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Monday, 31 July 2017

Tree Well and Truly Topped

The remainder of the troublesome sycamore tree bit the dust today.   Here is a reminder of how it looked over the weekend.   Some people asked if it was going to be left like that, which enabled me to exercise my mischievous side.   Indeed, it was a bit tempting.   Sculpting it into a giant raised fist and finger was actually considered.

 In the end it was decided to cut it right down but to leave a 32" tall stump, with the intention of mounting the water tower float valve on it.   To that end a great deal of trouble was taken to make the final cut dead level.

The diameter of the trunk at the cut was just short of 4 feet - more of course lower down.

These guys are used to working at height but couldn't resist a trip to the top of the tower.   Seen here from the left, Simon the spiderman, Aaron the super shredder and Jonathan the boss - and today's spiderman.

Boules and Rooftop Views

After a busy day of mill engines, picnics and the Model T I declined the offer of a game of boules in favour of a relaxing sojourn of the roof just taking in the views.   The boules got rained off twice but briefly and I took in the spectacular scenery:

click any pic to enlarge

Looking towards Langcliffe

The same direction but zoomed in a bit

Attermire Scar

Upper Settle.   This has the makings of a good jigsaw.

A weather front over Buckhaw Brow


Days of Wine and Besses

This picture by step grand-daughter Anna Gavin says quite a lot about life on top of a rusty water tank

Sunday, 30 July 2017

James Starts James, the Bancroft Steam Engine

We (me, Alan, Anna and James) had a delightful picnic outing today to the Bancroft steam engine at Barnoldswick.   This amazing machine is the only working example of a mill engine in Lancashire, whose cotton mills were once awash with them.

Steam is raised in a Cornish boiler and passes to a high pressure engine named James, then to a low pressure engine alongside.   Both drive the rotating shaft which powered the cotton machines in the mill.

Grandson James was asked to start the engine by turning the giant inlet valve.

Lord James has his rather solitary picnic in the back of the Model T

This is the Cornish boiler.   The mill is steamed about once a month and today was one of those days. The furnace uses broken up wooden pallets nowadays

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tree Tops Forestry to the Rescue

One of the downsides of living at the water tower has been a handsome but troublesome sycamore tree at the southern end of the site.   We had crown lifted the tree ourselves but in the nature of things it got bigger and bigger.   Not just that, neither we nor our neighbours could park cars below it, autumn leaves got everywhere, it cast a giant shadow and interfered with everybody's views.   Today was the day when top Dales tree surgeons Tree Tops solved the problem in spectacular style.   Besides ensuring there were no nesting birds they had obtained the necessary permission from Craven District Council to fell the tree.   This is how it was yesterday:
 The crown lifting (removing lower branches) make it appear delicate.  It wasn't!
Note how the man-cave is in partial shade.

Tree Tops Forestry, complete with special registration plate.

I had worried about the nearby buildings and fences but I need not have.   This is spiderman Simon in action.   Cut branches were fastened to a zip rope and guided safely to the precise spot on the ground, to be either shredded or set aside for logs.

By lunchtime a lot of the tree had been dealt with and a whole new view to the south was emerging.

The intrepid Simon had reduced the tree to its trunks.

and quite soon the top and middle of the tree had gone.

We had not lost our southern treed horizon either.

They even opened up our view to the east by removing two overhanging branches of a neighbouring tree - by agreement with said neighbour - revealing the spectacular eastern view.

Below the tree sat the 'Man Cave' - its south west terrace now bathed in evening sunshine.

A tremendous day's work by the Tree Tops team of Jonathan (the boss), Simon the spider and Aaron the super shredder.

The trunk and the base will be dealt with later in the week.   The weather today has been ideal - dry, flat calm though very warm.   Tomorrow is due to be very wet and windy indeed.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Jehovah's Witnesses Call Again

Ding-dong.   It was two smartly dressed men - in Settle that means they were wearing ties.

They pressed into my hand my personal invitation to the 2017 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at the First Direct Arena in Leeds between 11th and 13th August.

I told them that I was a lost cause.   They smiled and one of them said "That's what you said last time I was here".   My reply of "I give you full marks for persistence" proved to be totally appropriate.

The theme of the 2017 JW Conference?  DON'T GIVE UP!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Flying Scotsman on 'My' Webcam

When, quite a good while ago, I was up a windy and lonely ladder fixing a camera to Horton in Ribblesdale station's north end I thought it would be the ideal place for some good images of trains.   Today I was rewarded with these images of Flying Scotsman.

                 click to enlarge 

Note the round window in the back of the tender - to light the narrow corridor for a crew change-over during the non-stop runs between London and Edinburgh                                                                                                                                                                                           

Not ideal weather but immensely satisfying, for me.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Trains in Our Garden

Photographs of our water tower are rare.   After all, water towers were once commonplace and hardly worth a second look.

