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Sunday, 31 July 2022

Pentatoma Rufipes

Quietly enjoying a pleasant evening on our sun terrace in front of the Wendy Hut and couldn't help noticing this fearsome looking huge beetley thing top of the railings.  Neither of us had seen the likes of it before - but in all likelihood you have?

Whilst I took a photograph of it Pat scurried in to get her computer to look it up.  Turned out to be a COMMON forest or garden bug pentatoma rufipes.  (Incidentally, haven't iphone cameras come on a long way?)

Here's more detail:


The forest bug is a large shieldbug with red legs, brown body and an orange, yellow or cream-coloured tip at the bottom of the 'shield'. Its 'shoulders' are slightly hooked and the fringe of the abdomen patterned with dark and pale squares.


10-15mm in length.

Where to find it

Common and widespread across the UK in woodland, gardens and orchards. Look for adults from July.

What it feeds on

Sucks the sap of deciduous trees such as hazel, alder and oak. Also feeds on fruits and sometimes predates caterpillars and other insects.

Monday, 25 July 2022

New Aerial View

 Just a screen-grab from a Facebook Posting but this is a new angle on the water tower which does rather show our cheekily prominent location  in the middle of the picture and of the town of Settle:

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Flourishing Flowerpots

 Between 200 and 300 flowerpot creatures are around Settle this year and thanks to media publicity people are rolling up in droves too to  photograph them -  ours included.  Earlier posts showed the installation and position of our monster but this one, taken and posted by a visitor, shows the tower rather nicely.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Record High Temperature


Inside the tower AND inside the heavily insulated new extension it is comfortably cool.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

DCC Open Weekend Jollifications

 At what seems likely to turn out to be the UKs hottest spell ever our immediate neighbours DCC Concepts Ltd held  a spectacular open weekend,    Their corporate HQs sparkled, the sun shone and people flocked to it.

The newly repainted and overhauled Geest truck had an outing or three.  Here she is with a valuable and grumpy cargo of station shop stalwart Howard Butterworth (left), West Coast locomotive fireman Derek Soames (centre) and me driving - sort of.

All told a hugely enjoyable weekend of brilliant cooperation between neighbours, DCC, Settle railway station, the signal box and water tower.

Friday, 15 July 2022

Good Evening

Some lovely midsummer evenings of late.  1915 hrs. last evening and just right to catch the shadow of the water crane on the coal truck.


Monday, 11 July 2022


 Came across this lovely picture from a few years ago.  It shows mum Lorna with our grandsons James (left) and younger brother Ben (middle).  Both boys are now taller than their mother.  The look on young Ben's face is an absolute picture.

Apologies if it has appeared on this Blog before.   Apologies also to Ben who is still in the process of realising that parents, older brothers and grandparents (especially) can be deeply embarrassing at times and often need to be forgiven.

Friday, 8 July 2022

£11 a Gallon

 We live in troubled times.  That said, in my experience times are troubled most of the time.  The time moves inexorably forward but the troubles just change.  Right now, it's post-Brexit nothingness, post covid, rampant inflation, war in Ukraine and an overdue change of prime minister.

For the past few weeks I have been having s really good time avoiding more important chores restoring my 1953, so nearly seventy years old, Geest banana truck.  Not many have survived.  All the more reason to restore the one I have.  During all the urgent things to do with the water tower and its extension I have looked forward to having the time to do this job.  The Geest autotruck has never been a total success.  If it  ran its single front wheel just dug in to the gravel of our coal yard.  Most times it just wouldn't start.  Mildly disheartening but not now.

Well, it is now like a new er, Geest autotruck.  Possibly the most basic motorised vehicle ever.  Dating from 1953 according to its engine number and pronounced to be 'like new' by people who have worked on it I thought it worthy of my time.  Today, its restoration was finished.   Engine, gearbox brakes and steering restored.  All the rust removed and treated and woodwork replaced where necessary.

Painted to death in the correct factory colours by me and ace station painter Cliff Johnson:

I have cared for, restored and loved several vehicles in my lifetime but none so thoroughly and therapeutically as this simple thing.

Today I tried to start it one satisfyingly final time - first pull - before putting it to bed under the new extension.  Nothing.  No start.  Despair.  My diagnostic brain accepted the challenge and, looking at the new fuel filter I saw it was empty.

Off to Settle garage to buy a gallon (OK 5 litres) of cheapest petrol.  Cost?  £11.17p.  A GALLON!

This, if not sorted out soon, will force a serious re-think for everybody.  Who knows, the Geest truck, plus trains and buses, may soon suffice for our transport needs.   Must see if I can get it road registered eh?

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Commonwealth Games Torch Bearer Lorna

 On the combined vote of her peers in Birmingham our darling daughter Lorna today ran along the main street of Eton carrying the torch of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.  It had already travelled through 72 countries before the UK en route to Birmingham, England.

Here she is on her stretch of Eton with a substantial police escort:

Proud parents time - again.

In other news the three wheeled Geest truck is almost finished and our winch-trolley was earning its vintage keep again, lifting the front end clear of the ground so that its front wheel (singular) could be removed, adjusted and refitted:

Besides the front wheel, the engine started first-pull today and the gearbox is now fully adjusted.  Reverse, neutral, first, second and third can now be selected at a flick.

Plan now is it get it road registered if we can.  Big boys toys eh?

Friday, 1 July 2022

Gladys Gets a Long Overdue Deep Clean

 Our 1914 Form Model T, Gladys Emmanuel, is clean again.  Poor thing has been locked away in her garage for a year or three during and after Covid.  Apart from her cooling water being drained she has had no attention whatever.  But she has gather dust and grime big time.  Her seats had acquired a sort of mouldy patina and she was looking very unloved.

Time for a serious clean and reinstatement to running order.  Somebody had put an entry on the Settle Chat Facebook page asking if there was a car valet operating in Settle nowadays.  A chap called Richard Darbey from Crosshills was suggested and he was able to fit us in.  Yesterday was the day.   What an absolutely splendid and expert job he did too:

Interesting 'interview' with Richard before he was let loose.  He had not excelled at school and went to work as a car cleaner at a large garage in Huddersfield, learning how to bring traded-in vehicles back to showroom shine for resale.  He gave that up when fatherhood happened x2 and he became a full time house-husband - a job that stretched him to the limit and well beyond.  He decided he would return to car valeting, self employed.  Early days but he is gathering satisfied clients in fine style.  I referred him to DCC concepts next door and so impressed were they with the Gladys job they took him straight on for their small fleet of vehicles.

Richard was delighted and so are we.  He took loads of photographs of the Gladys job and has put 30 of them on Facebook.  Here are a few: