Life at the end of the road

October 27, 2012

Still in Barrhead :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, South Shields, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:04 pm

Not for long right enough as I’m getting the train back to South Shields tomorrow before another spell at the MSTC on the banks of the Tyne. Quite looking forward to it to be honest after my little practice on the Newcastle Metro, well apart from all the people plugged into iPods and wearing their thumbs out texting Smile Still I’ve got my laptop, bag of washing, red neck hillbilly jacket for company so I’m sure I’ll be just fine Smile

Search around for the best tariff !!!

I keep hearing this carp on the radio being spouted out by the representatives of energy companies and I have to say it makes me smile and feel a little smug. The only way is up as far as the energy companies are concerned, but me being self sufficient takes little notice. The only time that I’ve taken anything to do with it was trying to work out the price per Kwh that my mum was paying and nowhere could I actually find out, from her bill or the dozen or various options she’d been given. Why on earth can they not just sell the stuff at a price per unit or at least have tariffs that people can understand?? Which brings me onto the subject of train journeys, what a friggin performance it is buying a ticket with prices for the same journey on the same day varying by some £60 or £70 and the prices changing both up and down throughout the day Sad smile

I checked the first three companies that come up via Google when you key in ‘Glasgow to Newcastle’ on Friday morning and it was £24 for the 7:50, £36 for a couple of the later trains £56 for one in the middle of the day and £97 first class on one Sad smile Bit unfair to ask the in laws to take me into the station at that time thought I but it would save me £12 Smile I’ll run it by them later thinks I, upon checking a few hours later the 7:50 was up to £30 and most of the others down to the same price !!! ‘I give in’ thought I and ordered one quick before it changed it’s mind for the worse. Which is where the fun really started, I keyed in to my departure box ‘Glasgow central’ and my arrival as ‘Newcastle Metro’ now instead of telling you that the train does not actually leave from Glasgow central but in fact it actually departs from Glasgow Queen st it tells you collect your ticket from one station then walk to the other Sad smile A quick phone call to India sorted it out but it struck me as a little bit bonkers, like the journey’s end, it’s not actually at Newcastle Metro but at Newcastle central and you have to walk. Not an issue for me but then I don’t have two large suitcases, crutches, a wheelchair or white stick Smile

A bit of old iron

I’ve only been out a couple of times today despite the nice crisp morning and mainly bonny day, there is plenty to do here but I’ve done all the museums to death over the years and without a son to share them with it seemed a little pointless. Not only that but it would have meant driving and I’m not really up to it, however I did find a ‘museum piece’ of sorts almost on my doorstep when I got lost.


This beauty of an old wind pump resides just of Aurs road in Barrhead near the back of Barr farm, which I’m guessing it once served.



Manufactured in East Kilbride by ‘W Dickie & son’ at their Victoria works these were apparently a common sight in Scotland at one time, somthing confirmed by a quick Google as there are many still around.

 Dickie Windpump

Here’s one at the museum of rural life in East Kilbride one that I haven’t visited Smile photograph from courtesy of

Dickie Windpump

An antique Dickie windpump at the Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride. The company which made these, and other agricultural items, was founded in 1872 by William Wilson Dickie – my great-great-great-great uncle.

who just happens to be related Smile


003  004

Just check out the braking and furling mechanism on this, It’s kind of hard to make out but there’s a brake band just behind the hub operated by that lever and chain attached to the tail.

005  006

Just click on the images to enlarge them.


wind pump

Not exactly the same, the diagram uses a drum rather than a brake band but the principle is the same, as the tail furls in the wind it actuates the brake via levers and springs.

A bit of ‘new iron’

Sadly I’ll be missing my spell at Ardmaliesh this year with the MV Loch Striven but I have just received news via Zak of  zak355 about the launch of a second land craft there for When I was at the yard last December they were just putting the finishing touches to ‘Clare Anne’

031211 031

who was launched a few weeks later

Clare Anne was obviously a success for her sister Lady Charlotte has just been launched.


Published on Friday 26 October 2012 17:00

The latest new ship to be built at the Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Company on Bute hit the water for the first time on Friday.

The Lady Charlotte is the second vessel built by the workforce at the Port Bannatyne yard for the Scottish Salmon Company’s operations on the country’s west coast.

Named after a pupil at Shieldaig Primary School near Loch Torridon, where the vessel will be based, the Lady Charlotte is of largely similar design to her SSC sister ship Clare Anne, which was launched at Ardmaleish in January.

