Aith Gun

Aith Gun
Breezy Isles, Shetland

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............................