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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Our Paddington Gateway

The gateway to the water tower from the station drive is paved with very handsome granite setts which came from the Goods Yard at Paddington Station - the London terminus of Brunel's Great Western Railway - via Network Rail.

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I was intrigued by this and wondered if I might one day come across a photograph of them at Paddington.   Well, I may have found it.   The fine picture above, from the Science and Society Picture Library (ref 10442590) shows Paddington Goods Yard in 1925.   It shows a GWR A.E.C. delivery lorry laden with Nestle's baby milk standing on what looks like acres of these stones.

Of course it is very unlikely that our actual stones are those actual stones - but they could have been.

Here, as a reminder is a picture from this Blog dated 1 November 2011 showing the then newly laid setts here at Settle:

Thank you Isambard.

Saturday, 14 November 2015


They don't often see flowers on Men's Surgical but just look what my darling daughter Lorna sent me

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They caused quite a stir on Ward 14 with staff from all over coming to see them when word spread.

Lorna darling thank you.   They cheered me up no end.

Meet a Chap Who May Just Have Saved my Life

Meet Mr Basit Raja Khan FRCS

A cross between Omar Sharif and Benny Hill, he specialises in lower bowel operations, hence perhaps for the wry smile on his face?   Now, we've all got a bowel and mine was giving me pain.   Those cardboard test sticks with which many of us do unpleasant things every year had been boringly negative for years but I just felt that things down below were not normal.

I went to see GP Bill Hall who, slightly to my alarm gave me a fast track referral for a colonoscopy, based in part on my age but also the half dozen or so tick boxes on his computer.. Good job he did too.   It was performed in days by fellow surgeon at Airedale Mr Rajashekhar Rao.   Not to put too fine a point on it (and who would?) it's  camera and lighting up your bum time.   Not many inches northwards Mr Rao said "Uh-oh" and could not get his camera up any further without difficulty.   He took biopsies.   Sure enough it was cancer and needed removal quickly.   We needed to know if it had spread so full body CT  and other scans were ordered.  

Long story short, Mr Khan operated on me early on 10th November, removed a section of gut plus egg sized tumour then plumbed everything back together.   He said it looked to him like a self contained tumour but they would not know until the results of histology tests next week.   If not, it's chemo time.

I was out of hospital and home in three days, thanks to Mr Khan and his skill at keyhole surgery.

Thank you my Khan, from the heart of my bottom.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A Slice of Settle-Carlisle History

The whole line was closed recently for some pretty major works to be done (see earlier posts) among which was repair and re-waterproofing of Marshfield Viaduct in Settle.   The water tower's water supply pipe which passes over Marshfield Viaduct was to be removed as part of the work.

Cheekily I asked if I might have a bit of the pipe.   Contractors Story said yes, sure.   Good as their word my slice of cast iron pipe arrived this afternoon - special delivery.

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Making light work of a very heavy pipe are (l to r) Senior Quantity Surveyor Tom Eccleshall, Site Manager Ezra Welham and Scheme Project Manager Dan Jones.

This historic length of pipe shall have pride of place here at the water tower - subject to wifely approval, of course.

Rooftop Garden

Although a bit windy at times the decked area inside the tank proves to have a mild climate in terms of temperature.   This year we had a good crop of potatoes and the occasional patio plants have flourished.   So, we have decided to really go-for-it and to make this an enjoyable roof garden.   Here are the makings:

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Taking advantage of the roof room's floor to ceiling windows we are placing plants right alongside so that they are seen from indoors and will hide the view of the inside of the tank walls.

Sorry about the sideways picture but you can see the effect outside.   The plants are reflected in the windows, so doubling their impact.   Vertical 3mm stainless steel wire ropes fixed to the slender grey uprights provide almost invisible plant supports.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Water Crane in Action

This picture from 1967 shows the locomotive of a southbound gypsum train from Long Meg taking on water in the up loop at Blea Moor.   Some climbing was involved as can be seen.   In the background are the two water towers at Blea Moor.   There is a freight train in the down loop as well.   Busy place.

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The water crane is much plainer than the one now by our tower.   Perhaps function was allowed to take precedence over form in the places where it didn't show?