BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Anchor’

#365daysofbiking Bridge to my heart

Saturday 22nd January 2022 – The endless rain and murk seems to be coming to a bit of a break – and a cessation in this grim period is not a moment too soon, I can tell you.

Out for an evening spin on a clear but cold Saturday – maybe picking up a takeaway on my return depending on how busy they were – I decided to have a punt at photographing the Anchor Bridge from the canalside adjacent to the pub that gave it it’s name. This is a familiar muse to long-term readers, but it makes for a lovely, colourful night photo and really illustrates Pickle’s fascination with bending the dark.

I’ve always loved how this bridge looks so bucolic yet is actually on the very frontier between urban sprawl and rolling countryside. On the far side of the canal, flats and houses all the way through Catshill and Ogley Hay. Behind me to my left, the undulating fields and hills of Home Farm, Sandhills. Ahead, under that bridge, the houses on Lindon Road at the foot of Shire Oak, and Chandlers Keep, the site of a former foundry.

And at the still point, me in silence, listening to the noise of traffic, the wind, the odd instance of wildlife and drinkers filling the space between them with laughter and music.

This spot, this bridge at night are in my heart and soul. It is very Brownhills, and a part of my psyche. Bizarre, but true.

The curry was most excellent.

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#365daysofbiking Anchored in the canal

Thursday November 26th 2020 – I’ve spoken a lot about anchors in the last few weeks – constant things that act as a reference point and help me get through the rough times of winter, illness, sadness or stress at work. One of the biggest is the canals that snake their way through the town in which I live, the Black Country and Birmingham which I love, the countryside I ride in and through my life like rich, flowing vein of natural energy.

Whether it’s the Tollhouse loop under the M5 Viaduct in Smethwick, the Trent and Mersey in Rugeley or the good old Wyrley and Essington at Anchor Bridge, I watch the canals in all weathers, and any time of day or night. They are a peaceful, nowadays clean haven of calm and wildlife, where I can enjoy my own company or that of close friends and get fresh air, solace and inspiration.

With a slight mist, the merest hint of an inversion, no sound of traffic to distract me, a late loop up the High Street to Anchor Bridge and back around to Newtown was just what I needed after finishing work late.

I’ve posted many shots of this view over the years, but this is my favourite yet. I like the colours.

My canal. My Anchor Bridge. My anchors.

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#365daysofbiking As the light begins to fade

May 13th – I have come to the conclusion over the years that my favourite time of day in summer is the hour or so straddling sunset. The twilight time is when the wildlife starts to stir, when people drift home and the landscape shimmers in the evening cool.

I headed back from Chasewater to Brownhills as the light was fading, and was reminded of how beautiful the canal is here: The green overhanging trees, the reflections and peaceful separation from the road traffic.

If the saying is true that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, then it must always be twilight somewhere in my heart, too.

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#365daysofbiking When the lights go out

April 5th – An exercise spin out at dusk unusually took my mood down. I wasn’t feeling great and this one scene made my mood nosedive.

I love the view of Anchor Bridge at night from the canal. It’s magical and beautiful and the light is normally gorgeous. Tonight, though, something was missing.

The incidental light from the adjacent Anchor Pub was absent: The pub lights normally add a warm glow to Anchor Bridge night photos.But the pub is dark, silent and closed in accordance with lockdown rules.

I hopped up the ramp to the pub. This normally welcoming place was in darkness, and looked forlorn.

My heart sank.

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#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 18th – One of the more grinding, miserable effects of the tremendously wet year so far has been the constant sea of mud that accompanies any off-road ride: From towpaths to cycleways, every journey is accompanied by damp and filth and the unpleasant, dogged drag through goop.

When things finally dry out a bit it will be so lovely.

But that feels a long way away right now.

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#365daysofbiking Back to black

January 16th -Thoughts of spring had been very seductive, but as the following day had proven, it was way too early to call yet. A very wet, windy but warm day, I got soaked on the way in to work and soaked on the way home.

A day with bad traffic, near missed, lousy weather and terrible light.

Returning I had to leave the canal at Catshill Junction again, although I wanted to be well away from traffic, but the water on the towpaths was so bad I had no choice.

At least the lights of the Anchor Bridge Junction were pretty reflected on the canal.

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#365daysofbiking Fade to grey:

November 24th – A grey , dark day with few redeeming features. A little maintenance on the bikes failed in the face of a more serious issue, and I headed out before nightfall for a breather. A full circuit of Chasewater and Chasetown offered little in the way of photo opportunities, and the images, apart from one, reflected the colour of the day.

The night, some what perversely however, was a bit more dramatic, as I captured at Anchor Bridge.

#365daysofbiking Better than expected:

September 23rd: On the canal on the way to Chasewater, I stopped to admire the view. It was a lovely autumn day and the colours of the dying back vegetation in the golden hour were gorgeous.

This is a lovely stretch of canal, particularly at this time of year for obvious reasons, and it gives great views of the Anchor Pub and Bridge.

Considering the weather forecast today was awful, it didn’t turn out too bad in the end.

December 4th – Returning home, I had to visit a mate in Shire Oak, and on the way noted that the problems with pooling water at Anchor Bridge were bad again, after a fair few yeas of being trouble free.

I also noted that the Anchor pub was looking very welcoming these days, with a well-lit exterior that really makes it look warm, cosy and inviting.

No time today, sadly; maybe another day.