement] forced me to think hard about the best way to communicate my research to that particular target group. I developed a range of teaching activities to engage pupils at an individual and group level, and I plan to use these in future public engagement activities.”

According to Lesley, both the students and staff at Cardiff High benefited markedly from the experience. “The children have certainly benefited. The prize which Andrea arranged was wonderful and the powerpoint presentations based on her research were most informative. The project on sustainability in sporting events was educationally valid and relevant given that when we started it in school, the World Cup was just beginning - allowing students to explore the impacts of such big events.

This fed nicely into the London 2012 Olympics and given our proximity to one of the Olympic venues, the Millennium Stadium, the work took on even greater significance. It was definitely worthwhile and demonstrated the relevance of geography in our everyday lives thus also promoting the subject.

It was a valuable and enjoyable project which has enhanced the experience of our students and was excellent for my own professional development.

It has been a superb experience and I would certainly repeat it.

Lesley’s advice to prospective teachers/schools interested in hosting a researcher…

“Teachers need to bear in mind that the subject specialisms of researchers should enhance the taught curriculum at key stage 3 or the examinations syllabus at GCSE , AS or A2. / The teacher needs to check that the work is relevant at the outset, therefore maximising the potential impact of collaboration for all stakeholders.

To apply to Researchers in Residence or for more information on hosting a researcher, call 0845 365 7470 or visit

[1] Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society centre

GA Volunteering opportunities...

There are plenty of opportunities for you to get more involved with the GA.
One of them is by VOLUNTEERING.
You can find out more details, and read the profiles of some of the wonderful people who help us do what we do at the relevant page of the GA WEBSITE.
The profile above is of Lucy Mitchell, an NQT who wrote an article for Teaching Geography.

We are always looking for exciting articles for our journals. As someone who has been published quite a few times what I would say (but won't) is that if I can do it...

Reaching the LOHAS market

Do you know what the LOHAS market is ?

I didn't know until earlier today when I followed a tweet which led me to an article on McDonalds Corporate Social Responsibility report.

This provided a bit of "food for thought"....

There's plenty of information here on McDonalds' attempts to be more sustainable, in terms of their equipment and working routines, and sourcing.
One that I will follow up when I have a moment...

River Thames Festival

Thanks to Tom Barrett for the tip off to the River Thames festival site, which has resources on a range of rivers, and would be a useful visit for teachers interested in rivers...
Rivers of the World

Exemplification of Standards for KS3 Geography

Otherwise known as 'APP' (or that's how it started out at least) is now available to use on the QCDA website.

I have written a brief review of the materials...and have published the document to SCRIBD for further reading and reflection.

As it says, we would love to hear from you about how you have been using the resources on the site...

Exemplification for Foundation Subjects

Don't forget the related MAKING GEOGRAPHY HAPPEN project, on the GA's website.

Maps of Social Networks

Produced by Ethan Bloch, with whom copyright resides....

Click the link to see the map...

Inspired by XKCD's earlier map of online communities in 2007 which I remember well...

Hans Rosling at GA Conference 2011

There was some exciting news earlier today !

Hans Rosling is the Director of the Gapminder Foundation, and produced one of the most exciting tools for geographers in recent times: GAPMINDER (now in a desktop version too)

Thanks in part to some work by our colleague Bob Lang earlier in the year, it is now confirmed that Hans will be doing the keynote lecture at the Geographical Association's conference at the University of Surrey in Guildford in April 2011.

One for your diaries: for the chance to see Hans in action - get a flavour of his presentations by watching this TED TALK.

Online booking for the conference will be available next week :)

GA members get substantial discounts!
Full time and PGCE students get FREE registration!
Delegate fees have been frozen to 2009 levels !

Follow the GA on Twitter (@The_GA) with the hashtag: #gaconf11

This year, the conference will also be raising money for ACTION AID: the President's chosen charity.

Summer of disasters...

As always, over the summer holidays, geography continues to happen...
and as always, some of that is in the form of natural disasters...

