Aith Gun

Aith Gun
Breezy Isles, Shetland

Saturday, November 24, 2012

United we Stand

Hellow folks,

my latest news is that I have been nominated and elected as the union rep at work. Representing the Unite workers at County will of course be hard work, especially with the impending doom we are always told we are facing.
We have been championing some causes over the last few months, most recently, to have defibrillators installed in any new public building. We also want to get them at sports events especially where youngsters are, and their excitable dads. I have been introduced to the OK Foundation recently by Cllr Matthew Tomlinson. Please have a look at the link, there is also a petition to sign if you are minded to. It would be very helpful.
My questions in Full Council I believe got support, I think we may need to push harder as time goes on.
My thanks, during the last Council meeting to Cllr O'Hare. We submit written questions to council on some occasions, but, the public are not always in receipt of those questions in advance. I was having a little trouble reading out my questions, he asked if they could be taken as they are as they have been circulated in advance. Many years ago I fractured my skull in a car accident, some may say that that could explain much, alas, no, one thing it did seem to do was make it difficult for me to read, especially speak at the same time.
We, the Labour Group also put a motion to council about introducing a Living Wage, please click on the link to find out more.

It seems The Maltings are to be demolished. We have asked for the plans for demolition, as yet, Places for People have yet to divulge, makes you wonder if they are hiding anything, especially as they make their money on social housing. We have spoken to residents and will be forming a monitoring group. Also the plot borders with Greencroft Valley, that too will have to be monitored.

The Pumpkin Patch is being made ready for winter, we have dug over some of the beds, we have also approved the purchase of a shed, this means we can pop along at any time. Louise from the Community centre will be encouraging some of the youngsters in her club to get involved, the plan would be to let them have one of the raised beds. This can be discussed at the AGM on Sunday 25th November at 3pm at the United Reform Church in Penwortham.

Hmm, work. This year I will be spreading Christmas Grittings in and around Brierfield. I volunteered to do the Christmas week to let those with young families have their Dads at Christmas. I now drive a 26 tonne, 6 wheel drive gritter/plough. It is exciting stuff. What I also have to keep in mind is that I will be driving on untreated roads. After a nights driving, this screen is very welcome.


The Remembrance march in Penwortham was well attended. It was great to see so many young folk still taking part.
The memorial has been cleaned up by Ron and his friends, if you want to get involved, give them a call at Penwortham Town Council
Anyone know of this Penwortham resident. I spotted these papers on Ebay and grabbed them. Happy to return to relatives if they are still around.
The radio show is still in full can listen here to a few shows.

Octobers Show

Novembers Show (Remember)

The shows are pre-recorded at my studio at home and are on Preston FM every 4 weeks.
Hurst Grange Park.

Although the friends group do what they can, it seems there is need for a great deal of work. How, I wonder it managed to maintain the green flag I do not know. We are still waiting on some action.

My Presentation

If you want to comment, feel free, links will be below...


Cllr Keith Martin

Friday, November 02, 2012

Grittings from here

Getting ready for a nights work in Burnley

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Der Mythus des XX. Jahrhunderts

The book has arrived in Amsterdam, below is a copy of the reply I got...


Dear Keith Martin,

Due to a ‘server migration’ I had no opportunity to write you earlier, but I have received Der Mythus des XX. Jahrhunderts. I would like to have the time to work my way through 700 pages of gothic script, but for the time being we will keep the book for research and reference when relevant.
The inscription is written in the so called ‘Sütterlin’-script. It’s not the language but this script that makes it hardly legible for me. What I do gather at this point is that the writer of the inscription gives the book to his ‘best friend’ in remembrance of the ending of a course they both attended, apparantly something in law. If I do find the opportunity I will try and decypher it fully one day.
So thank you very much for letting us have this remarkable document, and should you ever be in the Netherlands do not hesitate to contact us for a visit.

