BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘clock’

#365daysofbiking Eccentricities

December 23rd – It’s now traditional for me to have a day out somewhere different before Christmas. Today I visited Ashbourne, a place I’ve passed through lots but rarely stopped and studied.

The architecture and frantic air of business was fantastic, but what I really liked was the small, eccentric details: St Oswald’s Church with the afterthought clock and gothic gateposts with the skull detail. The Art Nouveaux staircase in the entry to an outdoor shop.

This little, but very dense valley town is utterly gorgeous. I must return at a more relaxed time.

Oh, and the cycling content? I test rode a new bike while I was here. Wel, a couple actually but that’s another story…

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#365daysofbiking Lest we forget:

November 10th – Remembrance this year is of course marked by the centenary of the end of World War 1, that awful conflagration that set the geo-political scene for the following century and formed the warm-up act for World War 2. Whilst I of course feel the centenary is vital to be remembered, I was cautious about the tone of some commentary. I feel that Remembrance in some ways is being changed and that worries me.

I was heartened, therefore to see the special efforts made in Aldridge and Pelsall this year, and that they were so very, very well done. Aldridge’s Poppy Road was a startling, sad and beautiful tribute to the lost and wounded of Station Road in the Great War, and the way it was done really bought the agony of a generation home.

Similarly, the poppy clock in Pelsall, adorned as Poppy Road is in knitted and crocheted blooms is also stunning. It is a different memorial to Poppy Road, and feels more intimate.

Both are remarkable, community led gestures of Remembrance and I thank all those who have e worked so hard to create them. They both restored my faith that the meaning of this most solemn of national events is not being lost.

#365daysofbiking Light and shade

August 29th – I passed through Kings Hill Park twice during the morning – once on my way to work, when it was dull and overcast, and once at lunchtime, when the sun was out. 

The appearance of the twin sisters – the Catholic and C of E churches at Wednesbury differed markedly, and not just because they were taken from either end to he park.

The sun shows the gathering autumn, and the brightness of the verdigris on the one church roof. I like the way it picks out the coin tiles and clock face, even though the clock is currently stuck resolutely at one o’clock.

I never tire of this view. I hope the timepiece is fixed soon – few things speak more eloquently of urban decay than a stopped public clock.

I must say, the Canon G1X really does show it’s chops when pushed.

January 25th – The art of the traffic light snatched photo is night quite dead, just a bit rusty.

Another day of grim, grey commutes, but crossing the Arboretum Junction in Walsall was a the same wonder of light, standing water, marooned architecture and controlled chaos it always has been.

Some things are changeless, and when you’re recovering, that’s what you need.

January 16th – On my return, I came through Shenstone, and was reminded of s simple fact…

A village can be awash with money. A parish council can be very good at getting grants. But neither of those facts mean the village has any taste.

I think this clock is hideous. Sorry.

October 14th – The twin sisters of Wednesbury are a bit of a muse for me at the moment. I took a photo of this view last week, but on a dull day. This evening as I trundled through Kings Hill, the spires were caught in golden, low sun that also caught the turning trees.

I love this view, the colours, the clock and the rooftops. Hope I see it in snow this year. Wonder if it makes a good night shot?

February 10th – A little way down the High Street, the pleasant church of St. John, another part of Walsall Wood that looks good lit up in the dark. I’ve always liked the elegant lines of the tower and church, before the hideous modern extension was added. This was a simple, understated design that has been utterly bastardised by the cruel abuse of the architects, who completely failed to understand the beauty of this church, as they did so many in the diocese sullied by their handiwork.

February 20th – My morning commute was back to baby weather – wet and windy – but there was no heart to it, and the day soon cleared. I returned hume, still deliciously light at gone 5pm, in the most golden of sunset hours. The red bricks that seem to make up most of Walsall’s non-concrete architecture look great in this light, bringing magic even to the dismal design of the Saddlers Centre. Great light and great sunsets, and the extension of the day make for wonderful journeys right now.

December 31st – I had to pop out to the cashpoint, so took in a loop of Brownhills. It was very quiet, little traffic was disturbing the night. It was calm and the three-faced liar – the Council House Clock – told the right time.

I looked at Morris, welcoming in the traditional Brownhills way, arms and heart open, but with a weapon to hand, just in case. He seemed appropriately optimistic.

Even the canal looked oddly festive.

Like Morris, I welcome the new year of 2014 openly. Happy new year to all readers, all of you who I know follow my journeys. May the new year bring peace and happiness to you all.