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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Are You the Maintenance Man?

One of the results of trying to make our home look less like a home and more like part of the railway  is that people just wander in.  That is quite fun really and you do meet some very interesting people.   Almost daily there is somebody from Australia who has come to the UK simply because they saw Restoration Man on TV at home and have decided to visit the old country - the S&C and our water tower in particular.   That is hugely satisfying for us and we have geared up for it by creating a circular footpath round the outside and a visitors book plus a modest pictorial then-and-now display in an outbuilding - and a TV/DVD showing the Restoration Man programme.

We funded this restoration from the proceeds when we sold our half of The Folly -  a magnificent Grade 1 Listed building in the middle of Settle.  At The Folly we became quite used to total strangers as visitors.

On one occasion Pat went to Settle market - it happens every Tuesday since 1248.   She didn't lock the door as she was not going to be away for long and this is Settle, not Detroit.   When she returned there were two ladies sitting in our lounge.   They were Thora Hird / Last of the Summer Wine clones, complete with plastic rain hats.   They had wandered in, thinking it was a museum.   They were saying to each other how clever it was to make a museum so homely - just as though somebody actually lived there.   They shared their enthusiasm with Pat who eventually had to break the news to them that, actually, she lived there.   They were mortified.   Pat had to make them a cup of tea to calm them down.

The Thora Hird effect has spilled over to the water tower.  Among several visitors today were a couple from Newcastle.   I was working on the truck dressed in my paint besmirched boiler suit.   Mr Newcastle said "Are you the maintenance man?"   I let him down as politely as I could.   The honest answer would have been "Yes"!  I hope they enjoyed their circumnavigation of the tower anyway.

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