Thank you Taylor, Martin D and Belinda, it is indeed ten years today (May 24th) since the HWI website was launched. We have the founders Simon Smalley and Keith Sheel to thank for that, but sadly neither of them lived to celebrate with us today. We shall always be in their debt.
Belinda, it is good to hear from you again - I hope you will visit us more often! For those who aren't aware of it, Belinda was the original Hayley fan, from Christchurch, and she pre-dates us all: website, forum, the lot!
If anyone wishes to know more about the history of HWI, all is revealed on our "About" page which can be found here:
May I thank my co-Admin Joe, Senior Moderator Richard, all our other staff both now and over the last ten years for their support, and most importantly of all, all you forum members who continue to keep the forum and indirectly the website going; without you there would be no HWI to continue our ten 10 years of support for "our" Hayley... and counting!
Finally, I thought it would be interesting to post the earliest HWI web pages that I can find, so check out my next post!
Here is HWI as it once was... I found the following splash page on the Wayback Machine website, which seems to be from the launch date itself ("last update 23 May 2003", it says). Below it, there's a front page from some time later that year, which I found in the archive, it was continuously updated until the end of that year. Here they are!
Well, I joined HWI in July 2006 after meeting Thomas and Peter (Postscript) at Toast New Zealand in Regent's Park a couple of days earlier. It was my 4th concert but the first time I had the opportunity to have my photograph taken with Hayley.
Logging on in the early days wasn't easy for me as I was still on 'dial-up' and Hayley/HWI was ultimately the reason I got broadband. Since then, I doubt a day at home has passed without me logging on to the forum at least once and quite honestly, I would be lost without it now! The days after Roger left were very worrying times and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dave for stepping up and taking over and also to the other staff members who kept things going during that difficult time.
Some time ago, I worked out that I had actually met, in person, around 60/70 members, past and present, from around the world, many of whom I now consider to be close personal friends and I thank them for their friendship over the years.
and finally .....
Thank YOU Hayley for just being you. You will always have my love and respect.
Congratulations HWI! Must say, I've been to so many forums but this has to be one of the most modest and well run ones. Thanks to the amazing staff ofcourse and the wonderful people who are in it! HWI most certainly helped me become a better fan to what I am right now, a fan for life. Even in my busiest days I don't fail to check a few topics here, so thank you! It feels amazing to be a part of this community.