Thanks though to Chris Meynell who works at DCC concepts next door for the picture below which is another image of the tower as its useful life was coming to an end.   It is a screen-grab from a piece of 8mm film dating from 1967.   The film shows brief clips of the sights to be seen on the S&C, taken from a train.   Settle station appears briefly and so too the water tower:

It shows a couple of passenger coaches on one of the two tracks of the station goods sidings.   The stone building to the left of the SETTLE sign was the goods yard's weigh house.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Picnic on Wennington Green

Beautiful summer day again so we took the Model T along the country lanes to the little (pop.178) Lancashire village of Wennington.

We were able to park on the village green and to sit on a bench alongside the river Wenning by the bridge.   We had the place to ourselves.

 click to enlarge

Curious about this very well built but unexplained walled area alongside Wennington bridge.   The only entry is the iron gate - wide enough for a person or small animal only.   Must get Googling.

Answer - it is a pound and it is a Listed Building:

Listing Text

SD 66 NW
5/189 Pound on-north-east side of
Wennington Bridge
Pound, C19th. Comprises a sandstone rubble wall with a weathered coping,
built against the bridge abutment add forming a quadrilateral,on plan.
Gateway on northern side. 1

Listing NGR: SD6172070006

A View to Wake Up To

We have four security cameras on the roof and the monitor is in our bedroom.   Here is the view from one of them.   It shows the station approach of course.   It is EVER so much fun if feeling smug and lazy to watch the commuters assembling and sometimes running for the 0730 from Carlisle to Leeds.

click to enlarge

This picture was taken by the simple expedient of pointing the camera at the screen - a trick demonstrated to me by local press photographer Steve Garnett.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

We Host Guinness World Record Holder - Hagrid Leonberger

Having a quiet read of the paper at lunchtime when Pat shouted "My God, there's an enormous bear outside", pointing to Station Road.   I told her to keep taking the tablets, of course.

Later, some people came to visit the tower with three dogs, including quite the biggest dog I have ever seen - a German Lion Dog called Hagrid.   We soon heard that Hagrid was a famous TV star who had appeared on Britain's Got Talent, winning the Guinness World Record for the most objects caught by mouth in 10 seconds.

They were very early for their train back to Dumfries so we had a jolly good time with Hagrid, the biggest and gentlest old softie ever:

click pics to enlarge

 Pat and the bear, Hagrid

 Hagrid would have settled down on the Settle Down bench but he just wouldn't fit - and couldn't quite see the point anyway

 Ah, this is more my sort of thing.

 It was one helluva a struggle getting Hagrid up there so come on, where's my driver?

Even more of a challenge getting him down afterwards

and finally:
This is me taking picture number one!   A much better picture than mine, taken by Hagrid's 'mum', Sarah Woodthorpe-Evans.   If you look closely you will see that Hagrid's Dad, David, is in the picture too, betrayed by his feet and by Hagrid's gaze.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

A Perfect Summer's Morning

Lying in bed this morning I looked at the monitor showing the view from our rooftop CCTV cameras.      The view was so perfect I was moved to get up, go onto the roof, in my dressing gown, and get clicking.

click pics to enlarge

The shadow of the water tower intrudes but it is a nice problem to have for a vantage point like this.   Even the clouds are entering into the spirit of things.

The Station Master's House.  Giggleswick School chapel on the hill behind.

The station chimneys rarely get centre stage do they?   Penny Green are the houses and Lancashire is the backdrop.

The roof deck area is greening up well.   The tank's inlet pipe stands out as a reminder.

Settle Station's colourful signal box.

The magnificent pantry on our doorstep.

Finally, Steve's hosta, clearly enjoying things.   Not a single hole in any of the leaves - proving that snails cannot fly and are disinclined to climb tall ladders.

Monday, 10 July 2017

That Toy Box and the Clock

Back on 22 June I did a blog entry about The Folly Coffee House which included this picture:

It shows the massive and magnificent fireplace at our old home, The Folly.   To the right of the fireplace is a rather obvious cabin trunk painted blue with white banding.   I had painted it some umpty-tum years ago when our daughter Lorna was a child, to be her toy box.   We left it at the Folly when we moved, never really expecting to see it again.

Children remember details of their childhoods and as soon as Lorna saw the picture she was thrilled to see her old toy box and lost no time in telling us so!

This morning I repossessed it from the Folly and it will soon be back with its claimant after (lots of) years.

We are gradually getting rid of lots of rubbish handing on to Lorna some of her childhood treasures, including a Vienna? wall clock:

about which she posted the following on Facebook, Bless Her:

A big part of my childhood came back to life and found its new home today. I remember it being half way up the stairs when I was growing up. I remember dad winding it up once a week and loving hearing the whirring noise as the key turned. I remember wishing I was allowed to wind the clock up. I remember its soft chimes on the half hour and hour. Time will tell whether I will find them annoying in the night, but somehow I doubt it. #heavysleeper
And now I get to wind it up! 
Thank you to my parents for not having room for it any more!! It feels like it has been here in its new home for ever