Aith Gun

Aith Gun
Breezy Isles, Shetland

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 - Cllr Keef

Busy Busy Busy.

Firstly, soon after the election, my partner and myself went our separate ways. So while going through the campaign, I was finding somewhere to live and dealing with that.

The Council have been excellent with their training for New, and Old Councillors. We had our photo taken for our ID and web page, I had peddled on my bike to get their on time, it was extremely hot for May, t shirt weather. No sooner had I got off my bike I had to don a shirt and tie and my suit jacket. The sweat was pouring from me and my head felt like it was going to explode...

We went to various meetings, looking back it seems quite a swirled up time. I was elected again, this time to the Licensing Panel, this is one of the legal Committees, we protect the residents of South Ribble as far as Licensing can go, with Taxi drivers, cars and operators, public events and pubs, clubs and bars.

As it was all new to me, I attended, and still do, nearly all the other committees, Planning, Scrutiny, Governance, Cabinet and of course Full Council.
I have also had an input on the Local Development Plan, this is to secure development around the Borough so that we get they types of development where we need them, rather than a developer dictating to us and building in the wrong place. Along with this we get a cash advance from the developer to improve the infrastructure.

I have started now to get more involved with charities, I do this alongside my radio show, a yes, I was not to have my voice or name be heard on the show during the election period, so I enlisted aDell, a computer generated voice to introduce trax for me, I should bring her back to the show, she was great.

It takes a while to understand how the council works, or doesn't work. I think I have just started to get it, so to speak. There has been much to take in, many folk to see and reams of paperwork to read.

I have also taken part in some demonstrations against the way public sector folk seem to be used as pawns to make another group look good, I find it odd that 100 billion or more in tax is avoided so they then pick on the few billion savings they can make by making folks lives worse.

I took part in the TUC march in Manchester.

It does feel we all are having to bend over backwards........

I have also taken part in the Transition movement here in the Borough

On my first visit to the Penwortham Pumpkin Patch I planted a tree as a representative of the council, the Mayor of the Borough and the Mayor of the Town could not make the 10 am shoot as it was bonfire night.

I did actually plant the tree, not just sprinkle a wee bit of dirt from the spade.

I also took part in the strike N30, I contribute to a pension as a public sector worker and was not happy with the GOV changing the deal I and my employer had signed up to.
I made a wee video with some topical music and many of my images. I also went to support those workers from the Borough who were as upset. I got up at 6 am to stand at the gates to where I worked, then off to the Civic Centre then off to Preston.

Here I am with Heather Park who stood in the Town Elections in May

As you can see, getting a belly on there.

I went to see my Dad again in October, he is doing as well as can be expected, we had quite a good time together and many laughs, we share a similar sense of humour, and we get along. He seems not to want to go out anymore, for someone who you could not keep in, it seems odd. The guy who bought the house in Burgh Road has completely stripped it to the bare stone, I had a look around, it was eery, there were still bits of the old house left, memories were concentrated on those small remnants, the hand rail that still had a bit of blood on it from when he cut himself the last week he was there, the head marks on the upstairs bedroom window where he must have looked out of 100 times, not knowing, the glass light fitting I stripped and cleaned, the workshop that never was and the many projects he had started.

2011 has been quite a mixed year, my hopes are that I can be as best a councillor for the folk who elected me as I can, that my Dad has a great year and that I do not forget my Mam and all those who have departed over the years, especially my dear friend, and best friend, James Bulter.


As 2011 comes to an end, it seems a good time to update here.

It has been an interesting and varied year, started as most do, slightly hung over.

I had got more involved with the Labour Party at a branch level and was still reeling from our bosses cutting my pay in 5 ways, at least. I had campaigned against it but as a council employee, you don't really get to have your say, you are muted by terms of contracts, basically you are not to tell folk your thoughts on how your part of the council is run. I was not to contact councillors directly either, though I know some are contacted, now. Odd really, I cannot make comments but can vote them (sack) out.

