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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

How does it look?

Click to enlarge, this collage shows the roof room in situ. It is still unfinished externally. From some viewpoints, notably Station Road, The Sidings and close up to the tower it is invisible - and that was the idea. From other viewpoints it can be seen but its ethereal elegance, Mies van der Rohe inspired, is evident. People will have to make their own minds up but today's consensus was overwhelmingly favourable. It will be seen at its best from the north, west and southern aspects. The windows on the eastern aspect have to be non-see-through, to preserve a neighbouring garden's privacy, before the tower is occupied, which may create more of a Portakabin look on that side.
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The really big lift

These pictures, courtesy of Bob Swallow and Dougie Little, give an idea of the lift of the 13.7 tonne roof room into the tank. Click on the image to enlarge it. The 90 tonne crane had come from Jardines of Lancaster. The method statement worked. It took four hours to prepare for and lift the load, which fitted millimeter perfectly into the prepared landing pad within the tank. On the stroke of noon we had a modest topping out ceremony attended by almost everybody who had worked on the project.

CSi had really pulled out the stops to get the room ready in time - it arrived fitted out and first fix wired. The lift attracted quite a crowd and could be seen from all over Settle. It must have been a text book lift - all credit to Jardines (crane driver Alan in particular) and to CSi, whose planning and execution has been immaculate throughout.

It needs to be put on record that in two separate lifts the roof room cleared the Orange cellphone mast and our BT cable - most impressive.
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A wide, wide, load

Our roof room travelled from Hull to Settle yesterday, courtesy of Finnies of Lockerbie, causing traffic mayhem as it went. It left Hull at 11 am and got to Settle at 8pm. It was escorted by two 'wide load' vehicles. With its roof overhang it had to travel down the middle of roads so traffic had to step aside. Nothing could overtake.

We were able to follow its progress via the AA traffic reports website. . . .

When it got to Hellifield it came to a grinding halt - because of a police car parked in its way!! All was well though, it was one of Settle's finest - who knew it was expected. Steve, the officer concerned, appreciated that there would be trouble ahead and how right he was. Blue lights flashing, he escorted the convoy along the Settle by-pass (railway bridges meant it had to go that way, then down Buck Haw Brow). At Church Street, with its traffic islands and parked vehicles it got well and truly stuck, unable to go forwards or backwards.

A freezing TV crew was at Settle Market Place to see it go through the narrows by the Royal Oak. Three cars were, perfectly legally, parked in its way. Steve's PNC enquiries quickly revealed the addresses of the registered owners and, mercifully, they were all at home.

On to the Royal Oak narrows and the load was skilfully navigated through the forest of road signs, overhead wires and Christmas trees. Spectacular isn't the word. You need to see the TV programme to appreciate it.

These pictures, the following morning, show the lorry and its load on The Sidings. The first shows the splendid lorry, in which driver Paul slept the night. The second well illustrates the width of its load. The four holes in the roof are for the lifting strops, which go right through the roof, to fastenings on the subframe. The load weighed 13.7 tonnes.
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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Topping Out the tower

The roof room is due to arrive at the water tower on Monday, mid to late afternoon.   It will have been brought from CSi at Hull as an escorted abnormal load and will stay on its low loader at the water tower site overnight.

On Tuesday, providing the wind speed is less than 21 mph, it will be craned onto the top of the tank, probably around 10am but maybe sooner.

At noon there will be an informal Topping Out ceremony including mulled wine and mince pies.   Dress code:  hard hats, fluorescent jackets and festive..

Any follower of this Blog is most welcome to come along, see the lift and join the Topping Out.   Please make yourself known as a Blog follower.

There is no need to climb the hairy scary ladder - there will be staircase access inside the tower.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Grease Monkey

Still recovering from life threatening injuries, Steve 'Scouse' Roberts has been back at the water tower, getting well and truly stuck in to cleaning the place up and making it look more like a home. He is giving it a thorough 'builders clean'. Steve spent weeks in Intensive Care during 2011 but, to everybody's relief, he is back in the land of the living - with his sense of humour intact, as can be seen. His medicine of choice is now tomato juice - with Worcester sauce, naturally.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, he did not fall off the water tower!
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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thick strong glass

CSi contractors hairy Dan and smooth Peter have been installing the toughened glass ballustrades inside the tower in the area of the main staircase. This involves bedding serious sheets of glass into steel channels built into the staircase and the edge of the first floor. The glass is 15mm thick and the individual sheets are totally separate from each other, with no handrails, creating a very open and airy feel.

Dan became a daddy earlier in the week (girl, Amelia) so is commuting between Settle and his home in Hull.
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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Weather station on line

This is John Livesley of MyLocalWeather tuning up the Water Tower computer so that the weather station's readings can be viewed on-line and on mobile 'phones. Go to to see what it's doing here right now.
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Friday, 9 December 2011


I hope this collage gives an impression of how the water tower is looking - mighty impressive, neat and tidy!
Clicking on the collage should enlarge it.
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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Happy landings

Stan Jordan stonemasons Nick (with hammer) and Peter (in mid air) apply tried and tested methods to make fine adjustments to the inside stone landing. Each of these stones has been cut and ground to perfection to make an elegant platform inside the front door.

A poor photograph, taken in storm force winds and heavy rain but you just begin to get an impression of how the area between the station drive and the tower is looking now that it has been leveled and covered in stone chippings.   The sky looks blue but it wasn't.   It was almost as black as night and the image has been lightened to compensate for the flash reflected from the hi-vis clothes.
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Stig's Volvo

This is surely a milestone.   The top surface of the parking area is being laid.   20mm black limestone chippings.
This is Richard (The Stig) Kilburn shattering his image as a speedster.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

We visit CSi at Hull to see the roof room under construction

These pictures, with captions, can be seen at
They show the roof room, its makers, and some views of the magnificent Hull Paragon station, now resplendent with a fine bronze statue of local poet Philip Larkin.

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