Tank Funne

One of the horrors of the last winter was that the weight of snow stoved in the top of the oil tank and water got in (see ‘the next thing’, Dec. 14). This was particularly awful because we were still pretty much cut off, and the Professor was ill and needed to be kept at a fairly consistent temperature. Our angelic boiler men did miracles anent siphoning off water and reconnecting us, but the tank was obviously a goner. Dr Biswell took a hand at this point when he came for New Year, and we went and thought about tanks. The sort of tank which had stoved in is now illegal. It’s all right to have one if nothing has gone wrong with it but it’s illegal to replace. We learned a new word, which is ‘bunded’: the modern oiltank has to be within another tank which will hold 110% of its contents (thinking about it logically, this proviso is classic New Labour overkill, if if a split developed in the inner tank, gravity would distribute oil between the two: even if the inner tank was completely full, it would never need to have the same volume, let alone more). The new tank proposed looked about the size of a locomotive. The Tank Man came when the passes were open once more, and found that the existing somewhat collapsed tank was balanced on some rotting railway sleepers and a bit too much mere fresh air, so the whole thing would need rethought from, literally, the ground up. Yesterday, we had Tank Funne, a logistically complex business: its contents of v. expensive oil siphoned off to a holding tank, building new foundations, putting this green plastic locomotive on them, replacing the oil in the Bunded Tank, removing and disposing of the old one. So that is now done. Barry the Great is planning to finish our bathroom tomorrow, after which he will leave us for a bit & return when he’s dealt with various other people on his job sheet. Actually, the locomotive doesn’t look too bad. We’ll get used to it.

17 Responses to “Tank Funne”

  1. Eleanor Says:

    Maybe it’s time for some imaginative locomotive painting?

  2. Jane Says:

    Um…. the rev. Awdrey’s Thomas the Tank Engine stories run and run in the imagination of little boys over this side of the pond — I think they date to the thirties or forties, but the cartoon version continued to grip to judge by the little boy we had a little share in in the ’90s. But without a little boy of our own, turning the bunded tank into a personality would be, though perfectly possible, a bit whimsical

  3. the tropical godfather Says:

    Well, if all else fails, there’s always Kiftsgate - only make sure you leave a passage through the forest to enable the tank to be tanked up and TLC to be administered as and when!

  4. Jon Says:

    I don’t mean to put you off, but the examples of bunded oil tanks a quick search turned up look to me a little more like the sort of rolling stock that Magnox use for trundling nuclear waste through East Anglia (and which I recall featured heavily in the BBC’s Edge of Darkness series in the 80s).

    So, perhaps just a few discreet nuclear hazard stickers to keep the (alleged) oil thieves away?

  5. The Other German guest Says:

    I think it’s picture time…

  6. Jane Says:

    Dearest German Guests, look up ‘bunded oil tank’ on Google Images, and yes, it is one of these. But, though I am testy with quite a bit of ‘elf n’ safety’ the Safety Elf for once finds me completely on his side. Dalgety Hill, or Laverock (lark) Hill as it was once known, is the main aquifer for Turriff. Inadvertertently releasing 1500 gallons of heating oil into it is genuinely, rather than theoretically, an eco-crime which would take an awful lot of sorting out. The notion that the homeowner who, as we are, is situated athwart an aquifer has to take some responsibility for protecting it seems to me to make some sense. We’re all in this together, and thank God the tank didn’t actually give way entirely. The trouble with the Safety Elf is that he approaches everything on a level of shrill vehemence that makes it hard to distinguish what actually matters. But actually, this one did matter. In the longer term, we can probably do what we did with the previous tank, surround it with an aesthetic palisade.

  7. Jane Says:

    And going back to a previous post — dearest Godpapa, the original Rosa felipes ‘Kiftsgate’ is thirty feet high, seventy feet wide and eighty feet long. This after cutting back. The only person who would plant this round her oiltank, bunded or otherwise, would be la bella aux bois dormant.

  8. the tropical godfather Says:

    Just think how miffed the handsome young prince would have been had he penetrated the impenetrable forest only to find - a bunded oil tank!

  9. canadian professor Says:

    Thomas the Tank Engine is still with us. Owen has many cars. Some trundle on the wooden track put together by his father. And the books are still sold.

    I am trying (and failing) to imagine your System.

  10. Jane Says:

    Thomas the Tank Engine is a total mystery to me. I remember some implausibly beautiful summer dawns in Wormleighton when, with the rest of the household asleep, Isaac persuaded me to get up and watch Thomas the Tank Engine videos with him — they seemed to me almost inconceivably dull, though I would watch Wallace & Gromit with pleasure and still do. There is something about little boys and vehicles. Has he got Pixar’s Cars, which I also think a film distinguished in its way?

    PS, CP, do I have a System? What I’m talking about here is the cylindrical oiltank out by the sheds, which is now a rectangular bunded tank, squatting, much more squatly, on the same site on breezeblock underpinnings, attached to the existing pipework for getting oil into the house … I don’t lay claim to anything more systematic than that.

  11. Eleanor Says:

    So, when I talked about painting your tank, I was thinking more along these lines: http://www.ohiobarns.com/othersites/arttanks/artistictanks.html

    Clearly an American fetish. Ours, when we lived in northern Michigan was just plain old green…

  12. canadian professor Says:

    Bunded is obviously a very good idea, especially if contrasted to unbunded. So a fence then, and not a painting party.

  13. Jane Says:

    Eleanor, I’m all for the American folk art, some of which is mightily appealing, but this fine flower of invention is springing off of cylinders which offer a certain scope. This thing is NOT cyclindrical and as Jon rightly says, looks like nuclear waste disposal rolling stock.

  14. Eleanor Says:

    Of course, the Canadian Professor is definitely correct!

  15. cp Says:

    So if you want to keep the unwanted Off the Property (as one of arley’s enemies used to say when provoked), you have only to post a sign, quoting Jon.

    The enemy was our next door neighbour. To Elisabeth, then 13, he said, If thaat dog comes On the Property, I will shoot him. E: Mr Mitchen you are not allowed to shoot dogs in the city. I think that you are not even supposed to have a gun.

  16. cp Says:

    Does this constitute a record for comments and if so, to what conclusions should we come?

  17. Jane Says:

    Re.Jon’s comment, the Bunded Tank claims to be alarmed. I must say, if any oil thieves or rough cats set it off nobody will be more alarmed than us. CP, I’m not sure this is the record, but all the things which have elicited a string of posts have been just as unlikely. The Meaning of Poodlefaking was one.

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