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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Christoph and Pipes

 That's the name of a heavy rainstorm affecting the area over three days.  The Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway line has closed because of flooding during the course of today, Wednesday.  Enigmatically, Northern are saying 'flooding between Skipton and Carlisle' - which is a helluva long flood.  We shall see.

Meanwhile it is comforting to have so much of our rain-screen cladding in place.  Somehow Terminals 1 and 2 feel cosier but in fact the temperature in terminal 2 holds rock steady at 22 degrees C.

The central heating in the main tower is still not working well but thanks to a visit from plumber Luke Tyler yesterday we are hot on the heels of the cause some of the valves which control the fourteen! separate underfloor heating zones are stuck in the shut or not-full-open position.  Luke himself was not able to fix that as it is a job for an experience underfloor heating specialist - in hand.  Here are just 8 of those 14 zones, serving the ground floor:

Meanwhile upstairs:

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Cows and Cladding

 We are obeying covid lockdown meticulously but I can and am pushing on with the external cladding as weather allows.  It really is rather fun and I am taking great care to achieve millimetre accuracy. Today I finished off a rather tricky external corner.  Just one more panel to go (tomorrow) and that's the lower course of the rear wall done - to be finally adjusted when the parapet panels are all in place.

This is one of the two south facing walls today, complete 0n it lower level with a tricky corner.  I know it has been of some concern to neighbours who feared it would be a perpetual unfinished blot on their landscape:

The snow has gone for now down here in the dale but it is still there on the tops.   Here are a couple of lovely pictures of Ribblehead station and of the Settle Highland cattle:

That's a Relief

Back in May 2013 there was a post on this Blog where I made passing reference to having dug the first sod of the Bingley Relief Road.

 This was met with some disbelief at the time.  It was front page news in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus back in 2001.  Believe me, you normally have to kill somebody to get on the front page of the T&A.  I knew I had the relevant cutting somewhere as evidence.  Well, yesterday I was sorting through loads of rubbish in the garage loft and I came across this:

Why me digging the fist sod?  I was President of Bingley Civic Trust back then and the Civic Trust had campaigned for this hugely controversial road to be built on a route that would have to go right through the middle of the old town, there being no realistic alternatives.  There had been two public enquiries, the first of which had had to be abandoned because of disorder.  The second lasted for three months, chaired by a retired no-nonsense Admiral, Sir Stephen Berthon.  Pat had attended every single day and given evidence of the Civic Trust's surprising but highly significant stance.  The T&A had wanted her to pop along to the construction camp and to be photographed 'cutting the first sod'.  She had agreed to do a radio interview so I deputised.  She has still not forgiven me.  There was no ceremonial sod-cutting for fear of further disorder so the 'ceremony' was an ad-hoc affair by the T&A, using a shovel from Wickes.

Reminded me rather of that classic TV advertisement where an old man telephones a bookshop and asks if by any chance they had a copy of 'Fly Fishing' by J.R.Hartley.  The bookseller said that they had and that he would post it on.  "Can I have your name and address please?"

Ah yes says the old man. "Hartley.  J.R.Hartley"    Good old Yellow Pages.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Ingleborough from Whernside

This absolutely cracking picture of Ingleborough taken from the taller Whernside was posted over Christmas by the bYorkshire Dales National Park.   The background  looks like sea and perhaps is in part.

Certainly Ingleborough is visible from Morecambe Bay

We Really Should Get Out More

 Like most of the UK's population we are under lockdown - confined to the house essentially - as the country, indeed the World, struggles on its way during the COVID 19 pandemic.  This is not too big an ask here at the now-extended water tower in winter.  We are in good health all things considered as as far as we know we have not had COVID.

Today there was hoar frost about which covered everything outdoors with glisten, not least a spiders web which straddled the space between the Shogun's front wheel arch and the wheel:

Proof if it was needed that the Shogun has not moved for a while.  The old girl is not forgotten though - she started first go today, cobweb or not.

Meanwhile this bitter winter continues to show the Dales in all their glory.  Below is the view from one of the accommodation rooms of the Station Inn at Ribblehead with the viaduct centre stage and Whernside in the background:

And here's one of Pen y Ghent with its winter coat on:

Meanwhile son-in-law emeritus Alan in Pittsburgh has done us the favour of recommending the water tower blog as a fascinating glimpse of life in the Yorkshire Dales.

And as cure for insomnia.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Diarlemma Solved

In normal years we pop along to Settle's Victoria Hall any Tuesday in November and get ourselves a page-a-day diary for next year but not this year.

We found ourselves diary-less quite a few days into January and the local place for such things had sold out.  We went onto E-Bay and bought a diary which arrived remarkably soon,  Only trouble was the pages were scrambled:

As Eric and Ern might have said "there's all the right dates but maybe not in quite the right order".

Not just that, the dates are on the insides of the pages - in the fold of the book - so they are invisible as you flip through!

We still needed a diary so took to Facebook's 'Settle Chat' group and, lo and behold, a Samaritan called Kenzie Forster came to our rescue.  She had a spare 2021 desk diary and she delivered it to us!  Remarkable.  Thank You Kenzie.   That's the sort of place Settle is.

The Settle Chat comments chain was amusing - why did we, or anybody else, NEED a 2021 diary the way things are!  Can't go anywhere, can't meet anybody and every day's the same.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Old Vicarage Syndrome

The Old Vicarage Syndrome?  Yes.  When the CofE was rich they built vicarages in fine style and BIG.  Many survive but few still serve as vicarages.  They are the preserve of the secular rich who may be better able to maintain them or, most importantly HEAT them.  Hence the OV Syndrome - the vicar would retreat into a small self-contained part of the building while the rest remained unheated during the cold months of winter.  Then come spring the grander larger part would be re-occupied after 'spring cleaning' of course.

We are in a similar situation just now - the main tower is cold, both downstairs and above.  The underfloor gas-heated water pipes are getting no heat - possibly because their horribly complicated room thermostats have thrown in the towel.   The boiler is working fine, thanks to its service and is heating the Terminal 1 new annex - the kitchen, a WC and utility room.  The brand new bit (Terminal 2) is electrically heated and is warm as toast.   The rest, the stone tower is off limits for now.  Luke the plumber had seen there was a problem when he serviced the boiler and got it going.  We had a new boiler in late 2018 and he suspects that was incorrectly fitted, either in its plumbing or (more likely) its electrics.   He is liaising with electrician Steve Dinsdale and we shall try to sort it out but meanwhile the Combined Terminals 1 and 2 are proving an ideal winter retreat for the 'vicar', his wife and cat.

The room thermostats may be replaced with straightforward 'on/off and temperature' dial types.

Meanwhile it is cold.   Here is this morning's webcam image from Ribblehead station: