I’ve been taking a look at a major revamp of this site, a nice new template first to bring the look into the 20th century, as I’ll be the first to admit that it needs it, then to start adding lots of new information.

As part of the process I somehow found there are a few sites out there which send people over here, rarely to be fair, but the occasional person every now and then, so if you are reading this, thanks, it’s very much appreciated! The thing I don’t understand is quite why some of them would do this, a good example being a business directory specific to Wiltshire, OK I do live here, but I don’t remember mentioning it anywhere on the site and why would they have found and added me for free anyway?

I’m a bit confused as to quite how I got there though, I certainly didn’t add my details, and I’d be very surprised if anyone else did it on my behalf. Once I started looking into it I did find cases where people set up a brand new business directory and add listings them-self, just to get it started and I guess, so it doesn’t have lots of empty pages when people land on it. But to be fair, there are much bigger, more popular websites out there than this one and they are very much Wiltshire based too, things like Swindon Outlet Centre or the Stonehenge visitors centre, not to mention the tourist sites like visit wiltshire which are big and well used, so why add me?

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind at all of someone wants to add me to their listings and I do appreciate the additional site visitors. The site I’m talking about is the Wiltshire Local Directory which looks like quite a good one too. So this leaves me wondering if I should add my site to other directories, not necessarily in the local area but just general ones who do list all sorts of other sites, if every one I do adds a couple of new visitors every month and I continue to do it for the next few years that would accumulate to quite a lot of extra visitors.

I shall go away and do some research about what’s a good and bad one first though as I’d been told that adding to them is a bit of an old fashioned way to do things, but who cares, if it brings in more visitors it can only be a good thing.

Useful Books for a Law Degree

When considering a career in law or once enrolled as a law student at university, it is helpful to know what law books are recommended reading.  Indeed, there are many books published each year on various aspects and minutia relating to esoteric areas of law as it is practiced in the UK today.  Our intention with this article is to provide some ideas for a reading list for those people interested in undertaking a Law Degree.

Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J McBride

This first book, “Letters from a Law Student”, is intended for a law student but is also recommended for those people considering a future career in law.  The book initially takes the reader through the basics of what being a law student will involve.  It can help curious readers determine if they really want to become a practicing solicitor or barrister, or indeed if they wish to study law at all.

Having moved through this initial phase, the book moves on to review the specifics of what is involved in the study of law.  Issues that receive coverage include how to read cases and understand statutes, how to get the most out of a course of studies, and an early look at how a barrister makes a powerful argument in the courtroom.

What gets less attention but is still covered satisfactorily is how to score highly on the LNAT National Admissions Test for law students.  One reviewer did mention that whilst the LNATs have a chapter of their own in this book, a separate title just on this subject alone is recommended.  The book is highly rated by many customers at Amazon UK.

(LNAT) Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law by Mark Shepherd

As stated in the inside flap of this book, the study of law is more popular than ever and universities are struggling to pick students from a growing pool of suitable applicants.  To help better assess an applicant’s abilities, a national admissions test was devised that most major universities have now adopted.

This book by Mark Shepherd has been rated positively by law students who reviewed it at Amazon.  Reviewers mentioned that the author did a good job of letting them know what to expect from the examination process and test papers were included in the book to practice with.

A Dictionary of Law (Oxford Paperback Reference) by Elizabeth A. Martin and Jonathan Law

This best selling dictionary is in its 7th edition and is a classic reference book to look up the most common legal terminology in use today.  This latest edition, published in 2009, is updated to include new modern terms not in use previously.  In addition, recent changes to the law relating to the Companies Act and the Constitutional Reform Act are included in this new text.  This reference book is used by law students, but also by practising solicitors as well.

Contract Law (Palgrave Macmillan Law Masters) by Ewan McKendrick

This book is the primary text for the study of contract law, particularly for first and second year law degree students.  The 9th edition, published in 2011, updates the book for the latest changes in the relevant laws.  Where the book excels is in explaining contract law in an everyday manner that new students can find usable.  Concepts that often seem challenging to fully understand in a classroom setting are explained clearly.

This collection of law books are good for getting started as a law student, but also in understanding key legal concepts and the process of law.  Hopefully you will find the recommendations helpful.

Best Law Universities – Part 2

Fast Employment Guaranteed after Graduation?

This is the proof of the pudding in many respects – whether graduates were able to be placed with an employer quickly post graduation.  Surveys by the Independent on graduating students indicated that students from University College London had a near 100% employment success rating.  Oxford was right up there with over 99% in most cases.  Cambridge achieved a 98% employment rating.  London School of Economics also had a 98% success rate.  Nottingham was 94%.  The above results will vary from year to year and are not guaranteed, however clearly graduating from what is considered a top University for the study of law is an important factor to be considered for future employability.

Connecting All the Pieces Together

The final exams in the third year (or fourth year if one took a gap year break) are taken in rapid succession.  The exams take the results from each year into consideration, as well as test the knowledge gained from all the different areas of study covered in the modules taken over the previous three years.  This approach is used with law degrees because it helps students to see law as an integrated whole rather than only as unconnected disparate parts.

