GUY MARTIN. Road racer, engine builder, downhill mountain biker, tea junkie, dambusters expert... and a member of the Tyco TAS Suzuki Team 2012. There is no limit to this man's range of talents. Seven Ulster GPs, seven consecutive Scarborough gold cups and 13 TT podiums demonstrate that he's none too shabby between the hedges either.

Latvia

Posted by WebAdmin
December 11th, 2015

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After the India programmes, that were on the telly earlier this year, the TV bods asked where else I’d like to go a do a travel programme. I’m quite happy in North Lincolnshire, and though I like seeing other places, I have to have reasons to go there. I’ve always wanted to go to Latvia, because my Granddad was from there. Voldemars Kidals is the man who told me, When You Dead, You Dead, that ended up being the name of my book.

 

The programme was originally going to be me sussing out what Latvia was about, but it turns out there’s an interesting story on my granddad, that we never knew. We knew he was a prisoner of war, but we found out more. He only died ten years ago, but there was loads of stuff he hadn’t even told his own son and daughter.

 

While I was out there I was looking into the family history, but also travelling around Latvia and meeting the locals, seeing them going about their daily business. It’s very like Lincolnshire. It’s only been out of Soviet control since 1988. Latvia that is, not Lincolnshire.

 

My mum and Granddad went over there in 1972 and you couldn’t say anything, because walls had ears back then and I like hearing all about stuff like that.

 

I saw where my granddad grew up and I could see why he settled where he did, near Caistor, where me and most of my family still live.

 

There are really only two major cities in Latvia, one being the capital, Riga, but the most interesting place we went was Liepaja, on the south-west coast. There are dirt roads between the towns and cities.

 

It was such an interesting place, and while the country isn’t all anti-Russian, most of it is. There’s still a lot of Russians there.

 

It’s beautiful. Though maybe that’s not the right word, because it’s not beautiful like New Zealand or the Lake District, but beautiful like North Lincolnshire. Proper.

 

Blog brought to you by guymartinproper.com

 

 

Vulcan XH558

Posted by WebAdmin
November 25th, 2015

“The Vulcan is being parked up for good and I was asked to do a programme about the plane, its history and the final flight. The Vulcan first flew in 1952 and it’ll never fly again. The reason is, it needs a load of people from BAE systems, Marhsall Aerospace and Rolls-Royce to sign off the plane to be safe to fly, and all the folk with the right sort of 1950s skills to do that are either retiring or dying off.

 

“It would be so difficult to do again because the Vulcan is classified as a complex aircraft by the CAA – the Civil Aviation Authority. Spitfires and Lancasters and all that are classed as simple aircraft.

 

“Before the one the programme concentrates on was made air-worthy again, the CAA said that plane will never fly again, we don’t even have a category for it, but Dr Robert Pleming, the main man behind getting it back in the air, said ‘Well, what if I do this?’ And the authority said, ‘Well yes.’ And he did that for every problem. It cost £7 million, raised through the charity, Vulcan To The Sky Trust, to get the Vulcan back in the air and it’ll never fly again.

 

“It has 14 miles of wiring and 100,000 components. There are no mechanical links to anything. With a Lancaster or a Spitfire you can see that bit moves that bit, but the Vulcan is all run by mechanical computers: gears and cogs that flick this relay that energises that relay. It is massively complex.

 

“I was having a craic with the pilots, but as soon as it came to the pre-flight checks they turned into robots. They aren’t nervous going up in it because they spend an hour doing pre-flight checks, every button is checked.

 

“The majority of Vulcans were based in Coningsby, Scampton and Waddington, all Lincolnshire air bases, but that link to Lincolnshire doesn’t make me like it more, even though this county is the centre of the universe. It just made sense to base bombers here because of it’s strategic location during World War II and the Cold War. The attraction is just that the Vulcan is a fascinating plane with a lot of history.

 

“There was a week of celebration of the plane, just before it was parked up for good and during that week I went up in The Blades’ stunt plane and flew so close to the Vulcan that I felt I could have reached out and touched its wing. It was another money couldn’t buy it experience that i’ve had through the TV job.

 

“You can watch the programme on Channel 4 on Sunday 29th November at 19.30 hours.”

 

www.guymartinproper.com

Guy Martin’s Calendar 2016

Posted by WebAdmin
November 9th, 2015

From magic fish to Ducati’s secret test rider. Guy Martin’s once a year dip into the art world. The 2016 calendar sees him tie up with artist Ryan Quickfall for some personal, oddball pictures and photos from Guy’s head and world – available at www.guymartinproper.com. Automatic entry to Guy’s prize draw, well done to all this year’s winners. JUST £10 with £1 from every sale going to Spinal Research. Guy Martin Proper has donated over £15K to charity from product sales, including Spinal Research, Animal Rescue Centre, Just Jane Lancaster Bomber and the Southern 100 Marshals association. 

 

Thanks very much for the support.