There have been a bewildering range of news stories bringing tales of catastrophe:

  • Chinese floods and landslides
  • Heatwaves in Russia

The Pakistan flood situation seems to be getting worse by the day, with over 20 million people now apparently affected, and the risk of a wave of water-borne diseases spreading through the area.

The SASI group at Sheffield University have been busy as always re-presenting the area, to enable the true picture to emerge.
Their new map produces a view of Pakistan which has been adapted to show the areas where the population of Pakistan lives.
As one would expect, the flooding is going to be worse if it hits areas which are more densely populated.

Image produced by Ben Hennig and shared under Creative Commons license. For more details, check out Ben's webpages.

The PACIFIC DISASTER CENTER app (FREE installation for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) allows the chance to see the latest news on a range of disasters...

Also a useful article on Alert Net, which explored the use of TWITTER in disasters, and the importance of syntax in tweets to help identify people who might potentially need help, or extract useful information from the stream of tweets.

One challenge for teachers in the first weeks of the new term is going to be to locate and place these events in the context of the natural "order of things", and also to identify some 'good news stories' to counter-balance these disastrous events...


When I was a lad there was a children's TV programme called "HOW"....
It featured Fred Dinenage, along with Bunty James/Marian Davies, Jack Hargreaves and Jon Miller who demonstrated lots of wonderful tricks and investigations, and a few gentle country crafts...
Cracking kids TV !
Do a search on YouTube for some clips to get the idea...

So how about this idea for a potential context...

The WIKIHOW site has a series of articles which explain HOW something is done...

Useful HOW TO... sections include how to choose comfortable underwear, how to survive a landslide, and how to help the flood victims in Pakistan...

Why not produce an article on HOW TO... do something that is geographical: a skill, an enquiry, a process, an exploration....

You can sign up for a free developer account - only need an e-mail and you're ready to start creating...

HOW !! (about that for an idea...)


In Twitter, you can RT ('retweet') something to try to reach more people, or repeat something you think people might have missed.
I mentioned TAGXEDO some time ago, but it's worth another go, as some readers may have missed that post.
Tagxedo produces a Wordle-like word cloud, but the cloud can be varied to have different shapes.

There are similar colour scheme options to Wordle too.
Here's an "apple for the teacher" containing the text of something I wrote earlier...

Sam Mellish photography project

An excellent photo project by Sam Mellish.

On my travels up and down the 'A' roads (and quite a lot of the 'B', 'M' and 'C' ones as well...) of Britain, I've often thought about the roadside vans and cafes that spring up in laybys at the side of the road. Often named after some eponymous owner, or girlfriend, and offering "credit crunch breakfasts" or "big baps"...

Sam has been documenting some of these places in East Anglia, in an exhibition, which can be seen HERE. Sadly I just missed seeing the exhibition of actual images just down the road in Ely.
A book of his WIDER wandering is also available, which I notice focuses on the A303 which I've driven along 4 times in the last few months too...

The one I pass most frequently, which is just north of Sam's main area of focus, has a table with a nice view across the Nar Valley towards Castle Acre. I saw the owner packing up in the rain the other day - probably not a good day for custom... Also drove past Wendy's Bus Cafe earlier today.

Thanks to Joe Moran for the tipoff via his blog...

There are some nice geographies to be explored here in terms of:
Territory: who 'owns' a particular pitch or layby - is there conflict over these ?
Customers: what range of social groups use the cafes, are they inclusive/exclusive ?
Location: what views are offered ? what are the interactions between the customers ?
Sourcing of ingredients - local ?
Cultural links... the rules of the road... groups of people using the road for different purposes...

What else can you think of ?

Something I particularly like is Sam's use of a "tube-map" style diagram to summarise his travels. This will go into a collection of similar tube-map remixed images that I'm collecting for an event in London later in the year.

Fata Morgana

A nice map project produced by Damon Zucconi


Postcards from the edge...

...of Yorkshire

Thanks to my psychogeographical contact from Leeds... @concretepost on Twitter...

A very nice looking project in SCARBOROUGH.

The project has involved the local population working with Electric Angel to produce a rather excellent POSTCARD SET. Local people worked with a poet and photographer to explore places that had a particular "meaning".

