BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Corporation Street’

#365daysofbiking Hard days

Monday January 18th 2021 – I’d had to go a long way for work. It was tough. I left early and called in to Birmingham on my way back to collect my bike which had been left in safe keeping for my return at a nearby work site, the better to avoid commuter trains.

It was around 6pm, and the city I’ve always loved, my home, my heart – was dead. After a day of travelling, empty stations, closed cafes and lonely trains, a deserted, almost post-apocalyptic Birmingham was very nearly the straw that broke me.

There were people about. People who were fearful of contact and closeness of others – understandably. I was like that too. Masked, hostile people.

Trams and buses swept past, nearly empty each one.

But then I stopped, and I looked: The lights were the same, the wet sheen on the tarmac. This is still my place. It’s still beautiful – if now more eerily so in it’s sparseness – but it will return. The spirit lives on. We’re just in hard days.

I did what I always do – got on my bike and rode home.

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June 15th – I passed through Corporation Street in Birmingham, which is odd and otherworldly now the tram lines are finished and operational. I rode down to New Street, mindful of my narrow wheels and the hazards of parallel tracks. I’ve cycled around tramlines loads – always cross at as close to 90 degrees as you can – but they still unnerved me.

The new trams are quiet, too. so I can see some danger as we all get used to each other, but it is an impressive thing, and it’s nice to see Corporation Street not choked by traffic.

A surprising sight I thought I’d never see.

February 16th – Corporation Street Cemetery in Walsall – wedged into the hinterland separating Pleck, Caldmore and the town centre could be a little green hillside oasis – it could be, but it’s not; it’s green alright, but a neglected, shabby green in a state somewhere between being maintained and being forgotten. In the daytimes it’s eerily lonely, and the only people you see here are the displaced and spaced. 

Sister Dora, that wonderful adopted mother of Walsall is interred here in a humble grave, which despite it’s minor nature still manages to be embarrassingly neglected. 

There are fine views to be had here, but the vandalism, decay and shameful decay make this a rather unpleasant place. We really owe those who rest here better.

November 13th – Snatched evening shots in a busy city. Birmingham is still curiously beautiful at night, and I do still love it so. Just gearing up for the Christmas rush, it was frenetic, but not yet frantic.

There’s much to love in the urban night.

September 28th – Other people’s bicycles. I’d been to the Cycle Show at the NEC. This involved a journey into Birmingham by bus – I hadn’t been on one for over 12 months, and hated it. Walking up Corporation Street from the University, I noticed this bike chained to the scaffolding. It’s a venerable old British Eagle, and someone loves it. Later, as I was leaving the show, I noticed this black fixie parked outside the entrance at the NEC. Sometimes the best bikes are the oldest, most loved ones.

November 30th – Whilst sat waiting at the lights on the junction of Wednesbury Road and Corporation Street in Walsall yesterday, I noticed something I’d not really absorbed before – it’s evident just why this road was called Wednesbury Road. The twin church towers of the hilltop town are clearly visible in the distance. I must have come this way hundred of times but never noticed before. The Black Country is a whole lot more interconnected than we often think.