How To Use This Website

Send e-mail to and we'll put your questions on the web.
 Maybe someone has the answer and wants to share it.

If you already know all this stuff, go back  to our HOME and enjoy the site.

Petersham has been around a long time, 253 years in all, so there's a lot to remember. More than 1,000 people live here and many more pass through every day, all of them interesting in one way or another. So there's a lot to see and a lot to talk about.

The people we meet are interested in a lot of things, some near, some far away, so this site is full of links to many other places.

Yes, there are rules:

1. Relax

2. Enjoy

That's it. No more needed at this time. If you get lost, you can always back up and start over. No experimental animals will ever be harmed in the operation of this web site. No lives need be lost. We don't plan to start wars, steal anybody's stuff or take away your food. There's no trespass, because you are our visitor and guest. If you find fun and useful stuff here, that's good. If you know of some, tell us and we'll share it.

What Is It?

Petersham Common is an on-line version of the real thing. The real thing is better. It has sunrise and sunset, shade trees, benches and a bandstand. It has fresh air and music and people who come and go. Everybody owns it and is free to use it. is none of those things -- except it is pretty much free. The people who pay for it want you to know about their goods and services. If you wouldn't mind, you mention us if you find a service or something to buy from a retailer. Thanks.

You can come and go. You can send messages here - just as you might post something on that message board outside the store.

Who can contribute?

Everyone. Send photos, news items, enter calendar listings and help keep us informed of that you and your group or church are up to. It's easy. Click here. We'll publish them.

What Is It Not? is most assuredly NOT a platform for mean-spirited vituperative, pejorative or ad hominem attacks on any one or any issue. We aim to inform and when that means airing differing opinions, we will accept, and consider posting, reasoned points of view on important events. PETERSHAMCOMMON.COM IS NOT AN OFFICIAL SITE OF THE TOWN OF PETERSHAM.

Who Does It? was and is Roy Nilson's idea. He has lunched at the Fox and Duck Pub in Petersham, Surrey, England, walked on Petersham Common there,  and has visited the train station and the community of the  same name in Petersham, New South Wales, just outside of Sydney. Roy has lived in our Petersham since 1975 and raised three children here who all live in the area.

He gathers the information or you send it here. He takes most, but not all of the pictures. In 1996, years ago, Roy thought the internet could be used to supply local information to local people. Ponderous organizations like corporations and universities use the web, why not communities and small towns? Government official sites tend to be boring and poorly maintained for lack of resources. It has turned out that way. Many just plain folks put their thoughts on personal web sites for all to see. While does contain lots of useful municipal information, it is not an official site of the Town of Petersham.

How did it happen?

The internet is sort of an accident.  People like Ken Olson and Gordon Bell let it happen as they built their computer company. Thanks, Ken.  Kevin Mitnick used it to poke holes. Louis Monier and others figured out that the rest of us were struggling to find our way around and they built search engines to help us out. People use the internet  to find information, sell stuff and stay in touch. On balance, that's a pretty good thing. But remember, nobody planned the whole thing, so there are occasional surprises.

How Does the Internet and Work?

Think of the biggest book ever. It has a cover page (home page) and, like other books, it can have Chapter Headings and of course individual pages. It needs an Index. You don't have to start at Page One, though. You can flip through the pages (navigate) by clicking links. You can stick in bookmarks and come back later on. You can read for a little while or stay for an hour. You won't like every chapter. You'll like some a lot. There's no end to the variety of information you might find here. Serious, useful, it comes in all the colors of the rainbow.

Charting Our Waters sticks a lot of stuff right on the Home Page. Start at the top and scroll down until you find something to click on or get to the bottom. Pages in petershamcommon are located in many places - in our web site and in other people's web sites. If you are visiting Dog Watch, you'll find a link to our ToolBox of interesting links - that's to say you can hop back and forth inside our pages. Feature: I Did Not Know That - takes you to something we find interesting. It changes often.

There's a local e-mail directory and a business and services directory. If you want to be included, say so. If not, that's OK too. Links that our advertisers paid for take you to information about what they have to sell.

My Computer Got Stuck and I am SO frustrated.

Don't take it out on the kids or the dog. Shut the damn thing off and go for a walk. Or go back to the top of this page and read Rules No. 1 and 2. One of these days we'll find a way to set up a computer discussion group or a class or something. Remember, millions of people do this every day. It just can't be that hard.

Who Owns All This Stuff Anyway?

The website is Copyrighted 2014 by Roy Nilson. The content of this website (except for logos and trademarks of others used on this site to signify an affiliate, merchant or other advertising relationship) is the property of Roy Nilson and is intended for use as a free information and entertainment service to individual visitors to our website. No portion of the content of this website may be reproduced for commercial use except by express written permission from the owner.

Roy Nilson