Bytemark party: big hoopla

Thank you thank you everyone who made our 10th birthday fabulous. Peter and I are bowled over by the support that our customers, family, friends and staff showed us. It wasn’t just the travelling from hundreds of miles away to celebrate with us, but also a few lovely cards and gifts that were completely unnecessary, but delicious.

I had asked for a carnival, and we got one. There was furious competition on our Addams Family & Funhouse pinball machines. We cleared the hoopla stall out of prizes. The Scalextric got a little … competitive.

With only mild apologies to Johann Sebastian Joust , our shameless Raspberry-Pi-based clone “Jostle” proved that you just can’t beat the simple fun of shoving people with lit up sticks.

Our latest hosting product, BigV was on display, in the classiest and most timeless cybercafe that we could muster, thanks to the Jim Austin Computer Collection. Of course we showed it off with a game too; someone created a VM on our “party” hosting account and installed Nethack on a remote BigV system, and that’s how it stayed all night.

Ben Beattie’s Jazz Essentials pitched their entrance and played the evening out masterfully, including a not-unnoticed tribute to Sexy Sax Man.

Poppy Caterers did us a huge, delicious hog roast and salads, hosted at the beautiful Merchant Adventurers Hall. The Sugar Monkey Cake Co built our 60cm tall helter-skelter cake. I loved the stilt walker and Martin the coin-bending magician that had everyone talking. Ben Duong from the North Marketing Agency organised the whole thing, and is brilliant and you should hire him for your next party so that you can enjoy it rather than stressing. The lavish photos are by Nynke Wierda who also does a fine line in pets. I love pet photos.

I got tongue-tied when it came to public speaking, and slightly failed to announce the imminent purchase of our new data centre and fancy office. It’s not as if anyone wanted bumming out with a corporate message though, surely, and I think the announcement needs a bit more refinement than I was able to give it. But it’s happening, definitely, and I’m writing up an announcement pretty much now. Here we are, stunned and grateful at our surprise gifts from our lovely staff – the traditional gift combination of ukulele and whisky:

That there is my “buoyant” face. I don’t know what Peter is thinking. Thank you to everyone that helped us get this far. Now let’s get back to that corporate message, continuing to fix  the UK’s hosting. and at least another 10 years.

xxxxx Matthew Bloch & Peter Taphouse.