Inside the industry and inside the agency
Welcome to the webs newest, most wickedest (humour us), online instalment to hit your newsfeed since cats dressed as sharks started chasing ducks, whilst riding robot vacuums to the theme song of Jaws. For those long-time readers, first-time readers and sometimes readers, welcome to the ‘agency side’ of digital marketing, as we take a closer look at the award winning crack team of specialists that put the wicked in Wickedweb.
In November 1995, Bill Gates' book The Road Ahead was published. It described a future significantly changed by the internet, which he described as a global information superhighway. However he felt the internet was just the start of the highway and not as prolific as he’d imagined, a theory that was quickly revised before publication given the critical mass the internet was gaining. Now 20 years on, we can see why.
Last week, the Wickedweb team gained a new asset in the form of Digital Marketing Executive Steph Stewart. But we’re not going to crash her opportunity to introduce herself; she’s quite capable of holding her own! Steph has given us a brilliant bio below, so we can get to know her properly.
If your Twitter timeline or Facebook feed has seen a dramatic influx of colourful caricatures bearing a resemblance to your friends over the past fortnight, the chances are you’ve already heard of iMadeFace.
The new iOS app stormed to the top of the free charts on the App Store in multiple countries, including the UK and USA. The popular app, iMadeFace, helps turn its users into a cartoon in just a few minutes thanks to the wide variety of templated facial features.
The simple app design allows almost every part of the face to change with a simple swipe. iMadeFace users can scroll through a variety of hairstyles, pick one and then change the colour – and then share it with your friends. You don’t have to worry about lighting, background or photobombing to create the perfect digital you – and you’ll never have a digital hair out of place.
But iMadeFace is just the newest kid on a very big block.
The Family Tree
To understand the place of the pixel person, we need to begin by looking at the fixed square (usually less than 100 x 100px) that they were originally restricted to – the ‘avatar’. Whilst you might remember them as a gangly blue smurf alien, here we’re talking about the graphical representation of a user, their alter ego or personality originally used in the ambitious 1985 Lucasfilm videogame community, Habitat.
Avatars are common amongst virtual communities such as Habbo Hotel, Wee World and The Palace where research has shown that younger users often labour on the fun aspect of avatar creation, looking for the most amusing rather than the most accurate – in fact, younger users often use avatars to conceal their identity whereas older users look to create a more reflective representation of themselves, often spending money on extra clothes or that perfect pair of glasses.
The rise of Facebook, LinkedIn and before them, Bebo and MySpace, has seen a shift in popularity (and ease) towards real life photographs for avatars as the importance of recognition begins to play a more important role. Technology has played a role too, with users now able to upload and crop their own images.
Whether we like it or not, the web has become a more open place, bloggers jostle for the most traffic and work hard at building themselves into a trusted, recognisable source of information. We see more faces online now, than we have ever done in the past.
Will the digital avatar allow users to retain a level of anonymity? Can you imagine a world where your Facebook feed is filled with caricatures of your friends?
This year we’re proud to be celebrating 10 years of Wickedweb, and what better way to mark the occasion than a hearty night out in Foundation Bar, Covent Garden? On Thursday evening, our London and Sevenoaks offices joined forces for an evening of drinks, dinner and dancing…
The evening was certainly one to remember, with Wickedwebers letting their hair down and dominating the dance floor with some cracking moves. Unsurprisingly, we had a few sore heads in the office on Friday!
Check out our Celebrating 10 Years of Wickedweb album on our Facebook page for a sneak-peak into the night’s events…Roll on the next 10 years, we say!
Last week, Wickedweb was invited to take part in the Peter Jones Foundation Charity Golf Day. We accepted the challenge gracefully, pulling together our strongest Wickedweb golfers before journeying to Goodwood. Our company secretary, Lynda Wells, experienced the day first hand. Here’s how she thought it went…
Despite wonderful weather, stunning scenery, buggies, all the best golfing apparel and buckets of enthusiasm, our four Wickedwebers – Senior Search Manager; Richard Lyne, Account Director; James Bradshaw, New Business Manager; Tom Sharp and myself, sadly did not gain the accolade of Top Golf Team.
