User:Tony Holkham

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Tony Holkham
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Tony Holkham is a writer and writing tutor in the business and private sectors. He has published books, articles, poetry and short stories, and not published many others. Editing Wikipedia is a hobby, but one of the most interesting he has ever had. His interests are maritime, science, the countryside, local and family history and he mostly contributes to articles on places and topics (see below) he is familiar with.

Holkham lives in beautiful north Pembrokeshire, Wales and writes a regular blog [1] about it.



Places of interest[edit]

East Hampshire, south-west Surrey, south and west parts of West Sussex, north Devon and Pembrokeshire.

Topics of interest[edit]

Articles created[edit]

  1. Margaret Hutchinson (1904-1997) of Haslemere - writer, teacher and naturalist
  2. Beacon Hill (Hindhead, Surrey) - part of Hindhead, but has its own history and identity
  3. Haslemere Educational Museum - one of the best of its kind in the country
  4. Penrydd, a former parish in Pembrokeshire
  5. Independent lifeboats (British Isles)
  6. Llandissilio, a village in East Pembrokeshire
  7. B4329 road, a scenic route across the Preseli Hills
  8. Llantood, a parish and hamlet in North Pembrokeshire
  9. Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat Station, St Bride's Bay, Pembrokeshire
  10. St Mary Out Liberty, a community in Pembrokeshire
  11. Llys y Fran, a hamlet, reservoir and country park in Pembrokeshire
  12. Llanfihangel Penbedw, a parish in Pembrokeshire
  13. Capel Colman, a parish in Pembrokeshire

Hoping to create:

Sources[edit]

Since citations are an essential part of editing, here are some sources to generate reliable references -

  • Published works - Google Books and Amazon (using their "look inside" features), Internet Archive, university archives online
  • Published news - local and national news sites, archived newspapers online
  • Downloadable leaflets and pamphlets from (mainly) non-commercial sources, such as county and national authorities and institutions
  • Adapted references from Wikipedia articles on related subjects

What's good about Wikipedia[edit]

  • The pleasure of learning something new every day
  • The good-natured and supportive people
  • The almost infinite opportunities to contribute
  • The helpful and stimulating content

What's not so good about Wikipedia[edit]

  • Articles with references but no inline citations - how are you supposed to verify a statement?
  • Edits by unregistered users (with a few exceptions)
  • Vandalism - what's the point?
  • Too many stubs - where to start?

Barnstar![edit]

Wikiproject Wales Barnstar.png The Wales Barnstar
For taking the time and care to update articles of Welsh interest - particularly Pembrokeshire - to a high level. Diolch. Hogyn Lleol (talk) 21:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Peace Barnstar Hires.png The Barnstar of Diplomacy
Thanks for fixing the article at St Davids Lifeboat Station without rancor. Bearian (talk) 15:34, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Aiming for B (or higher)[edit]

This list is a useful reminder of the minimum (B-class) to aim for in creating articles -

  • 1.The article is suitably referenced, with inline citations where necessary. It has reliable sources, and any important or controversial material which is likely to be challenged is cited. The use of either ref> tags or citation templates such as cite web}} is required.
  • 2.The article reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain obvious omissions or inaccuracies. It contains a large proportion of the material necessary for an A-Class article, although some sections may need expansion, and some less important topics may be missing.
  • 3.The article has a defined structure. Content should be organized into groups of related material, including a lead section and all the sections that can reasonably be included in an article of its kind.
  • 4.The article is reasonably well-written. The prose contains no major grammatical errors and flows sensibly, but it certainly need not be "brilliant". The Manual of Style need not be followed rigorously.
  • 5.The article contains supporting materials where appropriate. Illustrations are encouraged, though not required. Diagrams and an infobox etc. should be included where they are relevant and useful to the content.
  • 6.The article presents its content in an appropriately understandable way. It is written with as broad an audience in mind as possible. Although Wikipedia is more than just a general encyclopedia, the article should not assume unnecessary technical background and technical terms should be explained or avoided where possible.

Style[edit]

