Life at the end of the road

January 28, 2013

Back to college :-)

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:01 pm

A dark, wet and windy evening here and I’m just plonking away on the old laptop with a glass of scrumpy in my hand Smile 17:30 is a little early I know but my brain is fried with circuit diagrams, thermocouples, thermistors and the ‘38.5 ohm fundamental’ Sad smile Having not quite grasped the  wiring diagram given us for homework I figured that Weston’s ‘Cloudy Cider’ might help Smile  Silly me Sad smile Oh well, the night is young, the cider gone so perhaps clarity well arrive later Smile

Anyway, I digress, the purpose of tonight’s effort was to finish off yesterday’s trip to Tynemouth and its priory . I had done the walk there last year but by the time I arrived the place was shutting so I returned yesterday.


Starting first with a tour of the outside walls, not because I was that interested in them but because I thought that the £4.50 entrance fee was a little steep.


I have to say that after checking out the beautiful artwork done by centuries of sand and salt laden air on the soft sandstone I figured it was worth a look inside.





The twelfth century priory stood on the site of a much older church and was sadly destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII who was sorely pi55ed off with the Pope. His lust for money, power, Anne Boleyn and a male heir prompting him to split with the church of Rome. Had he known just what a fine queen Elizabeth  (from his first marriage with Catherine of Aragon ) made I doubt he’d have bothered, but that’s guys for you Smile

Mind you, by all accounts Catherine wasn’t much to look at and Anne was a bit of a babe.


Anyway, back to the ruins

edit ‘The cider must be affecting your history memory as well! Of Henry’s wives, Catherine of Aragon (first one) produced Mary, not Elizabeth; Anne Boleyn (second) was the mother of Elizabeth; ‘

comment from Iain MacB, who obviously listened when he was at school Smile 



and it’s hard to imagine how on earth the masons of 900 years ago did all this with hand tools and man power, none of them actually seeing the process from start to finish. Life expectancy then being a matter of three or four decades at most for an artisan and such construction projects taking many more years to complete.

This little bit on the end being added in the sixteenth century the Oratory of St Mary or Percy Chapel.



It’s only around 16’ x 12’ but the ceiling and stained glass windows are amazing.


This was all very well and interesting but my main reason for parting with £4.50 to English Heritage was to go and check out the coastal battery and recently restored magazines for the 6” guns.


 Gun battery at Tynemouth

Me being a bit of an ‘anorak’ in the naval gunnery department was most dischuffed to find this particular part closed for the winter Sad smile


Having dived on a few wrecks that had these guns fitted and visited the old batteries at Loch Ewe on several occasions I was looking forward to seeing the arrangements for hauling the 6” shells and their cordite bags up to the guns Sad smile





However I just had to content myself with a tour of the locked up exterior Sad smile






Still, at least you could see where they kept their rifles Smile


Fat lot of good they’d have been against a battleship Smile

Even though it was a little disappointing I did manage to pass a few hours there admiring the various forms of brickwork, masonry, concrete and gravestones spanning almost one thousand years of occupation of this strategic fortification above the Tyne.


Sure, there were probably people here in Roman times and before, but their footprints had long gone under ruins of later civilizations, still, it is a rather grand and impressive location Smile


view new house 001

Though I have to say that I prefer the views from our new house Smile


view new house 003

I doubt it will be there in 900 years but I’m sure something will be Smile

view new house 002

That will be the views from kitchen, utility room, and living room, OK, not quite as sunny as Tynemouth but it’s where I’d rather be Smile



  1. Those 6″ guns looked a little rusty, so you shouldn’t add them to your new house. Perhaps you could fit in a lazer cannon instead? Plenty of extra windmill power!

    Comment by drgeo — January 28, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    • A 6″ gun is just what I need to keep unwanted visitors away, and I just happen to know where there are a few. A little rustier than that one right enough but I’m sure the Dude could clean them up with some sandpaper and metal polish 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 28, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

  2. Dark, wet and windy here too. Priory looks good, I like the stonework and wind/sandwork too. House is looking great too. No chance you could make the window one big long one? My eye wants to remove the bar up the middle!

    Comment by may cruickshank — January 28, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    • No chance you could make the window one big long one? My eye wants to remove the bar up the middle!

      Prefer traditionally proportioned windows May, I spend my whole life looking at breathtaking views so can cope with a smaller window in the interests of keeping the heat in.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 28, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

      • very fair comment! Just had to say it, though!

        Comment by may cruickshank — January 28, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

      • ps Have been watching them rebuilding the ‘firesite’ in the Cowgate and yesterday they craned in ready-made, angled, insulated, dressed-stone walls even with the window/door spaces already in place. Thought they might be of interest (not to use, just to be interested) – I have put (not very good) photos on a facebook album called firesite update. Will ‘tag’ you if you are still on f/b and want to look.

