As I was walking back to my old school today on a bright and sunny morning it occurred to me that it is now 40 years ago since I left on a similar sunny day to head off university, the big wide world and the rest of my life.
Well, today was Dinnington’s turn so I went along to help.
It was moving to see so many enthusiastic youngsters grab hold of the engineering challenge posed in an introductory video featuring Ricky Feather. The teams had a really busy day – starting with a design brief and producing working prototypes by early afternoon.
Although I was delighted that in the opinion of the judge my old school house Osborne had won the day (and the chance to visit the National Cycling Centre in Manchester), I’d like to congratulate all those who took part. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and that you will remember this experience for many years to come. I’d also like to thank Deputy Head Chris Eccles for taking up my suggestion of holding this event at Dinnington and the support provided by the teaching staff.
The Faraday Challenge Day mini-season is being held at a number of schools in the Yorkshire region over the next few weeks, and will go nationwide to visit another 60+ schools from September. If you think you can assist the delivery team as a volunteer or would like to find out how a school near you might host an event please contact email@example.com for further details.
I’m looking forward to playing in Doncaster tomorrow night (19 October) with Hallgate Chamber Orchestra in a concert with Hatfield Colliery Band at the United Reform Church. It’s a varied programme of music and includes one of the favourite pieces from my teenage years – “The Great Gate of Kiev” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At an Exhibition”. Back then the Dinnington High School orchestra used to perform a simplified arrangement of this but I preferred the Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) version – one of the tracks that inspired my career in electronics and love of ‘prog rock’. I last heard this played by the Carl Palmer Band at Clumber Park in 2012.
Tomorrow’s performance will be the first time I’ve played the full piece and with orchestra, brass band and church organ – something like 60 musicians in total. In a fairly small venue this should be good fun and very loud!
It will also be nice to accompany Vanessa Frampton again following a lovely concert at the Mansion House earlier this year.
We’ve had some lovely summer weather at Throapham House this year, with a bumper crop of fruit – including around 20 pounds of grapes from our one and only outdoor vine – and we now have a good stock of home made jams and preserves in the cellar. Meanwhile I’ve been busy with my camera in our garden watching the progress of the seasons and managed to capture this stunning sunset over the village of Laughton-en-le-Morthen. It reminds me of a Saturn V rocket leaving the launchpad. The village forms part of a nice walk from Throapham taking in the English Heritage property of Roche Abbey.
After a busy spring at Throapham House Ann let me take a short break from cooking breakfasts in June to visit the Derwent Water area of the Lake District with a group of school friends from Dinnington High School. Our earlier walking trips have taken us to the Isle of Skye and the Yorkshire Dales.
The ‘fitter’ members of our group dragged me up Grisedale Pike last year at the start of the Coledale Horseshoe walk, only for us to be forced down before reaching Causey Pike due to bad weather. This year on the last day of our break the weather cleared and we were able to complete the original walk.
Instead of hauling my camera bag up the fells this year I took Ann’s little weatherproof Olympus camera. I’ve been playing around recently with stitching together some photos for Throapham House and decided to experiment with a 360 degree panoramic view from Scar Crags and Causey Pike. . Click on the picture to view – this is a QuickTimeVR file so you may need to download Apple QuickTime to your computer.
This was hand held but the results are quite pleasing and the interactive panorama gives a good impression of the view from the top. I’ll figure out how to get the wraparound over Bassenthwaite Lake a bit neater if I get chance. Now I know roughly what I’m doing I want to put some similar things together for walks around our local area.