July 16th – This curious flower was found in the reed bed at the edge of the canal at Newtown, near the Castings factory. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and it seemed to exist in isolation.
It turns out it’s a common reed: branched bur-reed, and the flowers – little spiky gloves about the diameter of your fingernail – are remarkable. It’s an apparently common canal plant, so I must have seen loads of it and never realised.
I really should open my eyes more!
August 27th – It was a clear, bright moonlit night and I had an errand to run so I blasted down the canal and looped around Brownhills. I’m really getting used to the Nikon now, and I enjoyed taking these pictures immensely.
The camera has odd foibles, but it’s a great little thing for sure.
I was amused to note the boat – complete with cushions and electric motor – tethered near the Anchor, clearly someone’s beer buggy of choice. Most excellent.
January 15th – Viewed from just below Meerash Farm, near Hammerwich, the sunset over Brownhills was beautiful, even over this normally ugly bit of the skyline known as The Chemical. Once the site of a chemical works, then the Superalloys military scrapyard, now the vents and flues of one of Brownhills’ largest employers, Castings, punctuate the factory roofs. In daytime, this view is at best, unremarkable and at worst, hideous. At sundown, though, precious. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
October 30th – It’s good to see the site of the long-gone Superalloys factory being redeveloped. Derelict for thirty years or more, it’s stood for decades as a testament to Brownhills’ lost industrial past. Once a chemical works and known to locals as ‘The Chemical’, the land was contaminated and hard to pitch to developers. Finally, one of the last major manufacturers in the area, Castings PLC, have decided to expand onto the wasteland and the new building is positively flying up. Although it towers over Ogley Junction, I welcome the jobs and business this new factory will bring. Good news in a bleak economic landscape.