Authors: Keith Martin

Titles by Keith Martin


Friern Barnet Library was already a part of library history. Back in 1934, when it was built, assisted by a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, it was the UK pioneer in inviting borrowers themselves to take books off the library shelves to borrow them. Previously that was done by a librarian.
But in 2012 the library was summarily closed by the Council, who had plans to sell the building. The community responded with a massive campaign, including harnessing the BBC The One Show to feature on prime time TV the People’s Library on the green, outside the closed library on Saturday mornings.
All to no avail…. Until squatters invited the community to join them in repopening the library and running it.

ISBN 978-0-9569344-7-5

£8.00 - available from October 2013

WE USED TO WRITE LETTERS by Keith Martin is a collection of letters connected with the author’s family. Starting with his Grandma Florrie, who was in service in 1904 to Lady Wilson, the wife of a Boer War hero in the late Nineteenth Century.
Keith’s father Cyril – born 1902, died 1964 just before West Ham won their first F A Cup Final.
Cyril’s sister Auntie Joyce – born 1911, died 2007.
Brother Ian, born 1934 (chloroform was used routinely during childbirth then), died 1997, whose letters home from national military service in Cyprus in the 1950s are included.
Keith lived and worked as an accountant in Brussels from 1959 to 1962, met Joan Davison in 1963 and they were married in 1965. Three daughters – Frances, Heather and Laurie – were born in 1967, 1969 and 1971.
Keith’s reminiscences of The Curwen Press from 1971 to 1982 are recorded in his book PEANUTS AT THE TATE.
He founded Chaville Press in 2011.
The book ends with the continuing saga of Friern Barnet library, the library that refused to be closed.

ISBN 978-0-9569344-5-1


PEANUTS AT THE TATE: THE CURWEN PRESS – REMINISCENCES by Keith Martin is a memoir of reminiscences about the years 1971 to 1982 when he was working for The Curwen Press in Plaistow, East London.

Also in this volume is
A talk to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary in 2009 of Barnet’s town twinning with Chaville, near Versailles.

ISBN 978-0-9569344-1-3


SKETCHES 1993 to 2011 by Keith Martin is a colouring book “for our five-year-old grandson Matty and our three-year-old twin granddaughters Francesca and Bianca, who are all rather good at colouring in.”

On another level the images are souvenirs of the nineteen years since he took early retirement in 1992.
Holidays, visits to Music Camp at Pigotts in Buckinghamshire, the street in Fermo, Italy, where Francesca and Bianca live.

ISBN 978-0-9569344-0-6


IRAQ, OTHER SHORT STORIES AND SONGS by Keith Martin is a collection of autobiographical memoirs, short stories, poems and songs. Lots about West Ham United.
There is also a chapter reminiscent of Alistair Cooke entitled ‘Debate 2011 on Barnet museums, libraries and artsdepot.’

ISBN 978-0-9569344-2-0



Keith Martin is a retired Chartered Accountant. He took early retirement from NALGO, where he was Chief Accountant, in 1993. He suffered a heart attack at a table tennis match in 2004, since when every day has been an unexpected bonus. In 2011 he founded Chaville Press, which has since published thirteen books, all by local authors and artists. The most successful title has been The Friern Hospital Story by David Berguer, and Keith’s own Friern Barnet – the library that refused to close promises to sell well too. £2 per copy sold is donated to Friern Barnet Community Library.


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