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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Restoration Man's Best Builds

In last night's programme on Channel 4 Restoration Man George Clarke was generous enough to describe our tower as

"One of the greatest restoration projects I have ever seen"

Thank you George for those words from somebody who sees a lot of restoration projects.

The place continues to give us great pleasure, satisfaction and an ongoing sense of achievement.

The programme can be seen again at

Monday, 4 May 2015

God's County

This appears on Twitter from the Yorkshire Three Peaks and I could not resist dropping it in here:

click to enlarge

It shows Ingleborough through one of the lower arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Shades of Green

Our garden is emerging from what in today's jargon must be a brown field site.   I wandered round it in today's evening sunshine and reflected on our plans for the gardens, commissioned conscientiously at an expense we could ill afford and rejected out of hand by the planners.   They even threatened criminal prosecution.

Well, basking in the sunshine after a day of miserable weather is the mess we have made of it.

click to enlarge

It is barely spring and the garden will soon burst into life and colour, ready for the Settle Open Gardens weekend later in the year.

It's in The Radio Times so It Must be On on Wednesday

The Restoration Man


The Restoration Man: Best Builds: Towers


George Clarke looks back at four of the most dramatic tower conversions from the show. A pair of railway enthusiasts took on a derelict water tower on the Settle to Carlisle line, while a couple battled illness to turn a Georgian windmill into a family home. There's also another chance to see how a 17th-century fortified structure in Scotland and a Grade II-listed water tower near Congleton in Cheshire were transformed.



George Clarke


Lawrence Walford
Executive Producer
Lionel Mill


Saturday, 2 May 2015

Ribblehead Railcam

We are embarked on an exciting project to provide four web cameras along the Settle-Carlisle line.

The first has been installed on the station master's house at Ribblehead and the imagaes - and sound - are stunning.

Ribblehead Railcam

Click on the link and make sure your sound is switched on.   Click on the arrows on the bottom right of the image to go to full screen for a real-time full HD image.

The other three cameras will be at Settle, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen stations.

This s a joint enterprise between the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and

Friday, 24 April 2015

A Big Slice of Settle

Excavations on the site of the apartments along The Sidings adjacent to us have exposed some interesting geology:
click to enlarge

On the surface, unsurprisingly there is top-soil below which is a thick layer of boulder clay - presumably from the Ribble Valley Glacier.

Most interestingly though there is then another layer of soil, below which is rock, limestone in this part of the Dales.   That intermediate layer of soil must have been there when the glacier swept over it many thousands of years ago.   So far no hairy mammoths have emerged though.

This fits with what we have observed on our site.   The bottom layer of rock is at just the right level for the foundations of the water tower, comfortingly.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Up to Beattock Summit and Back - via Quintinshill

Yesterday I had an experience - commentating to about 400 people over the Settle-Carlisle line on a Trans Pennine Express train's PA system.

The train was running from Manchester via Beattock summit in Scotland, Carlisle, Settle and back to Manchester - raising money for The Railway Children charity.   Here is our six coach train in Carlisle heading south from Beattock:

click to enlarge

It was organised by The Branch Line Society and trundled into little used sidings and loops, much to the delight of society members.   It takes all sorts.

One of the poignant moments of the day was to traverse the up loop at Quintinshill in Scotland - scene of the UK's worst rail disaster:

Everybody seemed to appreciate the Settle-Carlisle commentary,    Organiser Kev Adlam was kind enough to e-mail saying it was fantastic, absolutely superb!

Better still, they raised £18,000 for the Railway Children.

click to enlarge

And here is a fine portrait of our train at Garsdale.   We felt very privileged indeed when the train made a special stop at Settle just for us.