We battled with wind, long grass, too many trees and the dreaded bunkers to fly the flag for Team Wickedweb. The fantastic golf course at Goodwood was too good for us and after many lost balls, huge divots out of the fairways and swearing like you’ve never heard before, we had to abandon our round and return for the festivities at Goodwood House.
What a sumptuous affair; we dined like royalty in the huge dining room surrounded by famous paintings, antique furniture and famous faces. We may not have been particularly lucky on the golf course, but off the course our luck changed with Richard winning 2nd prize in the raffle – an iPad.
No expense was spared and at the end of the day, as various guests took off in their helicopters and Bentleys, we weaved our way back home up the M23.
Our thanks go to the Peter Jones Foundation and to our MD, Stuart Wells, for sponsoring us.
Last night, eight Wickedwebers donned their smartest suits and classiest frocks for the Wirehive100 Awards. Arriving at Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge, we were greeted with champagne and magic tricks (all of which remain totally unexplainable despite various attempts by the Wickedweb team…). After a chance to mingle with fellow digital agencies and explore the impressive Mercedes Benz warehouse, we were ushered into the main hall where the evening’s proceedings were to take place.
Following a tasty three course meal, we were entertained by the one and only Russell Kane, who went on to perform a short (and hilarious) stand-up routine before handing out the Wirehive100 Awards.
We’re proud to announce that Wickedweb were voted 8th best digital agency in the Wirehive100 2012 League Table, a fantastic achievement in the year that we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary.
2012 isn’t just a big year for London, it's turning out to be a big year for Wickedweb too…
In line with our 10 year anniversary celebrations, over the last 10 days we’ve brought you a variety of our Top10s. From our favourite lunch hangouts to our Top10 HTML5 features, our 10 Days of Top10s campaign gives real insight into where Wickedwebers find their inspiration whilst in the office and at home. The campaign proved popular across both our London and Sevenoaks offices so, as we bring our Top10s to a close, we’ve compiled a list of what made the #1 hot spots…
Top10 digital game changers
#1 – Social Media – nominated by Creative Director, Robert Hollander
It’s unsurprising that social media hit the top spot in our Top10 digital game changers list. Through the use of social media, brands are able to empower and engage their most active advocates whilst building more valuable, collaborative interactions with wider audiences.
Top10 tunes to work to
#1 – Boston – More Than a Feeling – nominated by Senior Designers, James Saunders
Our Top10 tunes to work to list caused quite a ruckus in the office, with designers, producers, developers and executives vying to get their nomination in the top 10. Now that there are 40 of us, whittling the list down to just 10 was quite a challenge. After much deliberation, the top spot went to Boston’s ‘More Than a Feeling’.
Top10 HTML5 features – compiled by Front End Developer, Mark Townsend
#1 – New tags for general page layouts
For day 3 of our Top10 campaign, we drew on the expertise of Wickedweber, Mark Townsend. As an experienced HTML5 front end developer, Mark nominated the ‘new tags for general page layouts’ as the top HTML5 feature.
Top10 office phrases
#1 – “Theoretically, it’s possible…” – submitted by Back End Developer, Denis Gordo
After sorting through the good, the bad and the ugly, we managed to settle on our top office phrase, as submitted by developer, Denis Gordo. At Wickedweb, we’re always keen to push the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of design and development; Denis’ quote sums this up perfectly…
Top10 most visited websites
#1 – Mashable.com – nominated by Business Development Director, Anna Dixon
As the leading source for news, information and resources for the digital generation, it’s unsurprising that Mashable hit the top spot as our most visited website. With 20 million unique monthly visitors and 6 million social media followers, the Mashable community has become one of the most active and engaged of the online news communities.
Top10 CSS3 features – compiled by Front End Developer, Mark Townsend
#1 – @Font-Face
For our Top10 CSS3 features we once again drew on the expertise of developer, Mark Townsend. As a great way of adding style to a website font that isn’t one of the few supported by browsers as standard, @font-face is a popular CSS3 feature with developers and worthy of its #1 position.
