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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

35/36ths of the tank is now painted!

Today has been a good day. The howling gales which had prevented access to the tank have abated. The sun is shining and I have completed painting tank panels 66 to 70. Just two to go - see the pictures. These are being saved for attention the next time Restoration Man are here.

The first picture, taken in the evening sunshine shows beyond doubt that I am almost back where I started. Gordon the Gondola has been superb and very safe. Not just safe but certified safe by High Rope Access Ltd, a local firm brought in by Restoration Man to look after the 'elf an' safety aspects.

Also today we accepted a quotation from a local firm of builders, following a tendering process with a very detailed specification. Building work should start on 7th June. The estimate is for the work to be finished in 3 or 4 months. We shall see.

Between two sets of panels to the left of the hairy scary ladder was the water level indicator - essentially a float inside the tank and a pointer on the outside connected by a pair of pulleys. The indicator had long since disappeared so I have reconstructed it. When the pointer is at the top the tank is empty - slightly counter intuitive.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The old floor removed

The stone floor of the tower has been removed and stored outside for re-use.  The level inside has been reduced by 350mm to enable a solid floor plus insulation to be laid.

All the windows have now been glazed so we are weather tight.

All this before a builder has started. This is a rather unusual state of affairs but it should make things a good deal easier when building work proper starts - the sooner the better.
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Filming again

Restoration Man were here again yesterday filming progress.

Picture shows camera man Torin and director Melissa dicing with death as they film glazier Mick at work. Not at all evident in the picture is the strength of the wind. On several occasions the wind actually blew out panes of glass before they could be properly secured in the frames.

Besides glazing (now finished) the filming covered the removal of the internal stone floor, the inside of the tank and a visit from Building Inspector Mike Nuttall, who very generously agreed to be interviewed about his role.
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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Window frames

Four out of six windows have now been fully re-glazed. Aire Valley Glass have done a super job, which has passed inspection by architect Stuart Green. We now must decide on paint colours for the frames. Should it be light to emphasise the frames beautifully thin glazing bars or should it be dark to lessen the impact of the frames? These two pictures illustrate the dilemma. The first shows the north window which has been glazed onto bare unprimed metal. Almost black, it looks very effective in a subtle sort of way.

The second picture shows a frame in a coat of beige primer. The frame is more prominent.
I may apply a top coat of Denby Pottery Cream to this window and see how it looks.

Whichever approach is taken the windows will look splendid.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Glazing the windows

Glaziers Ian (left) and Mick from Aire Valley Glass set about the job of glazing six windows - 240 panes of glass in all. We are using 4mm glass. The two rows of glass installed first are toughened glass that will be at first floor level. The glass is bedded on butyl putty then sealed with a bead of silicon. Finally, each pane will be pointed with putty. Because the rebates of the very fine window frames are so thin, the job has to be millimeter perfect.

Mick, it turns out, is a volunteer on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway so he is delighted to have the opportunity to work on this job.

At the end of day one 46 panes of glass have been fitted.   The frames are in excellent condition and of consistent size - except for the small shaped windows at the tops.   Every one of those is different.

This is window number one in close up.   The new glass
will make a spectacular difference to the overall look of the tower.   Painting the windows will require patience.

The van's roof makes an ideal work platform, just at sill height.   Because we have levelled the ground right round the tower the van should be able to access each window.
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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Horizontal tension rods removed

Here is the tank, looking north. The horizontal tension rods have all been removed and the size of the tank becomes more obvious. The position of the rods is indicated by the flanges along the inside tops of the tank sides. Each of those base plates is 4 feet square, so the tank base is 20 feet x 52 feet.

A couple of the new posts can be seen on the left.

The tank had completely dried out during the April drought but recent rain has half filled the base plates with water.
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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Becoming a landmark

Now that the majority (58/72) of the tank panels have been painted, the water tower is becoming quite a landmark. This is the view from Well House, about a mile away. To the right is the Settle station master's house. The flagpole looking thing is an Orange mobile phone mast. To the left are the west and north faces of the water tower.   A tree hides the last of the unpainted panels.

Blacksmith David Clements has now made ten of the 28 posts which will hold the railings round the top of the tank. These may be fitted this week which should enable us to better assess how they and the roof room will relate to one another. We also hope to get glazing and second phase earthworks under way.

The design of the roof room has still to be agreed with the planners. We are hoping they will agree to a design based on the Mies van der Rohe pavillion in Barcelona, which depends on an overhanging flat roof for its minimal impact appearance.   The roof overhang works partly because the building below it is in the roof's shadow.   In our case the overhang would not cast a shadow on the tower or the tank - just on the roof room that we are trying to hide by thoughtful design.
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