Life at the end of the road

November 6, 2012

Out for a run :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

I’ve not taken a single picture today but here’s what caught my eye before I turned in last night, a beautiful waning gibbous moon that really did look like a piece of cheese about to be skewered by the ‘village clock’. I call it the village clock but have just discovered today that it is actually belonging to ‘The Rattler’ . A restaurant comprising, out of, amongst other things, some old railway carriages.



The restaurant taking it’s name from a railway line that once shipped coal and lime from the mine and lime quarry at Marsden.

image from

The Marsden Rattler, South Shields, Tyne and Wear

Swatting up

No doubt due to a few good nights sleep on account of having just one or two things less to worry about yours truly was up and out of his pit for 6:00am and full of enthusiasm. So much so that I prepared the mother of all packed lunches long before the sun came up and plonked away on here for an hour or so before driving to college!!!!! Yup, I thought it was about time I gave the ‘Old girl’ a run before the batteries went flat and the brakes seized on. The last time she turned a wheel and I drove was over three weeks ago and I’m afraid I’ll forget how to do it Smile 

Things have definitely improved at the college this week with the return to work of the lecturer that got carried away in an ambulance and I do at last feel like my presence here is beneficial. Badly timed, inconvenient, financially burdensome and emotionally draining but at least I am now learning something.

With an exam coming up on Friday I thought it was time I started to do some swatting at home so to speak so concentrated on what I know least about and that is ‘cargo handling in the mid twentieth century’ Smile So after studying our notes and vainly attempting to sort out a ‘goose neck’ from a ‘spider band’ and a ‘slewing guy’ from a ‘cargo runner’ I turned to YouTube. There is a video for everything on there, in fact there’s usually at least a hundred different videos for everything on there form changing a tap washer to skinning a Unicorn.

Alas, so relevant is this part of our course that I could only find one recent video on the subject, taken in Singapore and at such a distance as to be useless. There are 10,000 videos of loading and unloading container ships but only one of using a ships derricks, does that not tell you something Smile

However I did find these two gems from the US Navy in 1964,


though this particular ship was laid down in 1944


Anyway, better go and get back to my ‘union purchase’ and ‘bulwark stays’ Smile



  1. “The old girl” will not want to return to Raasay at this rate. If she finds out the road has claimed another sump she will not budge in 3 weeks time when you go to hitch on the van :-).Good luck with the exam.Think the Sex Pistols sang something about rigging if you need any pointers with that part of your revision :-).

    Comment by Andy — November 6, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    • Couldn’t find ‘friggin in the riggin’, or at least a version that was playable but I did find this,

      and I was there 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

      • Can remember watching the original version on TOTP.What a musical mix existed back then what with: soul,punk,various forms of rock, junior school choirs,Jean Michelle Jarre,disco,numerous female solo artists,Cliff Richard and even Terry Wogan and his floral dance (Wogan`s Janet&John stories are worth a listen) 🙂

        Comment by Andy — November 7, 2012 @ 9:11 am

      • Aye Andy, those were the days, don’t forget ‘Pans People’ 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 7, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  2. Paul, a whole day without taking a picture?? … that’s got to be some sort of a record

    Comment by cazinatutu — November 6, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

    • I Know Caz, but the day was miserable and college too interesting to get distracted 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  3. Paul in 1966 I sailed from Liverpool to the
    West coast of Africa, we had to sail up many a river creek and disembark many a cargo by deck boom and rigging gear and also take onboard in a similar manner. What an experience. Not all these ports had quayside cranes to do the job. I’m sure there is a need for the ships and similar loading systems by ships that still traverse these routes even today. Something’s never die.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 6, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    • In 1966 Walter I was ten and they don’t fit them to CalMac ferries these days 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  4. Got the sex pistols single fitr on a 45 somewhere, must ask my bro. Maybe we could convert it to mp3. And share it with you..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — November 6, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    • Hi Steve,

      Got the sex pistols single fitr on a 45 somewhere, must ask my bro. Maybe we could convert it to mp3. And share it with you..

      Alas I fear much of it would be censored 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 7, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  5. Paul,
    Quality over quantity is the motto for todays picture, lovely.
    I take it that the course you are undertaking & yes have almost completed is not just for CALMAC employees if they are testing you on topics you will never use/have access to at work?

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — November 7, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    • Hi ATBH,

      methinks the course is aimed at people that operate 40 year old ships in the third world 🙂 Next week we will be dealing with Somali pirates

      ‘Fire a warning shot’ the master says!!! three hundred rounds later with the ‘pirate vessel’ full of dead people, the testosterone fueled ar53hole is still trying to hit the corpses half a mile astern.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 7, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

  6. I do hope by now you have purchased a shirt that reads “college”.

    Comment by drgeo — November 7, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  7. Saw a photo on good old facebook. Was a tax disc holder, saying ‘yes, i’ve paid my tax, now fix the ******* pot holes!’.

    Comment by Catriona — November 7, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  8. Alas, so relevant is this part of our course
    oh dear, i’m sorry. age and treachery will always overcome youth and talent. hang in there.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — November 7, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

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