|29th April 2017
||Provided new links for the December 2012 news story about Bananas in Pyjamas in a funny car crash during a parade. The original article has been moved to an archive site, and its associated video has been deleted (though the reference remains as unclickable text), so a new, equivalent YouTube link has been substituted in our news story.
|24th January 2017
||Added reviews of the Shoal of Fishes CD to the site (same selection as on the Fand site), plus added some review comments about individual pieces on the CD, and one general comment about Carey’s music.
Added new-style favicons in the new large style for touchscreen devices, plus an SVG site logo.
|18th October 2016
||Properly added the new Shoal of Fishes CD to the site, as part of the catalogue and shop.
|25th September 2016
||Added a news item about the new Shoal of Fishes CD, complete with PayPal button to allow people to buy it. This news item is in lieu of a full catalogue entry for the CD, which will follow as soon as I have time to enter up all its details.
|6th November 2015
||Added Gary Higginson’s Inventions on a Theme of Carey Blyton to the catalogue in order to be able to sell it in the Shop. However, this also means that it turns up as one of Carey’s own works in the catalogue. Not sure if this is important; after all, the fact that it’s by someone else is made clear in the description, and the music is of course based on a melody by Carey, so I think it’s an acceptable thing to do.
Corrected a couple of minor typos in error messages that are unlikely ever to be seen.
Reverted my changes from 9th June. I hadn’t noticed at the time that creating this fix for WebKit browsers totally messed up the rendering in Firefox. Very annoying, but a single-pixel gap for users with Retina displays (only) is far preferable to a completely messed-up display for all Mozilla users. Besides, WebKit should eventually get updated and have its bug fixed; the developers are aware of the issue. Indeed, it appears that the fix may already have been made in the latest versions of WebKit, so hopefully it should find its way into Safari and Chrome etc. soon.
|3rd August 2015
||Finally remembered to add Google Analytics to the site…
|9th June 2015
||Made some small changes to the CSS so that a single-pixel vertical gap no longer appears in the ‘breadcrumbs’ area at the bottom-right of the page (this was due to recent changes in WebKit’s table rendering and the fact that it has not yet been transitioned to sub-pixel layout).
|19th December 2014
||A few small changes, primarily to News:
- Updated the contact details for Bardic Edition, which has moved today (this very day!).
- For completeness, added a news item about a Sweeney Todd performance dating from 2008; this is now the oldest news item on the site and appears on the News page.
- Enhanced the programming of the News page so that the pop-up year selector menu omits years for which there’s no news (e.g. 2009).
- Added a message for years in which there’s no news, even though it should never be seen.
- Suppressed drop-caps on news items, since the inconsistency of one appearing on the first story of any given year, but not in the full all-entries listing, seemed odd.
|27th October 2014
||Added a new image (and accompanying text paragraph) to the Arnold page, showing the recently-discovered first-ever Arnold illustration, done by Maurice Stevens for Arnold Makes a New Friend.
|16th July 2014
||It is now possible (by setting the PayPal code for an item to “NA”) to mark a product that’s currently available in the shop as being “Currently unavailable”—a message that appears in place of the PayPal button. In other words, we can now suspend sales of an item temporarily without removing its shop listing.
|12th June 2014
||Archives and other enhancements
Although this is a minor addition in the grand scheme of things, it has led to some important site changes. The database has been extended to contain information about archives where Carey’s music (and other material) is held. At present, only one institution is mentioned (the BFI), but the site can cope with as many as necessary. As part of making the necessary changes and updates, the following work has been done:
- Database extended to include two new fields (Archive and information about what’s in the archive for each particular entry.
- Full info pages now display these details (if present) in their information tables.
- The presentation of the Notes box in regular listings has been expanded to include archive information where present, in addition to the regular notes (or in place of them if there would otherwise be an empty entry).
- A new listing page has been created in the Catalogue section, dedicated to Archive material.
