Blackpool LUG a brief history 2004 – 2015

Blackpool LUG (Linux User Group) was founded in 2004.
First a few comments from some of our regular visitors. 
Then a couple of items from each year taken from the mailing list here:-

Lug really is for All!

My 1st Lug meeting (January 2013) was full of intrepidation.  I had my 1st Linux issue & it seemed that Lug was the only place to sort it.
But I was an “OLD WOMAN” with little/no computer knowledge and Lug at that time was populated only by males of various ages – bright young things old enough to be my kids or grandkids…

Now I’m even older & I’ve enjoyed lots of Lug meetings in a friendly, fun way where I was made to feel immediately welcome and comfortable. I’ve acquired some more computer knowledge along the way and, in turn, been able to help others outside of LUG with their Computers.

Thank You so much to Mike Hewitt of Blackpool Makerspace and all the Lug members there for radically improving the computer part of my life. Your expertise, and your generosity in sharing it, has been stunning. 


At my first LUG meeting in February 2010, I spent the entire session talking to Tony about Linux, tech and general geeky subjects. Tony became a great friend from that point on, as have you all. We all bring a certain something to the group dynamic that makes Blackpool LUG and now our Makerspace unique.

Thank you Mr Pounder for those kind words, actually my memory is of myself and Mike sitting there with one, (or both) of the Dave’s and Colin each week trying to work out how we could breathe life into the LUG. It seems a long time ago when five of us was a big meeting. But when Les joined us and then Donald and Jon, things started to shift up a gear.

But sitting at the meeting 2 weeks ago discussing the new venue and moving into our next phase as a makerspace and LUG shows how far we have come over the last few years. The focus now seems to be how we can as a group support the
young people of Blackpool to learn what we do and how they can get involved. The screaming penguins of Blackpool have much to do as we move forward.

For the uninitiated the Screaming penguins are the roving LUG/Makerspace members that help at Linux and technology related events both in blackpool and around the North West. We have helped to run Raspberry pi events, barcamps and Linux related events since 2010.

Now with the move to becoming a makerspace much more geekery awaits.

RIP Rippon Road, Long live Blackpool LUG/Makerspace



I vaguely remember my first visit to the LUG (as it was then)… It was a 
bright, sunny summer’s morning outside. I opened the door, sunlight streamed in and everyone inside turned to look at me (like they do in Westerns?).

Mike and Les said hello and  asked who I was and where I was from. “I’m James and, err, I’m from the Internet*” was my reply.
I think 
they were expecting something more specific; it felt like the Spanish Inquisition!

I think I might have ended up coming along because I saw Jon was doing some Python sessions, which I thought would be nice to try out.

And that’s my memory of my first visit to Ripon Road.

*May not be exactly what I said.

Best wishes,

I’d haven’t been coming that long, I’ve always appreciated the friendly space for a chat.  I have had a bad time in the last 12 months and it’s been a help.

I have great memories of ridiculous rants at the space, but what will always stay with me have been the times away from the group when I’ve caught myself being a little more adventurous trying new things.

I am semi proficient in Python now (I always said it was the future)

If I have some new micro controller peripheral to play with, I reach over my PIC chips for an Arduino now.

I type things into a command line that begin with ‘sudo’ without grumbling any more.

and last week I put water inside a PC, which is just plain daft and would not have happened under any circumstances before I met you guys and learned to give more things a go.



this is what the first ever post to the mailing list said:-   Woop
Christopher Ganderton 70810 at

Fri Jan 23 13:07:51 GMT 2004

So is there actually anyone subscribed to this list or

Linux user 338000 !!

I feel so unique 🙂
No meetings were organised in 2004. The following 
blog post summarises 2004 from the mailing list posts.

Only two posts to the mailing list in 2005, nothing in 2006, one test message in 2007, and one request for a meeting in 2008. The computer suit had been available for four years, but still no meetings had been organised, the “build it and they will come” principle had failed.
I decided to try a different approach. 
I would open for a meeting every Saturday, even if I was the only person going!
This technique worked, and by the third quarter of 2009, we had three people starting to attend, Dave, Tony, and Colin. 
Tony (Hughes) is still attending and is currently our longest standing member. (After you Mike)
The first meeting happened on the 2nd May 2009, and this is what we (I) did:
We played with (demonstrated) 3 live 
Distros, Mint, PC LOS, and Puppy.
These distros can be used without havingto install anything. Just put the
disk in the drive and reboot.
Once you have finished playing, 
reboot without the disk and its gone.

We also used the PCLOS disk to make a system that dual booted Win XP and
This gives you the option to choose

either XP or PCLOS as the machine is

Lastly, Puppy Linux was installed to a

USB stick and made bootable.
This system lets you use Puppy linux on any machine capable of booting from
USB and it will not affect anything
installed on that machine.


By the first quarter of 2010, things 
were really rolling, and multiple new 
names can be seen on the mailing list, 
including our next longest standing 
member, Mr. Les (Raspberry Pi)Pounder.
2010, We get a new site logo, an article in Linux Format magazine, and Jon at RossLUG/ELLUG  gives us an invite to their first meeting at the Woolpack.
2011, The Famous Blackpool LUG banner appears along with our android game (angry beaks) with tux defending his fish dinner from the Blackpool seagulls.
2012, The mythbuntu project, Electronic wallboard project, first mention of the Makerspace, multiple mentions of Raspberry pi and Arduino. 
2013, Ripon Road gets Arduino project which automatically sends a tweet of time and temperature when we are open (light sensor)  
We are transitioning to a Makerspace, 
Jon leaves for New Zealand
2014, Notice is given by the landlords that Ripon road (the LUG base) will be sold. 
Mike Hull offers to take over the role of host at his hotel on Tyldesley road. 
We have been donated a (non working) 3D printer
We held our first midweek evening meeting.
2015, Ripon road is sold.
Mike Hull Takes over hosting the LUG/Makerspace
Renovations start in the basement (at Tyledsley road) which will  eventually become our new space.
Watch this space!

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