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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Taking Water at Settle

click to enlarge

Here is Black Five 44878 drawing in to Settle on 27th July 1966 to take on water.

The tender is alongside the up line water crane, supplied from the tower.  The tender's capacity is 4,000 gallons but it will not have been empty.   The water tower's tank holds 43,000 gallons.

More than 800 Black Fives were built between 1934 and 1951.   44878 was nearing the end of its days, being withdrawn from service in 1968.   It was cut up for scrap.
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Monday, 23 December 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Truck *

Just for fun the Settle truck has taken on a festive appearance.   Sorry it is a bit blurred - the lights flash and it was a long exposure.   All done in the best possible taste.

*Please do not attempt to sing this or you will regret it.
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Tank Outlet Valve Restored and Working

This awful mess was the main outlet valve of the water tower soon after we bought it.   Siezed up solid, it is surrounded by rubbish and there seems to have been a black paint incident.

As part of the painting of the atrium I decided to have a go at getting the valve back to working order.
Much use of WD 40 and crow bars and it is now back in business, good as new.
The pipe nowadays carries rainwater from the roof to our rainwater harvesting tank.
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Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Atrium in All its Glory

click to enlargeIt is not easy to show the dramatic change that has taken place with the atium but these pictures give a clue.   The walls and ceiling have been prepared and painted - some weeks of an operation.   The massive pipework inside the tower has been painted in the same colours as the tank.   The magical touch, as with the staircase (previous post) has been the use of LED light strips behind the pipes.   Minimal electricity consumption for maximal effect.   The picture above is the main outflow pipe.

And this is the overflow pipe, similarly lit.

The ceiling - the underside of the water tank - now painted white and sidelit by 4 Watt LED bulbs in the recesses.   The Ais Gill Summit sign - rescued from a skip has found a place that befits it.

Cosy and Trendily Lit

  A surprising number of people have asked us if the place is warm enough.   The answer is now a very definite yes.   Last winter the underfloor heating in the main room did not work but that was fixed over the summer and the room is now comfortably warm.   In the modern parts of the house we simply do not use the underfloor heating otherwise the place would be too hot.
The main room is a problem space - large, very high and by modern standards lacking insulation.   This is part of the answer - the (now repositioned) Esse flueless gas fire enables us to warm one cosy corner of the room intensively as-and-when required.

One of the downsides of installing the lift was that it slightly compromised the illusion of the floating flying staircase.   Here is one solution - the installation of a 5 metre long LED strip in the space between the staircase and the wall.   This makes it quite clear that the staircase stands clear of the wall as well as illuminating the stairs for safety.

LED lights, as bulbs or as ribbons are revolutionising lighting.   We have exploited them to good effect in the now decorated atrium - see the next posting.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

National Railway Heritage Awards

We were well and truly up against stiff competition at yesterday's NRH awards in London.   We were Highly Commended which was quite good considering what we were up against.   Our short listing was for The Key Publishing Modern Railways Restoration Award.   The other two short listed projects were:

the restoration of Bann Bridge, Coleraine (Translink NI Railways)

and the new Headquarters of York City Council - the £32M restoration of the west wing of York Station

Both fully funded public sector projects.

The judging criteria are objective and concentrate on restoration.
It is the result that counts and we stood little chance on that score.   York City Council rightly won.

More precious than any iron plaque we appreciate the Settle Water Tower report of judge Robin Leleux which begins:

"Without a doubt this is one of the most impressive privately funded projects to be entered in the Awards competition for many years"

The victor ludorum of the whole competition was the restoration of London's Kings Cross station. . . .

Monday, 2 December 2013

When Coal Wagons were Everywhere

This remarkable picture shows coal wagons, just like ours, as far as the eye can see.   It was taken at Cardiff docks in 1927.