Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Every Picture Tells a Story #10 - The Journey from Hell, September 2000.

Rawtenstall is a town north of Manchester that is known for its cotton mills, now long quiet. In the past it was also known for its annual bike show. So 17 years ago I thought why not go, it's only a 430 mile round trip.

The show, the Rossendale Valley Motorbike Show, isn't really a show, as far as I could see, just a lot of bikers meeting in the town centre. The weatherman had promised fine weather and so it was. At first. I had a pleasant run down in sunny and warm condition but as the day progressed it got cloudy and then the rain started.

I took refuge in a pub that had a rock band playing but eventually I thought I'd better head for home. By this time the sky was as black as night and the rain was torrential. I should have found a hotel and forgot about work the next day but I ploughed on. I remember the water was so deep on the motorway that the FJ created a bow wave like a ship.

Only 200 miles from home!

I can't remember why I stopped on the motorway. You're not suppose to without good reason. The bike was running fine and I had all my waterproofs on, maybe I just couldn't see were I was going.

I made it home, soaked to the skin. The funny thing was that my legs were dyed back from the colour washing out of my leather trousers.

Bikes in the town

A beast of a trike - note anti theft device on seat
The bike show ended after 15 years in 2010 (I think) because it was becoming too popular and the police said they had insufficient resourced for such a big event.

An interesting day out but I still shudder a little when I hear the name of the town!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Water of Urr

I went on a run yesterday to this (fairly obscure) river in Dumfriesshire. It's not very big or picturesque but, as is often the case, it's what I found on the run that's interesting.

Just east of the mouth of the river I found this fine view over Mersehead Sands

The view is from this rental cottage

I could also see the Robin Rigg wind farm in the Solway Firth

Kippford is at the mouth of the river - a place I'm sure I've never visited before today


On the other side of the river is the village of Palnackie which has is a small harbour where some ships were being repaired

The village is the location for the World Flounder Tramping Championships. See here for the grisly details

Army truck in the village

I've featured this before. Stepend Ford at The Haugh of Urr. It looks pretty deep to me

It's hard to imagine that it would be dry enough in Scotland to ever cross the ford. I'm sure that the word "DEEP" was added to the ford sign after an "incident"!

The SV shining in the fleeting autumn sun

"Thou shalt not fish on the Sabbath"

Only ten miles from the sea and the river now is just a stream

An autumn scene in the woods

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Run over the Queensferry Crossing

This morning I took advantage of the fine weather to go for a run over the recently opened Queensferry Crossing. 

In this panorama you can see the new road bridge, the old road bridge and the rail bridge in the distance.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Garage Vacuum Cleaner

When we bought our current house 16 years ago it came with an old vacuum cleaner in the garage. This got used for cleaning the inside of the car and the garage. In recent years it's been getting a bit rough and finally had to be replaced. Dragging the vacuum from the house for use in the garage would cause domestic strife.

I did an autopsy and found that a bearing in the motor has gone allowing the armature to rattle about. While in there I found the date of 1982 on a component. So 35 years of use. Not bad.

Yeah, I know. Last time I strapped something onto the back of the bike I ended up in hospital. But lightning never strikes the same place twice*.

Knackered motor

Stripped vacuum

It was called the "Electronic" because it had variable suction based on this circuit board

Period adverts.

It was a simpler time. Give a woman an new vacuum cleaner and she'd be happy. While the husband gets on with more manly tasks like sawing wood. Although he looks a bit confused by what he's doing.
The new one. Tesco's cheapest bagless vacuum.

I found a 1984 advert that proudly boasted that the vacuum was made in the UK and cost £89.95 - £280 in today's money - so quite an expensive item. The replacement was £35 - made in China (of course) Will it last 35 years? - I doubt it, but then I'm unlikely to be about if it did.

* in fact lightning frequently strikes in the same place multiple times.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Sometimes the Sun Won't Shine (much)

After my soaking on Sunday at the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride I was keen for a more pleasant run. The weatherman could offer dry and warm(ish) weather but no sun. This is something you have to accepted when you live in one of the cloudiest places on earth. I headed southwest. 
Girvan Harbour - well, it started off bright

The coast road

Ballantrae (and the sun is still shining)

Misty in Port William

Fisherman statue surveys the sea in Port William

Lobster pots in Port William

Gloomy Isle of Whithorn

SV at Garlieston

The church in Wigtown. I've mentioned it before but it is common to have the ruins of an old church in the grounds of a newer one.

Here I helped the lady warden move cones that had been used to control traffic at a big funeral earlier that day. So, I suppose, if I ever get to the pearly gates I've got that going for me.

Graveyards are always interesting. This one has "martyr's graves" containing five locals who were executed during the religious conflicts of the late 17th century. They include two women who were tied to a stake and drowned in the nearby Solway Firth.

On a lighter note there is a memorial to a man who died in 1846. It states that he was "Removed in the midst of his usefulness" It shows how language changes over the years. Also the stern warning "Reader, be ye also ready".

So, despite the dull conditions, it was a nice day out. At this time of year I try to ride when I can because I know there is a lot of crappy weather ahead.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

I took a run into town today to see this year's Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. This is a worldwide charity event where riders get a chance to dress up.

I was spectating only. This isn't my sort of thing and none of my bikes are hip or trendy enough to pass muster. But since my brother was dressing up like a fool I thought it was worth attending. It was wet, but that didn't stop a large amount of riders attending.

A very damp George Square

Dress code for the day

My brother arrives on his Bonneville

Not looking foolish at all

Facial hair was de rigueur

At the dealers - Triumphs and, er, Triumphs

Meriden metal

Keith on his Nimbus

David and his BMW R60/2

Classic Brit café racer