I ended being on the ballot paper for our local elections last May, delivering thousands of leaflets, getting help from the very kind David Hanson MP and enjoying the support of other group members.

And on it went.

I went to see my Dad in Shetland, I thought that if I did win this election, I may be initially busy.
I took the time off work and caught the train and the ferry. My Dad has Alzheimer's and is being well looked after at Viewforth House in Lerwick.
It still is upsetting to see him this way, although we did not always see eye to eye, he was still Dad. I also timed my visit to coincide with the anniversary of my Mams passing, which in a way, highlighted the problems my Dad was having at the time.

There are always mixed feelings when I step off the ferry in Lerwick. As I have said before, Shetland is full of happy memories of childhood, watching my Mam letting go so to speak and enjoying life away from Dad and able to have fun with her sisters and many good friends. We too were let of the leash, many a day spent up the hill or with Grandad looking at the ships in the harbour. Our next door neighbour was Rhoda Bulter, a bubbley woman, mother to my best friend and the font of knowledge, it sometimes felt she knew every rock in Shetland and who had sat on it. Going out on runs with her and the dear Dennis and my best friend were great, always ended in ice-cream from a knocked up kiosk in what seemed the middle of no where, with views to die for, and many did in the 20th Century.

The picture is of the ruined smoke house of the fish station on Bressay near the Aith Gun, the fire bricks, came from Preston, very close to where I am now living.

Dad was well, he had settled in and was safe, my heart goes out to those who are being introduced for the first time to dementia, as a sufferer or a future carer.
The picture of our life is well drawn and full of all the good and bad things we had to go through to get to where we are, some folks ink is strong and vibrant to the end others have the misfortune of choosing not so permanent ink, then to top it off, it fades more rapidly as time ebbs on, some folk choose invisible ink and will never be able to show their picture.

Back here now and a couple of weeks to the election.

Then it comes, May 5th 2011.

I got up, had a good breakfast and started to complete my campaign. I officially opened the campaign garage of refreshments and additional leaflets.

I spent most of the day riding around chatting to folk and encouraging them to go and vote. I think I rode over 30 odd miles, down every street with a party flag on my bike.

We all came to my house and had some tea and snacks and got ready for the evenings events.

Nerves started to kick in a bit, though the folk I was with helped, I was intrigued by what was going on. I had gone with an open mind as I was not sure what I was letting myself in for. What I found appalling was the way some of the other politicians treated the folk who were doing the count, arguing, leering over them and being down right rude. I am glad to say I saw none of our party do that.

The count for my area did not start til about 4am, it was interesting to watch, I could not really see my votes, just those of the opposition. I toddled off for a wee and another coffee. As I walked back, one of my colleagues brushed passed me and said "you done it". Eh? I did not quite take it in until my name was called to verify they spoilt papers, then up on stage, even though I knew I had won, I was still checking the totals being read out, the announcement, "I do by declare that Keith Martin is Duly Elected as councillor in the Kingsfold Ward" or there abouts. As I walked down the stair from the podium, a council officer greeted me, "congratulations Councillor Martin, can you sign your pledge?" there I was, a councillor, everything still whirring around me but slightly faded like a 1980s Top of the Pops video effect.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Last Funky Friday of this series

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Republic of Wales

With the interest in the S. Hill case going on in the Lerwick court house, I remembered I had this..

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our friends in Norway

Please press play

Please take a moment to reflect on the horrific events that has happened in Norway recently.

Shetland has very close links with Norway. Shetland supported Norway in conflict and hosted many a Norwegian.

Please wait for the clock to reach 0:00 before moving on.

Thank You.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Slight alterations to the radio show

Due to the Tringe programming, Funky Fridays will be doing a one off live show on 2nd August. I will have Matthew Tomlinson from Age Concern and am waiting to hear from Jane Bell who has worked in Uganda helping kids.
Still a funky theme, my guests have been asked to bring a funky tune that wiggles their bum.

