Great stuff your are right Hartlepool is about 30 mile from Newcastle me and my son have been looking to join the makerspace up there http://www.makerspace.org.uk/
and maybe we will see you at the maker fair. i have started getting more involved this year with makers because i am trying to move my business from PC Repair to 3d printing and CNC Conversions + a bit of prototypes for people mainly because i always like a challenge and i would also like to open a hackspace in hartlepool sometime in the future. I would love to talks with Zach Hoeken for a few hours about a few CNC ideas i have (maybe one day) its a shame what MakerBot Industries did to him but i think now he has moved to Shenzhen the OSHW scene is going to see some great stuff from him.
As for you friend in Halifax maybe if you have the time you could pop into the Leeds Hackspace
on the way upto Newcastle, i do not know them personally but they have been on hackaday with the PiFace to Minecraft hack entry from their Raspberry Jam event and i`m sure they would like to meet up and share ideas.
Dont worry about the Spam Hammer i think it is working just fine i`m sure people would complain alot more if the site was full of engrish links to gucci bags. i also help a charity administrate and build their site so i to know the joys and pains of running a website i also add this
to my .htaccess from HackRepair.com
. Anyway i could go on all night but i wont, got to save some stuff for later rambles thanks for such great products keep up the good work .