Martha says goodbye to blog after council says ‘no more photos’


Marha and her dad, Dave Payne

Lochgilphead school girl Martha Payne, who has become a world-wide phenomenon with her blog ‘Never Seconds’ on school meals,  has been told she can no longer take photos of her school meals for her blog.

She told readers of her blog last night, June 14 2012: ‘This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.

‘I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either. Goodbye.’

Her father, Dave Payne, added to Martha’s blog with: ‘ I felt it’s important to add a few bits of info to the blog tonight.

‘Martha’s school have been brilliant and supportive from the beginning and I’d like to thank them all. I contacted Argyll and Bute Council when Martha told me what happened at school today and they told me it was their decision to ban Martha’s photography.

‘It is a shame that a blog that today went through two million hits, which has inspired debates at home and abroad and raised nearly £2000 for charity is forced to end.’

Martha, aged nine, has become famous all over the world with her blog about her school meals – called Never Seconds because she  said they were not allowed second helpings – at Lochgilphead Joint Campus in Mid Argyll, which was originally set up as a writing exercise.

To date Martha’s blog has had more than 2,250,000 views but is rapidly heading towards 3 million. More than 500 messages of support have been left on Martha’s blog following her farewell post.

Martha started her blog in April of this year and it has resulted in children around the world sending her photos of their school meals which she posted on her blog, Martha featuring in national newspapers and even cooking up a meal with Nick Nairn.

Martha had decided to use interest in her blog to help raise funds for Mary’s Meals, a charity based in Dalmally, Argyll, to help feed children in Third World countries through special kitchens set up in schools to give those attending school one meal a day.

Council leader Councillor Roddy McCuish told Argyllshire Advertiser that the dinner ladies had been upset by a story the yesterday in a national newspaper, which had led to the decision: ‘There will be no censorship of any kind while we are in charge at Argyll and Bute Council. The dinner ladies have been unfairly treated in the newspapers and they are doing a difficult job.

‘It was always our intention to hold a school meals summit and I have a meeting next Thursday with Mr Payne, the school and other councillors to help find a way forward.’

See Martha’s blog here:

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