The Web Orchard Donates Website to Flaxmill Maltings

The web development arm of Shrewsbury based IT firm Information Solutions Limited has donated a new website to the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings. The site showcases latest news and media from the Friends as well as its background and history.

Built using the Drupal 7 content management system the Friends have the ability to manage all the content and media on the site through the web browser. The new site stands them on a much stronger foundation for the future and will help in their fund raising and project promotion efforts.

There have been a number of sets backs in the buildings construction work since Christmas however the Friends are still pushing forward and are hopeful that with English Heritage taking charge that the work will commence soon.

Managing Director of Information Solutions Limited, Nathan Bensley-Edwards commented “We’re keen to support local groups and the Flaxmill Maltings project has an especially strong cultural significance to the town. We have close ties with the area with our office only being a short walk away and a number of employees living close to the development.”

Formed in August 2010, the Friends aim to promote the conservation, preservation and restoration of the buildings known as the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Information Solutions paired with their web consultancy, The Web Orchard, offer world class technology solutions from their offices in Shrewsbury, UK. In 2012 & 2013 the company was awarded a ‘Mayor of Shrewsbury’ award for their outstanding contribution to the community.

The website of the Friends can be viewed at

For more about The Web Orchard either email or call 01743 343411.

Gaming in English culture

Gaming has always had an up and down reputation in Britain and has gone through favour and censure depending on the time, the societal pressures and the economic situation. Sometime during the middle of the 19th century, betting shops were made illegal and the only gaming to happen would be underground and, therefore, dodgy for many reasons for the next 100 years. 

Illegal betting shops continued, of course, and there was basically a ‘look the other way’ policy going on as there is no way the authorities didn’t know about the huge underground betting market that was going on under their noses. As the government has raised betting taxes and internet gambling for sports and casinos has taken off in a big way, high street shops have definitely declined. There are around 8,000 on our high streets today, and many customers still prefer to visit the shops and watch the sports or racing while they’re there.

However, far more now bet online. There is easy access to online gaming, online betting and any kind of casino game or sports betting you can think of from myriad providers online, one of the most successful of which is

Other factors including the introduction of the National Lottery, scratch cards and all of the opportunities they provide to win money for customers, along with the ease of using them, has also contributed to the decline of high street betting shops.

With gambling legislation under near constant review, it’s likely that both online betting and high street betting will continue to work together, enabling as many people as possible to enjoy their hobby..

Smarter Web Development

Over the past year we’ve significantly changed the way we develop Drupal websites, we’re using newer technologies and more efficient workflows to ultimately achieve better quality websites. Our web team has gone from strength to strength growing to five people plus outside contractors, agencies and partners.


In February 2013 I attended Drupal Camp London, it was my first Drupal specific web conference and it was fascinating to see how other companies managed similar Drupal workflows as to what we did. One common denominator was the use of Drush, the Drupal command line tool.

Since then we completely changed our setup from developing on shared hosting accounts to developing on our own internal Linux virtual machine. We wrote scripts for setting up development areas using Drush to install Drupal, a base theme and common modules we used. Once the site was then ready to go live we had further scripts for uploading the files and database to whatever hosting the customer wanted to use.

Drush has the added benefits of being able to update modules, it meant that we could quickly and easily test updates before making them live. 

The overall result is that we could very quickly create development areas with up to date modules and any other common assets we use. 

Trello & Basecamp

Project management tools have become essential as we’ve grown and worked closer with external agencies. With services such as OpenAtrium, Trello and Basecamp we can setup projects and assign tasks and tickets between each other. With email you can quickly get into a mess with hundreds of emails but with a project management tool its easy to stay on top of the job.

Creative Cloud

One common theme for a lot of the other web companies I’ve spoken to recently is the uptake of Adobe Creative Cloud. I’ve always been against renting software in this way however I seemed to be in the minority so we finally decided to sign up. It’s a jump I’m glad we made, having access to the same software that our partners use has a lot of advantages and the new tools its introduced us to has helped enhance our workflow further.


We’ve played with a lot CSS extensions over the past year and finally decided on using LESS. The tools fit in well with our Linux development server and our Drupal workflow.

YAML & Twig

Two of the big changes in Drupal 8 have been making their way into some of our other projects. We’ve been writing custom applications by writing configuration files in YAML and theme files in Twig. It’s given us a great head start for when we start developing Drupal 8 based sites later in the year.


We’re already putting our enhanced skills to work on a number of projects in 2014. If you’re interested in a website from The Web Orchard or working with us then email or call 01743 343411

Casinos in Shropshire

Shropshire's gaming schene is under served compared to other local towns and cities with Birmingham being the closest casino city with a Broadway, Genting and Grosvenor casinos.

For gamers in the area there are no shortages of betting shops from the major providers. The town is also well served by the Bingo Hall on castle gates, the club offers parking, a cash machine, slot machines, a bar, a diner and is disabled friendly.

For the residents of Shrewsbury the convenient option is to play through sites such as, this gives players the most options with games including poker, roulette and blackjack.

Online casinos are becoming ever more convenient with the increasing rise of the internet. Getting the best odds and playing a wide range of casino games is at the finger tips of millions of people.

Betting ‘in play’ (the ability to gamble whilst an event is in progress, such as a football game or Formula 1 race) brings a whole new level of excitement to an event.

People can be sitting at their sofa or even at the event betting on their phone. It’s estimated that almost a third of all online bets are placed in play, many through smart phones and websites.

Easy Online Money Making Methods

We've covered many different online money making methods in the past from cash back websites, peer to peer lending sites to online bingo sites. Today i'm looking at the rise of online casinos and the types of games that are available.


There are many variations of Poker with the most popular being Texas Holdem, the game involves betting and individual play, whereby the winner is determined by the ranks and combinations of their cards, some of which remain hidden until the end of the game. The betting procedures vary among different poker games in such ways as betting limits and splitting the pot between a high hand and a low hand.


Blackjack is the most widely played casino game in the world. The aim of the game is simple, to get as close to 21 as possible, preferably with your first two cards. The player can count the ace as either 1 or 11.


In roulette, players place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. The wheel is spun the ball lands in one of the 37 coloured pockets. The players that have the bet that matches where the ball has landed are the winners. There are many sites that allow you to play roulette and an online casino isn't complete without the game.


Slots are casino gambling machine's with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed. By matching pictues on the reels the player can win varying amounts. 

Internet Connected Fridge

At the ShropGeek Rebellion on Thursday, during Syd Lawrence's talk, the issue of the internet connected fridge came up - I vowed to solve it and have!  

Well I've got the raspberry Pi in the fridge and a looped bash script using text to speech to say "are you sure you want to eat that today" but either way its a good start.

Oh its not yet connected to the internet either but who's really counting all the issues with this.

View the video on Instagram: 

Above & Beyond Acoustic

Some great acoustic Above & Beyond songs (from their upcomming acoustic album)

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