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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Useful New Toy

Restoring things is a bit addictive.   We have no wish whatever to move from the water tower but I did think I had at least one more restoration project in me.   Don't ask me why but I have always fancied a tractor.   Takes all sorts.   I decided that to be sensible a full sized tractor was out of the question so I researched small ones.   They range from sit-upon lawn mowers upwards.

Yanmar (dating from 1910) made the dog's dangles of a small tractor in the late 1980s - the Yanmar YM 14.   They came in a number of guises but the top of the range was a three cylinder diesel beast - the YM 14 Power Shift.   The diesel engine is also used in canal boats for its rugged reliability.

Searching E-bay they go for £2,000-ish but I found one for sale with no reserve price and blow me, got it for £351!   It was on a farm at South Milford, to the east of Leeds and had been in daily use for levelling off a horse riding area.

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a trailer big enough to collect it and did so today.   Trouble was my sat-nav led me up the remotest farm track towards the end of the trip and I found myself well and truly grounded with front wheels clear of the ground.   I could move neither forwards or backwards and was marooned in the middle of a field.   Fortunately my mobile had a good signal and I was able to ring the vendor who contacted the relevant farmer, Mr Batty.   It was stair rodding with rain when salvation came in the form of a gigantic tractor with all the bells and whistles.   Driver Lee Craven - a saint of a man - was able to first drag the trailer back to the main road, then the car (backwards).   He would not accept a penny in thanks.

When I got back on the right road I arrived to find my purchase ticking over chug-chug wonderfully and a cup of tea.   I had a quick drive of it then drove it onto the trailer.

The YM14 is back here now thanks to vendor Alison Spencer, farmer Batty and Lee Craven.   Quite a day.

Here it is:

 click to make it into a bigger tractor

The seat is the only part that requires obvious attention!

And it has now received it in the form of the seat off a broken bar stool:

Looks more like it already - and considerably kinder to the backside.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Flower Pot Man Sits it Out again

Our enormous Settle sign on the tank side has a significant accompaniment - a flower pot man (Nigel Boris Potamus) perched on the letter S to help promote Settle's hugely successful annual Flower Pot festival which runs throughout July and August.   Well over 100 flower pot people pop up all over Settle during the festival.

Anyway, here's Potamus, master of all he surveys:

Click to enlarge

Please be aware that clear blue skies are just typical of Settle in June.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

You're in Settle - For Sure

When we took custody of the SETTLE letters which had been displayed Hollywood style on Castleberg we fixed them to our fence for a bit of fun.   They got a mixed reception - favourable from most but grumpy people with little else to worry about made their feelings plain.

Also, they made it well nigh impossible to mow the grass below them and there was the ongoing risk if theft.

The upcoming Settle Flowerpot Festival prompted a re-think.   We have located them now on the south end of the tower's tank - very visible from the trains too:

 click to enlarge

The initial letter S might find itself with a flower pot man sitting on it  eventually.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Brass and Elbow Grease

This smashing picture of Gladys Emmanuel is one of a load of holiday pictures from somebody's visit to Settle.   Too good not to share and a tribute to Richard Dixon's hard work on the brass etc.   Not bad for 102!

click to enlarge

Monday, 6 June 2016

New View of the Tower

This picture was taken by Paul Jackson, former editor of The Dalesman from the steep track which rises above the High Road to Langcliffe, just after Settle's Constitution Hill.   Paul admits he was gasping for breath after the climb so indulged in a 'photo stop'.

click to enlarge a bit

Among the buildings on view are the dental surgery (bright blue signs), Boots the chemists (dark blue below the dentists) and the vets - low building to the right of and below the tower.   The doctors surgery is walking distance away so our health needs are catered for quite handily.  Oh, and there's a physiotherapist off to the left of the shot.

The Midland Railway's tank colour scheme certainly stands out - now as then.

Sunday, 5 June 2016


Brunfelsia?   Yes really - it's a tropical plant more commonly known as yesterday, today and tomorrow.   Its flowers last just three days and then drop off.

We have had one for the past 25 years.   Given to Pat by Pat Barwick for a birthday with a 0 at the end it has endured neglect, drought and frost all that time.   It has flowered each year.   Last year Pat counted 28 flowers on it in one day.  This year though it has excelled itself, possibly because it overwintered in the roof room.   Efforts to count the number of flowers today were abandoned at 80.

Because the plant has flowers through 360 degrees it is hard to photograph it and do justice to the display.

 click to enlarge

Mini Patio Takes Shape

The corner between the south end of the annex and the embankment has been a problem area from day one but the felling of trees in neighbouring gardens has bathed it in morning and early afternoon sunshine.

It is also sheltered from most wind directions.   It would be an ideal place for a swing chair.  Trouble was, it was uneven and not quite large enough.   Enter ex commando Steve Roberts with his skills and inventiveness.   Here he is:

 click to enlarge

Note the pint of water!   Not the sort of pint that Steve used to drink before it nearly killed him and he took the pledge.   His addictions are now Facebook and his allotment.

We had to line the thing up with one of the straight edges (thank you planners) but the result will blend in splendidly, trust me.   From a problem area we shall have created another magical corner.

Freight Train on a Sunny Sunday Morning

Because of the major landslip at Eden Brows, just south of Carlisle, the S&C is closed to through trains - including freight.   It was an unexpected delight this morning to see a freight train coming south, laden with track ballast.   These pictures show the amazing results from the RailCam / FoSCL web cameras at Kirkby Stephen, Ribblehead Viaduct, Ribblehead Station and Horton in Ribblesdale.

 click to enlarge

Magnificent pictures, each still triggered automatically from the live feeds by the detection of the train's movement.

Note that the train was running wrong line in the first picture so the work site was probably between Appleby to the north and K-S.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Gladys Emmanuel's first 2016 outing

Yesterday, and the day before Settle car valet Richard Dixon and his mum worked their magic on Gladys:
click to enlarge

Just look at that brass - as good as the day in February 102 years ago that it left the production line in Detroit.   Gladys will still be going strong after the Mazda MX5 has been turned into razor blades, or whatever.

And today we took Gladys to Horton-in-Ribblesdale Gala.   Here she is with Pen-y-ghent in the background.

Among the events was a fell race up Pen-y-Ghent and back which attracted a field of about 100.   The winner did it in 44 minutes!!   The sun shone on the righteous, a gala princess was crowned and Gladys glistened.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Medication Multiplication

A visit to the hospital yesterday - 6 hours, mainly of waiting - produced an ultrasound scan as a result of which my medication was expanded considerably:

click to enlarge if you want to feel smug

21 tablets a day and one injection for the next three months.

What the stomach must think when that lot hits it I shudder to think.

Pat is now very skilled at painless injections, bless her.