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Thursday, 14 March 2019

That Bloody Woman

Proud as Punch of this picture of our darling daughter Lorna as she gives her 22nd pint of much needed blood.

A+ (what else?) matches about 1/3rd of the population but Lorna has some special factor which is uncommon and is particularly valuable for new-born babies.   Apparently it's because she didn't catch something as a child.   Proud parents even prouder.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Planning Permission Granted

I've kept quiet about this on this Blog but we have today received planning and listed building consent for our revised submission following refusal of our earlier scheme last year.   Now, we just need to know if it is affordable, then we can get building.

In summary we hope to be building a two bedroom/ kitchen / bathroom / lounge extension to our existing annex at first floor level, supported partly on stilts where the rear embankment drops away.

For those who lack the will to live the whole application can be seen at

and here are the pictures - click on any one to enlarge:

Special thanks at this stage to architect Stuart Green - and to Restoration Man / Amazing Spaces guru George Clarke who scrutinised the plans mid-way and pointed out how we might save some space.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Low Flying Hum Dingers

Various friendly air forces treat the Yorkshire Dales to some spectacular low flying almost daily.   The geography and the sparse population make it ideal.   This is from a local Facebook posting today and shows a big military aircraft posing nicely in front of Pen y Ghent.

click to enlarge

Most days, or so it seems, we get the incredible looking machines pictured below overhead and low down, always going from east to west:

I think they are Bell-Boeing V22 vertical take off and landing aircraft.   In level forward flight, as over Settle, they make a devil of a noise and look very odd with those enormous propellers.   Stealth aircraft they are not.   We had a couple in formation yesterday.

I wonder if they find our SETTLE lettering on the tower roof at all reassuring?

Water Towers Deal With Huge Forces

I came across these alarming pictures on the Blog of the British Water Tower Appreciation Society*.   They show a water tower at  Witney, Oxfordshire whose tank burst on 1904 for want of adequate bracings inside.   They fixed it and it apparently burst again in 1905!

You can read the full story at

If somebody in centuries to come ever thinks of re-filling our tank with water - beware!!!

We removed the forest of wrought iron bracing rods from inside the tank.   Having taken expert advice.

* The British Water Tower Appreciation Society (BWTAS) actually exists - and a jolly fine bunch of people they are too.   Even so, when I do talks about the water tower and I mention BWTAS the audience always bursts into disbelieving laughter.   It certainly pushes the boundaries of credibility though.   I have a friend, Prof. Paul Salveson, who is a director of The British Tripe Marketing Board.   Now, that one IS a spoof - yet it has a convincing enough website:

Stuff like this makes Britain great.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Summer in February

We're having a heatwave.   In February.   Yesterday we had lunch on the roof in 'summer' sunshine and I had to retire indoors as I was just too hot.   Our weather station was showing a 'feels like'* temperature of 20.8 degrees.

* Feels-like is a combination of air temperature and relative humidity.   You needed to know that.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Certified Automatics Drivers

Neither Pat nor I have felt the inclination or the need to drive ex son-in-law Alan's Mitsubishi Shogun as it is big, thirsty - and an automatic.   Its 3.5 litre V6 (I think) engine sounds throaty and it goes like a rocket.

Daughter Lorna has one too and she has been here over the weekend so, in a twist of circumstances, she has taught us both how to drive the automatic monster.   Here we are, both looking triumphantly smug.

It is a 2003 Shogun Warrior with just 44,000 miles on the clock.   Hardly run-in really and with all the bells and whistles, including heated front seats.   And, as of today, a reversing camera.   Handy for those of us with broken necks!

Friday, 15 February 2019


So sad to report here the death at 52 of Richard Kilburn - the Kilburn of our ace builders Kilburn and Johnson.   I shall always remember Richard telling me, in no uncertain terms "We don't need no project manager".   He was right too.

This Blog features quite a lot about Richard and his reluctance to be filmed.   So much so that I nicknamed him The Stig, after the unseen hero of TV motoring show Top Gear.   For many months the best picture I could get of Richard was his builder's backside.   Here is an example:

He eventually yielded to the inevitable and relaxed a little:

He even did a TV interview with Restoration Man George Clark but it wasn't used, probably much to Kipper's relief.

He was a hard taskmaster to his team though, insisting on the highest of standards always.   Apprentice Tim had what I imagine was Richard's own tough time of it when he started in the building trade.

I am glad I bothered to take this final picture of Richard (Kipper) Kilburn's brush:

Well, Kipper's funeral has taken place with a massive - indeed overflowing attendance at Settle church.   I was in the overflow in the church's entrance lobby where one could only hear occasional snatches of the words, despite the amplification system but I did hear the Water Tower and Restoration Man getting an honourable mention.   A right-good-do though.

- Spandau Ballet Through the Barricades
- And did those feet in ancient time
- Psalm 121
- Amazing grace
- Gerry and the Pacemakers You'll Never Walk Alone