The Lady Charlotte is the sixth new vessel to be built at Ardmaleish in the last eleven years, and follows in the wake of the Clare Anne, the trawlers Spes Bona V and Scotia Star, the replica puffer Maryhill and the landing craft and cattle carrier Marnock – the latter two built for Lord Smith of Kelvin, who owns the island of Inchmarnock off Bute’s west coast.

The Port Bannatyne firm also has a contract to overhaul 11 of Caledonian MacBrayne’s smaller vessels each winter, and has carried out maintenance work on the other members of the SSC fleet for several years.


Named after a pupil at Shieldaig primary school where the new boat will be based Lady Charlotte will hopefully be making her way there soon.

Again many thanks to Zak of Bute for supplying the images and info more pictures of both launches at the bottom of the page.



  1. paul, i chuckle somewhat when the sales person aproaches me and says ” we can do you a better deal on your electric bill” of course i let them ramble on about this and that and then invite them to “do me a better deal” funny thing, no one can…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 27, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    • Aye, Steve, you and me too 🙂 the other one than confuses is ‘producing a utility bill’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  2. I share your consternation about the jumble the privatized train system is now, especially when “customer service” is somebody in India who has been to England even less than I have!

    Here is a web site I found helpful:

    I didn’t use his service for a fee, but I found the links to train companies all in one place to be useful.

    Comment by drgeo — October 28, 2012 @ 2:09 am

    • Morning DrG, must say it was worth the effort getting a ticket, far more enjoyable than driving or catching the bus.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2012 @ 9:44 am

      • You bet, I love riding the trains. Especially electric or steam! I liked it more 25 years ago when I had a Britrail pass and could jump on the next train and go anywhere. Nowadays, there are 5 prices for the same trip and due to Scottish ancestry frugality is in the blood. “Advanced” tickets go on sale 12 weeks before, unless its changed to 11 or 10 weeks–just check every day to find out what we decided! So it’s ticket complications that annoy.

        Comment by drgeo — October 28, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

      • Hi DrG,

        I think I may become a regular train traveler, at least whilst I’m visiting here anyway, back in January and I’m not looking forward to that trip 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 30, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  3. Gas and Electric prices! Don’t get me going Paul! We are sick to death of the constant calls we get re changing suppliers etc. so much so that we now refuse to talk to any of them! Oh how I wish we had your system in place so much easier and cheaper even with the occasional problems you experience. Being on a disability pension means we account for every 1p. At the moment we are spending a third to a half of our pittance on electric and gas and as usual the prices are set to rise again. I have on many occasions started out trying to work out just how much we actually pay per unit and to say it is complicated is an undertatement! These high bills are one of the reasons we do not get away much with our old Thomson, something we both love to do and would love to do a lot more. Things are set to get worse with this new council tax system where we will be losing out yet again because our kids have grown up and left home leaving us with two (technically) empty bedrooms which is going to be chargeable from next April. Mad or what! Low income families and basic pensions won’t be able to cover these charges leaving us and many others in the position of having to either find the extra money or smaller accomodation! We should get away with only being charged for one of the bedrooms though due to my disability and the fact that we need one of the bedrooms for the missus when I am having a bad spell and sleeping next to me is unbearable, get the shakes and my legs jump in spasms, or as Joan puts it I get the John Travoltas while sleeping! At least I can dance in my sleep then cos I can’t do it very well when awake!
    OOps, got me going there, sorry folks. 🙂
    anyway keep yer chin up Paul and enjoy the break. another week closer to getting home, won’t be long now till you leave the village for the tow home!
    All the best as always

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — October 28, 2012 @ 2:58 am

  4. Paul it’s not really a walk between the stations job to get to the Metro at Newcastle Central the entrance is just outside the ticket barrier.

    Also a handy tip with those collect from the machine tickets is that you can collect them from any ticket machine that does ticket on departure. But don’t forget the card you bought the ticket with!!

    Comment by Phil Cook — October 28, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    • Cheers Phil, I’m learning as I go along 🙂 just departed Queen street, beats the cr4p out of driving 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  5. Some years ago I read Stornoway area stockpiled cans of baked beans to feed the people of Lewis in the event of a nuclear attack or fallout. I wonder about the expiry dates….!

    Comment by SOTW — October 29, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    • Hi She,

      Some years ago I read Stornoway area stockpiled cans of baked beans to feed the people of Lewis in the event of a nuclear attack or fallout. I wonder about the expiry dates….!

      🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 30, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: