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UKHippy.com 2005-2020

After fifteen years online, UKHippy.com has closed its doors for the last time.

First of all, thank you so much for all the kind words — I’ve been reading the messages, but not had time to respond to anything. I do, however, appreciate all the love you’ve sent me. ❤

Anyway…

At our peak from around 2008-2013 we had millions of hits, thousands of visitors, hundreds of people logging in regularly, and an abundance of posts and topics on just about every subject imaginable¬† — we had a community. Connections and relationships were formed; people used us as an important resource to enhance their lives — and I personally am grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of that.

However, in the last few years, with the rise of social media and smart phones, things slowed down significantly, and in recent months, activity declined to fewer than twenty logged in users a day, and only a handful of posts.

This was not only financially unsustainable, it just wasn’t serving a worthwhile purpose — the hours of maintenance needed to keep it up to date and thriving was proving to be a little too much.

We served our purpose for the time we were needed, but the way people use the Internet has changed, and as such we need to move on

A little website history

Way back in the autumn of 2005, a few of us were hanging out on a larger, more nebulous forum based in the USA — and in our discussions we explored the idea of a place that was focused more on the UK ‘scene’, with its rich history of festivals, pagan tradition, new age travellers and so on — the word ‘hippy’ in the UK invoked a slightly different feeling to the word ‘hippie’ in the USA — we had Hawkwind and Stonehenge, they had Burning Man and The Grateful Dead. We were related, but we were different. 😎

In typical hippy style, we lunched out and did nothing — until one weekend there was a ‘falling out’ with the admin (apparently, but I wasn’t there) and we decided it was time to act! I chatted with another member and together we decided on the name — I would do most of the techie stuff, he would manage the community, and as a result of that I created the entire platform in a handful of days before we went live.

As it transpired, I ended up helping to manage the community more than I expected — which worked well for a number of years — but since about 2014 I did pretty much everything on my own, with the help of some moderators who had always been with us — the last of who vanished mysteriously in about 2017 (I still have no idea what happened to him).

From then it was just me, plodding on behind the scenes, experimenting with ways to make this website work. In that time I tried changing the software, rebranding the site for a while, making social media connections and so on — but largely to no avail.

Community

However, that’s just the background history — the real story is about the members, and there have been so many of you it’s difficult to summarise 15 years in a few short paragraphs — I’m sure everyone who was a part of this has their own story to tell.

From the relationships that formed, to the many gatherings and meetups, from the Travelling Scrapbook to the rebellions and break away sites — there are plenty of tales that will survive long after this website, and I believe those stories are still being made.

Wherever you go next, whoever you are, I wish you all well – and I extend that to anyone I’ve fallen out with too; as I said elsewhere, I didn’t always get it right and I didn’t always keep everyone happy, but for me it’s time to move on.

The future

The database and all usernames and contact details have been deleted — they were taking up too much space and, because many of the threads are irrelevant to today’s world, there was no point in keeping the vast majority of content.

The domain name will eventually expire — I’m not going to pass the site over to anyone else to manage, because I’ve put so much of my personality into it that I don’t want to see it become something I never intended. To be honest, the backend was a bit of a mess; it needed updating and was bloated and cluttered with redundant code, so God help anyone who would consider taking it over anyway!

Finally

I personally may start another project at some point in the future, and if you wish to be informed of that then please add your email to the mailing list below — I will only send mail related to either this or a new website. I don’t exactly know what I’ll do, and it may not have anything to do with hippies – we shall see.

Unfortunately I have had to remove the ‘contact me’ form as I was getting bombed with spam — but if you know me then you’ll be able to find me pretty easily. However, if you wish to buy me a coffee instead, then please click here because I’m bloody knackered and boy do I need one! 😁

That’s all folks — and remember, in the words of the great Bill Hicks “It’s all just a ride”. ✌🌻☮☯

Paul

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P.S. This has nothing to do with me, but some former members are meeting up on this free platform.

Also, Hipforums, where it all started (and all the originals got banned) is still running — you can find the UK section by clicking here.