Another list to try to follow... Grammar and layout checklist

  • The lead needs to adequately summarize the content of the article.
  • There should not be anything in the lead not mentioned in the rest of the article.
  • Only make wikilinks that are relevant to the context. Common words do not need wikilinking.
  • A word only needs to be wikilinked once within each section.
  • It is not recommended to specify the size of images. The sizes should be what readers have specified in their user preferences.
  • Text should not be sandwiched between two adjacent images.
  • All fair-use images need a fair use rationale.
  • Image captions should not end with a full-stop if the caption does not form a complete sentence.
  • Book references need the author, publisher, publishing date and page number.
  • Web references need the author, publisher, publishing date, access date, language (if not English) and format (if a PDF file).
  • Blogs and personal websites are not reliable sources.
  • Inline citations belong immediately after punctuation marks.
  • Each "notable resident" needs a reference.
  • Portal links belong in the "see also" section.
  • "Further info" links belong at the top of sections.
  • Include lists only if they cannot be made into prose or their own article.
  • Lists within prose should be avoided.
  • Unspaced en dashes are used for ranges. Unspaced em dashes or spaced en dashes are used for punctuation. The same applies to dashes in the footnotes. See WP:MOS#Dashes.
  • " " (non-breaking space) should be typed between numbers and units.
  • Imperial measurements should be accompanied by the metric equivalent in brackets, and vice versa. If possible, use a conversion template, eg. {{convert|5|mi|km|0}}.
  • Whole numbers under ten should be spelled out as words, except when in lists, tables or infoboxes.
  • Sentences should not start with a numeral. Either recast the sentence or spell the number out.
  • Usually, only the first word in a section heading needs a capital letter.
  • Short sections and paragraphs are discouraged.
  • The words "current", "recent" and "to date" should be avoided as they become outdated.
  • Ampersands should not be used, except when in a name, eg., Marks & Spencer.
  • Southeast is one word (and may or may not be hyphenated). This does not apply when it is the name of an area, eg. South East England.
  • In longer sentences, a comma may be needed before "and", "due to", "such as", "including", "as", "because" or "but".
  • "Past few years" has a different meaning to "last few years".
  • "Within" has a different meaning to "in".
  • Full-stops are needed after each initial in someone's name.
  • Hyphens should not be placed after words ending in ly, eg. widely-used phrase (except if the ly word could also describe the noun, eg. friendly-looking man)
  • Do not use contractions, such as "can't" and "they're".
  • "While" should only be used when emphasising that two events occur at the same time, or when emphasising contrast. It should not be used as an additive link.
  • Using "with" as an additive link can lead to wordy and awkward prose, eg. the town has ten councillors, with one being the district mayorthe town has ten councillors; one is the district mayor
  • Beginning a sentence with "there", when it does not stand for anything, leads to wordy prose, eg. There are ten houses in the villageThe village has ten houses. The same applies to "it".
  • Avoid weasel words, such as "it is believed that", "is widely regarded as", "some have claimed".
  • Avoid peacock terms, such as "beautiful", "famous", "popular", "well-known", "significant", "important" and "obvious".
  • Avoid informal words, such as "carry out" and "pub".
  • Avoid overly-formal or archaic words, such as "circa", "utilise", "whilst", "upon", "commence" and "prior".
  • Avoid wordy terms, such as "the majority of" and "a number of".
  • Avoid vague words, such as "various", "many", "several", "long" and "almost"
  • Avoid phrases with redundant words, such as "is located in", "the two are both", "they brought along", "they have plans to", "they were all part of", "the last ones to form", "both the towns", "outside of the town", "all of the towns", "received some donations", "still exists today", "it also includes others", "many different towns", "available records show" and "in the year 2007".

A Wikipedia article about me? Hmmm...[edit]

There was a time when I thought it would be "cool" to see a Wikipedia article about me. Having got to know Wikipedia a little better, I realised it was a double-edged sword; perhaps even a poisoned chalice. Sure, there's the chance to become more widely known as a professional and sell more books. On the other hand, do I want my private life splattered on one of the web's most widely-used sites without any control over the content?

No. My private and working lives have always been separate. While there is inevitably some spill between the two, I currently have control over what leaks in either direction, and I like it that way. I have had a life, and of course there have been positives and negatives in it - things of which I'm proud, and equally things about which I'm not. Everyone's life is like that.

But to have to constantly check whether what is said about me in this marvellous encyclopedia? To wonder whether it is balanced? To wonder whether it is fair? No again. What is important about Wikipedia, I think, is that it grows as a useful, unbiased and trusted non-commercial resource for writers like me to check established facts and glean ideas to use in my creative work. To have an article about me would be rather pointless, wouldn't it?

So I don't think it would be "cool" after all.

(I have, however, added brief biographical details below)

Hidden agenda[edit]

Having used Wikipedia a great deal for some years, and now contributing in a small way, I often see hints of hidden agenda in articles. The resource is edited by human beings and so it is very hard to keep personal views or bias out of it, as I have found when editing myself. We are most likely to create or edit articles on subjects we are familiar with, and care about, and some sort of stance is inevitable.

Should we avoid editing these topics because we may be biased? That would be self-defeating. Wikipedia needs experts. What it doesn't need, though, is anonymous (and often unsourced) editing, and it surprises me how much of this there is. I even wonder whether it should be restricted but, as a newcomer, that's not for me to judge. I am happy to contribute on the basis that some of my contributions may seem to be biased, but at least readers know who I am and where I stand, that I have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart, and any agenda I may show, intentionally or not, are in plain view.

Biography[edit]

Tony Holkham was born in a Nissen hut in Mitcham, Surrey in 1948. His parents had both been in the Royal Navy for the duration of World War 2. They moved house quite frequently and Holkham was educated at three different primary schools, then Godalming Grammar School and (for most of his secondary education) Churcher's College, Petersfield, Hampshire.

Holkham's father was a civil servant principally involved with aviation; his mother, having trained in librarianship and (until the war intervened) architecture, became what was quaintly known as a housewife, but she found time to do part-time secretarial work, garden, play the piano, write poetry and, latterly, keep a diary. Living in the country for most of his life, encouraged by family and school, Holkham developed a love of the natural world and the written word. After three years working for a bank, then 21 as a technical writer for ICI Agrochemicals, Holkham became a consultant in 1990 and, eventually, a full-time writer.

Published Works[edit]

  • Views from the Hills (3 volumes: 2011, 2012, 2013 and blog 2014)
  • Ernest Briggs & the Great War (4 volumes) - a 1928 illustrated battlefield tour, revisited
  • Beating the Big One - Alan Priddy's adventures in the North Atlantic and elsewhere
  • The Briggs Book - recipes, remedies & household hints from way back when
  • Money Management Made Easier - a practical handbook for ordinary people
  • Label Writing & Planning - a guide to good customer communication
  • Challenge - a round-Britain sailing relay organised by the Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Become a Writer
  • Abandoned Tales - short stories
  • Sonnets

All books are sold through Amazon as e-books and/or printed editions. Other published contributions include articles, reviews, stories and letters to a wide range of newspapers, magazines and radio.

Holkham keeps a large, free to download index here on the name Holcomb/Holcombe and its 100-odd spelling variants (including his own) that have occurred in England and Wales since 1066.