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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Shutters in Place

After three days of work the shutters are installed.   The finishing details are to do after Christmas but we are now effectively double glazed throughout.

This is one of our full length windows in the atrium of the tower.   Ten feet tall by 4 feet wide.   Two internal wooden double glazed shutters cover the iron and glass original windows but are hardly visible as the wood is painted matt black:

And below is one of the windows in the living room:

Still to receive its lockable handles and finishing matt black details down the sides and across the top, scribed to the white walls and top stone.   The wooden floorboards will extend right up to the shutters deep inside the window recess, across the metal grille which will support them.   That extra bit of floor will be thickly insulated as the space below is cold, the existing internal double glazing on the ground floor being flush with the internal walls.

Note the winter weather on the outside glass panes.   Already the temperature in the living room is climbing.

In summer the shutters can be opened into the building making them quite invisible and allowing access for window cleaning.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Our downstairs rooms, notably the bedroom, have the benefit of internal double glazing to supplement the tower's windows.   So effective are these, we actually have no need to use the underfloor heating in that room.

The main big room on the floor above is quite another matter.   The tower's windows there are effectively radiators in reverse.   They are cast iron frames with 4mm glass.   Even with the underfloor heating now working properly the room does not heat up to a comfortable temperature and needs a boost from the flueless gas fire before it becomes usable on cold winter days.

We did our homework and decided the answer was internal shutters.   To be effective these would need to be air-tight and of high insulation value.   If set back slightly from the tower's original windows and with the intervening space trickle vented from the outside this should, in theory solve the winter condensation problem too.

Wonder of Wood today started fitting these into five windows and will resume tomorrow.   Pictures then.

Just in time for Christmas.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Carols and Ales on Rails

To round off an already enjoyable day there was a Carols and Ale train from Skipton to Ribblehead and back this evening.   We got on at Settle by which time drink had been taken and it showed.   Beer had come courtesy of Settle Brewery.   Port and hot mulled cider (very pleasant) had come from Aldi.

Pat and I went through the train serving mince pies.   Two carol services were taking place at either end of the train, being cheer-led by FoSCL signbal box volunteers and members of the clergy.   Canon Graham Bettridge was at one end and the Rev Dr Neil Kendra was at the other.   Both are characters and good sports.   Here is the Rev Dr Neil Kendra (who has featured on this Blog before):
clicking to enlarge is not recommended
And here is our train at Ribblehead Station, having gone over the viaduct and reversed.

Pickets at Settle Station but No Arrests

Today has been Settle Station's Christmas Open Day.   This year it coincided with two days of strike action by members of the RMT union who work for the trolley service operated by the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company.   They set up a picket line at the station entrance.  Not the sort of thing that happens often if ever in Settle.

To emphasise that they were not in dispute with the travelling public these pickets were giving away Christmas cake, mince pies, coffee and sherry.   Certainly not the sort of picketing I was used to in my police service!
 click to enlarge

These were the friendliest pickets ever - and they were effective too.   A surprising number of station users knew of the dispute and sympathised with the pickets.
 Entering in on the spirit of things I flew the RMT flag from the water tower - positioning it carefully to the left, of course.
 In a moment of bonhomie the Union's Area Organiser Craig Johnston signed up as a FoSCL member.   Not just that, he signed up the RMT as Corporate members!
 The choir sang and the band played.
The snow glistened and the sun shone.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Loo With a View

Well, here it is at last - the Loo With a View. 
 click to enlarge
This is the throne in all its glory.   It is supplied with harvested rainwater, pumped up from the underground tank at very high pressure indeed, despite doubts on that score.   There is rainwater supply for pressure-washer cleaning of the decking and windows. 
 The waste from the sink, the shower and the WC all go to a macerator below the WC then away via a 32mm drain pipe.
 The shower is slightly exposed to view so frosting will be applied to the windows.
I am really rather proud of this do-it-yourself effort.   The cloakroom occupies the otherwise wasted space behind the lift.   Tight but every bit as generous as some hotel en-suites.   As pictured, the cloakroom is open to view as part of the roof room landing.   A room divider screen is provided to fill this gap but has been put aside for the picture.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Cloakroom in the tank

Forgive me for the radio silence recently but I have been much occupied in building what the Americans call a cloakroom on the top floor.   This genteel word for a toilet is actually right.

Latin Cloaca

  1. 1.
    a common cavity at the end of the digestive tract for the release of both excretory and genital products in vertebrates (except most mammals) and certain invertebrates.
  2. 2.
    a sewer.

So, it isn't just a place to hang cloaks.   It is more fundamental than that.   It's a bog.

When we planned the roof room we decided that space was precious.   Furthermore, the plumbing advice was that water pressure would be insufficient for lavatorial purposes at the top of the tower.

I remember standing in the skeleton of the roof room at CSi in Hull and thinking to myself that the space behind the lift shaft was wasted and it would be enough for a shower room, toilet etc.

Actual usage of the roof room revealed an irksome deficiency - the lack of a toilet, which necessitated a trip downstairs - or for gentlemen an opportunistic, and exhibitionistic pee over the side.

Well, I have spent some weeks constructing a 'cloakroom' behind the lift and it is is at last finished.   Water pressure concerns have proved unfounded.   It works and I am proud of it.   Pictures tomorrow, if  I can lay hands on the camera.

Prepare to be amazed.

Monday, 24 November 2014

An Unusual View of Settle Station

This view of Settle station would be impossible nowadays as industrial units occupy the area where the locomotive and railway lines were.
click to enlarge

The occasion was the naming of the locomotive Giggleswick on November 4th 1938.

The water tower is out of shot to the right of the picture.   Of interest are the weighbridge stone building behind the locomotive's tender and a couple of coal merchants' wooden huts to the right.   Settle's telephone exchange nestles among the trees behind the huts.

The locomotive Giggleswick, when based at Leeds Holbeck shed hauled express passenger trains over the Settle-Carlisle line.   It was withdrawn from service in 1962 and was cut up for scrap.