These pictures follow on from pictures published to stories numbers 529, 530 and 532. No, I am not having a clear out, but I have started a  fourth website to keep the brain from going rusty and in accord with the family's wishes. I will of course continue to publish things to this site and other of my websites  but nowhere near as prolific as in the past. Over the years I have made it obvious that I have boxes full of unfashionable but yet intensely interesting naval stories, but now nearer to fifteen years as opposed to ten years into publishing web sites, the interest shown by internet users could be related in the breathers I take between sips of my first daily G&T. One of the reasons for the slow down is that whilst the brain is lucid and the mind very alert, my poor old hips can't claim the same boast, and hopefully, in the next month I will undergo my second [on different sides] hip replacement operation.  The boxes of naval data are stowed away in the roof loft which for me at least, makes them difficult to get at. Personal data [text, graphics, video, photographs] are easily accessible and do not even require the use of a small kitchen-step-ladder. Those of you who have had hip problems will know of some of the limitations imposed, some serious and some not so. One of my problems was I was no longer able to throw my left leg down the tunnel/central console of a low slung sports car, where the gear lever/auto selection box was not far from my elbow and well above hip height level. That, plus the size of the doors where parking became a major problem specifically when trying to get into and out of the car in normal size parking billets, eventually meant that I had to swap it for a roomy saloon.

Herewith then just a few odd pictures which will take a more logical place on my new web site.

Right hand side medium height greenery surrounded by walled flower features containing geraniums, dahlias and petunias, hides the septic-tank with its outflow cascading down the three tiered garden [lawn-fish pond-lawn]. Solids pumped bi-annually and taken off-site.

Company instruments all bagged up ready for transportation from Gatwick on private jet operated by De Beers the International Diamond Trading Company, bound for Antwerp in Belgium to fulfil one of our many North European contracts.

Me receiving my 50th year Certificate from Captain Dunlop at Pakefield 2005 reunion. Since that time
and having passed the age of 75, I have made my own 60th year Certificate which looks good, nay, excellent, against a pukker Certificate. I don't let on that it is a fake and leave it to the viewers own judgement!

My lovely twin turbo 4.2 Jaguar XKR sportscar. As stated, got rid for almost medical reasons.  Beautiful motorcar. Bought a BMWI in lieu [BMW Individual] bespoke model direct from Munich with lots of special extras built to order. Looking forward to driving again after my forthcoming second hip replacement operation due August 2013, this is if we still have a functional NHS?

The cart on the bottom of the picture next to the trunk of a 100 foot copper beech tree, once belonged to my dear father who was a painter and decorator in the lower Dales area. It was completely rebuilt [made in approximately 1939] with iron work sand blasted and wood work replaced throughout, but the hard non-pneumatic tyres were original. The wreck of the cart was found by one of my brothers in the town of Otley. It was refurbished in the North and brought South. I was very proud of it.

Note the date!  Cricket on the main croquet lawn with excellent views of the clipped Thuia hedges trained to different heights. These are North American Redcedars and are luxuriant plants. The lawn, its cut and presentation speaks for itself. The grandchildren to different fathers [we have three sons] are now big tall strong and handsome young men.

Me in my study, also ready for the off with friends for dinner.

My dear wife Beryl all ready for a night out in town.

Another shot of the garden. The steps in the middle of the wall took one down approximately 4' down from the patio concourse onto the lawn. At the end of the wall nearest to you, there is a new piece of stone work centre foreground. This is the start of steps leading upwards through a rockery to the upper bank which is approximately 15' above the lawn. The same lawn is approximately 15' higher that the cart in the picture above meaning that the whole garden was dynamically structured/landscaped.

Another one of me in my study. The desk comes from a senior officers cabin from a British warship of mid-Victorian time; the Captain's chair from the early Edwardian period; the desk lamp is again from an officers cabin. Charts were kept in the top drawer and the desk-top rail, designed to stop things falling off in rough weather, is lifted off in calm weather or when the chart needs to be spread and read. Behind me you can just see one end of a submarines 'Faithful Freddie'* the port brass sphere. The telescope, known as a "Library 'Scope" was commercially acquired and has nothing to do with the navy. Behind it is an ornate hardwood cover with brass lattice work in the centre, designed to hide the radiators whilst allowing the heat through.
* But on this occasion temporarily shifted to a new position. It is much smaller that one would imagine but quite heavy {28 lbs}. It is sitting on a trivet [nothing to do with the navy] which 'sets if off' in presentational terms.

