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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A Most Unusual View of the Ribblehead Viaduct

 The work on the Ribblehead viaduct will be finished in a very few days and today I had a golden opportunity to inspect it close-up.  It has been a glorious day today, the warmest March day since 1968 apparently.  Moreover the sun was shining and the wind was light - at ground level at least.

This was the view looking north from the very top of the scaffolding this time:

Photo: Mark Rand

Thursday, 25 March 2021

That Tool

 I ended the previous post with

In the next exciting episode - a dirt cheap tool that is making life a whole lot easier in adjusting the cladding panels to the exact millimetre for final fixing.   Bet you can't wait.

Well, here is is, you lucky people.

Inflatable seriously tough plastic bags.  With second-fix need to position heavy cladding panels exactly, safely and easily these things turn out to be ideal,   They can used to lift heavy furniture.  They claim to be capable of lifting up to 1/2 a ton but how often would you need to do that?

That's it in action, lifting a cladding panel by just four or five squeezes of the bulb.  So simple.

OK and another couple of Yorkshire Dales piccies to provide balance - Arten Gill (top) with the Three Peaks on the skyline and Bainbridge:

God's Country.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Diamond Skies, the Royal Train, Mitzy and the Marquee

Another stunning night skies picture from Pete Collins, at Ribblehead again.

Turn right for Horton and Settle, straight on for Hawes and the Andromeda galaxy!

A quiet night at Ribblehead after the crowds had gone (pre-lockdown).

Down the middle is the faint northern Milky Way through Cassiopeia and Perseus, bright star Capella just above the clouds, pole star Polaris up on the left, and Andromeda in the top right corner.

A memory from 2005' the Royal Train heading north at Selside, en route to Kirkby Stephen station.   Shouldn't be long before such sights are back again on the S&C eh?

Back down to earth but with some sparkle here is Mitzy, the Shogun, which has barely turned a wheel for the past twelve months.  She had a good old valeting on Monday and here is the result - looking like some sort of off-road hearse, hasn't yet done 50k miles and looking like new again.

Settle's Victoria Hall, said to be the oldest Music Hall as such in the World, has been the epicentre of COVID voluntary efforts in Settle and this part of The Dales.   Of course their income from shows and events has dropped to zero during lockdown but they plan to hit the ground running as things relax with outdoor events on the huge triangle of land to the rear of the hall.  They put out an appeal for marquees and outdoor seating which gave us the opportunity to donate our left-over marquee from our Golden Wedding garden 'do' at Well House in 2015.  
It has lived, folded up in the coal truck, ever since and we were unsure about its condition.  Yesterday it was successfully erected behind Victoria Hall where it is likely to serve as the bandstand:

In the next exciting episode - a dirt cheap tool that is making life a whole lot easier in adjusting the cladding panels to the exact millimetre for final fixing.   Bet you can't wait.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

The Bit that Connects to the Tower

 The planners wanted a definite visual break between Terminal 2 and the tower so that stupid future historians were not confused into thinking the Midland Railway had built both in 1876 so there is a vertical 10" wide recess between the two.

We could not make good the air-gap at  the edge of the Tyvek building-wrap and last summer a wasps' nest did big business in the gap.  Winter saw off the wasps and this weekend I have made good the seal.  Rather proud of my efforts which involved tucking in the Tyvek, hammering in foam gap-filling backer-rod then sealing with EverBuild roofing sealant.

Any ideas on colour or material for the infill?  Considering European flag blue with yellow stars, bright pink or Network Rail Orange Army orange.

Now, any new pretty pictures?  No, but these of the Garsdale water tower. identical to ours in size are new to me.  Demolished in another age - 1971.

Oh yes, there is a pretty Yorkshire Dales picture for you - Grassington actually.

Friday, 19 March 2021

The Folly has had a Make-over

It seems ages ago that we sold our lovely old home, the North range of Settle's Grade 1 Listed Folly to the owners of the south range.   This meant that this magnificent old building was one again. 

We were reasonably confident that the new owners, the North Craven Heritage Trust (I hope I have that right) would work hard to preserve it - and my word they have!