There is some excellent work coming out of the CREATIVE COAST partnership which fits very nicely with the idea of representing and relating to a place : all part of the Mission:Explore philosophy too, of course...

I am going to be in Scarborough later in the month and will certainly see how many of these cards I can track down...

Will also be picking up the CHART SCARBOROUGH map from the Tourist Information Centre. (Can be downloaded from here in PDF format)

Description of project:

In the past, people came to Scarborough because they saw something special in the town. Now you can follow paths around Scarborough to experience the diverse range of culture, art and heritage that the town has to offer today. Discover paintings, sculpture, murals, ceramics, digital media, photography, theatre, film, live music, spoken word and more. Take in the scenery that inspired renowned poets, writers and artists to produce some of their best work.

The map and the trails which you can find on this website provide exciting new ways to access Scarborough’s local arts scene of today and help you discover the quality and diversity of its cultural roots. You can even share favourite places and events by submitting your own trail.

From the classic to the contemporary, take a journey of discovery through some of the high points of Scarborough’s thriving and growing creative scene. This is YOUR journey. Whatever path you take will offer a new way of experiencing England’s very first seaside resort.

Images and more details HERE.

While we're on the theme of postcards, I enjoyed reading this Daily Mail article on the postcards of Donald McGill: the father of the 'saucy postcard'....

Barclays Cycle Hire

Just started to write something on this scheme which will emerge at the end of the year. There's lots of geography in the mapping of the usage of the scheme which has started to emerge, and also in the impact on London of the Barclays blue branding which has started to appear in lots of locations...

Do you live less than 23m above sea level ?

If so, your house might be about to go under...

Well, not quite, but there is a major threat to a lot of coastal cities if the suggested "tipping point" of the Greenland ice sheet occurs as it is predicted to do in this GUARDIAN article.

Worth reading through and possibly thinking of the impacts with students...

New GA Merchandise

You can now show your appreciation of all things geographical by shopping at the new

The shop is organised through CafePress, and each item is individually manufactured and shipped.

Get in touch if you want to suggest other items, or colours in addition to those that we have already added.
I have just done some shopping of my own, and will post a picture of myself in my new GA shirt once it arrives...

#pgcetips (not PG tips)

A few months ago, Tim Handley, a PGCE student at UEA hosted the first Teachmeet in East Anglia, and also started to collate tips for fellow PGCE tips using the hashtag #pgcetips

A few months later, with the help of a range of people, he collated these into an e-book.

It can be downloaded, or a hard copy can be purchased via Lulu for just £6.91

I was delighted to contribute an article on Curriculum making to the book.

I recommend that you follow Tim as he undertakes his NQT year in a Norfolk primary school. Tim's blog makes good reading as he reflects on his educational journey.

And if you, like Tim, finished your PGCE year last year you may be interested in 3 regional events that we are going to be running in March 2011.
They are going to be designed specifically for NQT Geographers.
You'll spend the day working with me on a range of projects and workshops designed to get you up and running for the first phase of your career....
More details on the GA website soon...

Every child matters, and so does every geography teacher...


It's apparent that Twitter has now proved itself to be valuable during natural disasters e.g. following the Haiti earthquake...

The #pakflood hashtag is also being mentioned a lot..

Another very useful resource came via @edu4drr
This led me to an article on possible tele-connections between the floods and the current heatwaves in Russia.

There has certainly been a lot of interest in the location of the jet stream this summer....


Image thanks to WanderingWhitehorse and shared under Creative Commons license

An interesting tweet I read today said that apparently Walmart is the number 1 tourist destination in the USA.
I have heard before about the large number of people who 'holiday' in Walmart car parks by parking up overnight in them, but have been unable to find more clarification on this claim. It seems that Walmart allow RV's (motor-homes) to park up overnight which has apparently created some issues with other businesses.

As it happened, I then caught up some back-episodes of "Family Guy" and there was an episode on a huge store called Superstore USA... very good...
One scene involved the characters discussing protesting about the growing power of the shop: they needed board, paper and pens to make placards.. "well, Superstore USA stocks all of those things!"