Top 10 lunch hangouts (compiled by our new Farringdon office)
#1 – The Turkish Food Stall (Whitecross Market)
Since setting up base in July, the London Wickedwebers have been exploring their new surroundings and, more importantly, the best lunch hangouts. After much deliberation, the Turkish Food Stall, situated at the very start of Whitecross Market, reached the top spot, due to its fresh selection of Turkish-inspired wraps and salads.
Top10 sources of design inspiration – compiled by Creative Director, Robert Hollander
#1 – Twitter
Who better to compile a list of the top design hot spots than our Creative Director, Robert Hollander? Having worked with Wickedweb’s digital client base for over nine years, Rob has won many accolades for his creative work and leading that of his team. Rob nominated Twitter as the #1 source of design inspiration due to its 500 million users, 340 million Tweets and 1.6 billion search queries per day.
#1 - @stephenfry – nominated by Front End Developer, Chris Reid
Our Top10 Tweeters list proved to be incredibly diverse, ranging from Harry Styles to Wired Magazine, Lady Gaga to BBCClick. With his 4.5 million followers and regular Tweets on current affairs and new technologies, Stephen Fry was a worthy nomination by developer, Chris Reid.
Top10 predictions for the next 10 years…
#1 - Wickedweb will have offices all over the world – predicted by Project Manager, Cat Woods
To round off our 10 Days of Top10s campaign we thought we’d look to the future. We’ve achieved so much over the last 10 years but there’s plenty more to be achieved! We had some great suggestions (some more probably than others) but the top spot went to Project Manager, Cat Woods, who predicted Wickedweb’s expansion across the world. With our London office now up and running and the imminent opening of Wickedweb Lithuania, we think Cat’s prediction is more than probable…
As part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, over the last 10 working days we’ve brought you our Wickedweb Top10s. From client requests to digital game changers, office quotes to HTML5 features, our Top10s demonstrate our interests and views as a forward-thinking, innovative digital marketing agency. Today marks the final day of our Top10 campaign; what better way to draw the campaign to a close than by highlighting our Top10 predictions for the next 10 years of Wickedweb? We’ve had some great suggestions (some more probable than others!). Have a read through and see what you think; we’ll look back over this list in 10 years time and see how accurate we were…
1. Wickedweb will have offices all over the world (specific location predictions include New York, Lithuania, Hawaii and New Zealand) – Predicted by Project Manager, Cat Woods
2. We will have robots to make the tea… - Predicted by Developer, Simon Napper (Wickedweb’s serial tea-making avoider)
3. We’ll still be doing McDonald’s runs, checked-shirt Fridays and Pub lunches – Predicted by Project Manager, Cat Woods
4. I will be married – Predicted by Executive Assistant, Rosie May (already has the dress, just needs the man…)
5. We’ll be featured in the Top10 of the NMA Top 100 Interactive Agencies – Predicted by Marketing Executive, Katie Butler
6. Ian’s to-do list will still exist – Predicted by Project Manager, Cat Woods
7. We will have launched a new discount Airline – WickedAir, which will operate in the UK, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Romania. Once a month. – Predicted by Back End Developer, Denis Gordo
8. Neil’s ‘Insolence Book’ will have been published and will be an international best seller – Predicted by Senior Account Executive, Nicole Tingley
9. We will have started producing consumer goods, for instance, the WickedPhone (better than the iPhone), the WickedCar (ECO vehicle with water-powered engine using water from the Wickedweb office tap) and the WickedBicycle (can be powered by the WickedPhone) – Predicted by Back End Developer, Denis Gordo
10. WickedTowers will exist (think Mugatu’s skyscraper from Zoolander, but shinier…) – Submitted by Front End Developer, Chris Reid
Richard, Simon and I have spent the day with St Johns Ambulance in Caterham, updating our First Aid certification and completing the Emergency First Aid at Work course. As well as ticking the paperwork boxes for the agency, the day was enjoyed by us all as the course leader delivered an interesting and entertaining day, and the banter was fast and furious, as you can imagine from the photo!
The course was extremely informative with a mix of video, presentation and role play styles used to teach the First Aid basics. We're now fully equipped to treat minor injuries, manage shock, choking, burns and heart attacks, deal with unconscious patients and carry out CPR. We fully recommend St Johns Ambulance for the course and feel confident in our ability to cope and help, should we be faced with an accident at work.
All work and no play makes Wickedweb a dull place to work, so it was definitely time to plan a social and continue our tradition of the good old night out! The Wickedweb amigos headed out for a Pimms on South Bank before a meal in Soho. Great people, great conversation and of course a cheeky cocktail or two!
We are now looking forward to the Halloween evening out...fancy dress at the ready!
Wickedweb were invited by the Chairman of Gillingham Football Club, Paul Scally, to be guests at their match against Port Vale.
After suiting and booting, the team headed along to the Priestfield Boardroom for a spot of lunch and a couple of drinks ahead of the afternoon's entertainment.
Armed with a few choice cheers including "Man on", "Chase it" and "Ref!" we headed outside to support the Gills.
Now, usually accustomed to seeing 11-men jumping around the pitch at a football match, it was a pleasant surprise (for the gentlemen especially) to see 10-lovely ladies instead - the new GFC Gems; the official Gillingham FC cheerleaders, warming up the crowd with an energetic routine. Needless to say, this was a welcomed treat and everyone seemed in good spirits as the match kicked off.
Despite dominating the first half, the Gills came away with just the one point, after a second half penalty by Danny Kedwell brought the score line to a 1-1 draw.
Wickedweb had a great time and would like to thank Paul and the rest of the GFC staff for a fantastic afternoon.
Wickedweb have been working with Gillingham Football Club on creating their new website suites for the Priestfield stadium, the first of which will be going live over the next week - so watch this space!
We are excited to announce that Rob will be joining the specialist creative panel for The Great Idea Escape: Best Awards 2012. This will be chaired by Alistair Ross, Head of Ideas, Draftfcb London. Rob will be asked to judge a number of important creative awards across a range of media, along with special awards for innovation, writing, art direction, and discretionary awards for best typography, illustration, photography.
The Best Awards 2012 are seeking a mix of twelve creative experts to demonstrate that the Best Awards really do honour only the Best. Rob’s inclusion in the panel will ensure the high standards met by previous winners continue to reflect in the quality of work chosen for the Best Awards 2012.
Rob comments: “I am thrilled to be asked to be on the judging panel, it’s a real honour. We worked with the MAA to produce the Best Awards website and so to continue our involvement with them and the awards to help select the winners is fantastic. I am really looking forward to seeing the nominations, and judging by the quality of last year’s work I think this year is going to be a real challenge singling out the winners“.
All of us at Wickedweb congratulate Rob in accepting this prestigious position – well done!
The team of Wickedwebbers headed for the O2 on Saturday night for 11:30pm to take part in London’s first Shine event. This night time half marathon saw us take a ‘power walk’ through the streets of London to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Beginning at the O2, we walked along the river Thames via Greenwich to the Cutty Sark and headed through Lewisham and Southwark Park before finally arriving at Tower Bridge and coming back again. The atmosphere was incredible and we were raring to go following our carbs beforehand...
With our personal messages pinned to our backs, we twinkled down the streets with 15,000 other walkers – and 4 hours and 55 minutes later we crossed the finish line having raised £1,162! We are thrilled to have had an opportunity to support our client, but not least to contribute towards their life changing work. Donations are still coming in, and so if you haven’t supported us and would like to then visit our original fundraising page. It’s not too late!
Well done to everyone that took part in the challenge. The question is...will we take on the full marathon next year?
We have a team of seven active Wickedwebbers who will be carrying their lanterns through the streets of London in support of Cancer Research UK’s Shine event on the 1st October. The challenge starts at 11:30pm and will continue through the night until we have finished the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles.
