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Saturday, 26 June 2021

Buddleia Bulletin 2021 and a Book

 I have mentioned buddleias before in this Blog.  They grow wild on former railway land especially.  Left to themselves they become straggly.  They flower spectacularly on new season's growth only so if pruned hard in spring they produce masses of flowers which attract bees.

Our buddleias were pruned hard in the spring and are so far responding well with new growth (see below).  We and the bees await their flowers. Watch this space.

Yesterday we went to Ribblehead for a book-launch by Stan Abbott.   Back in 1985 when the S&C seemed doomed to almost certain closure Stan wrote a hard-hitting book "To Kill a Railway".  Who knows how influential his work then was but the government did a U turn on closure in 1989.

I started to read his latest book "Walking the Line" and I quote below the very first paragraph of chapter one:

"There can be few better ways to jolt your mind into the universe that is the S&C than to arrive at Settle station and to head for Mark Rand's water tower"


Sunday, 20 June 2021

Underneath the Arches

Well, not exactly arches, but certainly underneath the new extension and adjacent external stairs.  During the actual building process the focus was inevitably on just that - the building.  We had known from the outset that there would be a huge great void below which could simply remain a nondescript underfloor space or we would have to make something of it.

In the immediate aftermath of the construction work I used the space to store the minor mountain of left-over materials.   Total clearance of the coal truck's contents created enough space to store those things that might just come in handy one day - decent pieces of timber, pipes, insulation and so on.  Into the coal truck therefore went the underfloor contents. Two or three posts ago there was a photograph of how things then looked underfloor:

Unremarkable, downright unsightly or full of potential depending on how charitable you may be feeling.  Architect Stuart Green had kept urging us to think about it anyway.  He had taken a good deal of trouble to make something attractively simple and rugged in the supporting galvanised steel columns and the underside of the floor above - the ceiling as it were.

When the groundworks were being done the contractor had advised that the slope would comfortably support stone chips or aggregate without slipping.  This being a limestone area we thought white limey aggregate from Horton quarry would feel at home so we went for that.  As in an earlier posting, Settle Coal most expertly placed two tonne bags of it right inside the space.  I have spent much of the past week distributing it as best I could and here is the result.  What a difference!

The depth of aggregate varies quite a bit and the effect is not unlike newly fallen snow - not that snow could fall in the underfloor space of course.  The picture does not do justice to the overall effect in situ as the chalky whiteness extends a long way back into the darkness.  There are pleasing contrasts between the two types of limestone, the sandstone retaining wall. the drystone bound boulder wall, the aluminium cladding and the galvanised steel stairways.  All in all a satisfactory result we think.

To finish, here are a couple just for you Stuart:

And finally, finally this has been doing the rounds online.  Never be tempted to obstruct the gateway to a farmer's field when parking


Monday, 14 June 2021

Soar, Wandering, Rise, Rolling in Settle


Locals will recognise this location -Kirkgate, alongside what was Mary Milnthorpe's shop - just about in the middle of Settle. Shrouded with scaffolding this splendid mural simply appeared. Just four words. Though provoking, puzzling and local colour at its best.

The artist posted the following on Facebook:

I would like to say a great big thank you to all of the people who stopped to discuss and celebrate the mural for Settle.
So many fantastic responses from across the community and from visitors to the town.
The mural is 27 feet high and almost square.
The wall has had 20+ feet of dead Ivy removed, rotting wood replaced and four rusty tie ins made weatherproof.
The pigment on the paint is guaranteed for 15 years with the brightness that it’s on completion and with an anti Graffiti varnish which adds UV protection.
I’m delighted with the results and hope it brings happiness to all who see it.
Thank you to the residents of Kirkgate who kept me going, to Emily at Studio Vault, Monique, the butchers, practically everything, and to all I conversed with.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Singled Out in Settle

 Search engine Google has a wonderful facility which searches its data every week (or whatever period of time you decide) and e-mails you with references to whatever you ask for.  Unsurprisingly, I have it set to search for 'Settle station water tower'.  Particularly useful if say you are running a business and want to know who, if anybody, is talking about you online and what is being said.

Today I went online and up popped this from the latest issue of The Jewish Chronicle - a lengthy article recommending five walks in Yorkshire, one of which was:

 "Limestone Country - Settle to Clapham

Distance: 8.1 miles (with options for a shorter route)

Walking time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Difficulty: moderate

Starting and finishing in a tea room, this route takes you on a wander from Settle, along the river to a waterfall, then through glorious limestone country to Clapham.

Along the way, look out for the Settle Station Water Tower; now a private house, it once stored up to 43,000 gallons of water for steam locomotives, while horses were once stabled underneath. Constructed in stone, mortar, cast iron and glass it was built to last.

The route leads you through historic Settle, passing under a railway viaduct, and on to the Stainforth Force Waterfall, where you can spot salmon leaping up the cascades in autumn, as they journey to their spawning grounds.

You’ll also see a 17th century packhorse bridge over the River Ribble, once part of the main route through the dales between York and Lancaster, as well as woodland designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest. And if you fancy a shorter walk, there are several options to take a bus back to Settle along the way."

There is a link for full details of the route.  Sounds like an amazing walk in God's Own Country and in all due modesty how delightful to have been singled out for special interest!  I do hope walkers find their visit worthwhile.

And  a picture or two from God's OC:

Monday, 7 June 2021

Settle Coal are Wonderful

 One of those jobs to which I have not been looking forward has been dealing with the mainly clay embankment beneath Terminal 2.  Hard to access but very much on view at eye level to anybody using the side entrance on the east of the tower.  An opportunity to get it right but a p.i.t.a. to do.  I took a couple of pictures of the problem area and took them along to Settle Coal seeking advice.

Above is the area concerned.  Not pretty at present. Indeed, it lets down the rest of the extension rather badly.  I had, and still do have in mind installing floodlights so that the steelwork can be better seen  and the clever stuff given the visual credit that it deserves.

However, I was not looking forward to bucketing 2 tons of posh gravel up there.  I need not have worried.  Just an hour or two later my gravel arrived.  Not just a lorry either.  There was their super-manoeuvrable fork lift too!

Dr Forklift knew the site well as he had lifted the steels into place and some of the walls too. "I think I can get these where they're needed" he declared.  And he did too.  A huge weight off my shoulders, and what remains of my back:

Everything imaginable on the Loadall can be moved in every possible direction - if you know how to drive it.   Working in the narrow gap between two unforgiving steel staircases pushed it to its limits.

Parting shot from Dr Forklift.  "There might just be a bit of yellow paint on one of those railings but you can keep that.  No charge."

It's fun living here in Settle- a friendly small town where everything is just round the corner.

Welcome to Settle, Darcey

 Darcey, the one year old jack Russell terrier, is the latest addition to our family.  She visited last weekend and we think she liked Yorkshire.  She expanded her life experience by two long car rides, living in a water tower, and coming to terms with a co-habiting cat.  Purrcy the cat was largey indifferent:

This door wedge was at Darcey level, going about its lawful occasions but was made to suffer.

Happy to report though that Terminals 2 and 3 passed family scrutiny with flying colours.  So too did Yorkshire, we think.

And now for some bits of the Yorkshire Dales: