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Thursday, 14 August 2014

David Maidment OBE Visits

One of the fascinating bonuses of living at the water tower is the constant stream of visitors, among whom are the occasional celebrities and the great and the good.

Today we had a surprise visit from David Maidment O.B.E., founder of the Railway Children charity
The Railway Children

In Settle to receive a cheque, David - a railwayman to the core - could not resist seeing the place and pronounced himself delighted.
Picture shows David Maidment with his granddaughter Emma

Not only is David a thoroughly good egg, he actually has a Class 66 locomotive named after him:

click to enlarge
He speaks fondly of being invited to a locomotive naming ceremony in his then capacity as Chairman of the Railway Children.  He was astonished to be invited out from the crowd to pull the cord, only to find that his was the name on the side.   He says he was lost for words.   I bet.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Stars of You-Tube

Here is a rather nice item on You-Tube:

Settle Station and water tower
Click link to view - sound on

showing a train arriving from Carlisle on 11th June 2014.   Several clues, not least the shadows, point to it being the 1332 en route to Leeds.

The camera zooms in to the water tower's tank and roof room.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Atmosphere Aplenty

Just seen from the roof room The Waverley heading south through Settle station, steam hauled, with diesel assistance.   Very gloomy and raining heavily yet no wind at all - we are right at the centre of former hurricane Bertha.  The weather station, normally an objectively boring screen of data is showing  "It's raining cats and dogs" along the bottom of its display.

The table lamps in The Waverley's dining carriages pierced this gloom - as did the locomotive's wailing whistle on approach to Settle.   What atmosphere.

Wet day at Settle Station N.Fletcher

Window Shatters Overnight

We had a surprise this morning.   The inner pane of a large window in the utility room had shattered overnight:

What appears to be frosted glass in the right hand pane is in fact tiny pieces of broken glass, still held together in the frame.   Nobody had been in the room overnight and it was the inner pane.

On examination the breakage was seen to radiate from a point somewhere behind the grey top on a coat hanger on the clothes airer.

The fact that the glass had held in place and therefore enabled closer scrutiny showed this distinctive pattern at the centre of things:
click to enlarge

This, I now know (thank you Google) shows evidence of a spontaneous break caused by an impurity in the glass at manufacture.   The distinctive feature is the two larger pieces in the middle, known in the trade as a butterfly pattern - rather like a pair of butterfly wings with adjacent parallels between the two.   Though rare, they are most usually caused by a minute piece of nickle sulphide which can be seen on close inspection.   The broken pane is creaking and will almost certainly fall apart without warning soon.   Be assured I am going nowhere near it in search of a speck of nickel sulphide!   The picture was taken from the outside, through the intact outer pane therefore.

Had the window been a heap of glass fragments on the floor it would be very hard to discover these two tell-tale shapes among millions of pieces of glass. 

Mystery solved.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keeping Up Appearances

This place is lovely but it, like anywhere else, begins to lose that new look after a while.   In particular the very large windows, the metal cladding of the annex and the stone pathways were letting the place down.
click  image to inflate

A friend had just bought a Karcher K4 Eco pressure washer and was having trouble assembling it.   She brought it along.   I applied the time-honoured RTFM * management technique and it worked a treat.

I have had pressure washers before and they have had their drawbacks - on very high pressure with a narrow jet of water they tended to create stripes of ultra-clean areas which spoilt things rather.   If mains water pressure was insufficient the motor would cut out.

This machine seems to be a whole leap forwards on both fronts (unlike Pot Noodles!).   One of the three lances spins the jet of water and a high speed rotating vortex of water missiles does an amazing job.   Our outside taps are supplied from the rainwater harvesting tank at quite low pressure but the Karcher copes - indeed it would simply suck up water from the underground tank if needed.

It uses little water (hence the Eco bit) and as ours is untreated pure rainwater it cleans the windows with water only leaving them window-cleaner-clean.

* RTFM  =  Read The F---ing Manual

Friday, 1 August 2014

Pot Noodles, the Lift and Level Access

Pat has been very poorly for a couple of weeks following an emergency operation in Airedale Hospital.   Happily she is now home  but her tummy looks like a zip fastener and she is still in quite some pain - but on the mend we hope.

There are some direct consequences:
1.  I have been learning how to work the washing machine, dishwasher and induction hob.   All, I can report are easy peasy.
2.  The water tower's facilities which were intended to make things easy have been tested thoroughly and have not been found wanting.   The lift especially is a God-send.
3.  I have been making fresh acquaintance with man-food:

Add boiling water

Does anybody out there have advice to offer?   Pot Noodles used to be fairly disgusting but I have bought three (they were on offer as a multi-buy and men do these things).   I reasoned that they might have improved over the years - just like TVs, telephones and Cuppa Soups.

I shall report further.*

* Happy to report that Pat is getting better by the day.

*Unsurprised to report that Pot Noodles have not got any better by the decade.   Just dearer.  Avoid.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Musical Wagon from Yorkshire

Followers of this Blog will know that our coal wagon Albert was made in Wakefield, Yorkshire by Chas Roberts and Co.  As evidence, you can play a slightly off key version of Ilkley Moor Bah't 'at on her buffers.

Here's proof (sound on):
Ilkley Moor Ba'ht 'at. Solo coal truck.

Video courtesy of Albert Wright's son Bill.