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Monday, 30 May 2016

Garden Make Over

The Water Tower garden is difficult to manage as a good half of it is on a steep slope.   It makes for a great spectacle but just now it is almost impossible for me to get to.

This weekend it has had a serious dose of t.l.c. form daughter Lorna + Alan.   Through sheer hard work and love of gardening they have transformed it.

Eventually the slopes will be covered with carefully chosen shrubs but until they mature ground cover plants are really necessary.   Wild strawberry seems to like it here and besides giving us a spectacular array of spring flowers it provides deliciously sweet pick-and-eat fruits later on.

click to enlarge into big strawberries

and then there's good old London Pride:

and ajuga:

We have come a long long way since Michelle from Briar Plants designed and planted it up in May 2012:

and what a difference four years make:

Hero gardener Lorna

....... displaying the scalps of weeds

The view from the road - click to enlarge

Lorna's big beast of a car.   The registration plate hints at who has the money in this family

And Pat's car, washed by grandsons Ben and James.   Note the contrast in reg. plates.   Mine is an '03 Honda Jazz . . .  Where did I go wrong?

Finally, an arty picture of one of three pop-pom bay trees we have around the place.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

St Pancras Towers - Case Solved and Closed

The previous post asked the question about why St Pancras station appeared to have two water towers, so close together.   I am almost ashamed to say that the answer was staring us in the face.

The taller of the two towers is still there:

click to enlarge

There it sits modestly standing back a bit at the junction between the old St Pancras and the new.

To convince yourself, here is the old picture for comparison:

The tower was a beer lift for beer from Burton on Trent for London.   The tank on top was probably for lift counterweight water.

To close the case the picture below shows the scene to the north of the station.  The railway water tower is to the right, below the gas holders.

Case closed.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

St Pancras water towerS - the plot Thickens

Recent posts have been attributed to St Pancras Station, London but they give rise to some doubt about a clearly different tower at more or less the same location.

The first three pictures below are clearly of the same tower, undoubtedly at St Pancras, at the north end of the station.   Picture 3 shows it rebuilt nearby alongside the Regents Canal

Picture 1
Picture 2

Picture 3Picture 4 - shows a taller tower with two arched windows at the near end, quite different from the tower in pictures 1, 2 and 3.   The station train shed has the proportions and feel of St Pancras, north end but perhaps it is not.   Or there could have been more than one tower near to one another at St Pancras.   Further work needed methinks.   I shall post any results here as I know that Blog followers will think of little else meantime.   Apologies for any lost sleep.

Great Balls of Copper

click to make a very big ball indeed

Still on the subject of St Pancras here is its water inflow ball valve.   Our (missing) valve will have been identical or very similar.   This one's now a London tourist attraction!

Come to think about it, may this explain the absence of ours????????

St Pancras water tower

This is the water tower at St Pancras, London.   Rather more ornate than ours but the MR would have wanted a showy piece of architecture in that location - if only to counter the gas works!

click to enlarge

I am told the tower survives, having been taken down during the reconstruction of St Pancras station. It was rebuilt slightly to the north, by the Regents Canal.   I must look for a 'now' picture.

And here are some:

two pictures of the relocated tower, above and below

and two amazing pictures of how they moved it.   It was cut horizontally into three then craned into place.   I thought it was a big enough crane job to plonk the 13.5 tonne roof room onto our tank but to move an entire water tower, almost intact, by crane must have been pushing lifting and other technology to the very limits:

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Sandals and socks

Regular readers may recall me saying that one of the chemo side-effects is sore feet.   My approach to the increasingly irksome condition is to wear sandals and socks - a fashion no-no, they say.

At my age you could not care less about such things - one of the many delights and reliefs of the ageing process.   When, rarely, people comment on my footwear I tell them that I am a trend-setter and that EVERYBODY will be wearing sandals and socks this year.   If it's somebody I judge may appreciate the subtlety I say Season rather than Year.


Socks made to look like sandals and socks.

I rest my case.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Hollywood comes to the Water Tower

The Hollywood style sign on Castlebergh for the Tour de Yorkshire was removed today by climbers and, courtesy of Settle Town Council, brought to the water tower for display on the fence - for the duration of the Settle Flowerpot Festival at any rate.

The sign has already drawn comment, for and against.     Here is the sign in its new home:

People arriving by train should be in no doubt where they are.

And below is a picture of it being secured onto Castlebergh by climbers.   It was considerably less fuss to put it on our fence.

I'm a(n) Historian

Some weeks ago I agreed to do a talk about the S&C at Settle Library.   Locally, that's the Big Time.   Apart from putting it in the diary I quite forgot about it so was alarmed to see this cropping up all over the (local) social media and on noticeboards:

click to enlarge

Particularly alarming was my billing as a 'historian'.   Pedants call it AN historian, out of respect for the H.

I lay claim to many well deserved descriptions but historian is not one of them.   I cannot now recall if history was among my 8 O Levels but I rather think it was not.   Leeds Grammar School, anxious to maintain its batting averages, may not have entered me for history - so disinterested was I in dates, kings, queens and monasteries.

Anyway, I think I got away with it at Settle Library.

Che Mother 'happy Breakfast Gets Bigger

My daily chemo breakfast just got bigger by two tablets, to thirteen.   Quite what the stomach makes of this lot each morning I cannot imagine.   Anyway, I'm in good hands at Airedale Hospital.  Just five more weeks to go, out of six months.   Still got my hair and my marbles.

Click to enlarge into a dinner

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Very Posh Special Train Today

Here is a picture of Statesman Rail's special train from Hull today passing our camera at Horton i, the Pullman passengers dining well amidst glorious scenery.

The train stopped for an hour at Settle so using our four wireless loudspeakers I took the opportunity to tell the 250 passengers about our shop, the signal box, the water tower and our award winning toilets - to good effect all round.

It is so sad that the Eden Brows landslip has curtailed these special trains but well done Statesman for making the best of it.

Lovely Picture of a House Martin

When we put up our webcams on S&C stations we thought we would capture some nice pictures of chuffer trains.    We never thought we would get action shots of dicky birds like this:

click to enlarge

I am told it is a house martin.   It may just have a bird brain but I bet you wish you could do that sort of thing?