The Anonymous Widower

Memories Of Althorpe

On The way to Cleethorpes, I passed through Althorpe station.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The River Trent flowing South to North.
  2. Keadby power station at the top of the map.
  3. Althorpe station close to the bridge over the river.
  4. The village of Althorpe is at the South of the map by the river.

C and myself had friends, who farmed much of the land in the curve of river, South of the railway.

These are a few tales, some might enjoy.

Althorpe And Princess Diana’s Grave

I was once told, that regularly tourists would appear looking for the last resting place of Princess Diana.

Sat-navs may be a wonderful gadget for some, but they do lead those with a certain lack of common sense on wild goose chases.

C And The Tug-Boats

C once spent a night in their farmhouse, which was by the River Trent.

She didn’t sleep well, as tug-boats pulling barges were constantly going past and sounding their sirens. The river was actually above the house, due to the embankments to stop flooding.

Princess Anne And The Centrefold

Our friends’ daughter was a very good rider in eventing and used to supplement her variable income in the sport with modelling. At one point, I used her for some promotional shots for one of my companies.

Some years ago, she was competing at an event in Yorkshire. Coincidentally, this was just after she had appeared as the centrefold in a well-known men’s magazine.

The event was a bit of a nightmare for her, as paparazzi were following her with open copies of the magazine.

At one point, it all got a bit much, so she decided to sneak back to the calm of her horsebox, by a circuitous route.

As she walked back, she encountered Princess Anne, who was also competing and using the same route to avoid the paparazzi.

They talked about the pressures of the paparazzi, who were being a nuisance, with the Princess saying, she approved of my friends’ daughter’s modelling and hoped it continued, as it had taken the pressure off herself.

Flixborough

My friends’ farm was not far from Flixborough, which is infamous for the Flixborough Disaster in 1974, when a chemical plant exploded and killed 28 people and seriously injured a further 36.

My friends also lost several thousand pigs because of the explosion.

Wikipedia says this about the cause of the explosion.

The disaster involved (and may well have been caused by) a hasty modification. There was no on-site senior manager with mechanical engineering expertise (virtually all the plant management had chemical engineering qualifications); mechanical engineering issues with the modification were overlooked by the managers who approved it, nor was the severity of the potential consequences of its failure appreciated.

At the time, I had just left ICI and I was still in contact with my former colleagues.

One told me, that he had met a Senior ICI Engineer, who had been involved with the enquiry into the disaster.

The plant had been a copy of a Dutch plant, that had been built to metric units, which were converted to Imperial to build the Flixborough plant.

As ICI had used metric units since the mid-1950s, there was considerable alarm in the mind of the Senior Engineer, that when the hasty modification was made, someone got mixed up.

Would the Flixborough disaster have happened, if the plant had been built as a copy of the Dutch plant using metric units?

 

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Design, Sport, Transport, World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Powered Tractors Could Be The Green Answer In That Industry

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

I agree with the title and the article is worth a read.

For some time, I’ve felt that hydrogen would be ideal to power a tractor and other agricultural machinery.

  • Now that companies like ITM Power have developed efficient electrolysers, the accessibility of the fuel is a lot easier.
  • Many farmers would have their own electrolyser.
  • Diesel is always getting nicked, but stealing hydrogen would probably be more difficult.
  • Hydrogen could also power the farmer’s cars.

Energy use on the farm could be very different.

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , | 2 Comments

Fruit And Veg Self-Sufficiency Ahead Thanks To Heat From Sewage Farms

This headline caught my eye on an article in today’s Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Britain will become far more self-sufficient in tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other produce under plans to tap heat from sewage farms and pipe it to giant greenhouses.

The idea of using waste heat to grow fruit and vegetables is not new.

The technique is used at Drax power station and at various Scottish distilleries.

Low Carbon Farming just intend to do it with heat from sewage works.

  • They have identified 41 sites in the UK.
  • The greenhouses will be larger than the O2.
  • The first two sites are in East Anglia and are being built near two of Anglian Water’s sewage works.
  • Fully developed, they could make the UK self-sufficient in tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and for most of the year.
  • It would be a £2.67 billion investment, that would create 8,000 jobs.