With kind regards,

Gertjan Broek
Collecties - Collections

Anne Frank Stichting - Anne Frank House
Postbus - PO Box 730
1000 AS Amsterdam - NL
Kantooradres - Office Address: Westermarkt 10
T  +31 (0)20 5567100 
F +31 (0)20 6207999

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Alfred Rosenberg

A while ago I found a book at a charity stall. For some reason, it had a very sinister feel and look to it, it was in German and printed in 1939. It is called Myth of the 20th Century  I did a little research and found that this was one of the reasons Alfred Rosenberg, the author, was executed after the war by Pierpoint. I lent the book to a friend who fancied a go at reading it, he was stationed in Berlin during the Cold War and knew a little of the German Language. After getting it back, I was a wee bit worried what to do with it. If I sold it, what sort of group or person would buy it and for what reason. I contacted the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and let them know of my thoughts and wondered if they knew a safe deposit for the book. They emailed back and said a researcher is very interested in the book and thought it could help their cause. Of course, how could I say no. The book will be on its way to the Museum at the week end, with hope it may help the research and be part of the museum and give an insight as to why we should never, never let this be acceptable, the persecution of another race.

Anne Frank
Died of Typhus weeks before the British liberated the camp.

If you ever visit Amsterdam, please take the time to visit the Anne Frank Museum. The industrial extermination of human beings depicted is very moving. Many a wet eye during my visit.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kingsfold Community - Hardship Fund

Need a little help???

 There is a small fund available for those who may need a little help. This applies to groups and residents in Kingsfold. Please keep in mind, it is a small fund. If your group needs something or you are struggling to pay a bill or at risk of getting into debt then we may be able to help.
We will as well try to point you in the right direction and see if there are any other ways you can get help.
They will normally be a one off payment though consideration may be given for up to two months if required.
You must live in Kingsfold and your group must be in Kingsfold to help enhance the lives of Kingsfold residents.
The money is offered completely on trust. I would like to know how it was used though and if it helped.

It is a confidential service, unless your group would not mind me mentioning them on my radio show and on this and other website. Hopefully it will get you more attention.
You can contact me or pop along to the Penwortham Community Centre and speak to either Mick or Steve, the two officers. They will then contact me.

If you feel you want to take part in this project, have a little spare cash we are hoping to set a small committee up to perhaps boost this. It will evolve as time and experience goes.

Where did the money come from?
The Council at South Ribble voted to increase members expenses by £250 a year to cover increased costs of fuel and other modes of transport. I ride a bike every where, you may have seen me. So the extra "expense" is not really there. I obtained the bike from my work with the Cycle to Work scheme. I have added another £50 to that and it then lets us offer £25 a month. I know it is not a great amount, but it could be just enough to give a little boost, buy a little time or get the odd piece of stationary for your group.

The fund has been taken twice, not all of it, but enough to help.

I have recently qualified as a Community Health Champion with the Royal Society for Public Health. I now get regular updates from the NHS and other bodies. I will be putting this together for my web site and for here. It is taking a little longer than I hoped.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Although we have been complaining about the rain, it seems to be doing some good for the Penwortham Pumpkin Patch. The vegetables are in competition with each other. The potatoes will soon be ready, we have already been sampling the fresh peas and strawberries, they just keep coming.

The compost bins are now working for us, the rain harvesting is working too well, if anyone has a 1cubic metre cube for liquids we will be interested.

There is now an army of folk who come along, our plans are now to put in some sort of seating and we will be holding more events. There will now be folk there on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday eveinings as well as the normal working parties. Check for further details.

Penwortham Town Council have a community orchard and we will be helping them to develop a soft fruit patch amongst other things.

There is talk about starting up the food bank in Penwortham again, I cannot think of anything better than fresh fruit and veg to help folk along.

I have had talks with Mr Paul Pells of Penwortham Holme Allotments about getting involved in some of their projects and them helping out with ours. We spoke about the allotment providing flowering plants to spruce up the Kingsfold shopping area and providing seedlings and advice and some practical help to the Pumpkin Patch, PTC and anyone else who may require it.

Community Coppicing. There are plans for another group to be started in Leyland. We can cut up to 10 cubed metres of wood, some folk come and help because they have wood burners, we do need to keep some by to sell which will help in paying for insurance and training. If you are interested in taking part let me know. We are also looking for somewhere where we can store up to 40 cubic metres of wood for seasoning (40 large builders bags). They do not have to be in one place.

Cardboard for compost heaps. If you want some old egg boxes let me know. A kind local business man has offered some to us. They are ideal for composting as egg boxes are generally the last use for recycled cardboard as the fibres become too short, but break down really well.

The Penwortham Pumpkin Patch took part in the Penwortham Open Gardens this year, a very encouraging turn out. We supplied plants and refreshments for free, just asked for donations, so a big thank you to those who donated.

