At the beginning of 2013, User:WormThatTurned applied for a Wikimedia UK microgrant for resources to improve a host of articles related to the Cornish coast. One of those articles, about Doom Bar, is now a Featured Article on Wikipedia and one the best on the encyclopaedia. He wrote this piece about his grant application last year.
One afternoon in February 2009, I was sitting in a pub with some friends and drinking Doom Bar, a beer I had started drinking ten years earlier because I found the name amusing. I’d been editing Wikipedia for a little while, but nothing big. Idly, I glanced at the back of the beer mat, which said “Where the River Camel meets the Atlantic on Cornwall’s ocean scarred North Coast, a bank of sand, centuries old, known as the Doom Bar protects and calms this beautiful estuary. Legend links the birth of the Doom Bar to the final curse of a dying mermaid who had rejected a sailor’s love only to be shot with an arrow from the spurned sailor’s bow.” It was just the inspiration I needed, and I was writing the article within a week.
One book I found as I was taking the article to good status was Brian French’s ‘Wrecks & Rescues Around Padstow’s Doom Bar’, in the local library. There were also many smaller books on the topic. I gleaned some information from them, wrote it all up and forgot all about them. Fast forward three years and I got it into my head that I’d love to see Doom Bar as a featured article. As part of this, I wanted to go back over French’s book, but struggled getting hold of it as it was out of print and produced by a local publisher at the other end of the country.
I thought I’d give a microgrant a go, to see if it was something that WMUK could help out with. The process was simple, just a few questions which I could answer without hesitation and a link to the book I was after on Amazon. It was approved before the day was over and after a quick email to the office, I received the book.
It’s helped me immensely, reminding me how interesting the topic is and how much information there is out there on paper. I’ve always found it difficult to come back to an article once my passion has waned, so I really appreciate the boost that WMUK has given to me.