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Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

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Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Sun 16 Oct - 15:50


Interesting article about Calum MacRae and how he came about being involved in the running of the McCann Website at the tender age of 18. He has since married Rona Eddington who also worked alongside him on the site and is mentioned in the article. Does anyone know if MacRae is still responsible for the campaign website and distribution network and is it still based in The Loch Broom Garage on the outskirts of Ullapool?



Millions have contacted the Madeleine McCann appeal website. Who runs it? Three teenagers from Ullapool Sunday Herald

By John Bynorth
15 September 2007

Inside the campaign HQ

TWO YOUNG people hurriedly stuff yellow Look For Madeleine wristbands into envelopes, surrounded by cardboard boxes containing thousands more earmarked for the campaign. Nearby, in the untidy garage store room, Madeleine badges and posters are awaiting delivery to supporters around the world who have donated £2 for the bands that symbolise the search for the missing four-year-old.

Policeman's son Calum MacRae, 18, is responsible for the campaign's website and distribution network for Madeleine's campaign from the unlikely location of the Loch Broom garage, on a windswept industrial estate on the outskirts of Ullapool, Wester Ross.

Despite Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, both 39, now being treated by Portuguese police as suspects in her disappearance while on holiday in the Algarve, Calum claims there has been a recent surge in interest in the website and wristbands.

"There's no let-up," said Calum, whose Infohost firm hosts the family's official website, run using some of the £1 million in donations being sent to the privately run Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned. "There's been a big increase in orders since they became suspects. Somebody came back 30 times, ordering 100 bands. Sometimes people just want one or two, so we throw a couple of extra bands in. It's difficult to get rid of some of the medium-sized bands as they don't fit many people. People would still want the Madeleine bands even if she was found. Her face is a mark. It's everywhere."

Calum, who has designed websites "since he was 10" is paid out of the global donations to the fund, which won't be contributing to the McCanns' legal costs.

He refused to be drawn on how much his team of six are paid, and the Sunday Herald's repeated calls to the fund's spokeswoman, Esther McVey, were not returned. He added: "I can't tell you that, it's not much honestly. We are just covering our costs. You would need to speak to the fund about that."

Calum is convinced of the couple's innocence and says he will continue to run the website even if they are charged and tried in Portugal. He said: "I know from speaking to Gerry on the phone that he is 100% innocent. They are definitely not guilty. Gerry is very determined to find his daughter. You can tell it in his voice when he talks on the phone. He wouldn't have done all this if they were guilty. If the fund is still going, we will continue the website even if they are charged and face trial. They wouldn't want us to back off ..."

He remains convinced "someone" in Portugal knows the truth about Madeleine's whereabouts, and the family yesterday launched an £80,000 TV, newspaper and billboard campaign, which will be translated into several languages primarly aimed at Spain, Portugal and other mainland European countries, beginning in two weeks.

Madeleine's uncle, John McCann, from Glasgow, said: "The main objective of the Madeleine fund is to leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine."

Calum became involved after Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann, his former schoolteacher in Ullapool, approached him four days after the girl disappeared on May 3.

He said his staff spent between "12 and 20" hours each week on the website and wristbands. Although he claimed to have lost money on an earlier stunt for Premier League footballers to wear Madeleine t-shirts, he is pressing ahead with the distribution of T-shirts to the public in return for £10 donations.

Calum said: "We stopped every other thing we were doing that day and put the Find Madeleine site straight on. It's pretty much full-time doing the website and bands. We just invoice the fund, but it's not expensive compared with what other companies would charge. We have to account for how many hours are worked. It's not for us to decide what we are paid, but the fund insist we are."

The website's English-based server crashed when 1.5 million users tried to watch a video of Madeleine shown at the Uefa and FA Cup finals.

Figures obtained by the Sunday Herald show the Find Madeleine website attracted as many people as Missing People, the established UK charity formally known as the National Missing Persons Helpline, on September 7, the day Kate and Gerry were named as suspects in the case.

They show that 400,000 people viewed the Madeleine site, compared to only 150,000 for www.missingpeople.org.uk which is responsible for issuing appeals for thousands of people who vanish across the UK and Europe. American interest accounted for 103,000 hits on the Madeleine site, with only 15,000 from Portugal, and around 20,000 each from European countries such as Spain and Germany, which the family are hoping to target with the poster campaign.