8pm to 9pm Tuesday 2nd August

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Sunset over Longton. Lancashire

We get these views now and then.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Red poppies around the Leyland Tank

This tank was put here at the gateway to Leyland. With veterans week comming up it seems fitting that red poppies now grow around it.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Daddy (sad postcards)

I found these two cards on ebay and was intrigued.

So, I bought them, and not at great cost.

They seem to be about the loss of a mother.

I thought I would post them and see if any one has any

ideas of info and I will do the same.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Re-Launching FunkyFridays

Well, here it is, FF debut on Shetlandpeat. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Well then, I did it, with the help of an army of supporters.

I am now a Borough Councillor.

After several weeks of campaigning, the last day had come. We were frantically posting more leaflets and I rode my bike along every road and street in my ward, flag flying and proudly wearing my rosette.

Manned a polling station and visited many more, I recon I did about 30 miles.

At 8 pm we called it a day, many folk came round and we had a post campaign/pre-election yarn with snacks and tea and coffee, some even got some Blooming Tea.

Put on my Ben Sherman 2 piece, pink pin striped shirt and silk tie and off we went to the Eagle & Child.

At 11pm we went to the civic centre. Wow, there were about 150 folk milling around, some counting and some wearing yellow, red or blue ties, just incase.

The atmosphere was quite nice and lucid, as the night drew on and tiredness crept in the tension soon showed.

Re-counts were happening all over, the running had been very tight, folk were winning with a handful of votes, some with just 2.

As the night became morning, folk had lost some sense of self, body odour was abound and some breaths could strip paint.

Here comes mine.

I could not hang around and watch, the more I looked at the counted ballot papers, the more I saw crosses against the oppositions names.

After about 20 minutes, I had just come back from having a wee, a fellow candidate came beaming out of the crowd. "You've done it". For a start, I was taken aback, was this for real, was there someone behind me.

We were called to the head of the table to verify the votes and examine the spoilt papers.

I had won, and so had my running mate.

A few minutes later, up onto the stage, grins being fought back, then it was read out. I did not realise it but I had the most votes in the ward, and to top it all I beat the opposition with a 20% margin.
After stepping down from the stage, a woman from the Council said "could you sign this Councillor" WOW, a big slap on the back and a multitude of handshakes.

At that time, my thoughts were with my Mam and Dad, and I wondered if they would have been proud of me, the one guy who I knew would be would have been my Great Uncle Tom Morris, bus driver, politician, mayor, entertainer, friend to the Queen Mum and the Beverly Sisters.
Sadly they are not with us in body or in mind, so I sit and wonder.

Now, 2 weeks later I sit here on a Sunday evening and can finally relax. What with inductions, training and the admin I have been busy. The training and meetings go on for another 2 weeks fully, then we get into an order, the first business session is on, this is where we find out if we are going to be elected onto various committees.

No rest now.

Thanx to all that were instrumental to making my day.

And let their god look after the souls of those not around to smile with me.

1 Family, 2 Weeks, 3 Peaks: Who are we?

1 Family, 2 Weeks, 3 Peaks: Who are we?

A family on a mission.

Please take time to have a read of what they are doing and why.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Election Victory

At last I can break my silence.

For the last month or so I have been unable to comment in many places due to me standing in Borough and Town elections.

At about 04.30 on 6th May I was elected as Borough Councilor for the ward I was standing in.

I missed winning on Town Council by 3 votes. But, one may be enough for now.

I have been unable to present my radio show but have been able to produce it, still playing some gud toons and using a computer generated voice called aDell. She got quite an attitude and I feel she will be back.

It has been a busy month, delivering thousands of leaflets, knocking on hundreds of doors and speaking to many folk.

Yesterday I visited every road in my ward on my bike with party flag, rosette and greetings to all. This seemed to have got me the most votes in the Ward.

I could not do all of this without the support of party workers, volunteers and activists and of course those who have put their trust in me.

Reflecting on it I feel quite privileged to have been given this task. I will do my upmost to represent all of my ward.