- The opening page of the Catalogue section has been rejigged somewhat to add a new section at the bottom, devoted to ‘special’ listings. The Reviews link (which previously floated around without a proper home) has been moved here, a link has been added to the (previously very obscure) page about works written under a pen-name, and the link to the new list of archived material is housed here too.
- The Archive page contains some special in-page links that have required some new CSS. I have just discovered a neat way of doing in-page scrolling that moves the scrolled-to item partway down the page (and also allows it to be highlighted). I had previously avoided such links because of their propensity to vanish under the page’s top menu area, so it’s nice to finally be aware of a way of circumventing this annoying problem.
|25th May 2014
||Improved the information about Arnold and the Acorns by (a) correcting the total number of Arnold stories from twelve to ten and (b) listing the titles of all ten stories on the page (along with other minor expansions and corrections to the page’s introductory text).
|24th May 2014
||Further sound sample enhancements:
- Added the ability to have more than one set of samples per piece, each set with its own table. This permits pieces with historic recordings also to have commercial recordings as well, for superior sound quality. Currently no piece has more than two sets of recordings, but in theory there could be any number.
- Added commercial recordings (from the various CDs) for all the pieces for which historical recordings were added recently (where commercial recordings exist).
- Now, in the catalogue listing tables, pieces with associated sound samples are marked by the presence of a repeating ‘quavers’ logo in the background of the More… column (where the info-i icons or piece covers appear).
|22nd May 2014
- An important site update: the work information pages of the Catalogue section now support the inclusion of sound samples. Although, clearly, the site already supported sound samples on individual feature pages, we now have the ability to easily drop in samples of Carey’s works being played and have them appear, neatly tabulated with information, titles and play controls, on the appropriate catalogue page.
- A structural change relating to this improvement is that the sound tracks for Display to Sell, The Furryfolk on Holiday and Frankenstein! (full-length performance) have moved from their feature pages to the catalogue section, although this is invisible to the user, and the sound samples are now available from two places rather than one.
- The Display to Sell catalogue page now includes all four tracks (the complete music for this film); the feature page just illustrates one.
- Girl Friday has been added as a playable track, and a player added to the Carey Blyton 70th Birthday Celebration page.
- In line with changes on the Fand Music Press site, the CD prices have all been reduced from £13.50 to £6.50.
|19th May 2014
||Made all videos (ten in total, at the time of writing) appear centred on the page rather than left-justified. This reduces the chances of having menu items encroach on them, especially on larger screens and/or in full-screen viewing mode.
|12th May 2014
The one main criticism that this site has received several times is that the banana menu structure is too large: the banana is too dominant, and/or the column of bananas forming the menu at the side of the screen can go beyond the bottom of the window/screen. Although these problems only affect users of computers with particularly small screens, the criticism is nevertheless valid and needed addressing. I have finally come up with a neat solution. Now, as the window size decreases (at each point where clipping of the side menu is threatened), the whole banana menu structure resizes itself. Initially, the whole thing scales down slightly, in small steps. Then, when the big banana has got as small as I want it to go, the side menu scales itself down a little further, and finally condenses itself by pushing the bananas together in a couple of stages. Overall, there are seven smooth stages of transition (not including the full-size site; so eight sizes in total), and the smallest version is very compact indeed, but still usable with care. Overall, the site should now cope pretty well with any size of window. The site isn’t really intended for mobile viewing, and doesn’t have a dedicated mobile view for phones (this would be a massive amount of work, and I can’t see that it’s worth it), but nevertheless it’s perfectly usable on a decent modern smartphone (such as an iPhone), and works well on the iPad.
|11th February 2014
||Extended the Credits section on the Info page to allow for a list of non-website credits, to accommodate a requested one for Liz Biddle.
|1st February 2014
Added a semi-retrospective news story about the new Bananas in Pyjamas Banana-riffic stage show, which has been ongoing since September 2013 and which continues until the end of June 2014.
|21st December 2013
||Doctor Who 50th Anniversary update
- A new 4-CD box-set of Doctor Who soundtracks, Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection, has been released and a copy supplied to this site. We’re therefore featuring it in a detailed news item, complete with custom photo of our sample copy.
- Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection has also been integrated into the catalogue of recordings and Silva Screen Records added as a publisher.
- The Doctor Who section pages have been updated to include screen-grabs of the end-credits mentioning Carey’s name. The page about each story features the appropriate image, and all three appear on the overview page.
- Made a small CSS correction so that https: links are handled and bananafied.
- Corrected a minor ‘forces’ error in the music catalogue (SATB version of Two Sacred Songs was listing the forces from the SSA/SAA version).
|15th September 2013
||Search! (And other important improvements)
We now have a handy Quick search facility in the Catalogue section. It’s not (nor is it intended to be) a vastly sophisticated searching option; that would require far more effort than is justified. It’s a fairly straightforward ‘look one thing up quickly’ service, but I really think that’s all that’s needed, particularly given how very comprehensive the multiple indices are already. The Quick search just makes it easy to find particular items very quickly, without remembering what instruments they’re for, for example. It can take multiple and abbreviated words, but it only searches in one field at a time, so we can’t match two items simultaneously. Nevertheless, it searches through all fields that are likely to be wanted in a quick search, namely: Opus, Series, Title, Subtitle, Composer (being original composer of arranged music), Words (author), Producer (film/TV), Director (film/TV) and Notes. The results are nicely presented in exactly the same sort of table as in other listings, but since these are expected to be primarily title searches, the results are sorted by Title by default (rather than the Date/Opus sorting that’s used otherwise).
Note that Quick search does have one additional special custom feature that’s very handy: Opus search. If you type in a number of up to three digits, the search function will treat this as a special case and return the results for that particular opus number. Letter suffixes aren’t necessary; just type the number to get all pieces associated with that opus (e.g. try ‘28’, which has suffixes ‘a’ to ‘f’). This also applies to Carey’s two odd ‘half opuses’: just enter 100 or 103 and the results will include opus 100½ and 103½. Opus number search results are returned in a table that can’t be resorted, ordered (uniquely) so that any opus letter-suffixes appear in alphabetical order.
- Discovered and fixed a minor oversight in the code governing how catalogue sections are accessed, and removed links to a couple of separate listings pages that I’d originally planned but which turned out not to be necessary. The chances of their being accessed were almost nil, but the code has been tidied up anyway.
- In the Words section of the Catalogue, added an explanatory line of text under the top headings to explain that you can click on Words to toggle between Writings and Books.
- Slightly simplified the wording in the info box on the general listing page.
- As part of rejigging the Catalogue opening page (and Music page) to accommodate the new search section, moved the recently-added review-listing link to between the search section and the various listings tables. Not a big change, but it seems neater there.
- Improved the Bananas in Pyjamas page with a cross-link () to its catalogue page and a reviews section. This brings it more in line with the other feature pages, updated last time.
- Generally tested and debugged the whole site, correcting a few minor errors as a consequence (including in the database).
- After a great deal of frustration, thankfully the infuriating table-shading problem that uniquely afflicted the Firefox browser has finally been diagnosed and fixed! At last, Firefox now displays tables correctly, the same as all other browsers, without repeating gradients within table cells.
- We now have a complete set of sheet music covers in the Shop section, rather than the previous placeholder graphics. Thanks to John Mitchell for supplying scans of all 24 missing Modus covers, for a total of 32 Modus covers. (He supplied the scans of the original eight, too.)
|7th September 2013
||Another important update:
- We have half a dozen new videos on the site. They are:
Each is accompanied by whatever background or useful observational information I could discover. Low Water has been image-stabilised.
- We also have an enhanced video player: an upgraded version of VideoJS, which I’ve now customised with site-specific colours.
- All the Media pages (and a few in the Writings section) have been improved by the inclusion of a little mini-info icon () in the details box, which allows the visitor to move easily to the full-details entry page in the Catalogue section.
