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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A very good picture of the Water Tower

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This splendid picture of the rear of the water tower was taken by professional photographer Tony Dilger.   Framed by tree branches, it shows the roof room and the contemporary annex, plus the first floor bridge.   To the left is the navvy hut.
As can be seen in this view the new bits are obvious but understated.   Though dramatic they do not compete with the original structure.
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Troublesome Truck in all its rusty Glory

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Went to Oakworth today to meet the truck and here it is.   It is all there - indeed it has been used on trains on the Worth Valley Railway - but has now been condemned by the carriage and wagon inspector.   Its panels are straight; many trucks of this type have bent and bulged panels if they have been abused.

All we need now is to work out a price and to arrange transport.   The plan would be to tow it by rail to Oxenhope where it can be safely craned onto a lorry.
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Friday, 15 February 2013

My Balls Hurt

Meet Gunner - an 8 years old Labrador and latest member of the family.   He is a sort of rescue dog - long and sad story.   He is a little on the stout side (in hand) - but look at the size of those feet.   He is also an absolute sweetie.   Part of the arrangement was that he had his genitals er, snipped - or whatever they do.   Poor Gunner is distinctly sore just yet and prefers not to sit down, for understandable reasons.   Here he is, moored up by the shed, not quite daring to obey the 'Sit' command, en route to the vet's for a check up.

The attention grabbing headling to this post is, I hope, explained.
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A Troublesome Truck!

The area alongside the water tower was a coal yard.   This meant trainloads of coal wagons, just like this one, using the sidings.   Would you believe it we have been offered one?   These 16 ton trucks were once very common all over the country but they are now quite rare as they were scrapped in their thousands.  The picture shows a very posh one at the National Railway Museum.
We have a short length of track leading to our buffers which could accommodate a truck just fine.   People keep asking what will be my next project so I may have found the answer.   Watch this space.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Solar System Installed - just need some Solar

click images to enlarge
The sixteen large panels ready to install.   Note the black frames to help them to blend with the black Onduline roof.

The works inside the workshop.   The big box is the inverter which ups the voltage from 13v to 240v.   We are now waiting for some sun to test the system and for the big switch-on, later today with luck.

The view from the station car park - no solar panels can be seen.

The view from The Sidings.   The array of panels has been deliberately offset towards this eastern end to hide them from the more public viewpoints.
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Monday, 11 February 2013

A Packet of Seeds

We got a great deal of reaction to the original Restoration Man programme but nothing like the reaction to the follow-up episode.   We have had many e-mails and a surprising number of letters and congratulations cards from total strangers as well as from long lost friends, former colleagues and relatives.

One such card arrived in todays post, together with a book containing a photograph of our water tower in 1978 with the Glasgow - Nottingham express in the foreground.   There was a long letter from the sender - a  widow from Manchester whose late husband had been a footplate man in steam days.   She recalls him telling her that "The last shovel of coal was so heavy but shovel you must, to the end of the line".    The S&C was for him "The best line ever".

She had watched the programme and seen Pat, trowel in hand, tackling some gardening.   Please, she said, accept my small gift to plant there:
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Solar Panels

When we applied for planning permission and listed building consent for what has turned out to be the navvy hut we included permissions for solar panels on the south facing side of the roof.   This part of the roof, besides being ideally orientated for the sun is just about invisible from public view, being hidden by the neighbouring industrial unit.   Solar panels were therefore approved.

We got surveys and quotes done and everybody agreed that the roof would take sixteen solar panels - and should produce 4 kilowatts of power - quite a bonus.   The price however was steeper than the slope of the roof.   Having tried the solar panel specialists I asked local electrican Jonathan Mounsey, whose firm had wired the water tower and the three-phase electricity to the navvy hut.   The three phase supply would carry the solar generated electricity from right below the panels.   The price then made sense!

Here are Mounsey electricians David Hewitt (left) and Kevin Robinson making a start on the aluminium bearers which will support the panels.   The weather is fffreezing but it is dry and they are putting on brave smiles.
 Kev in more serious mode drilling into the roof for one of the massive fixing bolts.   "With those fixings the panels will be stronger than the roof" he says.
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Friday, 1 February 2013

Twitter: Ballsy - us?!!!!!!!!!!

Until now Twitter has been a bit of a mystery to me.   Earlier today, Restoration Man producer Melissa Mayne  pointed me in the right direction to read the dozens of Tweets about our programme.   Some immensely funny ones and most delightfully complimentary.

During the advertisement breaks on Channel 4seven's showing tonight they put up of relevant Tweets.   They were all very much appreciated by us and I must share this one:

JayBee2009: @MrGeorgeClarke #RestorationMan was amazing tonight, saved best 'til last. Great story, beautiful home and inspirational, ballsy couple.

Well, well, well.   Ballsy  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   That sounds like something up to which to live!

To View the Re-Visit Programme on 4OD

Go to

to see the re-visited programme on your computer

Re-visit Programme Aired

Our re-visit programme was shown last evening on Channel 4.   We were delighted with it, especially the way the new material was so cleverly edited into the original programme.   It will soon be available online on Channel 4OD.   I shall put the link on this Blog when it is available.

Meantime, it is being repeated on Freeview three times during the next seven days on a new Freeview channel - number 47.   The channel is called (cleverly) Channel 4seven


It is on:

tonight, 1 February 9pm
Monday 4th February 11.05pm
Wednesday 6th February 1.10am

You may need to re-tune your Freeview to get it.

The feedback we have had from people has been very encouraging indeed.   Thanks again to everybody who has helped us along the way.