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My impressions from a quick trip to the UK
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 242
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: My impressions from a quick trip to the UK Reply with quote

I am in the UK for a week. A few things I noticed since being here last about six years ago.

- The banknotes have changed to plastic money.
- Lots of wind turbines around not just in windfarms but in groups of two or three as well.
- Ditto for solar farms, even one in my home village.
- I went to see my old house where I was born and chatted to the gardener. This is something that we would have considered in a million years even though it was a big garden. The old place had been given a complete makeover with double glazing and apparently insulation and the ubiquitous wood burner found in rural areas. I am told it was very warm inside - not like when i was young.
- Lot's of 50 mph zones, even on the A1. I understand the safety aspect and even it makes cars travel more economically but now I understand why Jeremy Clarkson is so frustrated.
- From above the cars seem very fuel efficient. I got 60 mpg with just normal driving.
- Lots of trucks about. I think the Tesla truck will sell very well in the UK with short distances and frequent stops.
- Houses seem very warm, especially after you have been outside for a while.
- A lot of shops seem to have closed especially for things that can be got online easily.
- Huge amount of parked cars in the places I frequented as a child.
- Apparently the East Midlands is the least socially mobile place in the UK.
- My Asian wife told me she attracted some very nasty looks in some of the mining towns in West Nottinghamshire. Very few minorities about in North Notts.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 595
Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woodburners are the in thing. All the wood being carried by petrol, of course. There is some logic if you have a big woodpile, but if we have a crisis, the wood will be unobtainium. We have also regressed from the clean air zones that were enforced in the coke burning age.
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All wood is not, of course carried by petrol. There are other fuels used, but no one knows proportion of wood is carried by any particular fuel.

Have we regressed from the clean air zones? Please elaborate.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my firewood is carried by diesel fuel, which is somewhat similar to petrol in that both are derived from crude oil.
The amount of diesel used must be relatively modest as the wood is cut within a few miles.
A horse, an electric vehicle or a wood burning steamer would be possible alternatives.
I have just had a load delivered, very small oak logs, basically the leftovers after the larger bits had been cut for timber.
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cubes



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 565
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: My impressions from a quick trip to the UK Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
- A lot of shops seem to have closed especially for things that can be got online easily.


Yes, with even more after this christmas imo

Quote:

- Huge amount of parked cars in the places I frequented as a child.


When I visited my grandparents on a council estate in the early-mid 80s there were some cars but lots. Driving through that area now you can barely get a car through due to all the cars parked on the side of the road (no off-road parking)

Haven't got any comments on the rest, seem reasonable.
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: My impressions from a quick trip to the UK Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
When I visited my grandparents on a council estate in the early-mid 80s there were some cars but lots. Driving through that area now you can barely get a car through due to all the cars parked on the side of the road (no off-road parking).

The cost of motoring as declined a lot over the last two decades, with the cost of public transport significantly increased.
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the wood I burn was cut by hand or electric saw by me from my own garden. A thatched cottage 200m from mine burnt to crisp last week, not sure if the fire was started by the wood burner. They burn much hotter than open fires and thatch ignites at about 200C. Wood burners can get a lot hotter than that.
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careful_eugene



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 443
Location: Nottingham UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: My impressions from a quick trip to the UK Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:

- Apparently the East Midlands is the least socially mobile place in the UK.
- My Asian wife told me she attracted some very nasty looks in some of the mining towns in West Nottinghamshire. Very few minorities about in North Notts.

Apologies for that, please tell her we're not all like this. I live on the East side of Nottingham where it's a fairly mixed population but work in North Notts where it feels like going on a trip back to the 1970's sometimes.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: My impressions from a quick trip to the UK Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
The cost of motoring as declined a lot over the last two decades, with the cost of public transport significantly increased.


The relative cost of cars has declined and efficiency has increased. I've kept a fuel consumption spreadsheet for over 20 years and the price per kilometre has come down slightly, despite fuel prices tripling in that time.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that is Right E. Adjusted for inflation, the price of petrol has not tripled. It has remained more or less the same for a century



https://www.statslife.org.uk/economics-and-business/2027-return-of-the-mean-the-historical-cost-of-filling-the-tank
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Woodburners are the in thing. All the wood being carried by petrol, of course. There is some logic if you have a big woodpile, but if we have a crisis, the wood will be unobtainium. We have also regressed from the clean air zones that were enforced in the coke burning age.


We have had a woodburner for the last three years, and I have never paid a penny for wood. Quite a lot of it is just delivered, free, by a friend of mine who does hard landscaping and occasionally needs to get rid of stuff. More is generated by myself as waste from part-time gardening work. Or I just scavenge it from skips. One lot I actually got when taking a load of other stuff to the dump, and as I was about to leave some bloke pulled into the bay next to me with an estate car full of wood he intended to dump, which we just then transferred from his car to mine.

Maybe hard to obtain in a crisis, but right now it has probably already paid for itself in reduced heating bills.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little John wrote:
I don't think that is Right E. Adjusted for inflation, the price of petrol has not tripled. It has remained more or less the same for a century



https://www.statslife.org.uk/economics-and-business/2027-return-of-the-mean-the-historical-cost-of-filling-the-tank


I'm just going on prices paid at the pump, LJ, simple monetary terms. I suppose 50¢ (43p) twenty years ago is the same 'value' as €1.50 today. Very Happy
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
Most of the wood I burn was cut by hand or electric saw by me from my own garden. A thatched cottage 200m from mine burnt to crisp last week, not sure if the fire was started by the wood burner. They burn much hotter than open fires and thatch ignites at about 200C. Wood burners can get a lot hotter than that.


It's the temperature of the flue gases as they exit the chimney that is important and if your flue gases are exiting at 200C you're wasting a lot of heat. We try to keep the chimney temperature of our wood burning cooker to between 100 and 150C at the stove end. When it gets to the outlet of the chimney it must be lower still.

The most dangerous thing to come out of the flue for a thatched cottage is burning embers. The worst of these can be stopped by fitting a spark arrester to the flue terminal.

We had a spate of thatch fires around our area followed by thefts from the garages of the houses to where the house contents had been moved. Police thought that the fires had been deliberately started to make the thefts easier as the owners wouldn'd be living on site for a long while and it's easier to break into an unoccupied garage than an occupied house. Tell your neighbours to beware.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One hazard of thatched roofs and solid fuel burning is not always appreciated.
A flue or chimney conveying hot gases will of course become heated. Under most circumstances this heating is very slight and of no consequence.
If however a flue or chimney is surrounded by insulation such as thatch, then the heat can not escape and the heat will build up until the outside of the brickwork approaches the temperature of the flue gases.

In extreme cases, the outside of even a properly built chimney may become hot enough to ignite thatching.
This is a particular risk if the thatch is of exceptional thickness, and if the loft is very warm.
The substantial brickwork has considerable thermal mass and takes a long while to become dangerously heated.
The risk is therefore greatest in prolonged severe weather when the fire might be made hotter than normal and/or kept alight 24/7.
A power cut or the breakdown of central heating may also increase the risks due to a stove being kept hotter and for longer than would otherwise be the case.

The flue from a modern wood burner tends to be hotter than that from an open fire, and whilst an unduly high flue gas temperature does represent wasted fuel, it needs to be reasonably high to avoid depositing tar or creosote in the flue, with consequent risk of a chimney fire.
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Adam said. The risk from embers is exaggerated. In Winter the surface of thatch is saturated and extremely difficult to light. Embers will be extinguished almost immediately.
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