- The database has been updated with various small corrections and other individual pages have had minor enhancements.
- The reviews feature has been extended so that reviews can now appear on feature pages in the Writings and Media sections.
- The Snippets page, introduced in the last update, has been rewritten. Although it looks the same, the snippets are now stored as reviews in the database (as orphaned entries, not associated with any catalogue item), and so are now pulled out of the database rather than being directly hard-coded into the page. Two more such snippets have been added.
- Finally, there’s a new feature in the Catalogue section: the ability to List all reviews. Although not massively useful to most casual visitors, it’s still a feature worth having: it lists every review quotation in the database, all in one place together, under the heading of the item to which the review pertains. It’s possible to order the listing by item title or date, and clicking the title heading will of course lead to the dedicated info page in the catalogue. The general snippets also appear again here, at the very end of the listing (regardless of sorting order).
|22nd August 2013
||A major update:
- Reviews: At last, all the available reviews of Carey Blyton music, writings, recordings and performances have been added to the site. This involved typing up an entire booklet of them, and resulted in over 150 entries. Further review comments have been migrated from the old Carey site and from the Fand sister-site, resulting in over 160 review-extract additions. There may well be more to follow in due course, but for the moment I’ve added everything that I have available to me. The reviews appear at the foot of their associated entry page(s) in the Catalogue section, and apply to all types of item (music, books, CDs). Single reviews can (and do) apply to multiple items.
- Also added a new Snippets page to house quotations, review comments etc. that don’t fit anywhere else.
- Added a CD review by Frank Bayford (a rather obscurely hidden item from the old site), to which several quotations now link.
- Added a reader’s letter to the foot of the Times obituary page.
- Added a reviews section to the end of the Carey Blyton & Friends page. [Note, 7th September: These are directly quoted reviews, not to be found in the database, because the concert is not a work or product that’s present in the catalogue. Hence they won’t appear in the new Reviews page that lists all quotations in the database.]
- Made minor corrections and improvements to several other pages, notably the Derek Foster review of Apollo CDs and the article by Hilton Gough (from which many review quotations have been extracted).
|2nd August 2013
||Thanks to a lead by John Mitchell, it has been discovered that Carey wrote a number of works under a pen-name. These have been added to the catalogue, and I’ve also written a dedicated Pseudonym page about them.
|30th July 2013
||Added ‘Selected’ to the heading on the Media pages (as done on Writings), to indicate that this section contains only a representative sample, not everything.
|24th July 2013
||Made various corrections and improvements to the Family page, thanks to some details received from Daniel Blyton. Also decided to use pale blue and pink (rather than white) cards in the family tree to indicate gender, especially since it’s not always entirely obvious from the names.
|22nd July 2013
- Added a ‘Doctor Who (Overview)’ link to the TV table in the Media section (since this page now has more on it than just links to the three series).
- Made the ‘Forebears = Four bears’ joke more obvious on the Family page by moving the footnote alongside the heading (rather than at the bottom of the page, making it easier to find (red asterisk) and highlighting ‘four bears’. (I’d intended to make it quite subtle, but Peter didn’t get the joke at all at first sight, so I probably overdid the understatement. Or underdid the overstatement. Or something.)
- Tony Summerfield of the Enid Blyton Society has let me know that Carey Charles Blyton’s birthday was 7th May 1903, not 1902 as is widely but incorrectly documented, and he has the birth certificate to prove it. Therefore I’ve corrected the date on our page.
- Applied a little one-line fix to assist with translating the URL from .co.uk to .com: the ? in the page-specifier string could get mangled to %3f, and the address would then not work. This situation is now catered for, so the .com and .co.uk addresses can now be used interchangeably. However, the site immediately changes instances of .co.uk to .com, so the .co.uk address is not likely to see much use in future.
