Search This Blog


Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Thoughts of Chairman Ben

Grandson Ben (6), the S&C's youngest Assistant On-Train Guide:

"Grandpa, I think they should rebound the London to Glasgow trains like in the olden days"

And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?   Matthew 21:16

Friday, 6 February 2015

Settle Station at Daybreak

Settle's station supervisor Paul Brown provides something of a visual weather service on Facebook.   Most mornings he is inspired to photograph the station of which he is lucky enough to have charge.

Here are today's:

click to enlarge

The water tower on the left of this one could hardly have a more picturesque neighbour could it?

Most days the station is open around 6am.   The platform lights come on automatically.   We can see the reassuring glow of those on the station drive through our bedroom window.   Passengers for the early trains - one for Carlisle and one for Leeds - can enjoy a mug of fresh coffee courtesy of Paul.   No charge - just a donations box.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Well Done NFU Mutual

House insurance is a tricky thing.   We have the water tower insured up to the eyeballs with NFU* Mutual.  Or so we thought.

NFU Mutual

Because we get so many visitors, many of them total strangers, we did wonder if we were covered if say one of them tripped, fell and did some expensive injury to themselves.   The risk is there and in these litigious days you never know when things could turn nasty.   We are entering the Settle Open Gardens scheme this year and the organisers advise entrants to check with their insurers.

We contacted NFU to ask about not just the Open Gardens couple of days but the almost daily flow of visitors.   They checked with their underwriters and whoaaah.   The Open Gardens were OK but the background of almost daily visitors would mean higher premiums.

We explained that we do this as a friendly gesture to very nice people, many of whom have come a long distance to see the tower.   Australia is the furthest (hello Martin) but it will be Martians next, you'll see.

NFU pleaded our case to the underwriters and the extra premium was waived, enabling us to remain open to visitors.   Well Done the NFU.

*National Farmers Union **

** A curious choice of insurer perhaps but farmers sometimes live in unique and large houses, expensive to insure or replace.   I am always reminded of visiting the NFU Mutual tent at Bentham Agricultural Show.   There was a typical Dales farmer sitting there, enjoying the hospitality.   He was greeting every newcomer with "Yer know what NFU stands for don't yer?"   Before anybody could reply he would say "No F###ing Use".

Well, on this experience I disagree!***

***  That story may have been aired earlier in this Blog but it is worth repeating.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Amaryllis in Focus

Daughter Lorna besides conspiring with her mother to get me a new camera for Christmas, gave us an amaryllis bulb.   Today, the two came together to produce this spectacular picture, with minimal help from me:

click to enlarge

The camera is a Nikon DS3200 and I am getting used to it.   You do have to tell it what to focus on - in this case the flower rather than the trees.   Everything else it works out for itself.   Brilliant.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

First Steam Train of 2015

Definitely an early sign that spring is just around the corner - Black 5 locomotive 45407 Lancashire Fusilier with the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express flew through Settle this afternoon en route to Manchester.   Here it is passing through Long Preston, just south of Settle.   Picture Matthew Stroh.

A Most Heartening mention on BBC Radio 4

Nearly choked on my cornflakes so to speak this morning when listening to BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live programme.

Among the people in the studio was Restoration Man George Clarke who was asked if there was any Restoration Man project that had come in on budget and on time.   To my astonishment George singled out our project as the one and only that had ticked those two boxes.   He went on to say very nice things about which modesty prevents repetition here.

Click on the link below.   The whole programme is well worth a listen but our bit starts at 17 mins 0 secs and goes on to 19m 30s

BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live 24/1/15

I should say that it did not feel like on budget and on time at the time!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What a Lovely Tweet

  Came across this entry on Twitter just now.   How good it is to know that the tower is a welcoming  feature of Settle to at least one homecomer.