        Comment by may cruickshank — January 28, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

      • Morning May, I do have a f/b page but rarely visit because quite simply, I Don’t understand it, it’s pure gibberish to me, walls, tags, such and such from such a place wants to play some stupid game with you. It’s all way over my head.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 8:03 am

  3. Hi Paul, the house is starting to look the part now, hope all is well with you and the family, say hi to wifey and the dude and stick in at school and do your homework 🙂

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — January 28, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    • Good to hear from you Jimmy, will pass on your message to the rest of the team thank, oh and the same to you and yours 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  4. love all your blogs and yes you must bhe missing home so much what a amazing place x

    Comment by heather jones — January 28, 2013 @ 11:28 pm

    • Morning heather and welcome aboard, yup, missing home, wife, child and dog terribly 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 7:59 am

  5. The cider must be affecting your history memory as well! Of Henry’s wives, Catherine of Aragon (first one) produced Mary, not Elizabeth; Anne Boleyn (second) was the mother of Elizabeth; Jane Seymour (third) was the mother of Edward.

    Comment by IainMacb — January 29, 2013 @ 4:14 am

    • Cheers for that Iain, I’ve now put a note in my post crediting you with putting me right, I really was rubbish at history 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 7:57 am

  6. love your rambles around tyneside, it is interesting to think how long various armies have considered that particular piece of real estate so strategic.
    i love pictures of modern bleak architecture. famous american painter of the ash can school called it “My Egypt”.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — January 29, 2013 @ 4:30 am

  7. Hi Paul

    An interesting place but not a patch on Raasay. By the way, Elizabeth 1 was the daughter of Anne Boleyn- Catherine of Aragon’s daughter was Mary 1 (popularly known as Bloody Mary). Henry’s annulment of his marriage to Catherine (for it was an annulment he wanted – divorce not recognised by the Church) was extremely complicated and you’ll be glad to know I won’t be boring you with it!



    Comment by Sue — January 29, 2013 @ 8:00 am

    • Morning Sue, Iain MacB just put me right on the history and I put a note at the bottom of the post to amend the mistake thanks. As you can imagine, when at school my head was full of mince 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  8. Re the comment about the centre mullion (the vertical bit – transom is the horizontal bit) in the windows, bizarrely, the U value of the window is most influenced by the frame and not the glass. The frame is the weak point in terms of thermal transmission, not the glass, hence the reason why themally broken frames (insulated frames) perform so much better in terms of U value. Its amazing what I’ve learnt building my own house! Keep the pictures of the build coming.

    Cheers – Alan

    Comment by Alan — January 29, 2013 @ 9:00 am

  9. Dear Paul, What is a 38.5 ohm fundemental? I have been medelying around with electricity all my life, must have missed that lesson when I was doing my aprenticeship.



    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — January 29, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    • What is a 38.5 ohm fundemental? I have been medelying around with electricity all my life, must have missed that lesson when I was doing my aprenticeship.

      Hi Dave it is the difference between zero and one hundred degrees Celsius on a PT100 temperature sensor, which is an industry standard, unless of course your equipment is built in Japan. Many Japanese instruments/sensors use the JPT100 sensor which has a ‘fundemental’ of 39.6 degrees 🙂 or is it 39.1 🙂 who knows, I’ll probably forget it next week anyway 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

  10. Paul,

    Great to see the pictures of the priory, what a cracking looking piece of history, the battery reminded me of The Needles Battery on the Isle of Wight.

    I am continually impressed by the colors obtained with your camera, they look exactly as the should (I know that sounds daft but I got myself a Panasonic DMC-FT4 for Christmas & the colors are very washed out looking).

    You like so many workers of the land know that at a guess you will probably not be here in 900 years nor the new house, however you are preserving the land for future generations. Errrrrrrrrrrr just like politicians.

    Have I got that right? 🙂

    I bet that getting the pictures from the Mrs puts a big smile on your face, if you were home you would be checking every night on the development and seeing how work is progressing.

    Take care


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — January 29, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  11. lovely stone worh there paul. like the pic of that big arch from yesterday. its a tad windy back home. our weather station has just recorded 50 southerly and its ment to keep rising. its going to be a long night. neil

    Comment by neil wells — January 29, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

  12. alwight mate !!!! did you phone home today {wed] to see if all was ok or are the remains of your new house still on route to stornoway ………… we had some wind here on skye and all that would fly thro the air went north!!! so all them bits of timber about your [new build] would be deemed as flotsome on route north,,,,was 72 mph here so it would have been the same over on Raasay i’d think best of luck,,,,,BW

    Comment by brian wells snr — January 30, 2013 @ 8:02 am

  13. alwight mate ,,, news from the water treatment plant back on Raasay,,,, the portakabin office that was there went north abouts with the wind yest,,,, just like predicted ,,,,, all the puters an stuff in it went too,,,, All the workers were sent home because of the severe weather and its danger,,,,, wish you were here !!!!

    Comment by brian wells snr — January 31, 2013 @ 9:57 am

    • All is peachy on the croft matey, but the portakabin office is well fecked 😦 Wish I was there too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 1, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

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