Save money... live better...


There has been a good exchange of tweets on the hashtag #geographicaltributebands

Geographical Tribute Bands...

This aspect of Twitter is one of a series of memes which spread through the community from time to time. It results in a range of hashtags which prompt people into terrible puns and wordplay on a theme...

The geography tribute band suggestions seem to have fallen into one of several categories...

1. Pun names...

e.g. Pet Shop Boise, Durban Durban, Kate Shepherd's Bush, Mansfield Mann, Diana Ross-on-Wye, the Jackson Fife, Everything but the Goole, Human Leek, Jerry Lee Lewes

2. Names where a geographical feature or place was used to replace an existing word

e.g. Pumice Stone Roses, Van (thermo) Haline, Steppes

3. Hybrids

e.g Angus Willson's effort: "fertile tract in a desert where the water table approaches the surface" = Oasis...

or Fairtrade Bananarama

Here are some of my favourites

Chris de Birmingham
Dulwich Village People
France Ferdinand
Rolf Paris
Spandau Calais
David Seoul
Jethro T'Hull
The Arbroath Smokie

Why not turn this into a fun homework activity for Year 7 pupils after some initial stimulus. Could be a way of re-imagining the local map...
Why not contribute more below ?

There is also apparently a real tribute band called the Kings of Leigh-on-Sea :)

Thanks to all those on Twitter who contributed to the #geographicaltributebands hashtag....

Norfolk GA branch programme

Norfolk Geographical Association : Programme of Events 2010 – 11

Unless otherwise stated all events will be held at Easton College starting at 7.30pm

Mon 20th Sept. 2010 7.30pm

‘The Geography of Awe & Wonder’

Tony Escritt

“What is geography all about? To this Geographer it is all about getting off your backside and out into the field.”

Recommended for 6th form students but clearly of interest to all geographers!

Mon 11th Oct. 7.30pm

David Wright Memorial Lecture

Ashley Hale

Ashley is HOG at Sewell Park College, an adventurer and former student of

David Wright. He will lead the evening recounting highlights of his journeys and teaching. Those who knew David will be welcome to contribute.

Mon 16th November. 4.0pm for 4.30pm start.

Worldwise Local Quiz

Sponsored by the John Jarrold Trust

This challenging geographical quiz for GCSE students is part of the GA’s WORLDWISE programme. Members are welcome to attend. The final round will start around 6.0pm

Thurs 25th November. 7.30pm

An RGS (East Anglia) Talk held at the Assembly Rooms in Norwich. Free for GA members.

Lake Victoria and their Fisheries’

Professor Inigo Everson

An RGS Talk held at the Assembly Rooms in Norwich starting at 7.30pm

For the past 5 years Inigo has been working in close collaboration with local scientists to assess the staus of commercial fish species of Lake Victoria, the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world. His talk will be supported by his own photographs of the lake, its people and their way of life.

Mon. 17th January 2011. 7.30pm

The Baltic – a Superb, non-tidal, Cruising Area

Tony Meacock

This presentation is based on 5 cruises to the Baltic and will cover ’the tools’ needed for such trips and a photographic tour of the sights and geography of the area.

Mon. 7th March 7.30pm

Presidential Lecture

Jonathan Hooton

King Street Norwich – Growth, Decline & Regeneration.

Jonathon is Head of Geography at Notre Dame School in Norwich and he has researched this topic especially for this presentation.

Best wishes to Jon for his Presidential year. I shall be coming along to hear this lecture !

Mon 18th April

This talk has yet to be confirmed. Also we hope also to arrange a summer visit. When these have been arranged details will be given at meetings, as will other RGS meetings. N

B - GA members can attend RGS meetings free of charge and vice versa.

For any queries contact David Stannard (GA chairman) at 01603453118

or by e-mail at

For RGS events see or contact Mike Hand at

Subscriptions for Norfolk GA membership: single £10, Joint £15, schools £20 (allowing up to 15 students to attend with member of staff) For membership contact Douglas Waters - at