Taken in 1987 in a garden ravaged by the great storm of that year. Many substantial trees were lost [40 to 80 footers] but also many smaller trees [15 to 30 footers] as well as matured shrubs and hedges. It was at that time we decided to go for a major redevelopment calling in a landscaping consultant. They in turn involved the local council who sent in their arboricultural officer. Three phases were considered. First a clear-up of the damaged infrastructure, then a redesign/rebuild and finally a total replanting programme with a related seeding/turfing of three substantial grassed areas. In this picture, the storm-damaged trees have had their trunks cut open to reveal a large percentage of rot, which stimulated the arboricultural officer to investigate similar trees not badly damaged by the storm. The cuts you see on the trunks to my left gave access to take a sample for laboratory analysis [a kind of a biopsy] which eventually led to a further 27 trees of comparable girth being condemned and felled. To cut up and take off-site the trunks 
and sizeable branches took three days utilising one tractor, two lorries and a team of five men, followed by four days of burning of the brush in-situ set alight on top of a dozen or so of old tyres brought on site for that purpose.

Pakefield 2005 at the Centenary Celebrations. Pre-evening do, and the award of 50th and 60th Certificates awarded by the last Captain of HMS Ganges Captain Murray DUNLOP RN Rtd. Joining in 1953 I was two years late in receiving my 50th but I joined the Association late on after a busy second career. I am in the centre of the front rank, and do I spy my friend Marshall Clarke [joined 1954] over my left shoulder?

My Dad's hand-cart down by the main entrance gates under the giant copper beech tree. Signs of autumn coming on. Apart from saying 'Harry Dykes' it also gives the street in which his business used to be based and telephone number and then his trade/occupation. It was always bedecked with flowers in this case busy lizzies, with tubs/pots alternated year in year out.

The stone-flagged bottom patio gathering fallen leaves as autumn begins. Still mainly busy lizzies but now with the hydrangea. My father was a small wiry man of immense strength and stamina. When he stopped painting and decorating in the accepted sense, he would push and pull this cart for many miles each day, up dale and down dale, rain or shine, painting road signs for the highways authority and local councils in the lower Dales. Apart from his paint pots he carried ladders, road hazard cones with flashing warnings. In addition he took sandwiches and two flasks of tea. He was never without his little transistor radio!

The main vehicular entrance with security gates. They were galvanised and power-blasted in black. Note the two 'magic eyes' low down inside the gates to stop them shutting when there was an obstacle: these were repeated outside the gates. The gate manual opener for pedestrians {half way up the left hand gate post} was engergised according to the season from dawn to dusk, becoming inoperative during dark periods. Vehicular access was 24 hour with a remote controller or from the house on request from the gate caller. The silver coloured object laying on the left hand wall, well inside the gates and out of reach for those outside the gates is a heavy-gauge galvanised  plate under which the control cables run to the power/control panel high on top of the 15' high wall. The gate area was floodlit when the pedestrian button was inactive i.e., when dark. For vehicles at time of darkness, headlamps did the illuminating!

Whilst the shot on the left looks out from the property onto a country road, this one looks into the property and up to the house. Note that four fifths of the drive and all other outside areas are shingled. Here, you can clearly see the shingle-trap designed to catch shingle slipping towards the gates largely caused by vehicle tyres. The trap, cleaned out at regular intervals, is 9" wide and 1' deep. The lower part which continues under the gates and out to the pavement [the line dividing tarmac pavement and brick-sets is very clear] is a patchwork of brickset bedded on a mix of sand and cement [in favour of the sand]. The motors, one each side, are set under each gate to the left and right respectively and can be picked-out when the pattern of the bricksets alter. The whole systems works on 24V except for the floodlights which are 50V and everything is mains fed with battery back-up fail safe system.