Life at the end of the road

November 17, 2011

Cyril’s in :-)

Filed under: daily doings, listers, pigs, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:40 pm

I didn’t stir until 7:20 this morning, not even the usual waking up at two, three or four to see if it’s a respectable time to arise nothing. Probably the best non alcohol induced sleep I’ve had since the clocks changed 🙂 Right enough it was a busy old day on Wednesday but I felt better for it.


I should have been helping Hooky of ‘grumpy digger’ fame by now, hauling ‘overburden’ with his six ton dumper out of our barn site. However the bedrock was much deeper than expected underneath a sticky blue clay, so there’d be no point even trying to get the heavy dumper onsite until that was excavated out of the way.

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So I left him and the pigs to get on with that whilst I worked on my generator and its shed.

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They have the whole of the north end of Raasay to charge about in yet they love being in the thick of the action. Even Bramble and her piglets spend quite a bit of time up at the site, quite unperturbed by roar of diesel engines or the hammering of the rock breaker.

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Though Bramble was not as keen as a little puzzled by the huge hole that had appeared at the gate in her absence 🙂

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It’s quite funny how they have this daily routine, Bramble and the three piglets live up here at the house site in a converted oil tank. Every morning I go and feed them, then the wains have a suckle before they all have a siesta, then when the sun gets a little higher they go for a wander.

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Here they are a few hours later about a quarter of a mile away going to visit dad 🙂 Rocky is out for the count with Shona grubbing away behind him and Bramble is laid in the sun on the other side of the fence whilst her bairns have a drink.

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Meanwhile the three ‘spotties’ have moved into Bramble’s house for the day 🙂

Cyril’s shed

My services not being required, at least for no more than a couple of loads I got back to work on the old generator shed. I say generator shed but since the Proven went up in 2005 it’s been more of a junk shed with the generators languishing under mountains of cr4p and just started every few months to keep them alive. It’s a beautiful old building with amazing stonework and was, in a former incarnation a small byre. Indeed it still had iron rings in the wall when I moved here and even now has a drain at the back to take away the slurry.

However, when we sell the old homestead it will once more become the powerhouse of number 3 so I’ve been giving it the once over. First of all a complete gutting, followed by a long overdue repair to the gable end ‘window’. I say window but it was more a few bits of wood with polythene stretched between them, which I’d ripped out the other day. So I spent a good part of the day creosoting the wood and then fitting clear plastic corrugated sheeting that I had left over from another job.

My task up on the roof finished to my great satisfaction I turned my enthusiasm towards the 1972 Lister SR2 that would replace the 1978 ST2 that I’d just removed. It may be older but this venerable 39 year old has only done 50 hours use and is like new.

Fitting a Lister SR2/ST2 or similar

To keep an old Lister happy and sweet it has to be bolted down SOLID to at least a ton of concrete, no rubber mounts, no bed frames, angle iron and certainly not the old favourite, the railway sleepers.



Lister mounting

All this I’d done many years ago and fortunately for me the SRs and STs have the same footprint so it was just a straight swap. Or as straightforward as anything is at the back of beyond on your own 🙂 I could of course have got my good mate and his digger to do the lifting but he was having enough fun in the ‘big blue hole’ and I didn’t want to disturb him 🙂

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I’d already split Cyril into three lumps to give him the ‘once over’, the flywheel alone must weigh 75Kg. The engine and flywheel went on first, the flywheel up a ramp and the engine via a block and tackle.


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Despite its weight the engine is quite easy to move on a hard surface, you just walk it along taking care not to hold onto anything crucial like the fuel filter, air filter or injector leak off pipe. A plank onto the plinth and the same technique soon had it sat on the studs. The secret is to use a plank that is slightly higher than the studs so you don’t damage the threads. If you were doing this on a new install there’d be no studs there, you drop them in the pre cast holes then pour in a grout once the generator is in position, tightening them up a few days later.

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Having used Bill Steele’s trick of cutting out the alternator mount I just lined up the Brush alternator shaft with the flexible coupling on the Lister and pushed it home with a jack 🙂

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By now it was after 21:00 so I called it a day.


Not only was I up late but the Grumpy Digger Driver was ‘on site’ before I’d fed the pigs, shame on me, mind you, he is a bit like me in early rising stakes 🙂 Whilst he did have ten eight miles of potholes to negotiate, I only had a few hundred yards of smooth road, most of which he built some nine or ten years ago 🙂

Progress was looking good and he reckoned on needing my services later on so I pottered about with Cyril the SR2, connecting up his wiring and repairing a leak in his injector leak off pipe. What was I saying about not holding onto anything crucial 😦

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I was planning on soldering it but discovered that it was steel and copper so went for the ‘JB superweld’ instead, though it’s about ten years past its shelf life so that might not have worked 😦

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Just look at the colour of the insides of the 39 year old engine 🙂 Why anyone would buy a high revving piece of far eastern cr4p when you can buy something like this for less than a grand beats me.

Going for a dump

At was at some point in the afternoon, just when my stomach was rumbling that I heard the sound of the dumper, 140m away over the hill at the barn excavations. Hooky must be ready for me I thinks 🙂

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Sure enough, he was ready for me

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and I was ready for him 🙂 look who’s grumpy now 🙂

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After less than three hours of his expert digging and my amateurish dumping we’d shifted a good pile of, well sh1te 🙂

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With light fading and enthusiasm dampened by the rain we called it ad ay at 16:30, he went south and I to the pigs.

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And of course Cyril and his shed 🙂



  1. Hi Paul
    Your like a pig in a wollow hole, what a way to spend your holidays with your dumper and all that’s going on at the croft. Just thinking, have you thought of using your photo’s you’ve taken over the seasons to make a calendar for 2012.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 17, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    • Good idea about the calendar Walter, whether I’ll actually get around to doing anything about it is a different matter, perhaps a little earner for my retirement 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 19, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  2. Hi Paul,
    Nice genset with lister engine I have the same engine with a 300 Amps welder on it.
    Now I mount an Lister 12-2 with the Brush generator the same as Yours, turning with waste oil for heating my home
    My friend give me the gen set dismantled without any indentification plate or connections sheme.
    I can send pictures to you when you are interested.

    Please can you send a copy of documentation for me and give any suggestions about the generator ?

    Thank You in advance and see my webpage with old machinery : (karl’s old machinery page)
    Kind regards

    Comment by Karl cloot — November 19, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    • Hi Karl, love your site but I couldn’t open the engine page for some reason. The old rollers are amazing and the Rover P6 brought back some memories, absolute pig to change a clutch on and the rear brake pads were a nightmare 🙂 Had a couple of Rang Rovers myself 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 19, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

  3. Hi Paul – it’s just been brought to my attention that you’ve been plugging the Loggit again. “Shamelessly” even! Well you just carry on, my friend – and please don’t feel ashamed! Seriously, I am in the process of putting it on the website. It’s done, but I’m having trouble uploading for some reason. I have had some fliers printed up so if anyone would like further details, please shout and I can send some through. 01478 660276. Oops, does that mean that i’ve just shamelessly plugged myself now….

    Comment by Simon W — November 19, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    • Hi Simon, praise and plugs where they’re due, I’ve even been ‘Loggiting’ in the dark 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 19, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

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