Archive for March, 2008


Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

British RailwaysI was recently rummaging through some old things. My Grandfather was a fireman (in the steam engine sense) for British Railways in pre-dieselisation days. However, when Dieselisation came along, he took a position as a driver, operating out of the depot at Wrexham.

While rummaging recently, I came across an old book (left) dated 1962. The design is that of Class 55 Deltics, showing its dominance in peoples minds even then. At first, this might be naught more than your standard old book. Inside, to begin with, is a brief history of diesel engines. Seriously, it’s as if people had never considered combustion engines before, and for most railwaymen of the time, they wouldn’t have come into contact with one that often. There are technical readouts of diesel engines and how to perfom simple maintenance and even reparation tasks – A different mindset from today where our health and safety laws prevent a driver messing about with the mechanics. There’s even blueprints of the “Type 4 IC CI”, “Type 4 B-B” and the Class 08. Such a find was interesting, but as I was thumbing through the pages, I came across several old, brown documents. Each was dated 1893 and was handwritten, different from the text I had been reading.

Each one is signed by a Mr “G Grant”, and two seem to regard the Eisteddfod at Llandudno and passenger excursions, and the rest rugby clubs. A single letter is from the superintendent of Carriages and wagons Paddington station, and seems to grant some horse boxes and enclosures for usage. Every letter has been signed by “Mr Edgecombe”, leading me to believe he was filing these documents or was a secretary for G Grant.

I contacted the National Rail museum, but they already have similar correspondence in their archives and are not interested. I will attempt the local history museum and see if they will be interested in taking care of these letters, as I fear their condition will deteriorate if left around here.

No Photos

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I don’t think there’ll be any photos for me to take this weekend, what with the fact that taking my car above 1500rpm might send shards of metal flying around.

This is a shame, as I’ve found the right setting to make the D40 stop overexposing grey skies.

Time for a new Car.

Friday, March 21st, 2008

My current car is now on it’s last legs. A trip through a deep puddle at speed has bent a conrod.

UtzOnBike, Wikipedia (GNU)  This here’s your typical cylinder setup. Mine has four of these. Now, water entered the engine through the air intake. It rushed into the gap between the piston head and the top of the cylinder. When it was the turn of the piston to come back up to the top, it couldn’t compress the water and all the energy was transferred to the connecting rod (Green) beneath the piston head. This bent it laterally.

A car in front had suffered the same problem, and the AA guy who came out to help him decided to spend five minutes on mine for free. After removing the ignition system and spark plugs (the tall thin element between the valves in the image), and turning over the engine, water was forced up and out of the engine. The car then started, and still runs now. Unfortunately I can’t take the RPM of the engine above 1500 else there’s a chance the seriously weakened con-rod will shatter and send high speed pieces of shrapnel in all directions.

So, a new car is needed. I have the loan money now (£7500), which will also pay for a year of fully comprehensive insurance.

So, what will I get? I’m uncertain, but advice is telling me to go for a 1.6 VW Golf or a 1.6 Vauxhall/Opel Astra.  According to WhatCar?, I should go for the Astra, as it’s very cheap to buy and run. For example, even a 1.7 Turbo-Diesel Astra has cheaper insurance than my current car had.

Any suggestions? Please add a comment below!


Monday, March 10th, 2008

It has been decided that I shall ascend it’s slopes on foot. I have the maps and the gear. It will be done after Easter. If it’s nice enough Ben Nevis may be tried later on. It’s not much in the way of climbing mountains (ask johnmit), but it’s a start.

Another week in the life

Monday, March 10th, 2008

As I sit in my chair, busting open bottles of Stella Artois with my molars, catching a whiff of the dog basket and scowling (that thing’s waterproof and the dog can’t control itself), another week has come to an end. It’s not a particularly interesting week. It’s not even that interesting in my own life, but I just wanted to write an interesting paragraph into which you would read expecting some sort of life story. But you were wrong, you fool.

Today I went on another North Wales wide journey. This time alone, and again, with my camera. I find I can put the strap over the passenger’s headrest and it makes a perfect substitute for my brother. Today’s weather was very strange. It was sunny, yet snow had miraculously appeared on the mountains by the afternoon. I left the house around 2PM, so when I got back around half eight in the evening it was dark. I tried experimenting with night shots but I left the tripod behind so couldn’t hold the camera still enough. I saw some interesting things on my journey that I didn’t photograph. There was a massive bulky fugly crane near Corwen. Not tall massive, but just bulky massive. Next to it were two massive bridge beams. Looks like they’re finally about to replace an old Telford A5 bridge.

Snowdon Summit cafe

It looks, from this photo, that the Snowdon summit cafe is almost finished. They’ve been using the Snowdon Mountain Railway to deliver supplies to the summit, there being no road access. You can still see the summit stone on this photo, contrasting against the grey cloud and snow.

Yesterday I went out to watch the Welsh match versus Ireland. Hurrah! We wins. Last year, when I went to the Murrayfield Stadium only to see us get squashed by the Scots, Fragged by the French, and Electrocuted by the Irish and Italians, it was only a joy to see that we still won versus England. Woo.

However this year it’s all wins. WINS I SAY. WINS.

Next week we have France to beat to with the Grand Slam. It should be possible to beat the French, heck, England beat em, and we beat England! So, here’s hoping to winning the Grand Slam in 2008.

Oh, and check this out. It’s a nifty RTS game that I’ve become addicted to.