Any Surprises?

Several students noted during post graduation interviews that the law degree courses themselves were a considerable step up in difficulty from their A-Level studies previously.  Some felt that this was not fully realised by the faculty members who taught the classes.  It was not clear how the students would have liked the teaching approach to have been different if this factor had been taken more into consideration.  Law is said to be one of the hardest degrees to study. So if you want to be a professional solicitor, a no win no fee lawyer or any thing else in the legal profession, make sure you study hard and pass all qualifications.

Best Law Universities – Part 1

The Best Universities to Study for a Law Degree in the UK

The ranking for what is considered to be the best universities to study for a law degree depend on which ranking system you refer to.  Also, not all degrees are rated the same way or offer the same post-graduation benefits.

Differences between the LLB degree and the BA degree

Important differences exist between studying for an LLB (Bachelor of Arts) degree and a BA degree in Law.  The LLB entitles the graduate to skip part 1 and go straight to sitting Part 2 of the Bar or Law Society Qualifying Examinations after graduation.  The BA degree in Law does not permit this and does not usually qualify the graduate to sit for the Law Society Qualifying Exams, the kind of qualification a no win no fee solicitor or business related lawyer may hold.

Ranking Universities

The Independent newspaper publishes the “Independent’s Complete University Guide” in which they rank universities not just simply by a top 10 list, but also by splitting out the ranking for sub-categories like which university law courses were found to be best for teaching or best for research using the in-house student libraries.  The National Student Survey however has their own ranking system completely separate from that of the Independent newspaper’s guide.

Summarising from multiple ranking systems, the top 10 chart looks roughly like the list below.  A university ranking can move up or down one of two positions, but between several ranking systems the positions are “roughly right”.  The rankings are:

1.    Cambridge
2.    Oxford
3.    University College London
4.    London School of Economics
5.    Aberdeen
6.    Durham
7.    Nottingham
8.    Edinburgh
9.    King’s College London
10.    Manchester

Favourable mention also went to Leeds, Warwick and Glasgow Universities.

Stop Smoking, the Benefits

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Smoking is one of those habits that is so incredibly pleasurable to smokers.  That is one of the reasons why it is so hard to kick the habit.  All the comments made by non-smokers, and ex-smokers in particular, can be so incredibly unhelpful!  You are made to feel as if you should “just” stop.  Smoking is an incredibly difficult addiction to recover from and you really need strong will-power to achieve it.  Have a read of all the benefits below and hopefully it will increase your will-power and help you stop smoking.

Financial Benefits

Work it out! A pack of cigarettes costs around £6 now.  If you, like most people, are really a 20 a day smoker that means that you save £42 a week, £182 per month or £2184 per year.  If you were to physically put the money in a jar every day, this would mean you could treat yourself to some clothes every week, a nice meal out every month or a fantastic holiday every year.  Not a bad benefit!

Health Benefits

If you stop smoking, you reduce the risk of getting many smoking-related illnesses, such as lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, etc…  You also reduce your risk of getting illnesses that are not directly related to smoking, such as fertility problems and cataracts.  And of course, it reduces the risks of pregnancy complications if you are smoking when pregnant.

Social Benefits

Just think, no more people fake coughing when you light up (or even walk past with some ex-smokers!), no more standing outside in the cold and rain when you go out or in a non-smoker’s house.  The social benefits really should not be overlooked.

Time Line of Benefits

After 72 hours, you will find it easier to breathe and your energy levels will increase.  Go for a run instead of having a cigarette at this point.  Your taste buds will also start to improve, meaning everything will taste and smell better than it did before.  After one month, your skin will look more radiant and healthy.  This means you could potentially save more money by no longer needing skin care products.

Between three and nine months, you will start to cough and wheeze a lot less and your lung capacity will improve by at least 10%!  After one year, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half of that of a non-smoker.  After ten years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half of that of a non-smoker.  After fifteen years, your risk of a heart attack is the same as that of someone who has never smoked in their lives.

So if you are ready to make that all important first step towards stopping smoking, motivate yourself with some of the great benefits involved with kicking the habit.  Regularly remembering why you are doing this will increase your will-power and make you more likely to succeed.  And make sure you decide what you will be treating yourself to with all the money you have saved!

There is plenty of help out there, from the NHS Quitline to private organisations like the National Smoking Cessation Institute who have a bank of people who specialise in stop smoking acupuncture and hypnotherapy to stop smoking, most regions in the UK are covered from Liverpool and Manchester, Birmingham, London, Hove and Brighton, so if hypnotherapy or acupuncture are your thing you should give the NSCI a try.

How Does it Work I Ask?

How Does A Debt Settlement Law Firm Work?

Many people have been hit and hit hard by the recession.  Redundancies went through the roof, as did the number of people who became unemployed.  With little to no help from the government, many people started to struggle to pay off their debts and were stuck in some real dire straits.  However, there are options available other than bankruptcy to help people just like this regain control of their finances.

