Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Broadband update March 2021

 In January local contractors installed ducting to the new cabinet but since then nothing more has happened.
It would seem likely that threading fibre through the ducting would only take a day or two but everything seems to take several months if Openreach are involved, it would not be surprising if it's a full year from the box being installed to actually up and running.

In the meantime Moorsweb local wifi is available and gives good speeds.
Several people are using it and it is usually possible to extend to anyone else wanting to give it ago - subject to survey.

Interesting old postcard

 Note the trod - still there under big hedge.
Unsurfaced road of course, and far less trees round the bridge.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Faster broadband latest ...

Not a great deal to report with any certainty.

The new fibre cabinet was installed in July - see earlier post - and it seemed reasonable to hope it might be live this year but early next year now looks more likely.
Speaking to an Openreach engineer working nearby, he said everyone's existing lines have been connected via the new box which is the most time consuming part.
He believes that several sections - but not all - of the existing underground cable towards Castleton is in ducts and it should progress quickly there, but some trenching and disruption is inevitable.
It should progress quite rapidly once they start.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Fibre Broadband on the way

 This fibre cabinet appeared mid-July but no fibre to it yet.
You would think it ought to be live before the end of the year and hopefully before Autumn - then it will be interesting how far the improved speeds reach.
There are online prediction tools but they don't know the exact route lines take or the condition of them.

Fibre to the cabinet is not as fast as fibre to premises but the village and anyone within a mile or so should see a dramatic improvement to at least 20mb download speed.

Moorsweb WiFi has been available (subject to survey) for several months and is a decent alternative but with some limits on GB downloaded.
You would also need a separate line rental for phone, which would be included with a fibre Broadband contract.

In a separate development a small radio mast has appeared on Back Lane, it is part of national coverage for a new smart meter network (electricity) but probably not actually live as yet. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Vintage snow scene at Arkangel

Barbara emailed a photo taken in 1947 showing snowdrifts by Arkangel where her family used to live. 
In those days machinery was limited and most snow clearing was by hand using shovels.
A few other things are *missing* compared to the modern scene, e.g. cables for power and telephone!
Less trees too.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Low budget film featuring Westerdale

It seems to be a period(ish) musical with religious theme, they managed to avoid any modern farm machines in the background.

As often happens the locations are rather muddled into a 'composite' place.
For example they are show doing field work on Westerdaleside, but the wheat crop (with tractor tramlines!) isn't here.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Hidden Westerdale

Bagdale Beck - culvert outfall near the village

This probably dates to when the Hall was built and the road re-aligned.
On the South side of the road, usually hidden in vegetation stone horse troughs are still in place.
Before this was improved, previously traffic probably went further up the common and crossed the stream below the church (now a footpath) - or perhaps both routes were used and neither were particularly good - so you took your chances!
There was a further crossing point downstream more directly between the Hall and Castleton Road - probably usually too difficult for any kind of vehicle.

Simple bridge over Tower Beck
A basic design and quite roughly built with dry stone wall technique, but the stone slabs are very large, and must have been quite challenging to get to the site and position securely.
So much so that it seems like too much trouble to link little more than two fields - perhaps the ford and footbridge not far downstream superceded it.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Electrofishing survey

Westerdale was featured during a report on Look North recently, about surveying fish stocks in the Esk using electrofishing.
They were filming at the cricket ground and then interviewed someone from Environment Agency who mainly wanted to blame results on climate change and farming (?)

One of the staff doing the job said results were good considering the water level is still unusually low, and showed no problem with water quality.
They found no Salmon but Brown Trout were numerous and they also caught Lamprey and Stone Loach.

Salmon or Sea Trout are regularly seen there, trying to leap over the ford to spawn upstream - but won't be spotted until levels rise later in the Autumn.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

The long dry summer

After the unusually snowy spell in early March, the Spring weather was not too bad and by May things were drier than usual with some good warm sunny days - but the east wind was often an issue, bringing sea fog which often persisted all day.
When that happened we stayed chilly and damp, while further inland it was warm.
This tendency persisted into June but as the month went on there were plenty of very warm if not hot days.

Highest June temperature was 25.2C on the 16th, and there was just 14.5mm of rain (-62mm).
Conditions were very favourable for making silage and hay of excellent quality but the crops were mostly lighter than normal.
However any reseeds and fodder crops struggled to get established and in drier spots more or less failed completely

By the end of the month it was so dry that grass growth almost ceased and the fields widely took on a yellow appearance not seen since 1995 if not 1976.
By Mid-July the drought began to bite with little grazing remaining, and some water supplies began to struggle.

 Luckily there was a series of thundery showers on the 16th giving about 34mm, there were more spectacular storms on the 27th an 29th - surprisingly the month total reached 98mm (+18mm)!

Highest temperature in July and probably the year record high was 27.9C on the 26th. While being rather hot that was not particularly impressive as many days further inland and further south reached around 30C.
We can occasionally get similar high temperatures but being close to the sea it is more unusual. For example in 2015 1st of July reached 30C which is the highest recorded here since at least 2009 when the weather station was set up.

 August continued mainly warm with plenty of pleasant sunny days but after the stormy spell the real heat was broken, and it turned out only slightly above normal mean temperature average 14.8C (+0.4C) and highest maximum was 24.3C on the 7th. The dryness persists with 38mm compared to average 86mm.
Surprisingly August is one of the wetter months since when it does rain it will often be heavier than the winter months due to more energy in the system.

It's noteworthy that the usual fine show of heather has been badly affected, presumably small buds were shed at a crucial period in July.
There are some flowers on the plants but nothing like the normal impressive carpet stretching to the horizon.

In early July the drought revealed some prehistoric features such as Iron Age field boundaries around the village, and possibly a previously unknown round house enclosure.
These very rapidly disappeared when the showers arrived.
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