QUANTA Committee

Chairman – Sarah Gilpin

The Role of Chairman

The role of Chairman is :-

  • To control the working of the Committee towards the goals approved by the Committe and the QUANTA membership
  • To call meetings as and when required either by email or face to face
  • To chair meetings to complete the agenda in a timely manner
  • To make the casting vote in the event of a hung Committee decision
  • To preside over the Annual General Meeting

About the current Chairman

My name is Sarah Gilpin and I am 67 years old.

I am a retired engineer who spent the last years of my career specialising in Quality control and auditing

I first became interested in the QL in 1984, when we bought one to help in our family engineeing company. More recently I have used a QL extensively for recording data for family history research.

For many years I attended workshops with my husband (a QUANTA member) where I met Alison Southern. We agreed that we were tired of attending the Annual General Meetings and having no say – and that a second full membership in one family was unneccesary. We proposed to the Committee that as active QL users partnering other QL users we should become Associate members with full voting rights but not to receive a separate magazine. QUANTA subsequently created Associated Membership for partners, spouses and other family mambers of a full member at a reduced annual subscription of 5GBP.

I was asked to take on the role as Secretary to the Committee in 2007.

In 2009 I was approached by John Mason, then Chairman of QUANTA, to consider the post of Chairman as he would have to step down under the constitution. I agreed to accept nomination for Chairman at the 2009 Annual General meeting and was elected.

Secretary – Alison Southern

The Role of General Secretary

The Role of General Secretary is:-

  • To record the minutes of all QUANTA meetings and maintain the minutes book.
  • To undertake all correspondence required by the committee.
  • To provide a precis of committee business for every issue of the magazine for the information of the Membership.

To be responsible for the issuing, and return, of all notices for General Meetings.

About the Current General Secretary

My name is Alison Southern.

Tired of being a “QL widow” I insisted on becoming an Associate Member, once we had persuaded the committee to create this level of Membership. Having been an Associate Member for a few years I was then persuaded to stand for the position of Secretary at the AGM in 2009 and as I was unopposed I was duly elected.

Treasurer & Membership Secretary – John Gilpin

The Role of Treasurer & Membership Secretary

As in most small and medium sized clubs and associations, the title of these jobs speak for themselves.

The Treasurer’s role is:-

  • To look after all aspect of the financial side of the Association.
  • To maintain such bank accounts as the committee sees fit.
  • To advise the committee with regard to financial matters such as insurance, investment etc.
  • To prepare the Annual Income and Expenditure Accounts and Balance Sheet for Audit.

The Membership Secretary’s role is:-

  • To promote membership of the Association and maintain links with individual members.
  • To respond to any problems and/or queries that members may have.
  • To maintain membership records in accordance with the Data Protection Acts.
  • To issue Membership Subscription reminders as required.

About the Current Treasurer and Membership Secretary.

My name is John Gilpin.

When I retired from full time employment around the turn of the century, I decided that I ought to find some way of usefully occupying my time. After much discussion, I signed up for some courses at my local College of Further Education – South Trafford. Considering my skills and previous experiences, I opted for courses in “Book-keeping & Accountancy” and “IT Skills”.

We (my wife – Sarah, eldest son – George and myself) purchased a QL in the late 1980s and had a second QL given to us by a friend (who opted for the PC route). We used these computers in our Sheet Metal Fabrication business using SuperBASIC and Xchange (Archive, EAsel and Quill). We were able to network the machines to control various aspects of the business. Although we developed moderate QL skills, we had absolutely no PC experience.

During three years at South Trafford College, I qualified as an Accountancy Technician, and was awarded a Professional Developement Award in Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases and Power Point Presentations but I failed miserably in Desk Top Publishing!!

After a visit to a QUANTA QL Workshop in Bolton it wasn’t long before I became a member (early in the 1990s). In the early 2000s, I was nominated to join the QUANTA Committee and took on the role of Head Librarian (not that there were any sub-librarians at this time, as interest in the QUANTA Software Library had diminished somewhat over recent years). Around this time there was a complete “re-shuffle” of the QUANTA Committee and in an effort to reduce expenditure certain committee posts were combined. On the resignation of the then Membership Secretary (Bill Newell), I took on his post and the posts of Software Editor and Librarian were rolled into one. Later, on the resignation of the Treasurer (John Taylor), I took on the combined role of Treasurer & Membership Secretary – a post I still hold but will have to release at the 2010 AGM to abide by the constitution.

Magazine Editor – Lee Privett

The Role of Magazine Editor

The Magazine Editor’s role is:-

  • To liaise with members and others to acquire copy for the magazine
  • To plan and edit the magazine content every other month
  • To provide a high resolution monochome pdf file for the printer
  • To produce a low resolution colour pdf eMag version for emailing to members and for posting on the Magazine Archive pages of the website
  • To produce any other leaflets etc as required by the Committee

About the Current Magazine Editor

My name is Lee Privett.

My introduction to computing started way way back in the late 70s through to the early 80s progressing from being a keen electronics enthusiast, having published articles in Everyday Electronics and Practical Electronics magazines. It started in 1981 when the ZX 81 became available in two versions, the second being in kit form and £20 cheaper, that was a lot of money then so a significant saving. Once I received the ‘kit’ I was a little disappointed to find it to contain only 4 microchips and as difficult to put together as playing with Lego, so I then thought ‘well what else can I do with this?’ and spent the whole afternoon typing in hex data statements from a book on the ZX81 running the code and ‘hey presto’ clunky Space Invaders, I was hooked.