- Added a missing-page handler (404 errors).
|21st July 2013
||It took longer to get here than I hoped (not least because of the large amount of effort that went into the Timeline), but at last the Family page is done and thus the initial version of the site is complete. The information on this final page has just been inherited from the old site, with minor editing and corrections, but the presentation is now much more graphical and the family tree uses a more standard style of layout. (If it’s not obvious, the ‘wedding ring’ graphic used in the family tree is actually two bananas, end to end.) I’ve also added a new paragraph of text for Enid Blyton, and links to the Enid/Carey collaboration, Mixed Bag, and the Enid Blyton Society. Finally, I couldn’t resist introducing four teddies to the page in order to make an excruciating joke about Carey’s ‘forebears’!
|19th July 2013
||After being alerted to the existence of an article in The Telegraph about old Doctor Who music, I added a reference to it to the opening page of the Doctor Who section.
|18th July 2013
||Having heard back from the BFI and obtained the appropriate DVD, I have now added a high-quality version of The Furryfolk on Holiday to the Tufty page, regenerated all the stills on that page from the better quality video, and generally improved the page further (including the new links to the DVD and CD containing extracted material). The new video actually took a lot more work to prepare than I’d expected, because it turned out to be horrendously wobbly on the DVD. All the frames jiggled up and down during playback and made me feel slightly seasick. Luckily, the iStabilize software, which I happened to have, was able to do a brilliant job of ironing out these jiggles (with careful editing to remove unwanted changes in places), so now we have a full-size version of the Tufty film which is rock-steady (barring occasional glitches in the original), and hence actually better to watch than the DVD version. Of course, compression for the web has meant that the picture quality isn’t quite as good as the original, though in reality you can’t actually see any difference during playback (and only very occasionally in still frames if you pause the video).
|16th July 2013
||At long, long last the Timeline page is finished! This took vastly more effort than I could have anticipated. First of all, just before starting it, I had the idea of adapting the graphics from the original Bananas in Pyjamas picture and basing the whole concept around that, which turned out to be a lot of work and much more demanding than my original, simpler idea (which would have been bananas holding placards but without all the extra background stuff). Then, having spent a great deal of time on the graphics and got everything working perfectly in Safari, Chrome and Opera, it turned out that Firefox wouldn’t play ball at all because it doesn’t like CSS absolute positioning in table cells. That was a pig to sort out. But… having finally got it just right, I have to say that I’m really delighted with the end result. It needs a big screen to look its best (though it does still work at small sizes; tested down to 800 pixels’ width), but I think it was a great idea and I feel really pleased with the outcome. I think this is my favourite page on the whole site, and probably the most rewarding single page I’ve ever designed. Shame it took a whole week…!
|14th July 2013
||Finally got the careyblyton.co.uk nameservers updated to point to the new site. Now, careyblyton.co.uk and careyblyton.com are synonymous at last.
|1st July 2013
It’s been a long time in the making, but I’m pretty happy with it overall, and it’s both comprehensive and authoritative (especially the Catalogue). Unfortunately the site has had to be launched with a couple of pages still not complete: the Timeline and Family pages in the Carey section. I just didn’t have time to get those finished before (a) the second half of the year starts and (b) I go off to the Lakes for a three-day break. They will be completed as soon as I get back. Other than that, the site is finished, ready and looking pretty good, I think. However, there’s still a lot more to do in the near future, notably:
Initially we’re launching on the new domain of careyblyton.com, as there’s a problem in transferring the existing .co.uk address, but hopefully it should be possible to resolve that in the near future. Anyway, we now have what I hope is a solid and extensible basis for an attractive and expanding site, so it should be fun to see how it grows.
- Add reviews and review quotations into the database and tie them into the catalogue. I haven’t done any of this yet; it shouldn’t be especially difficult, but typing everything up will probably be very tedious.
- Make the site adapt itself for small screens and mobile browsing.
- Add lots more stuff. There are apparently many other things (including videos) that it will be possible to add, so the work will be ongoing for a while yet.