BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Darlaston’

#365daysofbiking Behind me now

Friday March 26th 2021 – After a long day at work, I stood in the dark yard at work astride the bike ready to ride home.

I looked at the bike computer, which gives me sunset and sunrise times and noted sunset had been at a nicely round 6:30pm.

Just one more day and British Summer Time begins – the clocks go forward an hour and light floods back into my evenings. As you all know, I hate the dark in winter, and I’ve never known a winter as dark, persistently challenging and as devoid of light spiritually as the one now behind me.

Unlike many people, a few known to me, who did not make it through this far, I am still here, still riding and made it through. I remember those we lost with sadness every day.

Never have the light, and the summer days been so welcome.

Let’s ride into the warmth and sun together.

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#365daysofbiking A beautiful mystery

Wednesday March 24th 2021 – I have no idea what the two species of flower in this photo are, but they’re thriving in the spring flower patch planted a few years ago in the grass beside the entry to Kings Hill Park near the old chapel.

Gorgeously violet and china blue, the crocus and miniature daffodils are passing now and handing the baton to these delicate wonders.

I don’t know who planted that patch of  flowers there but they did a beautiful thing.

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#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking Not to be outdone

Wednesday February 24th 2021 – Also in Kings Hill Park, right against the former chapel wall the next day, the usually early miniature daffodils are out in force.

I don’t know why these come so soon but they’re always hot on the heels of the crocuses, and outlive them, carrying the spring colour on through the park.

I love the almost competitive appearance of spring flowers.

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#365daysofbiking Fit for a king

Tuesday February 22nd 2021 – Nature is really cranking up her game this week. Back in my familiar haunt at Kings Hill Park, I was having a sunny morning break from work and taking time out to think when I discovered this lovely display of crocuses in Darlaston’s most little-known park.

Aren’t they gorgeous? Not just the beautiful lilac of the petals but the deep orange of the stamens, too.

A lovely find, and I’m glad the sun put in an appearance, too!

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#365daysofbiking Primrose and proper


Friday February 19th 2021 – Back at work, I stopped on the way to check out the planters at Kings Hill park, which usually have loads of brightly coloured primroses.

Sadly, so far there are only these in bloom at the moment, but others are ready to open, which will be worth seeing.

Still, who can’t fail to be cheered up by a hot pink primrose on a grey February Friday?

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#365daysofbiking Failed dreams

Wednesday February 3rd 2021 –  It was a wet, cold and intense commute home – and I had to go somewhere I rarely do – Bentley Mill Way, which bisects old industrial land beside the M6 motorway, between Junction 10 and Darlaston.

This is a place where there’s a faded showcase cinema, some of the usual out of town outlet formula stores, a restaurant, and the derelict remnants of an odd attempt to create a night time economic centre here.

At one point there was a pub and a couple of night clubs, and the council were trying to expand it as a leisure area. But the nightclubs closed: When drunken revellers emerged into the cold night onto what was a remote, barren trading estate with no transport and little distraction, there was regular trouble. Development stalled. The project died.

So now the road is a hinterland, lined by scrub, factories, the remnants of the leisure and retail dream, and some dereliction. And now the burghers are trying to get industrial investment here, so have thrown money at improving the local road system, including the odd scheme of lowering the road beneath the 1700s canal aqueduct that limits large vehicle movements to the south.

The millions spent have so far yielded nothing, and the lights under this unusual aqueduct cycle most of the day unwatched by anyone.

But at night, it’s got that wet sheen and urban light thing going on, and it’s strangely captivating.

And there’s always this grimly fascinating, faint smell of failed dreams.

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#365daysofbiking Coming up:

Tuesday February 2nd 2021 –  In Kings Hill Park in Darlaston, the spring flowers – crocuses mainly, but snowdrops too – are up now, and as i’d not been there for a week or so, they were a cheery surprise on a bright, but sadly sunless day.

The miniature daffodils here are also ready to burst forth and although it’s still bitterly cold, spring, like the flowers, is coming up. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

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#365daysofbiking Beauty in store

Thursday January 28th 2021 – I noticed on the Walsall Road in Darlaston that a camelia in an overgrown front garden is heavily in bud.

I’ve never noticed this particular one before – it’s large and seemingly untended.

Camelias are beautiful spring shrubs with huge and plentiful, but sadly short-lived blooms.

I’l looking forward to watching this one: Fascinatingly it seems to be in the garden of a house converted to flats, with nobody bothering about the front garden.

Looks like the tenants are in for a beautiful surprise…

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