My next decision was to save up for a proper computer with a proper keyboard, the BBC Model B (£399), however by the time I had saved up around £200 the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K came out for £175 and I couldn’t resist. After nearly two more years of Sinclair (tokenised) Basic which was great fun, Simon Goodwins Spectrum compiler (damn fast but limited keywords), MegaBasic (where you typed in real text) it was time for me to move on to a proper computer with a proper keyboard, the BBC Model B (£399).

However, having saved the full £399 this time the QL called to me and I responded, and I was introduced to the wonders of SuperBasic, a procedural programming language where line numbers were included but for operational purposes you didn’t need them. It was at the same time that at work in the Ford Motor Company I had many opportunities of where I could learn more and more programming techniques and that is when I also went back into education for further study.

I joined QUANTA at the same time and eagerly looked forward to the bi-monthly magazine dropping through the letter box. I struck up a friendship with Sid Day who at the time was the Software Librarian for QUANTA and wrote several programs for the library including a BOOT program I was particularly proud of as it relied on the speed of the QL and the access time of the MicroDrives to complete its animation.

In 1988 I left the QL scene partly due to a change in career where the IBM PC were being used at the forefront of use within the industry and education and also due to the passing of Sid. It seemed at the time to be the right decision.

Many years later and a few more job roles, a few more academic qualifications, a couple of children, a numerous number of PCs, a move away from Microsoft towards Apple. I found myself in 2010 laid up for awhile with very limited things to do except browse the web for something to catch my interest. Following a path of emulation on the Spectrum/QL using the PC and the MAC I eventually stumbled across the QUANTA website, which when I left the QL scene didn’t exist, the web in the form we now use it hadn’t been invented. So a QUANTA website was a complete surprise but also filled me with nostalgia.

Exploring the website at some length was fascinating until I came across the Software Library page where entry number one was a little program called CAD. The author was myself and there it was in black and green for all to see (but especially me). So I signed up for QUANTA there and then capturing all I could about the QL scene and what has been happening since (btw I am still learning).

Suffice to say this pottage history of mine has moved on to me volunteering to be a committee member at the AGM earlier this year and taking on the role of Editor which I do with relish. Technically I believe I am qualified for this role academically with a Media Production & Technology Degree and a MSc in MIT, I bring my current experience of teaching students up to degree level to the role and I am also very keen to get young people involved and interested in the joys of ‘real’ programming.

News Editor – Dilwyn Jones

The role of the News Editor

Dilwyn Jones

Dilwyn Jones

This new role involves gathering news for publication in the Quanta magazine (working in conjunction with the Magazine Editor) and and on the website, and liaising with traders, authors and other likely sources of news for publication.

After being appointed to the committee, I guess I was then the natural choice for the (then) new post of News Editor, as I had been Editor of QL Today magazine for several years before that, and a QL user since the computer first became available back in 1984.
Dilwyn Jones.

Librarian – David Buckley

The role of the Librarian


The role of Librarian is to look after the group’s Software Library, which has grown from a few disks in the early years to well over a hundred disks nowadays. The library is disk-based, but nowadays also available on a single QXL.WIN format CD and also available for members to download from this website.

In previous years, when the volume of work duplicating and supplying disks coupled with the work of processing library submissions, there was a Head Librarian, Sub-Librarians and a Quality Controller. Nowadays, the Librarian does all the work.

Now that the Software Library is available to download from this website, it is hoped that this will encourage members to make greater use of the programs in the Library without increasing the workload of the Librarian, although members without internet access will of course still be able to order programs from the Library on floppy disks (or CD) from the Librarian as in the past.

The Librarian is currently David Buckley

Helpline – Dilwyn Jones

Quanta operates a Helpline facility for its members. Help requests can be sent to the Helpline email address printed in the magazine, or you can use the contact form if you prefer.

While we do our best to help, we obviously can’t know everything about everything, so sometimes it takes a while to find someone who might have knowledge of what the query is about.

Some queries may be published in the magazine and/or on this website. If you wish to keep the query anonymous, we will of course respect that wish.

The Helpline is currently co-ordinated by Dilwyn Jones

Webmaster – Keith Dunbar

Role of the Web Master

The Web Master takes overall responsibility for the QUANTA website, granting users access to different pages on the site and managing the QUANTA Content Management System (CMS).

If you have any questions, please contact me at webmaster(at)quanta.org.uk

About the Current Webmaster

Keith Dunbar

Keith Dunbar

My name is Keith Dunbar and I was co-opted onto the QUANTA committee in 2009 to help move the website into a CMS (Content Management System), and stood as the Treasurer and Membership Secretary for a year, but now I am responsible for the website.

I was first introduced to the QL back in the late 80′s when my brother bought two (one for me, and one for himself) and quickly learned to program in SuperBASIC. In the early 90′s I went to University and went on to program in C, C++ and a miriad of other languages, but unfortunatly drifted away from the QL scene.

A few years ago I met up with John Gilpin at a Scout meeting and rediscovered an interest in the QL though with so many other things happening the QL is no longer my main interest. I have been able to provide assistance with web site configuration, selection of a CMS and help configuring the CMS.