The team participating will be Niki Duggan, Sue Akam, Lynda Wells, Katy Gasson, Nicole Tingley, Chris Reid and Steve Coventry.
Each team member has a target of £150 to fundraise and you can click on the individual thumbnails below to help support their campaign - who will raise the most?
Wickedweb are an approved digital supplier for CR-UK and we hope that you might be willing to show your support for our awe-inspiring client.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the Cancer Research UK and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer.
Thank you for supporting Wickedweb and CRUK, we really appreciate it. With two weeks to go, we are getting some practice in and will let you know how we are getting on.
Wish us luck!
Learn more about the Shine event.
Wickedweb would like to say welcome to Felicity Stone, who joins our growing team of Web Producers!
Felicity brings a wealth of experience to us including 4 years in development for companies such as Schlumberger where she built intranet sites, and a role at Digiterre developing a bespoke CMS for MergerMarket.
In addition, Felicity has worked as a Project Manager for 5 years for organisations such as Solid State Group, building websites for charities such as Amnesty International, Cityscape and GFI.
At Aston University, Felicity studied a BSc in Human Psychology with a final year dissertation in Human Computer Interaction. At Greenwich University, Felicity studied an MSc in Computing and Information Systems with a dissertation in Web and CMS technologies.
Felicity will be an integral part of the B2B client services team here at Wickedweb, and will be utilising her expertise for clients such as Law Debenture, Lending Well, EC Harris and StatPro.
In her spare time, Felicity enjoys watching films especially sci-fi and thrillers and we found out that she also has a pet tortoise called Fernando who is over 30 years old! Awww....
With our continued expansion, we welcome Chris Reid to the Wickedweb team. Chris brings extensive digital experience to Wickedweb. With both project management and front end development skills, Chris is ideally placed to hit the ground running in our busy studio.
Chris joins our existing talented development team and will work across our varied client portfolio. As well as creative flair and a meticulous attention to detail, Chris also has a penchant for cycling to work – 30 miles a day with hills no less! That makes some of us here feel quite...well... lazy.
Welcome to the family.
Here's a shout out to our very own Billy Harvey. Not only does he rock as one of our developers, but he has the leading role in a short film 'Billy: Thoughts of a substitute'.
The Premiere went well, and the film has been awarded an official screening at the Cannes Film Festival 2011! We have our name down for tickets....
Last Friday, Wickedweb joined the world's largest coffee morning in support of Macmillan. With the theme - bake or fake - we presented a table full of home baked cakes and shop bought goodies and collected donations throughout the day from the army of cake lovers. We raised just over £60 in total.
Simon's banana and walnut cake stormed the event, closely followed by David's rum and chocolate torte.
Evidence below to tempt you...
Anna and Nicole baked biscuits for elevenses...
The bake-off team... Simon, Nicole, Anna and David.
The brave duo - Wickedweb's Denis and Stuart - were up extra early on Saturday 25th September. They were participating in the Hever Castle Sprint Triatlon, covering 400m open water swim, 20km cycle and 4km run.
Setting off in the 9am wave, trying to spot their orange swim hats in the water was like a live Where's Wally. Quick out of the water, Stuart was the first of the two running uphill to the bike transition, and maintained his lead throughout the run with Denis only minutes behind.
Hever Castle and the grounds looked stunning in the early morning sun, but the wind chill was freezing so it was a relief for the chaps to cross the finishing line. Results are out, and well done to our two triathletes who completed the course in a very honourable time:
Stuart - 1:22:44
Denis - 1:37:08
I will be on the competing side next year, I promise...
To find out more about the Castle Triathlon Series, visit the website.
May 1st marked the start of our exciting new sporting challenge. In a bid to get fit and tone up, a group of us have set out to swim the 22-mile cross-channel distance between Dover and Calais!
