This is the website of Julian Back. I'm a retired software engineer and I live in the village of Leigh on Mendip in Somerset.
This website is called tadhill.com after the area where I live. There are various theories as to where the name Tadhill comes from. My favourite is that it is a corruption of Toad Hill as we do have a lot of toads in our garden!
I started taking photos as a teenager when I had a Kodak Brownie 127 camera. At Uni I upgraded to a 35mm SLR and started developing and printing in black and white. I'm still interested in photography and do have digital and film cameras but these days I mostly use my mobile phone.
I have recently been digitising some of my black and white negatives from the 1970s and 1980s. These might be of interest to some of my old friends so I have started putting some of them on this website. My policy is not to name anyone in any of the pictures and as many people will have changed appearance in the last 40 years I hope the pictures will not cause any embarassment or problems. If anyone would like their pictures removed just let me know at the email address below.
I first used a computer when we had a 5th form course about computers. This was in 1970/71. We were able to write programs in Fortran on coding sheets which were sent off to the Atlas Computer Laboratory where they were put on punch cards and run on the Atlas computer. This started my interest in computers ands my career as a software engineer.
These days I still do occasional programming when I have an interesting problem to solve.
This site has been built using the Pelican static site generator with the Photos plugin for the image galleries.
I've always been a cyclist and these days I like to do a 20 or 30 mile ride a couple of times a week and also use a bike for shorter journeys to local shops.
I've got a variety of bikes including road bikes (fairly modern and vintage steel), a gravel bike and a Brompton.
You can find me on Strava.
I am a member of Bath and Counties Archaeological Society (BACAS).
I have recently been helping on a BACAS dig near Frome in Somerset at a location where a metal detectorist found a late Roman or early mediaeval throwing axe. We found stones which may be the remains of a robbed out field wall. There was also Roman and mediaeval pottery and mesolithic flints. Our theory is that these had been washed in when the land was flooded as the it was probably once a water meadow.
We have now moved on to investigate some other features in the nearby landscape we have found some more possible walls.
Previously my partner and I dug with Time Team at Boden Vean in Cornwall.
We have also dug a Bronze Age Round Barrow and Beacon Hill in Somerset. We found an intact burial urn which is now ijn Taunton Museum. Later we reburied the ashes in a reproduction urn.
Several years ago we did a training dig at Blacklands in Somerset which was also featured on Time Team.
I learnt to ring church bells as a teenager in the village of Standlake in Oxfordshire. I stopped ringing when I went to Uni and restarted about 35 years later when I moved to Leigh on Mendip. These days I mostly ring at Leigh and Shepton Mallet. You can find my ringing activities on Bellboard.
Some of the first programs I wrote were to generate bell ringing changes. More recently I have written a Change Ringing Web App which allows you to learn ringing methods online and practice your listening skills.
I also maintain the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers website and the Southwest 12 Bell Striking Competition website.
You can contact me at email@example.com.