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To commemorate five years of NATA Online, we’ve pored over the history books to bring you a look back at what’s been going on since January 2001. All information correct as at 2nd January 2006.  

The Stats

The site launched in mid-January 2001. Paul was inspired by the old Notts Scots Geocities site (he actually thought "if that bunch of degenerate jakies can manage a website, so can NATA", and bought a PC in the sales with the main intention of creating a website. Within 2 weeks, NATA Online had launched with only four pages: Home, Songs, Links & Stuff and Meet NATA.

There are over 3,600 html pages on the site (some of these belong to other sites that share the webspace, and some are image pages).

There are also currently over 12,000 images (11564 jpeg and 766 gifs), including thumbnails and graphics.

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There’s been 85 updates in 60 months (Jan 2001 – Dec 2005), with no updates in 8 of those 60 months. On average, site has been update just over every 21 days.

Longest periods of inactivity:

  • 28/10/01 until 07/01/02 – no update 71 days whilst moving from free to paid website
  • 28/06/02 until 14/09/02 – hard disk error in June meant site left without updates for 78 days

Updates through the years:

  • 2001 - 25 updates (none in Nov or Dec)
  • 2002 – 13 (none in July, and only partial updates in Aug & Oct)
  • 2003 – 19 (nothing in May)
  • 2004 – 13 (no updates in Jan or Nov)
  • 2005 – 15 (for the first time, every month!)
  • 2006 – 1 plus this one

These updates have been communicated in the 38 Newsletters sent out since June 2003. Getting a heads up on site updates is not the only benefit of subscribing – we offered a free NATA crest badge to subscribers in 2004

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Site Timeline

Here are some of the big moments in site development:

2001 – getting the basics in place (photos, stories etc)

2002 – more fun stuff added; aim of site was to entertain through humour.

  • January - moved to paid webspace, with Redstation hosting
  • January – e-postcards set up
  • March – countdown to next away game added to homepage
  • June – my PC died, meaning no updates until mid-September
  • December – first Lookalikes page launched
  • December – You Said What – quotes page added

2003 – Year of innovation; site becomes more professional

2004 – Focus more on site usability and travel info

2005 – Trying to keep a balance with very regular updates

  • Feb – In Your Sporran guides launched
  • May – almost redesigned again (2 years on) – vetoed as “too clinical” by feloow members. See for yourself here.

You can keep track of all the updates here

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Ten Failures

Ten things that didn’t work so well:

  • Message board - lasted 11 Feb - 11th April 2001. No point competing with TAMB.
  • Polls - too easily spoiled
  • Music on diary pages - annoyed people
  • Different coloured pages - ruined the site consitency
  • Songs about ex-spice girls - sailing too close to legal action!
  • Questionnaires - lacked the momentum (and the membership) to maintain. May return.
  • WAP site - started in December 2002. WAP never really took off, and we offer no content that needs instant remote access.
  • Interactive stuff - no point competing with professional Flash and Viral sites
  • Postcards - never caught on, so were never updated.
  • Guestbook - rarely used these days.

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NATA Facts

  • You can’t join NATA. You become “absorbed” (and this can take years!)
  • There are currently nine members. Only eight travel to matches anymore.
  • The members (as at January 2006) are: Paul, Helen, Rich, The Wee Man, Chris, Ally, Susan, Bruce and Sharon.
  • There were three founder members from Netley (Rich, Wee Man, Paul) plus Helen.
  • Only one NATA member still lives in Netley Abbey. He’ll never be allowed to leave.
  • Three members have lived in Netley Abbey, and two more have visited.
  • That leaves four who’ve never been!

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NATA before the website

We're not a (multi) media invention (like The Monkees or Liberty X); we did exist in the days before broadband! Here's a potted history of the early years:

  • Sept 1999 - Helen and Paul decide to form a Netley Abbey TA following a discussion with an ex Netley and Bearsden resident in the Hotel Olumpa pub in Estonia.
  • Winter 1999 – debates between Rich and Paul over the name. Rich wants “Southampton” or “South Coast”, Paul rejects this “as people will acually want to join”. Agreed that Netley Abbey TA will be a spoof club,
  • April 2000 – first public appearance of Netley Abbey TA t-shirts in Amsterdam. Asked “where the fook is Netley Abbey” by Campbell Burton (Notts Scots) on ferry over. Never been able to lose him since.
  • October 2000 – “On The Vino In San Marino” trip t-shirts receive widespread acclaim
  • January 2001 – website launched
  • April 2001 – first trip since website. Meet Ally and Susan. Surprised at how many people have seen site already.

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The NATA webspace also home to these other sites maintained by Paul:

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Original peers

Back in June 2001, there were only a few other websites out there, and we certainly weren't the first, nor the best. The Links Page contained links to 26 sites, compared to the 67 listed in January 2006. If you want to visit any of these, use the Links page (as the some of the sites below are no longer active).

Here's who else was around in mid-2001:

  • The Tartan Army Home Pages (
  • Alba Gu Brath (Bosnian Tartan Army)
  • ANZTA (The Australian & New Zealand Tartan Army)
  • Armadale Sons Of Wallace (Mid-Central Scotland Tartan Army)
  • BELTA (The Belgian Tartan Army)
  • CTA (Campbeltown Tartan Army)
  • DTA (Dutch Tartan Army)
  • EASTA (East Of Scotland Tartan Army)
  • ETA (Edinburgh Tartan Army)
  • GERTA (German Tartan Army)
  • HTA (Highland Tartan Army)
  • Lunnainn Albannaich (London Tartan Army)
  • Luxembourg Tartan Army
  • NOSTA (North Of Scotland Tartan Army)
  • NTA (Nottingham Tartan Army)
  • NYCTA (New York City Tartan Army)
  • PTA (Perthshire Tartan Army)
  • SCANTA (Lochlann Albannaich - Scandanavian Tartan Army)
  • Tap Shop Tartan Army
  • Tartan Army de Paris
  • The Den Haag Dutch Tartan Army
  • The Sporran Legion (from West Lothian)
  • The Swindon and South West of England Tartan Army
  • VATA (Vancouver Tartan Army Website)
  • WESTA (West Of Scotland Tartan Army)
  • WWTA (William Wallace Tartan Army)

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Copyright notice: All photographs on this site are the property of individual members of the Netley Abbey Tartan Army unless otherwise stated. The copyright of these images remains with the individual possessing the photographic negatives, and permission should ideally be sought before copying them. We are keen to prevent anyone from making financial gain from our copyrighted images, or bringing the reputation of the Netley Abbey Tartan Army into disrepute (as we are more than capable of doing this ourselves).
If anyone does wish to use these images and would like express written consent to do so, please e-mail Paul Allison using via the contact page.
© Netley Abbey Tartan Army, 2001-2008 (and beyond...)