Life at the end of the road

March 15, 2008

The worst ‘Lister’ and the best ‘hen house’

Filed under: daily doings, polytunnel — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:33 pm

Great weather, great forecast and It’s Saturday, today had all the hallmarks of a good day and I was not disappointed. It got off to a slightly shaky start as I still had to deal with last nights rabbit, I’d skinned it and taken the ukky bits out last night but I still had to tidy it up and put it in the fridge. Only a 2 minute job but I’d forgot about it until I was almost out the door, I’d also forgot that I’d left a digger track in my turning place so had to reverse 200m turn round and reverse 200m back to hitch my trailer. Not only that I had to load my wheelie bins into it, I got one in no problem but try as I might I could not lift the other one in, suspecting I’d probably put an old anvil or something in it I left it for the bin men as I still had to put some diesel in the ‘old girl’ or I’d be walking to work. The bin men are supposed to lift our bins every 2 weeks but I feel it’s much saner if I take them the 10 miles down the road as I’m going that way anyway. We seldom fill them and I managed for 15 years without them but when they closed the tip down on Raasay I threatened to start fly tipping if they didn’t give me a bin. Now our rubbish travels from Arnish to Portree then I think it goes to somewhere in Sutherland over 100miles away! The world has gone mad.

Possibly the worst engine ‘Lister’ ever made

When I finally got off to work it was as ever a lovely run down to the ferry slip. The ‘Harvest Caroline’ (thanks Seamus) was still lying peacefully at anchor in Churchton bay and was in fact going to deliver fish feed to ‘Marine harvest’ in loch Ainort.

Harvest Caroline

Upon arrival at work and doing all the usual ferry stuff like going to Sconser and back with cars and passengers it was also time to service one of the generators. The ferry has  2 ‘Lister HRW 6’ diesel generators of around 68hp and 50kw.


and this one (starboard) was due a service. They’re run week about so there’s always one on standby in case of a failure. Now I’m a great fan of Listers for their ruggedness and reliability but the HRW is a bit of a lemmon. It was derived from the HR which is air cooled and a super if touch noisy engine. The W in HRW stands for water cooled and I think the conversion was such that the water jackets and castings were too thin as they’re awful prone to oil leaks and head gasket failiures, they still keep going but just spray oil out everywhere. So after giving STB no 2 fwd diesel altenator (to give it it’s proper name in ship jargon) it’s 500hour service I went to see Willy of ‘polytunnel’ fame

A space age hen house

With so much going on at the harbour and village hall I’ve not been keeping up with developments  at the ‘plastic pipe fabrication yard’ that is Willy’s garden. The polytunnel has been waiting for the primer to cure and the weather to improve. Both of these have happened but Willy seems to have got distracted or moved sideways so to speak. The arrival of 4 bantem hens meant a home had to be made and Willy being Willy would just not put up with a fish box and some chicken wire. When I arrived I was greeted by this fine piece of engineering which had been constructed entirely from fish farm pipe, fish cage floats and the aluminium tubes that go round windsurfer sails.

Hen house 1

Windsurfer handles!!! you may well ask but it’s amazing how many ‘Raasay outdoor center’ go through in a year.

hen house 2

That’s the door swinging on it’s beautifully fabricated hinges.

hen house lock

and this is its wonderful door lock. I could not spend too long gazing in awe at this as I had seaweed to collect off the shore and besides I could see that Willy was on a roll and far be it from me to disturb the creative flow of genius. So off I went to load up 10 bags of seaweed and some beach stones before the afternoon shift. After which I headed north in time to catch the sun setting and another rabbit with the Dudes ‘King ratcatcher’

suset 150308

Create a free website or blog at