BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Bentley’

#365daysofbiking On a green hill

November 29th – I nipped into work for a short while in the morning, and out of necessity, went through Bloxwich and down through Bentley, the sprawling suburb that separates Walsall From Willenhall.

Bentley has a fascinating landmark: A church on a large hill.

Emmanuel Church is a modernist, almost brutalist design by Richard Twentyman in the mid 1950s, and although interesting, I’ve always found it to be a stark, unsettling building. Twentyman was an acclaimed church architect who had also designed pubs and crematoria, so perhaps the stark nature of his work was appropriate.

The church though plays second fiddle to the Bentley Cairn, something I’ve never really stopped to look at before – it’s simply put an extraneous rock with some debate over the actual origin, but it marks the site of three halls which were historically significant. The cairn was restored and enhanced a decade or so ago, and now is a bit of an out of the way curiosity.

The views aren’t bad, but are not quite as good as one would expect, either; interestingly, the green hill with the striking tower atop looks far better from below than the surrounds do from atop it.

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#365daysofbiking Bottoms up

March 5th – On the way to work, I took the canal through Bentley Bridge to Walsall. Near the disused Anson Arm at Bentley Bridge, apropos of nothing, four pure white domestic pekin ducks I’ve never seen here before. I assume they’d come down out of the wind for a break.

They have got the cutest backsides of any waterfowl though, I think…

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#365daysofbiking Swanning around

August 28th – Oh hello guys, not seen you for a while.

Just at Bentley Mill Way aqueduct, the swan family seem to come from Moxley were determinedly heading towards Walsall – mum dad and five cygnets, now nearing adulthood. They were in a perfect line and a wonderful thing to see,

It’s nice to see another generation maturing.

June 14th – On the way to work on a warm but windy and wolfish Thursday, I stopped to look back down the canal I’d just ridden along. It’s so green and verdant now, sow beautifully limpid and peaceful. Hard to imagine that a few short weeks ago this was barren and grey, and soon enough it will return to the dormant, winter state.

Bless the summer, bless the green, bless the weather.

June 5th – This is an urban canal in the Black Country – Between Walsall and Darlaston, at James Bridge.

It runs past the site of what was one of the most polluting factories in Europe: James Bridge Copper Refinery.

The canal is green with water lilies, and dappled with yellow and white blooms from them; flag irises aggravate my hay fever but line the water margins. Two families of Canada geese promenade in the sun.

Not all change is for the worst.

May 14th – At Bentley Bridge, a proud new family – mum and dad and five cute goslings.

The parents hissed at me to be careful, but were tolerant as I greeted and watched the brood they were clearly very proud of. The goslings just acted like I wasn’t there.

A delightful encounter on an urban, industrial Black Country canal bank, and one of the reasons this place is so dear to me.

October 12th – The united colours of… a Black Country Autumn, on the canal at Bentley Bridge.

I can moan about Autumn all I like, but that’s just stunning.

June 7th – After seeing the rhizomes floating in the canal earlier in the season, it’s gratifying to note that the development of this season’s water lilies has been sift – and a matter of a couple of week the characteristic large, leathery leaves have formed, and now the first tentative flowers were out as I rode to work along the canal at Bentley Bridge.

Two listing species are common on local canals – yellow and white, and both are gorgeous. A lovely sight.