BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘chapel’

#365daysofbiking Soul or food?

September 4th – Calling in at the Co-op in the old Spring Cottage pub in Shelfield on a late commute home, deciding what takeaway to get. Chips, pizza, Indian or something for the soul?

I settled on a curry.

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.

January 29th – I got to work, then it rained. It had not been a great morning – then I realised I needed to pop down to the retail park at Junction 9. I took a short cut through a glistening, dripping Kings Hill Park.

Jack in the Green has tapped his cane upon the ground, and you can almost hear the shoots and buds straining to get up and into bloom.

Watching over it all, the resplendent, shining converted chapel, looking splendid in it’s temporary shiny jacket.

Despite the rain, I was filled with joy and optimism for a new season just starting.

February 15th – I see the completion of the conversion of the old church/chapel at Kings Hill, Darlaston is very nearly finished: this has taken years and the workmanship looks stunning.

I’ve been passing this former Methodist chapel and church for a very long time, and it’s previous dereliction caused me sadness – but now it has been made into dwellings, and unlike the usual architectural cut and shut that’s the norm in these cases, the renovation has been astoundingly detailed. 

Stained glass has been repaired, missing lead on the roofs, gables and mansards has been replaced. Stonework and architectural ironwork has been repaired, restored or remade. It’s a work of art.

I don’t know who’s been responsible for this, but they deserve some kind of award, and certainly a lot more attention.

It just goes to show what can be done with old buildings given enough attention, time, money and flexibility in the planning system.

My compliments to all concerned – particularly to the chippy who made those wonderful doors!

January 12th – The renovation and conversion of Kings Hill Methodist Chapel, and sometime St. Thomas’ Church in Kings Hill, Darlaston has been protracted, but very impressive. This is no bodge job and has literally taken years.

When I passed today, the boards were off the windows, the brickwork at the rear had been finished, as had the doors and paving to the front. The stained glass front windows also seem to have been repaired.

I don’t know who’s paid for and planned this job, but it truly is very impressive and I’d be happy to live in such a beautifully converted building.

January 20th – A beautiful, cold winter day – exactly the kind I’ve been hankering after. As I rode to work the light was beautifully soft and lit Darlaston up, but it was still hovering around freezing, which gave the air a keen nip.

The swans on the canal at Pleck seemed annoyed by ice that wasn’t easy to break by swimming, but wouldn’t sustain their weight if stood on. Darlsarton’s parks – Victoria and Kings Hill – were as beautiful as ever and I see work on the old church at Kings Hill is ongoing.

A wonderful day to be on a bike, just enjoying the ride.

September 25th – Tixall, the supporting village for the Shugborough Estate, lives in the shadow of its stately brother. But the little hamlet – not much more that a set of converted farm buildings, a huge, folly gatehouse, pepper pot lodge and chapel is beautiful, mores at this time of year.

The grand avenue – stretching across the lane – is still gorgeous, with a sense of sad, melancholy Ichabod as cows browse over the once neatly cut fields around the stone gazebo. 

The pepper pot lodge – designed to mimic the towers on the gatehouse – is a lovely, peculiar curiosity.

I haven’t been here for ages. I forgot how lovely it is.

May 20th – I had reservations about the fate of the Kings Hill Methodist Church, next to the park at Kings Hill, Darlaston – but it looks like they were needless.

The former church, having closed several years ago, was sold to a developer, and planning approval sought to convert it into flats. I was expecting some horrid rush job, but it’s been taking a long time, and seems to be very thorough. As I passed today, the roof was in the process of being relaid using the same tiles. That’s a big roof and can’t be cheap.

it’s nice to see such a curious and historic building getting some love after so many years empty.

February 18th – Next door to Kings Hill Park, the former methodist church is steadily being converted into flats. It will be interesting to see the result, and how well executed it is. In the meantime, the vegetation has been cut from around it revealing a rather interesting foundation stone. 

I hadn’t noticed before, but the lead has been stolen from the building and the roofs and gables are in a parlous state. That won’t be a cheap fix.

October 14th – I was in Darlaston, and had to nip into Wednesbury, so I shot over King’s Hill on the way home. It’s a funny area, combining a post industriaair with pockets of modern commercial units and surprisingly beautiful old buildings. This one – the former Kings Hill Methodist Church is one such lovely old building. Sat on the edge of the glorious King George park, it sits unused. It was up for auction on the 5th October – wonder if anyone bought it? It would convert into a lovely home to someone with the imagination (and budget) to do so.