Fortunately however, no goose fat is required! We'll be swimming the distance in our local pool, covering a total of 1416 lengths each in just 12 weeks. Stuart, Kalli, Chris and I will be waving goodbye to our dignity as we don our speedos and goggles. We'll be supporting each other on the outside, but are really in competition to be the first to cross the line. Meanwhile, Denis will be attempting to show us all up, swimming to France and back in the same time!
You can keep track of our progress by checking our blog for updates, and watch out for our channel map showing the distance we've covered and who's taken the lead.
This month sees the exciting launch of the new Wickedweb brand and reinforces a very positive transition into a more strategic digital marketing agency
Traditionally Wickedweb has been known primarily as a team of web design and build specialists but our continued growth over the last 18 months and recent account wins with Ellas Kitchen, Watts International EC Harris, & Medway Council, sees Wickedweb leading on strategic digital planning and execution and results-driven tactics.
The brand has been given an injection of understated confidence and leadership and effectively repositions Wickedweb into a more strategic and consultancy-led arena. It also allows for a shift to a more integrated focus as clients are looking for a wider range of activities across the marketing communications landscape that can be pulled together under the umbrella brand.
Wickedweb are proud of our award winning portfolio of work and continue to push the boundaries for our clients with wicked ideas, wicked consultancy, wicked technology and wicked creativity.
Both the Agency and our Clients are set for great things over the next 12 months...
Wickedweb has recently completed a move to its new uber-stylish and glamorous office in picturesque Sevenoaks. Managing Director Stuart Wells comments, "The move to Sevenoaks is fantastic for our clients. We now want to really up the client relationships and become even more of an integrated marketing agency than ever before. With the additional space and more creative environment, clients are all set to see an improved difference in the way we operate and the value we bring to client accounts."
Located just off Sevenoaks High Street, Wickedweb is now within easy reach to the mainline station, and just 25 minutes away from London Bridge. The team is also enjoying the close proximity to the shops, making Christmas shopping much easier at lunch, and the restaurants, making our wallets lighter, and our waist bands tighter! Its easier than ever for us to travel to our clients, and we look forward to welcoming you to our shiny new pad soon.
The development team has this month joined forces to raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity by supporting Movember. Billy Harvey, Steve Coventry, Danny Sharkey, Mark Townsend, Robert King, and Art Director, Rob Hollander, are all sporting moustaches throughout November and are looking for sponsorship to help the 35,000 men who are diagnosed each year with prostrate cancer in the UK. The figures are astonishing so we wanted to do something to make a difference and help raise awareness.
The moustaches were all rather impressive, as you can see, but the ‘Best Wickedweb Moustache’ award went to Rob King, our Lead Developer, who sports a moustache daily and it was a relief for all when the amateurs shaved off their efforts!
The Wickedweb team triumphed on 1st August, completing the Mazda London Triathlon in impressive times (for amateurs!!) and raising over £800 for Concern Worldwide. The event was great fun and competition between the Wickedweb teams was tough, with Stuart's swim putting his team in front from the start and Ian, the quickest Wickedweb cyclist, closing the gap. It was all to play for in the run and we finished the day sporting medals, and smiles of relief!
This weekend we've been swinging from the trees at the Leeds Castle Go Ape' high wire forest adventure course! With hanging hoops, zip wires, tarzan nets, rope ladders, tunnels and bridges, we climbed and swung our way along the obstacles, literally taking our lives in our own hands. Our team working skills were polished as together, we all laughed at Billy, suspended in the air, one foot caught in a hoop, the other swinging aimlessly, trying to find his footing! Leaping off platforms, hanging only from harnesses, we enjoyed the sense of flying freedom but the risk was too much for some, as Lynda put it "I did swing from very high trees, believe me it was not a breeze!". We had so much fun and would highly recommend it.
Two teams from Wickedweb have entered The London Triathlon 2009 to raise money for Concern Worldwide. With only one experienced triathlete among the teams, the event will be one to remember as Anna, Ian, Steve, James and Matthew battle their ways across the line displaying advanced skills in doggy-paddle, cycling with stabilizers and flat footed running! With 10 weeks to go and training schedules looking scratchy, we vow to get into shape quick-sharp and will keep you updated on our progress.
