BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking Telling porkies

August 11th – Still ill and resting, I just went for a short ride around Brownhills, and checked out the recently controversial clearance work on the former Swingbridge Farm site off Northfields Way, between Brownhills and Clayhanger.

The farm that stood here for pretty much 200 years in one form or another finally shut in the early 90s when the adjacent housing estate was built on it’s land. After a period of dereliction, the buildings were demolished, and it seems the rubble and hardstandings were just left where they lay.

It’s possible the land has now been sold, and the owner is in the process of clearing it, and I must say I was unaware of the sheer amount of masonry and rubble remaining. This was really just a drop and run.

There is no planning application currently relevant for the site despite the gossip circulating, but tales of new estates, big houses and other baseless flapdoodle have been circulating like wildfire.

The simple fact is that nobody’s applied for anything yet and an owner is entitled to clear their own land providing the operation is environmentally lawful, and we’ll just have to wait and see.

But that won’t moderate the gossips to any degree…

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#365daysofbiking Browsing

July 26th – I’ve lost track of most of the local swan families in Walsall this year – there were a fair few and they’ve all been quite mobile and most have suffered attrition from predators, so I’m not sure which family I’m seeing where now.

These hungry characters were feeding near the old copper works, just west of the motorway flyover at James Bridge, on the Walsall – Darlaston border.

They look healthy and well, but I’ve no idea if this is the family that hatched just a little way up the canal from here or another family.

Never mind, it’s all good…

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#365daysofbiking Thistle do

July 10th – Also wind seeding, but yet to go over are the many variety of thistle scattered about the verges, edgelands and hedgerows of the area at the moment.

One day I must look up what all these splendid and distinct variants of this beautiful plant are.

These ones found near the canal at Pier Street in Brownhills have tiny, light purple almost lavender blue flowers, whereas other type have larger, more purple blooms.

I get the feeling that thistles are far more complex than I imagine. Must look them up.

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#365daysofbiking A taste of honey

July 3rd – As expected, someone has flailed the beautiful, tumbling honeysucklle on the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge, as they do every year when it’s in bloom. it’s ad, but it’s their hedge, I guess. But I’ll never understand it.

Now, i’ll have to make do with the other honeysuckle growing hereabouts – and there’s a lot of it, to be fair: Another think now profuse that wasn’t really about much when I was a kid.

This example, mingling beautifully in a tangled, glorious mess of brambles, lupins, cow parsley and bindweed, is growing on the embankment above the big house at Clayhanger, just on the edge of the canal towpath.

And thankfully, I’ve never seen anyone trim this one…

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#365daysofbiking Iron man:

June 28th – Been a while since I was last at Ironbridge. A long dayride with a companion I don’t ride nearly enough with was great: Miles of chat, fun, company and relaxation were just what the doctor ordered.

Arriving at the gorge and bridge at 5pm, ice creams were had, coffee and… Pork pies. Well, it’s a Ironbridge thing.

We explored old haunts, stopped at a riverside pub, marvelled at the bridge (now a lovely deep red colour following extensive renovation) and enjoyed the river, gentle atmosphere and evening warmth, before climbing out of the gorge at the east end and riding home via Ryton and Albrighton.

A lovely place I don’t go nearly enough, with someone I really should ride more with too.

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#365daysofbiking Family values

June 23rd – Another cheering sight was the swan family resting up en masse in a canalside garden near Wharf Bridge. Sadly slightly depleted in number now due to predation, the six remaining birds were content and sleeping – along with a cheeky mallard that clearly decided to join them.

What a lovely thing to have in your garden!

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#365daysofbiking Sea of green


June 21st – Crossing the canal on the Silver Street Bridge, a gang of always-hungry Canada geese could clearly smell my curry.

I told them that they wouldn’t like it, and anyway, they hadn’t finished their algae yet.

That was slightly unfair as there’s more this year for some strange reason than I’ve seen for years. Hopefully the coming hot weather will clear it off…

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#365daysofbiking Corny

June 10th – The rain was almost totally constant as I came home from work and hit the muddy canal to avoid the traffic.

With little inspiration in the grey, horrible day, my eye was caught by a single splash of blue and purple in the scrub by the towpath by Clayhnager bridge – a gorgeous, bedraggled and solitary cornflower.

I keep saying this but it’s true – there is brightness to be found in even the most awful days.

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