BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Abandoned’

#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking Dark, dark heart

November 15th – It had, at least, stopped raining. I arrived in Brownhills to overcast skies but thankfully, for once, dry.

I stopped to re-tie my lace at Ravens Court, the derelict, abandoned shopping precinct in the middle of Brownhills.

Beyond me in the heart of darkness there are no longer any shops in the place, and it sits, gently decaying, unloved and beyond the reach of anyone who cares to sort it out.

One day it will be gone, and this sad place will no longer be a focus for that which ails our town. But until then, it makes for a very eerie night image.

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#365daysofbiking Garden ruin


October 19th – Originally featuring tennis courts, gardens and bowling greens, the original, once beautiful Oak Park has been pretty much abandoned and allowed to decay in recent years.

This is a crime, and a civic insult to the miners and citizens of Walsall Wood to whom this place was a gift.

Only the bowling club, with a well kept, securely fenced green still get the benefit of this sad, lost place.

I cannot countenance a world where there simply isn’t the money allowed to look after our civic amenities like this.

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#365daysofbiking Stumped

October 19th – Nipping over to Walsall Wood on an errand, I crossed the sadly fading old Oak Park – not the leisure centre of the same name, but the formerly ornamental park that gave the centres their name.

Near a bench by the old waterlogged bowling green, an amazingly vivid colony of what I think is honey fungus.

There was a fair collection of disparate fungus here, to be fair. About the only thing that seems to be doing well in this sad, lost park.

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#365daysofbiking Ghost craft


January 9th – On the canal near the overflow at Clayhanger someone has tethered a fibreglass pleasure boat. I’m not sure if it’s being lived in or not, but seems to be. However, when I rode past in the dark this evening, one end had been untied and the craft had swung out into the water.

I don’t know who owns it or what it’s doping there, but someone clearly cares for it. I am becoming aware that waterways are currently hosting a number of unfortunate folk who would be homeless but for their often down at heel boats.

An odd one.

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June 21st – I passed through Snow Hill Station mid afternoon, and noticed a little bit of lost local history that I’d totally forgotten about – the old Snow Hill tram stop.

When the Midland Metro opened in the late 90s, it originally terminated here at one platform of Snow Hill Station. The stop was dark, dingy and low level, with a notoriously unreliable inexplicably single escalator and a dingy, horrible spiral staircase. It was not a great bit of urban design.

When the Metro line was extended around the City Centre to Stephenson Place, the line was diverted to the side of Snow Hill station and up around Colmore Circus, leaving the Snow Hill stop cut off and replaced by a better, street level station. The lines at the old stop are no longer connected to the main line, and the stop, abandoned, unserviced and closed is gladly being reclaimed by nature and slowly fading.

It’s amazing how quickly such things decay when unused.

May 19th – At Pipe Ridware, the former St James church, closed in 1983 became the charming and well-loved Ridware Theatre for a further 20 years before finally shutting around 2015. This tiny performance space barely held 60 but put on some great shows.

Sad to see it closed and decaying. I hope a new use can be found for it.

May 13th – Found on the outskirts of Wigginton, a lone cottage, derelict, in the bounds of another, occupied property.

It looks like the remnant of a larger terrace, and also like someone might be planning to, or made a start on renovating it.

It’s some way from the lane, and has a really strong air about it that it might be horrified.

One for the found faces pile, that one. 

I do hope this place is one day a home again.

January 11th – Unusually, I came through the pedestrian centre of Darlaston today, and noted that the old Caldmore Accord Housing Association offices were now empty: this must surely have been a pub once, but I can’t find it on any old pub sites, so I’m a bit puzzled. The courtyard is lovely, and the Mindful Gifts shop next door is an Aladdin’s Cave.

I hope a use can be found for this lovely building.

October 5th – This is an odd one. Drifting for a while on the canal around the Black Cock Bridge in Walsall Wood, this abandoned pleasure craft does seem to have been someone’s home for a while, with boards tied at a broken side window, and signs of recent life inside. There’s no boat registration visible, no apparent engine and the craft is just drifting.

I had thought the boat had originated locally, but I think that assumption is wrong, having studied previous photos.

I guess, if abandoned this can be considered flytipping, and I suppose the Canal and River Trust, the people responsible for the canals, have a procedure for this sort of eventuality, but it must be a real pain hauling it out of the water and disposing of it.

A curious thing indeed.