Calum also revealed how Kate checks Gerry's blog before it is emailed to the site. However, Gerry has only posted one message since his return to Britain last week. Calum added: "It has got crazy at times, we've even got people going on in places such as Kurdistan."

Another worker on the site, Rona Eddington, 18, the daughter of a senior police inspector in Ross-shire, said: "We've had people saying in emails we killed her and taken her away' and we hate you.' We don't know if they are genuine, but they are passed to the police, who chase them all up. We've had so many like that and have to filter them. The website is about supporting the family."

Rona's father, chief inspector Paul Eddington, said he had no problems with his daughter's involvement in the website following Leicestershire Police's decision to take Kate's diary and Gerry's laptop, which he used to write his blog, for their Portuguese counterparts to examine last week.

The Portuguese magistrate examining the case is expected to announce this week whether the couple will face further questioning.

"I view what my daughter is doing as a parent, rather than a police officer. In the unlikely event that the investigation did involve the website, I would take a pragmatic view and wouldn't seek to get involved," said Eddington.

Calum is already working on new ventures after spotting a market in missing-person websites. Last week he contacted the family of missing schoolgirl Rosemary Edwards, from Hampshire, after her father made an emotional TV appeal. He said: "I don't think we should be making money out of it, but I would love to do more stuff like this. We phoned up to see if they wanted a website for that missing girl, but they haven't called back."

www.findmadeleine.com

Madeleine Web site gets 55 million hits, 18

http://mccannfiles.com/id34.html



Last edited by Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 16:41; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Sun 16 Oct - 15:55


Chief Inspector Paul Eddington is Calum Macrae's father-in-law.

Calum's father is a Policeman (Cameron MacRae) who is a joint Director of Infohost with Calum.

Don't know how he gets any time to do the day job as Infohost seems to be quite a busy company with many clients!

No wonder Leicester Police are happy to link to the Find Madeleine Website, it is hosted by a company owned by a Scottish Policeman with the site itself being run by his son, Calum

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Dimsie on Mon 17 Oct - 14:24

Autumn wrote:
Chief Inspector Paul Eddington is Calum Macrae's father-in-law.

Calum's father is a Policeman (Cameron MacRae) who is a joint Director of Infohost with Calum.

Don't know how he gets any time to do the day job as Infohost seems to be quite a busy company with many clients!

No wonder Leicester Police are happy to link to the Find Madeleine Website, it is hosted by a company owned by a Scottish Policeman with the site itself being run by his son, Calum
True, Autumn, but thankfully some in the Leics police have a bit of sense, hence their refusal to hand over all their files on the case to the McCanns, even getting the backing of the courts to do so. As they rightly pointed out, the McCanns haven't been proven to have no involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. Bet that decision came as a shock to the McCanns!

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  HiDeHo on Mon 17 Oct - 14:31

Dimsie wrote: True, Autumn, but thankfully some in the Leics police have a bit of sense, hence their refusal to hand over all their files on the case to the McCanns, even getting the backing of the courts to do so. As they rightly pointed out, the McCanns haven't been proven to have no involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. Bet that decision came as a shock to the McCanns!

Do you have a link to that Dimsie?

thanks Autumn for the info

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calums costs

Post  amber on Mon 17 Oct - 14:42

Seem to remember reading in the first set of accounts for the no stone unturned scam the cost of the website for the first year was £37,000.
That was an awful lot of money for a not very good website.

Hope he had a very nice wedding do you think it was top hat and tails?

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  LJC on Mon 17 Oct - 14:53

Calum said: "We stopped every other thing we were doing that day and put the Find Madeleine site straight on. It's pretty much full-time doing the website and bands. We just invoice the fund, but it's not expensive compared with what other companies would charge. We have to account for how many hours are worked. It's not for us to decide what we are paid, but the fund insist we are."

Yes, and there is such a thing as voluntarily helping for no charge at all. The fund may insist Calum is paid, but Calum himself could have insisted he was not paid. Calum it seems did not want the final word on this. I am sure it would be easy to find volunteers to stuff wristbands into envelopes and t-shirts into envelopes. Calum could just make sure any out of pocket expenses for himself and his team were covered in return and nothing more. It sounds like a win-win situation to me all round. The McCanns get a website cheaper than going to a more expensive company, Calum gets to be paid albeit a bit cheaper than other companies (and the fact he is now married means he was probably earning enough out of it to help pay for the wedding), Calum gets the experience under his belt and it looks good on his CV. Win-win all round if you ask me.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 16:49

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Chief Inspector Paul Eddington is Calum Macrae's father-in-law.

Calum's father is a Policeman (Cameron MacRae) who is a joint Director of Infohost with Calum.


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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 17:04





http://find-madeleine.forumotion.net/madeleine-clues-f15/callum-macrae-and-the-website-t172.htm



CALUM MACRAE (19)
19-year-old internet expert runs Find Madeleine website which has attracted more than 400,000 unique users and helped to raise more than £1 million in donations for campaign. He is a Director of Infohost. (His father, Cameron MacRae, a police officer, is the Director/Secretary of the company)
Calum MacRae is described as the Director of the company behind the website:

"It is booming," said Calum MacRae, who is the director of the company behind the site. "We didn't expect this number of people. We had 10 million hits between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday -- our server just gave up, but we resolved that within five minutes"

Calum is a former-student of Phil McCann.

I did see an interview where he was asked if he was paid for his website work and he declined to answer.

There have been several references over the months to the fund paying for "website set-up"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Highland Home Of McCanns' Website

Updated: 12:37, Wednesday May 23, 2007

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91210-1266968,00.html

INCLUDES VIDEO FOOTAGE OF INTERVIEW WITH CALUM MACRAE

___________________________________________________________________

The McCann’s public collection

in: Sol on 07.07.2007

author: Margarida Davim

translated by: summer

At the entrance of Ocean’s Club in Praia da Luz, the journalists who participated in the press conference that was held by Madeleine’s parents for the portuguese media, encountered a plastic box to collect donations. A small text, signed by Kate and Gerry McCann, invites everyone who enters the resort to contribute. This gesture was not appreciated by the members of staff, who claim that the resort “is full of collection boxes”.

A fund for Maddie

This box is just one of many ways that Maddie’s parents found to collect money for the ‘Leaving no Stone Unturned’ fund – which counts with almost 900 thousand pounds already (one million three hundred thousand euros).

Justine McGuinness, the McCann’s new public relations, guarantees that the collected money “is being managed by a group of independent persons”, and subject to “very rigorous rules that are imposed by british law to all charities”. Still, McGuinness refuses to explain who are the “highly qualified lawyers and managers” that are managing the fund, just highlighting they are not remunerated, and offered as volunteers. On the findmadeleine.com site there is an online store, where Gerry and Kate sell yellow rubber bracelets and textile bands, to help finance the cause. Callum McRae, the author of the site, says it was the couple’s idea. Speaking to SOL, McRae explains that the child’s aunt, Philomena McCann, asked him to create the internet page, just two days after the girl went missing. “She knew exactly what she wanted”, says Callum McRae, who created the contents in just one day.

The McCann’s internet page also publicizes several fundraising events, all taking place in the UK, and some planned over 60 days ahead.

To SOL, McRae, who was a student of Madeleine’s aunt in high school, did not want to specify whether his work on the site is paid by the fund or not: “I’m not authorized to speak about that”. According to the site, the fund’s purpose is to “support Madeleine’s family financially” and to make sure she is found, and her kidnappers brought to trial. After reaching these targets, the collected money shall be used to help solving “similar cases in the UK, in Portugal and elsewhere”.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 17:14


Interesting that the various articles make no mentjon that Infohost was actually started and is owned by a serving Police Officer, Cameron McRae. It is a busy company with diverse business interests.

The impression given from the articles is that Auntie Phil ‘phoned one of her ex-pupils, the local IT whiz-kid, who single-handedly got website up and running. Certainly makes for a nice 'feel good' newspaper story.

Its doubtful that the selection of the Macraes company to host and administer the Find Madeleine Website would have been as the result of Phil recalling that one of her former pupils was a bit of a whiz when it came to IT.

Calum would have attended the local high school where Phil is a teacher. It is likely that he was a former pupil of Auntie Phil but I do not believe that this played any part in the reason for Infohost being asked to run the website / take care of the merchandise.

