The Anonymous Widower

A Statue Without Explanation In Islington

Every time I go between my house and the Angel, I pass this statue on Islington Green.

It is of Sir Hugh Myddelton, who was very much a hero to generations of North Londoners prior to the Second World War.

Wikipedia introduces him like this.

Sir Hugh Myddelton (or Middleton), 1st Baronet (1560 – 10 December 1631) was a Welsh clothmaker, entrepreneur, mine-owner, goldsmith, banker and self-taught engineer. The spelling of his name is inconsistently reproduced, but Myddelton appears to be the earliest, and most consistently used in place names associated with him.

So why did my parents and others, born in the early years of the twentieth century, hold Myddelton in such high esteem?

Both my parents were born close to his most famous creation; the New River. Wikipedia explains his part in the project.

Myddelton is, however, best remembered as the driving force behind the construction of the New River, an ambitious engineering project to bring clean water from the River Lea, near Ware, in Hertfordshire to New River Head in Clerkenwell, London. After the initial project encountered financial difficulties, Myddelton helped fund the project through to completion, obtaining the assistance of King James I.

I do wonder, if the generation of my parents felt affectionately about the New River because in their first few decades, it was probably the source of most of the water they drunk and used for cooking and washing.

Wikipedia doesn’t give any clue to the character of Myddelton, but I’m sure that in today’s climate, some would find him not worthy of having a statue in such a prominent place.

I do feel though, that the statue needs a display to fill out the story of a man, who did so much for London over four hundred years ago and is still benefiting from his creation.

June 15, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding Floatovoltaics

Floatovoltaics is mounting panels on floats, on an appropriate stretch of water.

This video, which I think from some of the words in the commentary, is shown to visitors who visit the floating solar farm at Yamakura Dam.

It describes all the advantages of floating solar and shows how this 13.7 MW solar farm was constructed.

We’ve even got a couple of these floating solar farms in the UK.

This Google Map shows the farm in the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames.

There is also this article in the Guardian, which is entitled World’s Biggest Floating Solar Farm Powers Up Outside London. It gives a good description of the project.

The article also states that unlike large solar arrays on land, no planning permission is required.

United Utilities have also installed a system at Godley Reservoir in Hyde, near Manchester, as this Google Map shows.

They must like the first installation, as this Press Release from United Utilities indicates that they are now building a second floating solar farm at Langthwaite Reservoir near Lancaster.

Some points from the Press Release.

  • The floats are made locally.
  • Godley is three times the size of Langthwaite.
  • Godley can generate up to 3 GWh per year.
  • It is thought that the panels help to stop the growth of algae in the water.
  • United Utilities already has 45 MW of installed solar and intends to add 22 more sites in the next two years.

In some ways, this embracing of solar is a bit surprising, as the North West, is England’s wettest region.

Conclusion

If my excellent physics teacher in the 1960s had said that it will be commonplace by 2020 to generate electricity using solar panels floating on water, I would not have believed him!

 

June 5, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

InPipe Energy: Power Through Pressure

The title of this post is the same as that of this story on CleantechConcepts.

This is the introductory paragraph.

It’s the new hydropower. Not dams, no reservoirs, just pipes. With help from Oregon State engineering researchers, an Oregon startup company is developing a system to generate carbon-free electricity from a previously untapped water source: the pipes under our streets.

I think this could be an interesting idea. But could it be applied in the UK and Europe?

April 29, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Large Hydropower Dams ‘Not Sustainable’ In The Developing World

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first four paragraphs.

A new study says that many large scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment.

Dozens of these dams are being removed every year, with many considered dangerous and uneconomic.

But the authors fear that the unsustainable nature of these projects has not been recognised in the developing world.

Thousands of new dams are now being planned for rivers in Africa and Asia.

I think the report has a sound basis and we should think much deeper before we build a large dam.

Storing energy and preventing of floods are probably good reasons, whereas others are not, considering, that solar and wind power are becoming more affordable.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Water At Ipswich Station

I hope this is the shape of things to come.

Greater Anglia give more details on this page on their web site.

 

 

July 9, 2018 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Where The Queen Gets Her Energy

Yesterday’s edition of Countryfile on BBC1, was entitled Royal Special: Windsor.

In the program, they shows how Windsor Castle and the surrounding estate, use an Archimedes screw in the River Thames to generate electricity.

I found this video on the Internet.

There is also this document on the Internet.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

This Google Map gives aerial view of the weir and the installed screws.

The two screws are installed in two sections of the weir at the right end.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

  • At peak flow the two units generate a total of 320kW/hour.
  • There is a six year return on investment.
  • The design life is fifteen years..
  • The owner of the generators has a forty year lease on the site.

I suspect, we could see more units like this!

 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Personalised Water From South Western Railway

I was at Waterloo station this morning and the new operator; South Western Railway, was giving out free water.

The postcode on the water is HR1 3EY, which suggests the water came from Berrington Water.

 

 

August 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Old Ford Water Recycling Plant

This plant just off the Greenway takes raw sewage from the Northern Outfall Sewer and converts it into clear water for non-potable purposes on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

I visited it during Open House 2016.

We need more plants like this, to make better use of the water we use.

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | 1 Comment

I’ve Now Got A Back Garden!

On BBC Breakfast this morning, the weather is coming from Woodberry Wetlands, which is London’s newest Nature Reserve, that opens to the public today, after being opened by Sir David Attenborough yesterday.

This Google Map shows the area.

Woodberry Wetlands

Woodberry Wetlands

One entrance is on the road between the two reservoirs and I think there is a second one by the Castle.

The Castle Climbing Centre

To get there, I just walk across the road by my house and get a 141 bus to the castle. It takes me about ten minutes.

How many readers of this blog realised that North London had such an impressive castle?

It was built to keep Tottenham and Arsenal supporters apart. Tottenham is to the North-East and Arsenal is to the South-West.

This morning, I visited Woodberry Wetlands.

I walked across from where the 141 bus dropped me by the Castle along the New River Walk.

It was crowded, as would be expected on the first day.

One thing that surprised me was that I saw a fox in broad daylight, strutting about as cool as you like.

I think it will turn out to be a popular attraction, but I think that transport bus, bicycle and walking access should be improved.

  • Probably the easiest way to go is to walk from Manor House station. Some signs showing the shortest walking route would help.
  • The maps on the web site need updating with buses from both entrances.
  • Bicycles were everywhere and there needs to be better storage.
  • A bus running between the reservoirs would certainly help.

It is the sort of attraction, that would benefit from some Boris bike stations.

  • Manor House station
  • Finsbury Park station
  • The Castle
  • The entrances to the attraction.

The first two would also serve Finsbury Park.

 

 

May 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Museum de Cruquius

The Museum de Cruquius is just up the road from The Hague near Haarlem, although our journey up wasn’t the easiest, because the motorway was closed.

It is well worth a visit as it shows a tremendous amount about how the Dutch have kept water at bay.

The enormous steam engine, which sadly doesn’t work, was actually built in Cornwall.

When I see a museum and engine like this, I do think it sad that London’s massive sewage engines at Crossness were just filled with sand and abandoned in the 1960s.

Both sites incidentally, are about the same age!

October 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment