Search This Blog


Monday, 17 October 2016

Last of the Summer Wine Strikes Again

Remember these things on the platforms of any large station in the land?   On very large stations they were strung together and towed along full of mailbags by a mechanical tug driven by a homicidal maniac.    That was before 'elf n' safety of course.

click to enlarge

This one (an LMS pattern 201 trolley for the nerds among you) has been painstakingly restored at FoSCL's Settle workshop.   Only problem was it would not fit through the doors and gateways to take a direct route to the station so it had to come through the water tower area.   Unwittingly this in effect  re-created a scene straight out of Last of the Summer Wine.   Here's me in the Foggy Dewhurst role and three other members of the Saturday Summer Wine Club.   A fifth member is operating the camera and receiving unwanted advice from the rest - hence the worried looks.

We did consider a tin bath on the trolley for a victim to sit in but rejected the idea as juvenile and embarrassing once we got onto the crowded platform.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

We Have a Gardener

My busted Achilles tendon has curtailed my gardening capacity for a while - particularly on the steeply sloping garden areas.   But we now have an excellent and very knowledgeable gardener - Jonathan Jackson B.Sc.   Jon really knows his stuff and advises on specialist planting schemes as well as providing a full landscaping service.   Oh yes, and he is a Gold Medal winner at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.   Here he is after a morning's hard work getting to grips with the top of our hill.

click to enlarge

The garden here is an important part of the visitor experience and it is great to have somebody on board who really knows his stuff.   We shall be entering the garden in the 2017 Settle Open Gardens by which time, and with Jon's help, we shall have a garden to be really proud of.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Friday, 30 September 2016

TV Non-Career Continues

'Our' railway got a good airing on BBC 1's Railways - The Making of a Nation:

This is on the BBC I-Player, meaning that it will be removed after a month or so.

My bit starts at about 20 minutes.

There are some magnificent drone shots of the railway line - especially of the Ribblehead Viaduct.   The local farmer, canny chap, charged the BBC for the use of his airspace.   I wonder if all those jets flying from Heathrow to the United States also have to pay him?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

A Little Grey Yanmar Now

When I bought the Yanmar YM14 mini tractor for the bargain price of £351 on E-Bay I knew it has two major faults.   Its brakes did not work and the steering wheel would do half a true before anything happened.

Googling and YouTubing both these items produced the solutions.   What a marvel the internet is.

I am getting to the rebuilding stage and very satisfying it is too:

click to enlarge

Here she is in a coat of primer, looking like a tiny version of a Grey Fergie.

For comparison this is how she was:

I have been able to match the lime green / yellow paint colour so she should look very smart indeed next year sometime.   More importantly she will go, stop and steer!

I had a visitor earlier in the week who knew a thing or two about these things.   Wow he said.   A Yanmar YM 14 two cylinder diesel!   He went on to tell me what superb machines these were back in their day.    Mine's day turns out to have been 1979 from various markings here and there.

For inspiration here is a smart looking example from Poland, Russia or somewhere like that

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Lawn Mowing Milestone

Since my chemotherapy I have been struggling with the three lawns around this place.

I have always found lawn mowing quite therapeutic.    There is something about the smell of new mown grass and the neat results that is very satisfying.   It demands attention and any of the worlds worries are set aside.

I have three very different lawns here -
- the verge of the station drive
- the public verge along Station Road that the local council had abandoned
- the steep banking behind the water tower

Each has its challenges and during my chemotherapy they would take three or more days to mow.   I began to wonder if there would ever be a day when I could see off all three in the one day.

Well, today was the day!

Trial and error had found me the two mowers that would do the job:

This tiny Bosch machine is light and agile enough for the steep slope and the station drive

and this Einhell relative monster with its driven rear wheels is perfect for the Station Road verge .

I really do feel that I am on the mend.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

An Unusual Angle - Super Picture

What a lovely late summer afternoon we had today.   By appointment we hosted visitors from The Holiday Fellowship at Settle station.   Whilst they were in the signal box pulling the levers and ringing the bells I wandered out onto the walkway and got this pretty picture of the water tower tank and roof room with the dramatic limestone scenery in the background:

click to enlarge

Not obvious in the picture is our sun-deck - two chairs and a table on a raised portion of deck which catches the sun from mid morning until sunset:

The views from there are amazing.   The raised portion of deck is set back a long way from the tank sides so it is quite safe.   The chairs and table are securely tied down so that they do not blow away.   Depending on wind direction it is actually very sheltered.