Digital Parish Project

The Digital Parish Mesh went live on 4th March 2003
Broad Band link to the centre of the Village of Hayfield was installed on the 25th April 2003
Digital Parish Broad Band service went public at
11am 29th April 2003

Updated 12th July 2012
We are now in our 10th year of providing a service to the community.

As Optical Fiber broad band is likley to be availabe in the Village this year enabling everyone to access the outside world via the internet;
that aspect of our objectives will have been achieved.
We wil be migrating members over to that service as it becomes available (should it prove reliable) freeing us to concentrate more on local content generation and services.

Mesh AP nodes are active at :

Church St, Top O' Town, Old Co-op, Chapel St, New Mills Rd, Wood Lane, Chendre,
Market St, Vicarage Lane, High St, Kinder Rd, Ridgetop, Glossop Rd,
Valley Rd, Higher Heys and Highgate Head.

You can now use your iTouch, Smart Phone, iPad or Laptop on the community Mesh whist enjoying a walk round the Old School Field or in many other locations around the Parish.


Copyright © Phil Gee

New Mesh AP's are to be installed on the new Low Energy Lighting units going into the Memorial Square refurbishment, to improve coverage in the center of the Village.
These Mesh AP's will offer ticketed access to visitors as well as full access to members.



Archive Material

On the 22nd January 2003 at the Vital Villages, Parish Plan meeting, considerable interest was shown in getting Broadband into the Parish.
So the existing group of enthusiasts who had been meeting on a regular basis at the Bulls Head Inn investigating the possibility of getting Broad Band and encouraging people to contact their MP etc. formed the basis of a topic group and a meeting called for the following week

At this open meeting it was agreed that we should investigate the feasibility of implementing a broadband service into the village without delay by

1. encouraging people to register an expression of interest with BT.

However due to the distance from the exchange it was unlikely that residents of Hayfield would be able to receive the service, so we also

2a Investigate methods of providing our own service we had been in touch with LocustWorld (24thJan) regarding their Mesh AP system
2b and to enquire what if any grant aid was available as EMDA had been allocated funds for Broadband development

Meeting 11th Feb. 2003

After report from Phil Gee It was agreed to form the Digital Parish Project group


1. request a Demonstration of the latest Mesh technology
2.Encourage people to apply for a RABBIT grant.

Digital Parish Project
"Always Available Low cost BroadBand + Community Broadband Network"
"Easy to access just turn your machine on press a button or click an Icon and you are in"

To get the system up and running asap we doing it in two phases
Phase one
Business BroadBand Users, as grants are available now! and we can debug the system with less but more predictable user demand
Phase two
Community BroadBand


We have a functioning group!, well in fact four sub groups to 'fast track' progress

1. Marketing team producing Flyer / news letter /publicity

2. Tech' group of Software engineers checking out system LAN side etc

3. Wireless distribution group - Location of Nodes for best local coverage genning up on Antennas Field Testing etc....

4 Grant aid group / Admin

As this is a Community Project we need to start to create a list/database of volunteers that would be willing to help local community members

1. "Installers" set-up equipment, antenna's, support, etc.
2. "Trainers" or should I say 'Facilitators' to help average person with no knowledge of internet etc to get onto the system and ensure the system is user friendly.
3. Administrators / Maintenance of system when up and running

Please E-mail your name, location & area of interest

Tuesday the 4th March

A demonstration of the Mesh Box Access Points (AP) by Locust World worked and signals could be received at St Matthews Church Hall from a unit inside the Tiffany room at the Bulls Head with little attenuation.

Phil Gee placed an order for three Mesh Boxes to get us started, which arrived later that week
The first batch of roof mount Antenna arrived and the main node was erected on the Bulls Head chimney by Nick and Barry. A computer was set up to give internet connection sharing and was connected via ethernet to the Mesh AP so testing could now start.

Our MP Tom Levitt attended a Parish Plan 'Drop in Session' on the 15th March and was able to see for himself how well the link to the Church Hall worked
Field testing was progressing well

We just needed to find a suitable form of broadband backhaul, Satellite appeared the most economic but there were concerns over its suitability however there was to be a demonstration unit at the Harrogate Hardcore Wireless event on the 20th March which Phil was able to attend.

23rd March - meeting after considering various options it was decided to use
a 2 Mb Satellite system to get us started and the owners of the Bulls Head had offered remove a redundant Satellite dish to accommodate the BB link, Phil Gee agreed to act as guarantor for the contract until we had funds to cover the cost.

26th March we were able to 'surf' the web from the Picnic area at end of Sett Valley trail via wireless link from Laptop to base station in the Bulls Head connected to WWW. Emails were sent to members.

On Tuesday 15th April we were able to surf the web from Highgate Head Farm. Did the heifers who were inquisitively nuzzling us the back know the 'Bull' was only a click away?

Wednesday 16th April - Broad Band for Business Conference in Buxton hosted by Derbyshire Chamber of Trade , Barry and Phil were able to attend and present proposals to the Managers of EMDA and RABBIT scheme

Saturday 26th April 'Drop In' session we were able to surf the web using our Broad Band connection after ironing out a few glitches the service went on line at 11am on the 29th

On the 15th May BT enabled the New Mills Exchange but residents of Hayfield are still too far to receive BT's ADSL 'broad band' via their phone line but now they have an alternative.

Thank you to all who managed to make the meetings and to those who sent in apologies and letters of support and to everyone who has worked so hard to get this project off the ground in particular
Mike, Sara, Carl, Paul, John, Elliott, Nick, Barry, Richard, Gareth, Phil G.

Thank you Melanie for the use of the room at the Bulls Head and the Coffee

Now the adventure can start!

Hayfield May 2003