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Archive for August, 2012

So, the marvel that is the Towersey Folk Festival has come and gone for yet another year… (and I’ve just come back from it – hence the scarcity of posts for the last week or so.)

The weather was a bit kinder this year (in parts) which helped, and as ever the line up of acts was superb.

Here are a few photos of notable events:

Balloon over flag!
For the third year, my steampunk flag stood up to the stresses and strains of the UK weather, and the illuminated beacon on the top guided us all safely back to the tents after middle of the night toilet stops! For some reason a hot air balloon took off from the adjacent field one afternoon, so here’s a nice shot of it with the flag in the foreground (I particularly like the jet if flame from the balloon burner)

Balloon trumps flag!

Balloon trumps flag!

Workshop
I took the opportunity to take a workshop with Gavin Davenport, held in the fabulous church at Towersey. I was really just snooping to see how he did it (before my own workshop at Halsway Manor next year – more on this to come!!), but I found his approach to open C tuning very interesting.

Gavin Davenport workshop

Gavin Davenport workshop

Mugs!
In the spirit of making six days or so under canvas a bit more pleasant (‘glamping’ I believe it is called!), RL invested in these very nice tin mugs to drink scalding tea from:

Mugs!

Mugs!

I had actually wanted these from the Best Made Company, but the above ones (Jumping on the ‘Keep Calm and…’ bandwagon, and available from John Lewis), were really fun and a lot easier to obtain here in the UK…

Sounds:
Turns out my mate P was running the sound in the Big Club tent this year, and he kindly let us sit with him for a few of the performances. Here is a view from the big desk (whilst the amazing Ioscaid were playing):

Ioscaid

Ioscaid

And here’s a final shot of RL manning the faders for the mighty Jon Boden!:

Doing the sound for Jon Boden!

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As I sit here writing Part II of my beer bike trailer post, my mate SC sent me the following links:

www.bikesandtrailers.com
… an entire site dedicated to bike trailers in a multitude of forms, details of hitches, etc…

and this one (I am guessing a sister / related-site?), with lots of good stuff on hitches etc…
www.bikehod.com/bike-hod

Is there no subject on Earth that someone hasn’t already written a complete website on!?

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I was clearing out a load of old back-up disks the other day from ‘Star Command’ when I came across the following photos of some of my old sculptures. These were taken nearly ten years ago or so and, with the exception of one piece, all the works are now long gone / no longer exist.

I’m sad about this, but glad I found the photos – not the greatest quality shots I am afraid but hopefully they give the idea…

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Last weekend I was due to go to the fabulous Folk By The Oak folk day. Seeing as how it was glorious weather (for once!), and only four miles or so from where I live down the excellent Alban Way cycle track, I and some mates decided we should cycle there.

To make the whole thing a bit easier, I though it might be worth making a trailer for the beer bike so that I could take with us a load of beer, water, blankets, food, warm clothing for later etc…

I hoped to find some small bike wheels for the task, even putting an advert on my excellent local Freecycle network. When nothing showed up in time however, I was forced to go skip diving for suitable raw materials!

Hence the following – an old pram! (I’ve cut away the seat and webbing in this shot). Although the wheels are by no means as large as I would have liked, they seem pretty sturdy, had nice bearings and, since they are in double sets, I though the whole thing might just do the job :

The skip-find pram

The skip-find pram

The pram carcass was also a perfect fit with an old plastic crate I found that I thought would make an excellent removable basket to hold everything.

Pram and bucket

Pram and basket

The next thing was to get the trusty angle grinder out and start cutting away the parts of the pram I didn’t need (the handles etc). Since the original pram was one of those fold-up / collapsible jobs I then needed to add a few additional struts (made from some rectangular section tubing I had lying about the shed) here and there to hold the thing rigid. Here is an early shot of the removal process, followed by a close up of some struts bolted in place:

Starting to cut

Starting to cut

Strengthening strutts added

Strengthening struts added

I though for general ease, ‘steerability’ (is that even a word!?) and to deal with bumps better, I’d remove the front sets of wheels and merely use the back sets. I have simply removed the wheels from their attachments, rather than cutting them off entirely – this is in case I wanted to ever put them back on in the future (for example if I needed to wheel the whole contraption across a field or something?)

tow bar added

tow bar added

Also on the photo above you can see the addition of the towing bar (as well as an early test of some of the funky stuff like a back light, bungy chords to hold the basket in place etc), made from some old aluminium tubing. This part of proved to be the most complex of the whole build, and probably deserves a post all to its own – so stay tuned for Part 2!

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