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Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Settle has a weekly market, well it has had since 1248 so it may catch on.   One of the stallholders is a picture framer - used by all the local artists.   He is always there come rain, snow or pestilence.   I visited him yesterday with a job and left him our new card - which shows a picture of  the water tower.

"I thought you still lived at The Folly" he said.   I explained.

"Well that confirms it.   You ARE mad."

Monday, 28 January 2013

Our First Jehovah's Witnesses

0955 Monday morning.   Ding-dong.   Dog goes mad.

Two people with halos at front door.   "I'm Neil, and this is Carolyn."

With alarming directness they announce "We're Jehovah's Witnesses.   Are you Mr Grumpy?" (A reference to the tongue-in-cheek sign on the shed).

There follows a polite but brief conversation about life in general and the water tower in particular.

"We saw you on telly", they confess.

"Then you must watch Channel 4, 9 pm this Thursday", say I.   "Promise?".

Before I launch into my lengthy sermon about water towers they retreat, defeated but ready to ring another doorbell.

It is going to be one of those weeks!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

We're in The Dalesman

See the current (February 2013) issue of The Dalesman magazine for a four page article about the navvy hut.

The More it Snows, Tiddley Pom

Click image to enlarge

It snowed heavily overnight but the forecast is for a rapid thaw - which may pose flood problems elsewhere in the country.   The morning sun is rising behind the tower.
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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Frozen Rain Chains

click image to enlargeThe cold weather has worked some magic on the rain chains of the 'navvy hut'.   The freeze-thaw cycle is adding a daily layer to the ice encasing the chains.
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Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Ploughs and Ice Busting Engines Out There Today

The snow must be getting a bit serious.   Light engines have been to-ing and fro-ing all day over the Settle-Carlisle Line (the highest in England) to keep it open.   They have been using Class 37 diesel engines (above)  whose growling noise suits the mood perfectly.   It isn't just a matter of snow drifts.   Ice forms underneath the air shafts in Blea Moor and Rise Hill tunnels and both lines need to be kept clear.   The Network Rail picture below shows ice inside Blea Moor on 10th January 2010.   Had the ice been allowed to form then the line would almost certainly have had to close until it had melted or been removed.   Notice how the curtain of ice is penetrated by two Class 37-shaped arches!

TV Listings confusion

Some of the newspaper TV Listings show our Water Tower re-Visited episode of Restoration Man as being this coming Thursday.   Having checked with the programme's producer I can confirm that our programme is still scheduled for the following Thursday:


9pm  CHANNEL 4

Snowfall now recorded - sort of

The weather station on top of the tower continues to perform well - see
to see what it is doing right now.

One problem is that the rainwater recorder freezes as soon as the temperature falls below zero so we missed out on snowfall.   The answer is to fit a heater inside the rainwater collector and this, thanks to funding from the Friends of the S&C (and to the installation of electrical power to the roof area) is just what we have done - this very morning.   As the snow falls it now melts and is recorded as rainfall.   A very rough conversion factor is 1:10 - in other words 1 inch of rain equals about 10 inches of snow.   It depends on all sorts of things - mainly the type of snow.

For the record, it is flipping cold at the top of that pole in a blizzard!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Arctic / Attic Treasure

Most 'normal houses' have pointy roofs under which hides attic treasure.   Out of sight and out of mind is the stuff that will come in handy one day.   We lived in our Bingley house for 26 years.   When we moved to the Folly in Settle we had the luxury of an enormous attic which swallowed up the Bingley attic contents more or less unsorted.   The same thing happened when we moved from The Folly (one huge attic) to Well House (three huge attics).  

click image to enlarge - but not recommended!

The water tower by contrast has no attic whatever - nowhere to store the attic accumulations of three former houses, aggravated by inertia.   There comes a time when we had to face this reality and that time is now.

Lest you should think that living in a TV dream of a place is perpetual luxury, here is the reality of our magnificent roof-room, filled with junk - looking (and smelling) like a charity shop on donations day.

Outside is winter (hence the title of the posting).   We deliberately chose to use the roof room as the sorting place (thanks to the lift).   It keeps the rest of the house tidy and we know we MUST tackle the job in order to regain this magnificent room.   The Settle tip, charity shops and e-bay are going to get some hammer.
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Monday, 14 January 2013

Winter Wonderland

It is snowing heavily this morning and some of the magic is right there in the views from our windows.   The summer house (above) takes on a bit of a Swiss chalet feel.   Nothing is moving on the station driveway (below).

The Tower is warm as toast and hey - we don't even have to go to school today!!!
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