Our webcams have gone live

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INTERNET browsers have been given a welcome to Garstang, courtesy of the town’s first webcams.

Browsers worldwide can now get a live view of Garstang High Street thanks to the Chamber of Trade and the garstanglink organisation.

The first of two of several web cameras were sited on a first floor window above Carrs Jewellers last week and are now in operation, showing lives webcam shots of the High Street worldwide via the website garstang.net.

The traders’ group and garstanglink thought it was important to include live scenes of Garstang in addition to the photos of the town already on the website.

The two webcams were fixed by Les Woodland, of Bristol-based Camsecure, watched by community campaigners Lynn Harter and Damian Carr. They show live scenes looking north and south along High Street. Mrs Harter, an organiser of garstanglink, said: “I was going to try to install them at Carrs myself with telephone assistance from Les, but I felt with my limited knowledge it may have taken some time and I didn’t want to fuse the High Street!”

Financial sponsorship for the weatherproof webcams has come from Visit Wyre/Wyre tourism department. Garstang Chamber of Trade and Carrs have contributed to the installation cost of the cameras on Carrs premises.

Two more webcams are planned in the near future – one at Booths, which will focus on Cherestanc Square and will be paid for by the store company and fixed by its IT department, the other at the canal basin near Th’owed Tithebarn.

The total cost of the cameras and fittings will be around £750

Mrs Harter stressed that the cameras were to boost Garstang’s image as a tourist destination and not for security purposes.

She said: “Images are not stored in any form and the cameras cannot zoom in on any individual or car number plate.”

The cameras are technically owned by Mrs Harter who helped set up the garstanglink group recently to bring together town organisations.

Mrs Harter said being able to show Garstang off to the world was particularly important this year because of Garstang’s entry in the International Bloom/eco competition.

She said: “We can now focus on our important, wonderful festivals, our flower competitions, our market days, our Town Crier competition in Cherestanc Square in August.

“As the webcams are infra red, the Victorian festival and the Lights switch-on will also be able to be seen. It will be nice for relatives of local people as well as ‘ex-pats’ to see the town in this way.

“At the moment two webcams share one link and you can only see one live view at a time, and I am quite aware that when a lot of people are looking the picture ‘jumps’ rather rapidly from north to south. This will be addressed shortly, when two images will be transmitted independently and both will be seen as live images.”

And she said: “Occasional cleaning away of spiders’ webs will be my responsibility!”

l Mrs Harter thanked Garstang Chamber of Trade, Easy-Web-Sites and Camsecure for their help with the project.