It has been shrouded in scaffolding and building-wrap for many months whilst repairs took place, including repointing and a re-roofing.  This week the shrouds came down and wow -

Things have been done inside too including the north end top floor and what was our garage.  Can't wait to see that.

Meanwhile, at our new home, the cladding at the south end is nearly done but I would hate to eclipse The Folly with a picture of it.

 Just yet.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Along the A682 to Lancashire on a Sunny Day

What a strange title for a posting.  The purpose of my journey was to collect the final three cladding panels from Central Sheet Metals at Burnley where they had had modifications made.  I met the metal maestro who had made all of the panels for Terminal 2.   Hardly any two panels were the same.  Here he is, Colin Tyler, manoeuvring the largest panel into the Shogun:

There and back on England's most dangerous road. the A682.  Going out of North Yorkshire towards Gisburn there is a nasty Z bend in a valley.  This is the barely readable sign on the approach:

About 50 yards further on is a speed limit repeater sign:

Small wonder this road kills people.   In the valley below are scattered debris from past accidents, too difficult to recover. Shame on North Yorkshire County Council, presumably.  Or is it the Highways Agency?  Who knows?

Browsing through Facebook, as you do, I came across this lovely posting from the Co-op garage in Settle.  The flowers are in the gateway to Settle church graveyard, right opposite the garage:

What a lovely gesture.  Settle's that sort of place.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Two Big Problems Sorted

 Our technically over-complicated home has had three major problem recently.

1.  Main tower underfloor heating packed up - in hand

2.  Poor wi-fi and hard-wired coverage

3. Kingspan Envireau Rainwater harvesting system broken - again

Happy to report major and seemingly total results on items 2 and 3 during the past week or so.

Wi Fi and hard-wired coverage

Big thanks to local wi-fi etc wizard Wayne Dunn who has sorted out the internet wiring that was done in order to 'future-proof' our home back in 2011 when the initial wiring was done.  Most of the wall sockets had failed and the distribution arrangements between the router and the sockets were ramshackle.  That distribution is now neat, tidy and above all working via an impressive 16 port power-over-ethernet switch and rewiring of some of the wall sockets.  Now, THAT'S more like it:

Some of those purple and grey wires were just dangling and doing nothing previously.

Wi fi has to a large extent overtaken hard wired wall sockets but this water tower has been a challenge with its metre-thick stone walls and a massive cast iron 'roof'.  Things were little better in the extensions, clad as they are in aluminium.  All in all we are  living in a giant Faraday cage!  We now have total and excellent wi-fi coverage, thanks to two UniFi App AC Pro 50 Ghz p.o.e. wi fi extenders, carefully located.  This is what they look like

About the size of a meal plate they are both hard-wired to the NetGear box or to any of the now working wall sockets.   Over time I had spent a fortune on plug-in wi-fi range extenders all of which promised miracles.   These new things work.  Our Smart TVs can now start delivering.

Kingspan Envireau Rainwater Harvesting

Don't get me started about this!  Quite the worst buy of the lot.  Fine idea but lousy product.  This time it has been out of action for some months because of a spectacular leak between its submerged pump way below ground in the tank and the tank outlet to the house's internal rainwater pipework.  Trouble this time was that the leak was way out of reach because of its depth and  sideways displacement from the tank access chamber.   Poor design.   The only realistic course seemed to be to dig down alongside the tank, find that outlet and re-route it.   Local builder Frankie Eccleston dug heroically yesterday but the side of the hole kept collapsing because of the looseness of the tank's back-fill material covering its concrete base.  It became clear that a small excavator was needed so Frankie telephoned a friendly digger man at Hellifield, Matt Spencer.   Matt was doing jury service yesterday but had been discharged for the day.  Bless him, he jumped in his car and was here to weigh up the now increasingly awkward and costly job.

Matt is another six footer with remarkably long arms.  In a flash he was lying in Frankie's excavation and reaching precariously into the tank:

Working entirely by feel he located the problem - the reinforced plastic outflow pipe had split.  "Hacksaw, Stanley knife, screwdriver, angle grinder and Jubilee Clip" commanded Matt.  There are times when it pays to be a hoarder.  He was able to cut away a rusty Jubilee clip and the broken section of pipe. I shall spare you the picture of Matt working upside down in the dank darkness of the tank with his legs apart, gripping the crumbling sides of the excavation as more of Matt's nether regions we on display than would be seemly to reveal here.