I have been talking to The Kay Holmes Trust about a memorial garden for Katy, I am sure many of you will be aware of the Katy Holmes Trust .
We will develop an interactive garden, one with information boards and some fruiting plants, food for life will be the theme. Talks are in their youth still but we have South Ribble Borough Council and Penwortham Town Council on board. So, watch this space.

As out plants reach for the skies, the work seems never to be done. We are already planning next year and learning from what we have done this year. Be sure that it will be much better.

If you want any further information, please contact me, my web site has a contact FORM HERE

Many thanks for reading and we hope to see you at one of our events.

Cllr. Keith Martin

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Community Health Champion

Hi folks,

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in some very good company. I attended the "Community Health Champion" course held by North West Employers for us councillors.

I was quite taken aback at all the information that was presented, also the passion of those hosting the course and the speakers that came on both days.

I have not had time to digest all the information, I collected many links and the possibility of some funding for projects, over the next week I will collate these and present them here, I will also be doing it for the South Ribble Labour Group.

From what I have seen, from South Ribble, only Labour councillors attended. In our session, there were two Conservatives from Cumbria CC. Two Labour councillors from Liverpool CC and one Labour councillor from Halton. Cllr Mick Titherington and myself were the only councillors in opposition.
This may make it a little difficult to put issues forward in South Ribble, we can only hope that the Tories there see some sense. We will give our councillors as much information as we can.

The training was specifically designed for community members, North West Employers are looking at holding some more, so if you are interested, get on to them, they mentioned September.

One thing that did stand out was much of the research was done in and around Liverpool. It was important I thought to mention this at the end of the session, we should see Liverpool as forward and not, as the Tory media would like to see it as the reverse. What the North West is benefiting from is the hardships of a few. Please keep that in your thoughts.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Questions to the Leader, 2

The minutes have been released internally and are such...

Questions to the Leader

Councillor Martin informed Council that he had been contacted by a member of his ward who, along with over 116,000 other Farepak savers, had yet to receive any money back and current projections were that they would receive only 15 pence in every pound as compensation. He asked if the Leader would ask her group to be supportive of any South Ribble victims of Farepak who came forward and if she would consider writing to the borough’s MPs about the issue and future regulation in the currently unregulated voucher market.

The Leader thanked Councillor Martin for having given her advance notice of the question which had given her an opportunity to look into the latest position. She said that it was sad that it was taking so long for the Farepak matter to be resolved but she understood that questions had already been asked in parliament and that around 6000 customers had now received some payment. She had contacted Lorraine Fullbrook’s office earlier in the day and, as far as Mrs Fullbrook could recall, she had not had any contact from concerned residents but would be willing to take it as far as she could if Councillor Martin and/or residents wished to contact her direct. She had informed the Leader that the administrators were moving forward in agreeing claims and that next of kin of any savers who had subsequently died would receive a payment in their stead.

Lorraine Fullbrook became MP in 2010.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Questions to the Leader

I have submitted my question to the Leader of South Ribble Borough Council to our group for consideration regarding Farepak.
The question will be asking her to agree with me that it is an outrage and can she do what she can to forward justice.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Times Past...a few pics

Here are a few pics from our family collection. Some of the pictures go back quite away.
My Granny is on the left

 My Great Uncle Tom meeting an auld friend

St Magnus Church in Lerwick.

The two standing in front of the alter is my Mam and Dad in 1964.

This cheeky young chap is my Dad, this was taken about 1953 or so. He is now in Viewforth resting before his next journey, which will be a long one.

This young lady, with a pleasant grin is my Mam. Not too sure when this was taken but in the background you can see what is now  Cpt Flints.

This is the wedding list of guests from 1964, April. Can you see any names you may know??

My Great Uncle Tom and my Grannies sister Aunt Vera, Mayor and Mayoress Hammersmith and Fulham

The bottom Pic is my Dad (left) and Uncle Dave

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Last Visit to Shetland - October 11


The Search

I had become interested in researching some of the names on the military headstones at The Knab. One of the "vessels" which was named was HMS Fox. After a little digging, it seems Lerwick was HMS Fox. The base, set up during WWII stretched from Battery Beach near The Knab up to Hays Dock and further. You can still see the weather vane above the buildings on the dock.
On the new viewing point at The Knab, on a disused gun emplacement there is also a picture of some of the buildings that formed part of the base on the slope from the Coastguards building.

The reason I could not see HMS Fox, was because I was in it.

Weather to change or not?

The weather is often spoken about. It has moulded and shaped the Isles and the people who live there.
You can sometimes see the weather coming, especially with the uninterrupted horizon.
I was at the gates of the New Cemetery and managed to get a panoramic picture to show.

More pics......

Time to Update

For those who have stuck with this blog thanks, looking at the stats there is quite a peak for yesterday.

My most recent news is being knocked from my cycle, managed to fix the bike and I will self heal.

Prescap and Preston FM

I have been quite busy with other projects. Prescap, the arts based charity in Preston will be closing on the 11th April, many of the staff are being made redundant this Friday so the race is on to keep the radio station, PrestonFM going. There are plans in the making, some legal stuff and a short fall of about £5k to keep it going until some locked in funding can be released. There has been a Transition Group set up. Many of the volunteers will now be running the station, in a way, it does show how well the paid staff have worked to see this happen.

Prescap have helped over 4000 people, employed 90 artists and have supported many groups in Preston and South Ribble to provide a better life and open up opportunities for themselves.

If you can spare a pound, send it to Preston FM, Fox Street, Preston, Lancs.

South Ribble Transition Towns

SRTT are part of the wider Transition Movement for the country, groups as far North as Shetland, many in towns and cities and some more rural.
The plan is to promote healthy living by giving people information, help and guidance in setting up their own community food growing projects. The realisation for some about Peak Oil has spurred this on.
The garden in Kingsfold, called the Penwortham Pumpkin Patch is in its 2nd year and much has been done. There are several beds for growing, some raised. Trees have been planted, soft fruit bushes. All done by volunteers.

It is great fun, the people are great and it has many benefits. In the two photos above I dug a drainage channel to relieve some flooding and I stood in for the Mayor to plant the tree.


On the 13th October 2006, many peoples hopes of a good Christmas were dashed. Farepak had folded. Many people had collected money as agents, and were told to continue right up to 13th October. Most of the savers were on a restricted income and many were retired.
Many of the agents felt guilty about this, and some had paid back people with their own money.
It has taken this long to start the claims, at the moment for every pound these people saved, they will only get back 15 pence. It has taken that long that many have just written off the debt and carried on, some have passed away and relatives are left with the burden.
It has been reported that the Administrators have cost the savers over £8,000,000 and counting.
There are groups still demanding their money back, it has been debated in London. Below are some of those links.

The collapse
The Guardian -  Victims £5,500,00  Administrators £8,200,000
MP urges quicker compensation 
The Daily Record - 200 victims have died without getting their compensation
The Daily Record - Directors facing court

There is also a Facebook page up and running  search for Farepak Victims Committee.

If you are in South Ribble and want to make a claim, please join the FB page, I would also like to highlight this to the Council. If you are in South Ribble and have a Farepak story please email me or send a message.

Preston FM and Funky Fridays

Yup, I am still producing a four weekly show for Preston FM. With the current developments, it will be touch and go I think, but the show will go on. The training at the station put me onto my own show, learning interview skills, feature presenting and the ins and outs of producing a radio show of my own. Over the last year, I have been buying and selling old postcards, doing this has enabled me to purchase a CD player, two mixers, microphones, stands and leads. Also with a generous gift from Kev who blogs as moder-dye of a Behringer desk, microphones, a Roland USB Audio Capture unit and leads, we are about as good as we can get, thanks Kev.
I have tried for a year to get some sort of Shetland Link going with the radio project, apart from myself, I was looking for people who either were from Shetland and in Preston/South Ribble or were from Preston/South Ribble and in Shetland. I did find Tom, in Shetland. I interviewed him in my Dads house down Burgh Road in Lerwick. What I will be doing now is having a section in the show playing music from Shetland and Orkney, with help from Sean, an experienced DJ now living in Orkney the first track goes out in the show on Friday 30th March. Fiona Driver is the first. The criteria is the music should be seriously foot tapping, bum wiggling and funky. If you know anyone, let me know, it will be Shetlands turn on the next show on 27th April.
I have volunteered to help out even further to keep the station up and running, this will include building maintenance, fund raising, studio management and anything else. I hope my experience as a house engineer for a old theatre turned bingo hall, my cinema jobs and my time working in the film industry will help.

More to follow............................