Excluding Vat! 3rd January


1.55m this morning

If all had gone to plan Oleanna would this evening have been sat above Cromwell Lock waiting for the morning tide to head to Torksey. Working on #unit21 becomes more complicated because we are stuck due to flooding. I need to get the props I’m making to Huddersfield as soon as I can. Finishing their construction would have been so much easier on land rather than on the boat without all my tools. I could really do with a hot air gun to bend some pipe. The pipe could be walked from a shop in Scarborough, but on the boat it requires a bus journey. The pipe is 3m long! Just complicated and more time consuming.

I spent some of the morning sussing out when would be good to head to Huddersfield with the props, this will involve hiring a van and on the same trip we could pick up some new flooring for the show. I also need to do costume fittings with three actors, at the moment they only work three days a week. So logistics, orders and payments. Nearly sorted.

Mick called Beta to order a new alternator. Our engine has a WOC number which means that when ordering anything from Beta they can see how our engine was set up and exactly what part we require. Mick did a slight ouch at the price, he did a bigger one when he realised that hadn’t included vat!

Our alternator has a special pulley on it. To replace the pulley you need a special tool, which we don’t have. The chap on the phone said they would put a special pulley on the new one for us to save moving it from the old alternator to the new one. It should arrive tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Skyline bus

Being in Shardlow means there is a good bus service to Derby and Leicester on the Skylink which runs every twenty minutes ferrying people to East Midlands Airport. The bus stops by The Navigation Inn a five minute walk away. Add to this the government putting a £2 cap on single bus fares. Very easy.

Waiting at the bus stop I got chatting to a local lady about the river being in flood. We compared notes on levels of the River Trent and Ouse. My family home over looked the flood plain in York and Dad would give us reports of how high up the five bar gate the flood water had reached. I think if it got up to the fourth bar then driving around York was very tricksy as there would only be one route into the city not under water. The lady I chatted to recounted the floods of 2000 on the Trent. Sand bags were put over the drains in the road and stood at the bus stop you could just pop your hand over the wall and touch the flood water. Thankfully the water isn’t anywhere near that level …. yet!

Lovely houses click photo to look inside one

The bus sped into Derby. Past the train station where strikers stood with placards. Further on the bus passed the lovely houses on Railway Terrace. These were built to accommodate the senior Midland Railway staff in the 1840’s, the first houses built to house railway workers in the country. Jackson and Thompson built a triangular block of streets, North Street, Midland Place and Railway Terrace, NMR. In the 1970’s there was a campaign to stop the houses from being demolished, they are very fine looking houses. However their sight reminds me of a trip we did to Derby a few years ago. We walked down the same streets to Derby Crown Court to hear the sentencing of our original boat builders.

A Mickleover bus

I swapped buses at the bus station and headed out towards Kingsway Retail Park. Here there was a Homebase, no pipe and fittings suitable for what I wanted. I checked the isles for anything suitable to make a giant mug from. A plastic dustbin? Too much to cut off to stop it looking like a dustbin. Kitchen bins were all too narrow.

Over at Hobbycraft I scoured the isles for something that might be useful too. But they had nothing suitable for a giant mug. A couple of months ago I’d spent ages hunting online for anything that might be useful and come up with very little the right size. So back to the foamcor plan. I picked up 8 sheets and some more tape.

Handy makeshift strap

My dodgy grip doesn’t like carrying thin things, eight sheets of foamcor isn’t that thin, but still. I’d brought with me three carrying straps from the yoga mats I’ve bought. These have elastic looped ends joined by some webbing. I passed two of them over the corners of the sheets, one each side and then joined them together with a third one, creating a handle on the top. Not the perfect handle but a much easier carry back to the bus for my return journey.

Whilst I was away Mick had changed the fuel filters and the gear box oil. We just need the alternator now.

Bunny legs

0 locks, 0 miles, 4 buses, £2 each, 0 pipe, 0 connectors, 0 hot air gun, 8 sheets, 2 pies, 1 sad gits pie, 1 order completed, 1 plan coming together, 1 new filter, 1 cleaned filter, 1.5 litres oil, 2nd bunny leg.

3 thoughts on “Excluding Vat! 3rd January

  1. Anonymous

    Mick I am assuming your Beta has two alternators and it is the larger of the two that has failed? When that happened to us it was the brushes that had worn away with use.

    1. Pip Post author

      Hi Tom.
      It is the big chunky 24v 100amp domestic alternator that was faulty. We intend to get the old one repaired and keep it as a spare. It could well be the brushes but it has been making strange noises recently and I wonder if the bearings are on the way out too.

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