Seems more likely that Phil McCann would have approached Cameron MacRae to host and administer the website because he was known to her, being a Police Officer in a tightly knit Community. Infohost would need to be trusted by Team McCann and very much ‘on-side’.


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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 17:23



Jon Corner, 48, godfather to Madeleine's sister Amelie, said: "This is outrageous.

"I'm extremely disappointed that the genuine efforts of the family to try and get as much exposure as possible to get their daughter home is being exploited for a quick buck."

Mr Corner, who runs a production company and helped set up the genuine website, added: "The vast majority of people are appalled by the abduction of this beautiful little girl and have been amazing in the love and support they have given.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23397001-sick-web-hijackers-cash-in-on-madeleine.do

Wonder what Jon Corner's input was into setting up the website?

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 17:52

Well, we know that a cr*p website set up from a template, on which the "whizz kid" was too lazy to even change the date, set the fund back £37k.

Or so we're told.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 18:06

Still a matter of great concern that Leicestershire Police continue to provide a link to the Find Madeleine Website. Perish the thought that this could have anything to do with the fact that the Find Madeleine website, with its PayPal donation buttons and details of the latest campaigns, was set up by a company owned by a serving Scottish Police Officer!

And, assuming MacRae has not resigned, continues to this day to be run by a company owned by a serving Scottish Police Officer!



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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Mon 17 Oct - 18:15

I read on another forum that the Leicestershire police website link to the Find Madeleine site had been removed but it's certainly there now.

http://www.leics.police.uk/canyouhelp/missing/85_madeleine_mccann/

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 18:29

Iris wrote:Well, we know that a cr*p website set up from a template, on which the "whizz kid" was too lazy to even change the date, set the fund back £37k.

Or so we're told.

The website was quite basic to begin with but we don't know for certain that Calum McCrae was responsible for setting it up. Thats the 'feel good' story put out by the McCanns but, based on reasons out-lined on here, it would seem far more likely that his dad was the man over-seeing the running of the website.

Iris you mention that we 'know' the website was set up from a template, hence the 2006 date.....is there a link to that info please?

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 18:36

Autumn wrote:
Iris wrote:Well, we know that a cr*p website set up from a template, on which the "whizz kid" was too lazy to even change the date, set the fund back £37k.

Or so we're told.

The website was quite basic to begin with but we don't know for certain that Calum McCrae was responsible for setting it up. Thats the 'feel good' story put out by the McCanns but, based on reasons out-lined on here, it would seem far more likely that his dad was the man over-seeing the running of the website.

Iris you mention that we 'know' the website was set up from a template, hence the 2006 date.....is there a link to that info please?

You could tell by the HTML source code. I remember looking at the time. He used Macromedia Dreamweaver MX to do it, probably learned it at school.

From April 12 2009. A CAPTCHA that is just a picture, and a Submit button that does not go anywhere.

http://web.archive.org/web/20090412110436/http://www.findmadeleine.com/contact_us.asp


Last edited by Iris on Mon 17 Oct - 19:10; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 18:53

Iris wrote:
Autumn wrote:
Iris wrote:Well, we know that a cr*p website set up from a template, on which the "whizz kid" was too lazy to even change the date, set the fund back £37k.

Or so we're told.

The website was quite basic to begin with but we don't know for certain that Calum McCrae was responsible for setting it up. Thats the 'feel good' story put out by the McCanns but, based on reasons out-lined on here, it would seem far more likely that his dad was the man over-seeing the running of the website.

Iris you mention that we 'know' the website was set up from a template, hence the 2006 date.....is there a link to that info please?

You could tell by the HTML source code. I remember looking at the time. He used Macromedia Dreamweaver MX to do it, probably learned it at school.


Thanks Iris but as Im a techie Im hoping that make sense to IT Whiz Kids on here. Still far from convinced Calum McCrae set this up, much more likely his dad Cameron, Head of Infohost, was the man responsible. Infohost, which is owned by Cameraon McCrae, is the Company that runs the FindMadeleine Website.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 19:33

It's easy enough for even a newbie to set up with Dreamweaver and a template.

The Online Store was made with an Actinic template. This is software designed for setting up online shopping carts and is marketed at non-techies. Any kid doing Higher Computing or above could work it perfectly adequately.

In fact I think it is very likely it WAS wee Callum. It is not very professionally produced at all.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070828113724/http://store.findmadeleine.com/

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 21:28

Iris wrote:It's easy enough for even a newbie to set up with Dreamweaver and a template.

The Online Store was made with an Actinic template. This is software designed for setting up online shopping carts and is marketed at non-techies. Any kid doing Higher Computing or above could work it perfectly adequately.

In fact I think it is very likely it WAS wee Callum. It is not very professionally produced at all.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070828113724/http://store.findmadeleine.com/


Although comparratevly basic to what to it is now, I still think that it was Cameron McCrae not Calum who was approached by Aunty Phil to set this up. Is there a link to the rest of the original FindMadeleine Website....just wondering if the paypal button was there from the outset.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 21:32

Does it matter who actually did the coding? It is run by the limited liability company that has Daddy MacRae as a director. He is implicated.

The PayPal button was a later addition, but there was a hyperlink there from day one. You can check it on Wayback if you are interested.


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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 21:41

Iris wrote:Does it matter who actually did the coding? It is run by the limited liability company that has Daddy MacRae as a director. He is implicated.

The PayPal button was a later addition, but there was a hyperlink there from day one. You can check it on Wayback if you are interested.


Well yes it does matter. Given the speed at which the website was set up it would be of great interest to know who specifially set the wheels in motion. For instance, how involved in the setting up process was Jon Corner? Cameron McCrae, as owner of Infohost, effectively runs the McCann Website and I think the Calum whizz kid story was intended to divert from the discussions which took place between Aunty Phil and Caum's father .


Last edited by Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 21:45; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 21:43

It takes ten minutes to set up a new website and the first one was extremely basic. TBH I think you are looking for stuff that simply isn't there.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  gillyspot on Mon 17 Oct - 21:49

Infohost Ltd based in Ullapool IV26 2UP has 2 directors Calum and Cameron McRae.

Started trading 2nd Aprul 2003 with Cameron McRae only as director (Calum was only 14 at the time). Calum joined in 2005 (when he was 16).

Up to year ended March 2007 they disclosed turnover. Have not done so since then (i e not including setting up find Madeleine website.

Has Cameron McRae declared this company to the Police service?

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Autumn on Mon 17 Oct - 21:52

Iris wrote:It takes ten minutes to set up a new website and the first one was extremely basic. TBH I think you are looking for stuff that simply isn't there.

Its not that relevant what the website looked like in the early days. Main issues are who was involved in setting it up....how exactly did the website and fund get off the ground?

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Guest on Mon 17 Oct - 21:58

http://web.archive.org/web/20070513033245/http://www.findmadeleine.com/?

The first one was set up on 11 May, did not mention Infohost at all, and the posters were free. Later, they were charging 10p. By only the 19th of May, the PayPal and Dreamweaver were in full swing.

I don't suppose we can ever prove whose idea it was to set it up, but I do not believe it was planned that far in advance. In the beginning it was a pretty amateurish affair, which makes it all the more disgusting that they have tried to justify it costing £37k.

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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  gillyspot on Mon 17 Oct - 22:06

Actually according to whois the site was set up on 10th May 2007 by Cameron McRae

Info and link below
Registrant:
N/A
27
Pulteney Street
Ullapool, Highland IV26 2UP
GB

Domain name: FINDMADELEINE.COM

Administrative Contact:
MacRae, Cameron
27
Pulteney Street
Ullapool, Highland IV26 2UP
GB
+441854612821
Technical Contact:
MacRae, Cameron
27
Pulteney Street
Ullapool, Highland IV26 2UP
GB
+441854612821

Registration Service Provider:
Fasthosts Internet Limited,
+44.8708883600
+44.8708883760 (fax)
http://www.Fasthosts.co.uk

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 10-Sep-2011.
Record expires on 10-May-2012.
Record created on 10-May-2007.

Registrar Domain Name Help Center:
http://tucowsdomains.com

Domain servers in listed order:
NS1.DNSEXIT.COM
NS2.DNSEXIT.COM

Domain status: clientTransferProhibited
clientUpdateProhibited



http://whois.domaintools.com/findmadeleine.com

gillyspot
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Re: Calum McCrae and the McCann Website

Post  Sponsored content Today at 19:47


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