Today we are honoured to have a guest post from Ray Turner, famous blogger and Citizen Journalist with an online identity as TGR Worzel.
Ray is also known for his informative writing for the distinguished Eastleigh News, which celebrated its fourth anniversary in December 2013.
In this guest post, Ray Turner shares with us:
- Why you should also write a blog.
- Eastleigh by-election 2013.
- The brilliant Eastleigh News.
- The upcoming by-election for Wildern ward of Hedge End town Council.
Ray Turner’s blogs are:
Let’s enjoy this special Guest Post by Ray Turner:
Why you should also write a blog
As a Blogger myself, I like to encourage others to join in the fun and start blogging. It is much more than a creative hobby. If these powerful tools are used correctly, as Janet Williams is doing here on Eastleighnet (update: the site is now called Chandler’s Ford Today), it can be of real benefit to the local community. If taken further, it can benefit the whole of the UK. Potentially the whole world. That’s what motivates me to continue.
I started The Complete Works of TGR Worzel in the summer of 2007, and my writing activities have subsequently taken me in directions that I never previously thought possible.
I started by commenting on the BBC and Channel 4 News blogs. Whilst doing that, I noticed that a blog was a very good way of getting a message to the whole world and I soon decided that I wanted one of my own. I stumbled across the Blogger platform, a free blogging tool that is provided by Google, wrote my first post and was hooked.
I have subsequently found that blogging helps to get things of my chest, quite literally actually as writing things down and putting them in the public domain releases the stress that would otherwise build up inside me. Blogging may very well have saved this 53 year old bloke from a premature heart-attack.
Mind you, blogging has sometimes added to my stress. It is a double-edged weapon and can sometimes turn round and bite you.
For instance, as a result of my blogging activities, I found myself being interviewed on Channel 4 News. That was quite a nerve-wracking experience…!
Eastleigh by-election 2013
And during the Eastleigh By-Election 2013, I found myself interviewing William Hague, for Eastleigh News. That was nerve-wracking too, and didn’t go to well if I’m honest, but I only had the chance to do so because I had progressed from my own private blogs and had started contributing to Eastleigh News, as a Citizen Journalist.
Founded by Stephen Slominski in 2009, Eastleigh News is an online local news website that covers the whole of the Borough of Eastleigh. It is a big area, and includes Chandler’s Ford. If you haven’t already discovered Eastleigh News, do please check us out.
Stephen had been following my blogging activities for a while and when this story broke, he offered me the post of “Hedge End Correspondent”. I declined at first, very uncomfortable with the idea of mixing Citizen Journalism and political campaigning (it remains a dilemma), but I eventually had my arm twisted. It was the Borough Council’s ridiculous new Local Plan that tempted me to break cover and write my first story.
Since then, I have become a regular contributor to Eastleigh News, as well as continuing to run my own portfolio of blogs. Blogging is now growing into a full-time occupation, though sadly not very well paid. The only income is from the occasional click on one of the ads on my blogs.
The other big thing that contributing to Eastleigh News has allowed me to do, is participate in election night counts. For me, meeting Alan Howling Laud Hope, the Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, was unforgettable.
And that nicely leads me to my final thought about blogging. Because my ‘TGR Worzel’ persona is a somewhat ‘grumpy’ Meldrew-esque character, that naturally attracted comments along the lines of “If you’re not satisfied, why not put yourself forward, stand for election and do something about it”.
The upcoming by-election for Wildern ward of Hedge End town Council
That’s a perfectly fair point, so I stood for election to Hedge End Town Council in 2012, as an Independent in the Shamblehurst ward (finishing third, beating UKIP) and I am currently in the middle of another by-election campaign. This time to the Wildern ward of Hedge End town Council. Naturally, blogging as The Hedge End Independent is central to my campaign.
So if you like reading these blogs and want to have a go yourself, why not give it a go. It is incredibly easy to start your own blog and if you use a product like Blogger it is completely free. If you want to take it further and contribute to Chandler’s Ford Today and/or Eastleigh News, we would all be delighted to receive your contributions.
As I said, the Borough of Eastleigh is a big area.
And as the old Chinese proverb say…
Many hands make light work!
Who is Ray Turner?
Ray writes for Eastleigh News.
Ray has lived in Hedge End for 27 years, is obscurely related to the English Romantic artist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851) and is interested in current affairs and politics.
Ray previously stood as an Independent candidate in the 2012 by-election for the Shamblehurst ward of Hedge End Town Council, finishing third.
Ray is currently standing as an Independent candidate in the 2014 by-election for the Wildern ward of Hedge End Town Council. He hopes to finish two places higher…!
Source: Eastleigh News