We have chosen to support Concern Worldwide after working with them to create an ecard for existing donators, highlighting the charity's work around the globe to eliminate extreme poverty. The charity helps those suffering in the poorest communities in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean through health and nutrition, education, livelihood support and emergency relief and Wickedweb is keen to help make a difference.
The triathlon will take place on 1st August at the ExCel Centre, London, so if you can make it, we'd love your support.
Wickedweb digital marketing agency celebrated the Christmas holidays in style, starting with a Grapevine tour of Vinopolis - London's wine tasting venue - before a festive and delicious meal in Covent Garden's Fire & Stone... we enjoyed the best Christmas pizza for miles around!
Fortunately for you, this photo, featuring just a few of your favourite Wickedwebbers (the others were, predictably, getting the next round in!), is pre-wine... we can now share, first hand, a secret... wine tasting before food doesn't work! The other photos are staying under wraps... No bribes will be accepted. We hope you all had great a Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2009!
On Sunday 12th October, eight figures emerging through the fog became seven Wickedwebers stumbling to the start line of the Leeds Castle 10k run to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Through the cold, dense mist and around the challenging up-hill, down-hill course, the team fought on, some through hangovers, (Matt!), and completed 70k between them, hurting never-before used muscles and getting blisters, but all in aid of a good cause.
Stuart was first across the line for Wickedweb, with Steve hot on his heels, and Matt not close behind. Team spirit was high at the finish line as Stu, Matt, Steve, Shane, Gwen, Cat and Lynda posed with medals while team-paparazzi Anna snapped away and supplied home-baked chocolate biscuits by way of an apology for not running! Despite the early start, everyone had great fun and we're proud we took part, so we're vowing to be back again next year!
On September 13th Anna tied the knot with fiance Matt. Anna and Matt met in their first year at Surrey University and after two and half years planning (and non-stop wedding talk!), it really was the wedding of 2008, despite the groom walking down the aisle on crutches.
Anna's Dad, a retired Traffic Sergeant, had arranged a surprise police escort for their journey in the stunning Jaguar Mark One wedding car. A bit of good luck was well deserved following Matt's cycling accident in June, honeymoon cancellation and two missing bridesmaid dresses, and the sun delivered it! Married at Ghyll Manor in Rusper, the ceremony was beautiful and personal, and the 80 guests were treated to Pimms on the terrace while the newly-weds were whisked around the grounds for photos.
An afternoon tea reception set the scene for the speeches, before an intimate wedding breakfast for the wedding party. Anna said "my wedding day was perfect. I found my dream dress and felt like a princess in my veil and tiara. I couldn't wait to see Matt waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We had great fun and loved having all the people we cherish share in our special day". Those of us thinking Anna would stop talking wedding cakes, cars, dresses and flowers have been proved very wrong, but we love her for it!
As if recently acquiring a new member of the family wasn't stressful enough, Wickedweb's MD Stuart finished months of strenuous training to queue up on the start line of the London Triathlon in early August.
While most of Britain amused themselves with armchair athletics, watching the world's finest battle it out in Beijing, Stuart was storming through London in water, on foot and by pedal power.
Just two hours and 55 minutes later, he crossed the finish line to raise more than £600 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and having put a 1.5k swim, a 10k run and a 40k bike ride behind him.
But as Stuart would doubtless testify, it was nothing compared to the rigours of looking after a new-born baby...
After working long and hard on the NSPCC's Big Bike Ride website, it was time for the greatest challenge yet - actually taking part.
In late July, the Wickedweb team wheeled their bikes to the start line of the Horsham event in Sussex.
The ride got off to a troubled start when one member of Team Wickedweb was stopped and requested to produce proof-of-age ID, despite wearing a really quite striking 'bride to be' sash and accompanying veil.
Said member was later seen clinging to the back of another colleague's bike in an attempt to roll over the finish line in tandem, but was keen to point out that it's the taking part, not the winning, that counts.
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