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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Lazonby's little water tower

click image to enlarge  Photo- Alan Atkinson

Photographed in the 1970s, this was the Settle-Carlisle line's smallest water tank house - at Lazonby, between Appleby and Carlisle.   It held just 12,000 gallons of water compared with Settle's 43,000 gallons.   It was made of the local red sandstone and had a chimney, suggesting it may have originally housed a steam pumping engine.   The water source was a beck some 200 yards to the north, beyond what is presently Bells Bakery.   There was a brick built electric pump house by the beck on the up side.   How the water was pumped in pre-electric days is not known.   The building became a railwaymen's mess room, complete with obligatory coal fire.   The windows are smaller than Settle's.  Otherwise the architectural details appear identical.   A water crane from Lazonby still exists and is in use at Appleby to water today's steam engines.   The Lazonby tank supplied two water cranes, one at each end of the station.   This is the northern crane, serving the down line.   Note the brazier alongside it, to prevent freezing in winter. 
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Friday, 28 December 2012

Why aren't you using more water?

Regular followers will know that we installed a rainwater harvesting system at the water tower.   A 1,000 gallon tank (below but sideways on) collects rainwater from the roofs of the tower and of the main outbuilding.   The thrice filtered water is then used for flushing the toilets, the washing machine and outside taps.   This means we use far less mains water.   Yorkshire Water sent two men along to inspect the system, to make sure it had been properly fitted and in particular that there was no risk of the pure water supply being contaminated with rainwater.   They looked upon our system and lo, they were pleased with it.

Whilst we were away over Christmas a lady from Yorkshire Water left a message on our 'phone to tell us that we were not using enough water, according to our self-reading water meter.   Would we therefore ring 0845 1252520 (and pay for the call) to explain ourselves?

Look at Yorkshire Water's website and you will learn that:

Protecting and enhancing Yorkshire's environment is part of our day-to-day business and it's an area in which we excel.

I may be able to help Yorkshire Water with another area in which they could excel.

Pat, in a moment of weakness telephoned them and explained about the rainwater.   They were happy with our explanation.   I remain unhappy with Yorkshire Water who took an age to provide us with a supply.   Here by way or reminder is Bobby the dog waiting, and waiting and waiting back in summer last year.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Restoration Man - definite date - sooner than expected

Have just heard from Assistant Producer Tom Cullum that the second TV programme about our water tower will be transmitted on


9pm  CHANNEL 4

Although ours is a re-visit, it will be the sixth and last programme in a brand new series of restorations, starting next Thursday, 27th December and weekly thereafter.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Heritage Railway

The December issue (#171) of Heritage Railway magazine, out today, carries a two page article by Geoff Courtney about our navvy hut.   See pages 36 and 37  "Newspaper fragment leads to unique railway discovery"

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Navvy Hut Then and Now

This map was published in 1899 and shows our navvy hut in situ at the railway yard at Appleby, more or less dead centre, the lower of the two rectangles alongside the N.E.R. Eden Valley Branch.   Up to now, 1911 was the earliest map we had.

The two photographs which follow were taken in 1972 by Peter W Robinson.   They show the hut was in a pretty iffy state 40 years ago!   
In the picture above, note the varying lengths at the bottoms of the cladding boards on the southern gable.   This, with other evidence like unused bolt holes, suggests that the hut was rebuilt here at Appleby rather than having been a new build in that location.   We can see that skylights have been fitted to both slopes of the roof.   Otherwise the small and few windows would have made the building very dark indeed.   It was these skylights that had eventually failed, letting in the weather and resulting in at least two of the roof trusses rotting.

This final picture is by Network Rail's Ian Ambrose and shows the hut rebuilt at the water tower at Settle.   The red doors are the very doors from the original hut in the black and white picture above. 
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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Restoration Man revisit programme date

It is now looking as though the Restoration Man revisit programme will not be shown as early in 2013 as had been expected.   Things can of course change but the latest transmission date we have is Tuesday 24th September 2013, give or take two weeks.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Open Day at Settle Station

    Our annual Open Day at Settle Station brought out the stars.   From the left we see Brenda Moss (mince pies, sherry and and general stardom), Althea Christmas (wheelchair bound but into the sherry by 10am) and Settle Voices singing carols on the platform at Settle before moving on to do the same at Hellifield.

And here is the Opera North horn quartet, Brenda and Margaret Moss, the donations basket and finally, the last train home from Settle.

This annual event is appreciated by locals and visitors alike.   Train passengers are delighted to have festive music and one local remarked that it wouldn't be Chritstmas without sherry and mince pies at the station.
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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Warm Words and Snow

Walking into Settle this morning I came across Settle's volunteer paper salvage collectors doing their weekly round.   One of the collectors was kind enough to say how much he appreciated the big shed at the water tower.   "Just right - perfect for the location" he said.   How very reassuring.

Right now it is snowing heavily - those big big flakes of proper snow.   Up in the roof room the snow swirling around, it is a bit like being in a warm car - but without the worry about getting home safely.   This IS home and very cosy it is too.   Pat and I watched the arrival of the evening train from Carlisle, its front white with snow, only a few minutes delayed.  Settle station's heritage lights and the station buildings combined in a Dickensian scene.   Dickens merged with Lowry as the passengers trudged homewards.

What a place this is.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Merry Christmas

  Well, it was either this or a giant inflatable illuminated snowman playing Jingle Bells on the roof.   Nothing tasteless, you understand.
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