No need for digger after all and job done.  Chuffed with what he had been able to achieve, Matt steadfastly and modestly declined payment.   Settle's like that sometimes.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Why Do They Have to Grow Up?

 Here are two remarkable pictures of grandson James.  I always try to put a portrait or vertical sort of image in this first bit of any new Blog posting so that the verbiage on the right does not interfere.

This is James, now well over six feet tall and still heading upwards.  He is multi-tasking here - cooking his tea and watching Aston Villa on his iPad.  He is dressed for the task don't you think?  Note please the size of his feet.   The next size up is a pair of canoes according to his mother. 

Both James and his younger brother Ben became On-Train-Guides (OTGs) on the Settle-Carlisle Line as soon as they could pronounce Horton-in-Ribblesdale without spitting.  They were very good at it and looked just the part wearing their Settle-Carlisle Volunteer hi-vis jackets.  In both cases they had to be careful not to fall over as the jackets dragged on the ground at first as they walked.  People on the trains would buy line-guides from them galore, perhaps out of sympathy for this shameless child-exploitation whilst I did my commentary on the journey.  My excuse was that it was good for their interpersonal skills with adult strangers and for sums too as money and change was involved.  Ben especially has an astonishingly good memory and surprised his teachers at Gerrards Cross CofE Primary School by being able to recite the names of all the stations between Settle and Carlisle, forwards an in reverse.

This brings me to the following charming picture of tall-boy James and his proud grandfather on one of those cherished OTG* outings.  Not sure of either the year or photographer, but it cannot have been me:

It shows now-six-footer James holding the hand of once-six-footer** ex-cop grandpa.  It is a lovely picture and it has been used on publicity posters for The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle line.   I have been searching for the image without success for quite a few days without success to show you for comparison.  I found a picture of the poster but the individual image was too small and I was giving up hope.

To my rescue came Rachel Griffiths of ImageRail who had designed the poster and so much more besides for FoSCL and the Settle-Carlisle line.  Unlike me, Rachel knows how to catalogue her images properly!  Thank you Rachel sooooo much.

**Now nearer 5 foot 8" after the broken neck at C2 and a few more lower down the back for good measure.

Once, again the two pictures alongside for comparison:

Monday, 8 March 2021

Schools are Back

 March 8th 2021 - a date with a huge great ring round it on parental calendars up and down the land.

Daughter Lorna and new family canine Darcey are having some girl-time.   The picture was actually taken by grandson James who was on the floor telling his mother how much he was going to miss her whist he was at school, of course.

Darcey made an opportunistic lap jump.   Isn't that just one guilty-looking dog?

Enough of this sentimental family stuff.  What you REALLY want to know is how is the terminal 2 cladding coming on?  Well, it is doing fine.  Over this lock-down weekend I have been socially distancing on the T2 roof and lining up the inner edges of the parapet panels.  Perfect alignment and spacing.  The missing panels at the far end will soon be back from the factory where they are being trimmed to perfection:

Meanwhile, in other business, we dined on filo topped chicken, bacon and leek bake the other evening:

The recipe came from the magazine of the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO).  A handy group of which to be a member when you're rummaging through your wallet at the roadside looking for your driving licence.

By the way, those filos took some catching I'll have you know.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Staycation Express Set to Return - in Green

 Great excitement as preparations are afoot for the railway line to get back up into gear.  This week we have three Carlisle-and-back  runs by High Speed Train (HST) power cars doing driver training ahead os resumption of the Staycation Express for '21.

Here's the pair racing north through Settle on Tuesday morning.  They are in East Midlands livery but today we have had a first glimpse of how the trains will look when in S&C service:

Very snazzy too.  The green main colour is British Racing Green which, by design or coincidence, is the same green as the Midland Railway used for their early locomotives until the 1880s when they changed to crimson lake.

The Midland dark Brunswick green was used as the background colour for water tanks too.  This rather nerdish topic took me back a decade when I was having trouble convincing the planners about tank colours.  Here are some reminder pictures:

Happy months, at height.

And finally some pretty ones from the Yorkshire Dales National Park: