Life at the end of the road

July 26, 2014

A diplomatic incident :-)

Well, I just don’t know where it’s gone, the last fortnight that is, thirteen days since I posted and I’m only posting now because it’s pishing with rain! To be honest we needed it to clear the air, for the last week has been a pure scorcher, nothing like the 30 plus degrees of ‘down sowf’ right enough but too hot nonetheless. Mind you it’s been 30 plus in the ‘greenhouse’, that’ll be the new name for the Hallaig’s ‘wheelhouse’ where temperatures started off at 26 degrees at 7:00am and gradually climbed to an unbearable 32.9 on several afternoons!!! Thankfully my steering days are over and I’d a balmy engine room to retire too Smile Well cool by comparison, I dunno what the actual temperature was but the air conditioned battery rooms felt like a fridge and they are set to 20 degrees.

The route manager at Uig came to the rescue yesterday with a portable air conditioner for the cooking skipper. Sure enough, as soon as that arrived the weather went ‘pear shaped’, but like I said, it was needed. We had of course ordered our own unit almost a month ago but Royal Mail seem to have lost it and won’t even start thinking about compensation until it’s been missing for three weeks Sad smile Methinks that by the time it finally arrives the winter will be here.

An emissary from ‘The Republic’

Well it was a fantastic fortnight off and regulars will know that I got much done, mainly thanks to Lachie Gillies’s telehandler right enough. I have absolutely no idea how I’d have removed the engine and ‘tranny’ from the ‘Disco’ without it or got my turbine up with such ease. When I say ‘up’ I fell short of actually raising it though. However with the timely arrival of the Northumbrian Peoples Republics ambassador on Monday evening I finally got the ‘gin pole’ in position ready for the lift.

With the new turbine being taller than the old one at 11m instead of 6.5m I decided to make up a proper trestle to support it rather than the old oil drum I currently use. Using my home made cable reel holder I added yet more galvanized steel angle to it to make a firm and sturdy support that could easily be converted back to its original purpose. These heavy duty steel sections from electricity poles are just like ‘big boys Meccano’ and I’ve used them for many projects.

001 002 003

That done and with help from the ambassador we retired for the day, Steve himself having completed an epic trip north was also heading back to work shortly


But first we had to feed our weary traveller Smile



Trouble was Steve and Nan


had brought a fine bottle of Australian red and the evening ‘went wobbly’ after the lovely meal of something bizarre. I can’t remember off hand what it was but pork, salad and chips springs to mind.

Back to work

I guess I could have put the turbine up on Tuesday morning but decided against for several reasons, firstly I’d not seen my parents in ages. Secondly I’d not sorted out any extra ‘dump loads’ yet so leaving it unattended would have been unwise. Then thirdly there was the small matter of submitting ‘prior notification’ to the council that I hadn’t actually done yet. Things have got a lot saner here in Scotland  in the planning department since I put up my last Proven 2.5kW turbine some eight years ago. Then you needed full planning permission for even a relatively small turbine. Now, ‘domestic’ turbines only require ‘prior notification’ if more than 100m from a neighbours boundary and less than 6kW.

Definition of a Domestic Wind Turbine
A wind turbine is considered to be domestic where:
a)  its primary purpose is to power a domestic property;
b)  its total installed capacity is not more than 6KW; and
c)  the annual output of electricity exported to the grid does not exceed the total
energy requirements of the domestic property by more than 25%


3.2  Class  6G of the  Town and Country Planning (General Permitted
Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended)  provides for the
installation, alteration or replacement of a free standing wind turbine  within the
curtilage of a dwelling in certain cases without the need for  a  planning
application.  One of the conditions that must be met is that the turbine is used
only for the purposes of producing electricity or heat for domestic consumption
using  microgeneration  equipment.  However development is not permitted
under the Order and a planning application is required if –
  it would result in the presence within the curtilage of a dwelling of more
than one free standing wind turbine; or
  the wind turbine would be situated less than 100m from the curtilage of
another dwelling; or
  the site is located within: a conservation area; a world heritage site; a site
of special scientific interest; a site of archaeological interest; or within the
curtilage of a listed building.
3.3  Wind turbines attached to buildings have no permitted development rights and
therefore require planning permission.
3.4  Wind  turbine proposals  which are permitted development  do however  require
the submission of an application for  prior notification  in respect of the design
and size of the proposed wind turbine, and a determination as   to whether our
prior approval is required in respect of the siting and external appearance of
the turbine. 

They still charge you £85 right enough and you have to submit plans, maps and an advert in the paper but it’s far simpler than the full planning process.

In England and Wales you have a bizarre set of criteria that will only let you install turbines without planning with a restriction on size (I think it’s 3kw with a turbine diameter of less than 2m) but they have to be MCS certified too. Only trouble is there are no turbines of that size that do have MCS certification!! Even the trusty Proven/Kingspan 2.5/3.2kW turbines, probably the best small turbine on the planet don’t have MCS certification Sad smile

Ta Ta 4 now

Anyway, it’s Saturday night and I’ve a £10,000,000 ferry to deal with so I’ll leave you with some cracking pictures of the Raasay iron ore mines that I happened upon.


  1. And what a great time I had. … Once again.. please say thank you to the “hen LADY” and MIL. It was so nice to see you all. ..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — July 26, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

    • Twas goo to see you too Steve.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 27, 2014 @ 6:32 am

  2. interesting about the mines. Always learning more about Raasay

    Comment by eileen1929 — July 27, 2014 @ 4:00 am

    • Morning Eileen,

      Always learning more about Raasay

      Me too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 27, 2014 @ 6:31 am

  3. Regulations on turbines… my understanding is that Scotland now exports more “wind energy” than Scotch these days. I don’t know how I feel about that. If you lower my electric bill, what will I toast ye with?

    Comment by drgeo — July 27, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

  4. those are great pictures of the mines. they look almost beautiful against the sky and the hills and the water. that said, i would not like to have been a german POW — even if raasay so often looks like heaven.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — July 28, 2014 @ 2:22 am

  5. Paul – are you at work next week? I’m on Skye next week and thought I’d pop along and say hi to the Hallaig and you if possible. It would probably be either Sun 10th or Wed 13th (Aug),

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — August 7, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

    • Hi Nigel, yup, back at work on Tue afternoon, so Wed would be best.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 8, 2014 @ 8:46 am

      • Great , I’ll aim for Wed afternoon.

        Comment by Nigel Macleod — August 8, 2014 @ 8:54 am

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