Saturday, April 23, 2011


I am standing in the local elections here in Blighty.
I have had to stop my radio show, I cannot introduce them so I have enlisted the help of Dell, a computer generated voice. Hard work.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Found this at a stall, it reads
Norge Veien Eidfjord - Voringfoss, Hardanger (their shouls be a score through the o)

31st Shetland Folk Festival: 28th April - 1st May 2011

31st Shetland Folk Festival: 28th April - 1st May 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Now that's a good idea, good job Wyre BC

Have been changing streetlights for more energy saving lamps when I came across this sign. Ideal for houses with kids, kids do not always look where they walk. Stop owners letting their dogs crap on the pathways and green areas. It blinds kids and is disgusting.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wind Power, 1796

Over 200 years ago, here in Thornton wind was the main power. Now we seem to have gone full circle. We are told we need to harness the wind again. The trouble is that the new windmills, are quite large, dominate the skyline and are quite pointy. The debate goes on locally and nationally. I can understand the need for alternative power but I can see the need for a beautiful place to remain so.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Monday, March 14, 2011

They are watching you. Numberplate camera near windy harbour, Lancashire

These cameras have been popping up all over Lancashire. They record numberplates. They are on all main routes. So boys and girls, keep your vehicle legal.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where is the Power really going.

I have been thinking of this for a while. As us human beans get on with just paying our power bills. There are others that have been given power and then use that to gamble with our well being. We have to pay for our power using, and now it seems our power giving as well. These forth commin elections could shift the balance of power, hopefully less gas and more of a spark. We have been led to think we now have the power yet we seem powerless as to the cuts that will bleed for many years. The Big Society?? As Ed Milliband said, what about the Fair Society?
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Oil be alright??

Or will we? With the impending doom prescribed to us, how much can we do without oil. The oilmen get fat with the profits they make from this trade. In a way we all profit with the use of oil. Manufacturers of cars try to make their machines as fuel misers. Yet some folk still seem to want to race around at full throttle and it is costing them dearly. Many need fuel as a lifeline, for warmth and transport to work the land to feed us. Then why do the islands have to pay so much extra for something on their doorstep. Councilor Wills wants a micro_refinery built, that is very sensible. Sending oil to Scotland and back at inflated prices is madness. But if that happens, will the petrol dealers make even more profit? Again, time for some action. Write to Councilor Wills may be a good start.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Where else would you need to be.

What a cracking day. Since I have been here on my break the weather has been fantastic. Even if the weather was poor my visit would still be fantstic. The folk I have met certainly make the place bright all the time. Lynne and Jim from Fort Charlotte guesthouse have always offered great hosptality, Mike, Alex and the rest of the Coastguard team with their passion and love for where they serve, Inga and Mandy for their support of this home they call Shetland. Not forgetting as well, Amy. All these folk and many more think this is a great place, so it is with all the right ingredients.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Monday, February 28, 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

My walk from the new defences at the Sletts up to the Knab has been fantastic. Although the frost is still lurking in the shadows, the sun breaks the chill and encourages a wee bit of perspiration. With the sun lighting their faces like sweets bring out the child there is a vigor in the greetings of the morning. Folk are smiling, children are chattin and I came across a grandad and grandaughter singing Shetland songs. There are many reasons to be cheerful. Embrace them. Have fun.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another good start.

Another great looking morning here on the Thule. I met with the representatives from the Shetland Coastguard yesterday. We did some recordings for future radio shows. Through out the session, the loss of jobs was last thing mentioned. Their total concern was the future safety of the Isles, the folk who use the seas not just around but for hundreds of miles. Also the Shetland Coastguard are involved in missing persons, mountain rescue, inland rescue and incident management. They provide the personal touch, educating kids and anyone who needs information. They deal with the kin if victims to help them understand and they know the area, its foybles and its folks. They do this with passion and vigor with complete confidence. So #saveshetlandcoastguard there is a meeting at the Town Hall on 28 Feb, sign the petition and put up a poster.
TWITTER = shetlandpeat