The Role of Debt Settlement Law Firms

Debt settlement law firms specialise in helping people come to concrete arrangements to pay back their unsecured debts.  They specialise in reducing and negotiating debt, instead of having it discharged through bankruptcy.

Debt Settlement Law Firms in the UK

There are many debt settlement law firms in the UK.  They are often referred to as settlement organisations or debt reduction services.  You will probably have seen advertisements on television, in newspapers and in magazines.

How Do I Choose The Right Firm?

There are plenty of companies to choose from, as demonstrated above you will come across them very regularly in varying media advertisements.  A tip that has been given to many in the past is to look at the level of service you receive.  Do you have to wait on the phone long before you are spoken to?  Do you have to wait long for an appointment?  If they are dedicated and quick service, they will more than likely also be dedicated to working for you.

So What Will The Debt Settlement Law Firm Do For Me?

You will have an initial consultation to look at your incomings and outgoings and your level of unsecured debt.  They will then advise you on which plan is best suited to your circumstances.  You will then be asked to provide documentation relating to all your debts.  Once you have provided the debt settlement law firm with all this information, they will start contacting your creditors and offer them a repayment based on what you are able to repay.  You will then pay the debt settlement law firm a set amount every month, that is based on what you can afford, who will distribute that money to your different creditors.  Your case will be reviewed regularly, in case your personal situation changes, for example employment or income details.

Incidentally you should always be sure to find an appropriate solicitor for your specific needs, as a no win no fee lawyer is something somewhat different to this by it’s nature and will probably specialise in cases where people are injured or in many cases there are some who’s particular speciality is to make a claim against a hospital, so therefore not attempt to handle this type of case.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay your bills, regardless of the reasons for this – unemployment, redundancy, a change in personal circumstances – think hard before you go for bankruptcy.  There are other options available to you that will enable you to once again get to grips with your finances, giving you a fresh start.  Why not contact a debt settlement law firm to see what options are available to you?  Their staff are usually friendly and professional and are often people that have been in the same situation in the past.  They won’t judge, just offer you impartial advice to try and resolve your financial difficulties.

The Original Tractor

Unfortunately, the greenhouse gases from oil have replaced the water vapour from steam engines. On the road and on farms, the engines we have working were the forerunners of today’s heavy lorries and tractors.
Loads of 50 tonnes, greater than permitted today, were common. Pride of manufacture and ownership resulted in highly polished machines which often had a life of 50 years. The fairground soon recognised the merit of one steam engine pulling the fair from place to place and generating electricity for the rides. These engines are now highly prized and fetch more than most houses.

Many firms built steam engines but a few grew to be the major suppliers. Aveling & Porter from Rochester, Fowler of Leeds, Marshall of Gainsborough, Garrett of Leiston, Suffolk and Burrell of Thetford were the most well known and all are represented. Burrells whilst the smallest of the ‘big boys’ have the greatest percentage of their product surviving and over half the collection are Burrells; four steam rollers, one traction engine, one road locomotive and three showman’s engines.

Dingles owned over a hundred steam engines over the years and forty five still exist of which seven are here. There are also examples of early petrol and diesel engined machines and a 1918 Leyland lorry is displayed which has been owned since it was new. This was the first restoration which Richard carried out 30 years ago and it is now ready for another one. If he lives to be 1000 he may get everything done!

The Old Site

I’m not quite sure why they don’t have a website any more, but here is what they used to say about themselves:

Nestling in the peaceful West Devon Countryside, but just one mile from the main A30, is Dingles Steam Village, a unique example of steam heritage at work, which started from Richard’s, the owner, interest in the history of R. Dingle & Sons, the premier supplier of steam and later modern road making equipment. Many of the exhibits were sold by his father in the 50′s and 60′s for £100 and bought back for many thousands and then rebuilt.

Major boiler rebuilds and mechanical restoration is carried out on site in a large well equipped workshop, run by the Village’s engineer Clive Gibbard, who also has his own Burrell Showman’s Engine ‘Rajah’ which is also on display. The workshop cannot be part of the normal visit for health and safety reasons but can be viewed by prior arrangement. There are about 20 traction engines and steam rollers on site although many go to other shows all over the country. Industrial engines also form an important part of the exhibition and these and two road engines are in steam every open day powered by a diesel fired industrial boiler we call ‘Bertie’.

A unique collection of early road signs including the boundary signs from most English counties links with the road building history and probably the most extensive collection of early fairground ephemera anywhere backs up the Showman’s engines on site. There are old tractors, lorries, cars and motor cycles and a wealth of smaller items, all combining to make a full and enjoyable day out for everybody who is interested in Great Britain’s industrial past. The harnessing of steam power by our early engineers put the Great in Great Britain and won us the empire.

Each year we display different parts of the collection with others going into storage. For 2001 the main line-up of engines will be Burrells following the wonderful display of that make at the Great Dorset Steam fair last year. Work also continues on the installation of an enormous steam driven band saw which was to be scrapped at Falmouth Docks but was fortunately rescued and brought to Dingles. Every year a new exhibit is added and old machinery is constantly offered by owners who no longer need it but do not want to see it destroyed.