Intriguingly, if they need more heat, they’ll use a fossil-fuel combined heat and power unit. The carbon dioxide produced will be fed directly to the fruit and veg, as it makes them grow faster.

Another Source Of Heat

In Exciting Renewable Energy Project for Spennymoor, I wrote about a Durham University project to use the waste heat in old coal mines to heat housing.

Could this heat be used to grow fruit and veg?

April 14, 2020 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | 1 Comment

Hydrogen Islands

I found this concept on the ITM Power web site.

This was the sub-title.

Islands tend to have abundant renewable resources yet they rely heavily upon importing fossil fuels, often at relatively high cost.

And this was the body of the page.

The integration of renewables into an island’s power grid soon creates substantial balancing and curtailment problems. These can be overcome by deploying controllable rapid response electrolysers to produce green hydrogen for the island’s transport, heat and power sectors. Projects such as BigHit are demonstrating how this may be achieved.

It would create a zero-carbon island for an Internet tycoon or a Bond villain.

I’m certain that the concept would work for somewhere like a farm or even a small village, which is effectively a landlocked island, with perhaps wind turbines or solar panels.

April 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balloons On The Line Blamed For £1m Worth Of Train Delays

The title of this post, is the same as this article in The Times

This is the first two paragraphs.

Families have been told to stop bringing helium-filled balloons into railway stations after they were blamed for delays that cost the network £1 million a year.

In the latest version of “leaves on the line”, Network Rail said there were 619 “balloon-related incidents” across Britain in the past 12 months.

Liverstock farmers don’t like them either, as they fall into fields and get eaten.

I don’t like banning things, but surely some regulation and sensible rules are needed.

 

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Does Talk Radio Make Telephone Fraudsters Go Away?

At the moment, I’m being plagued by telephone fraudsters. What they are up to, I don’t know, but I get around five a day, if I’m sitting by my computer writing.

I usually have my television switched to Radio 5 or something like the News on BBC1, when they call and I find it strange that if I don’t switch the sound on the television off, by the time I get the phone to my ear, the line is dead.

The fraudster seems to hear the noise of the talking and feels they may be wasting their time.

But it never seems to fail!

It reminds me of a story told me by a farmer, who was breeding free-range organic chickens for one of the major supermarket groups.

The local foxes were a problem, until someone suggested that he wire an old radio up to a car battery and put it on Radio 5 all night at a lowish level. It appeared the calm voices of Doton Adebayo and Rhod Sharp convinced the foxes there were people around and he was losing fewer chickens to the foxes.

 

May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sibling Wars

I agree with the princess in this story on the BBC, which is entitled Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne.

But I doubt her elder brother does!

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Where The Northern Line Extension Spoil Is Going

This article in Your Thurrock, is entitled London Tube tunnelling project set to benefit arable land in East Tilbury.

It gives a good overview of the tunnelling for the Northern Line Extension and states that the tunnel spoil will be taken by barge to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury.

This Google Map shows the North Bank of the Thames from Tilbury Fort to East Tilbury.

tilburyfort

Tilbury Fort is in the South West corner of the map, by the river and East Tilbury is in the North East corner.

This is a more detailed map of the area of Goshems Farm.

goshems

Goshems Farm is in the area of Felmac Metals and Micks Tyres, which from their names are typical businesses, you find in areas like these all over the UK.

Note Station Road leading up to the disused Low Street station, which was on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, which is now served by c2c.

I suspect that the spoil will go into the light-coloured land between this area and the Thames, which could be something like an old landfill site.

It’ll certainly be a lot more use as arable land.

January 22, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeremy Corbyn Courts The Rural Vote!

There is an article in The Spectator entitled Meet the new anti-meat, anti-shooting, pro-badger shadow Defra secretary.

September 14, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew Paris Proposes A Humane Solution To The Badger Problem

In his column today in The Times, Matthew Paris tells a tale about how the llamas he keeps have chased the badgers away.

Matthew’s proposal may sound silly, but I’ve had many a drink with a friend, where he has told me endless tales about his llamas and their instincts and habits. Some of his used to stand up tall and spit at passengers waiting to catch a bus. I believe the stop was moved.

So will be seeing farmers using llamas to protect their animals from badgers.

Or will friends of the badgers try to get the keeping of llamas near badger sets made illegal?

 

June 11, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment