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Monday, 30 January 2012

The televising of the finished project

We cannot show you all the finished rooms. That would spoil the surprise of the final programme - on 16th February - but here we see, left to right, producer Melissa, presenter George, cameraman James and Pat in the main room.

Director Olly and producer Melissa getting down to business.

There were two cameras involved today. Here is one of them - and the very TV on which we shall watch the programme. Both ends of the process!

Today was a clear January day - great for filming outdoors. Aerial shots were done with a Skylift - seen here on its outriggers with all six wheels clear of the ground.

Cameraman Matt needs a head for heights for this shot. A strong stomach too as the temperature of the hydraulic fluid of the Skylift meant that the cradle's motion was jerky - not good for the nerves or for filming.

Assistant producer Tom tops up the champagne flutes with lemonade. Do not believe everything you see on the telly!
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Friday, 27 January 2012

Done and Dusted

Today we have been getting ready for the filming of 'the reveal' on Monday. The place needed a 'builders clean' from top to bottom and it sure is getting it - courtesy of the magnificent Settle cleaning team 'Done and Dusted'.   This is the Serious Grime Squad, still smiling after a hard day at the water tower.   Look at that window!
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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Seriously big pots

During the last three days I have had a great deal of help from friend Peter Bennett. We have succeeded in dealing with a host of two-man urgent jobs. Besides lifting and shifting all manner of things we have constructed the deck at the north end of the tank, moved furniture into the building and tidied the station driveway approach to the water tower. Picture shows Peter alongside a magnificent set of planters, safely on the rooftop. They weighed a ton and their size can be gauged by comparison with Peter.

Our crane has really earned it keep recently, raising an enormous quantity of decking timbers - and the planters. Here we see an empty wooden crate about to be lowered. As can be seen, it is a day and night operation to get the tower ready in time for its TV grand finale.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Next two weeks

Next week involves three major building items after which we can consider the place finished for most purposes.   These are:
1.   laying the wooden floor to the first floor living area and landing
2.   completing the oak staircase of the annex
3.   building the outside decking area at the north end of the roof

The following week we shall be putting in the finishing touches, furnishing and generally making the place ready for the final session of filming on 30th January.

I shall try to get photographs posted as things happen but these will not show the finished rooms.   This is a conscious decision in order not to spoil the 'wow' factor of the TV programme's screening, only a month away on


Friday, 13 January 2012

Not for vertigo sufferers

Click collage to enlarge.

Today was a glorious cloudless winter's day so Carl Johnson donned harness and lifeline and set about a vital but awkward job - raking out and sealing the joints between the tank and the tops of the tower walls. The left hand frame shows the situation - the joints had failed on horizontal and vertical seams allowing water to penetrate the tower walls from the top. Wind driven rain would pour in and it was essential that we cured this.

Carl is perfectly safe as he is tied firmly to the tower. Even so he is working on an 18" wide ledge, which takes some nerve. Throughout the operation, which took several hours he was assisted by apprentice Tim Wilson who maintained a constant supply of sealant tubes and kept the anchorage moving as work progressed. Tim is in the centre frame, on top of the tank.

When I worked on the tank sides I did at least have the comfort and psychological security of Gordon the Gondola. Carl just had faith in his equipment and his excellent colleagues. Another fine job well done - even on Friday the 13th.
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Monday, 9 January 2012

Two for Melissa

The next three weeks involve decorating, furnishing and generally transforming the place from a building site into a home. A visible symbol of this was the removal of advertising boards that had adorned the north west corner of the building. Here we see the signs removed and the building emerging in all its glory. Builder Carl Johnson remarked that the signs had been well worthwhile.

This is the north end of the tower, now signless apart from the house name sign. This will be repositioned onto a board on the two oak posts in the foreground, which had carried Settle Fencing's advertisement. This was the intention throughout - a win-win all round.

Why the caption 'Two for Melissa'? Melissa Mayne is the TV show's producer and she had asked for the adverts to be removed before the final day of filming. Melissa, that's two pints you owe me.
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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Some pics from Bob Swallow

Click to enlarge, this pictorial progress report by Bob Swallow shows, clockwise from top left,
1. view to the north from kitchen
2. main entrance door from first floor showing, indistinctly but that's the idea, glass balustrades at the floor edge and on the stairway
3. view from tank deck towards the north
4. view of kitchen showing unwashed cuppas by the score!
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Water crane in situ at Skipton

A lucky search on E-Bay resulted in this rare - perhaps unique picture of one of the two water cranes now located at Settle. This is actually the one now located by the signal box, here seen in its original location at the south end of Skipton Station. Presumably therefore the crane now located by the water tower was at the north end of Skipton Station.
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Friday, 6 January 2012

Getting plastered

The past week has been one of high activity inside the tower.   The safe arrival of the roof room has enabled other things to proceed - in particular the installation of the glass balustrades to the stairways and today, the plastering of the inside of the roof room walls and ceilings.

Next week will be the final week for building and sub-contractors work before we set about furnishing the house.

The first episode of series 2 of Restoration Man was screened on Channel 4 last evening.   If you missed it you can still see it by clicking on

It covers the restoration of a derelict windmill in Kent and is well worth watching for many reasons.   There are glimpses of the Settle Water Tower in the opening scenes.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

It's 2012

A happy New Year to both our readers.

The next month will be hectic as we make ready for 30th January when the film crew return for the last time.   Our aim is to have the place furnished and looking lived in by that date.   Given the delays caused by the glacial planning system this will be a remarkable achievement.   If the planning reforms can switch the emphasis from can't-do to can-do the economy may stand a chance of some recovery, in the building sector at least.   A few more architectural heritage gems like ours might receive encouragement for their restoration.

Our very sincere thanks to everybody who has made all this possible.