July 12th – One indicator of an advancing summer I always have mixed feelings about is buddleia. This purple-flowering, profuse shrub, sometimes known as the butterfly bush is great for bugs and bees and lepidoptera of all kinds – but the one issue I have is it’s the shrub of urban decay.
This versatile plant will grow anywhere it can find – gutters, chimneys, soot-filled fissures in brickwork, and once it takes hold it will destroy masonry as it grows. It’s the sign of dereliction in summer, growing old disused rail lines, factory yards and edgelands of all types.
A fascinating, but destructive plant.
June 21st – I passed through Snow Hill Station mid afternoon, and noticed a little bit of lost local history that I’d totally forgotten about – the old Snow Hill tram stop.
When the Midland Metro opened in the late 90s, it originally terminated here at one platform of Snow Hill Station. The stop was dark, dingy and low level, with a notoriously unreliable inexplicably single escalator and a dingy, horrible spiral staircase. It was not a great bit of urban design.
When the Metro line was extended around the City Centre to Stephenson Place, the line was diverted to the side of Snow Hill station and up around Colmore Circus, leaving the Snow Hill stop cut off and replaced by a better, street level station. The lines at the old stop are no longer connected to the main line, and the stop, abandoned, unserviced and closed is gladly being reclaimed by nature and slowly fading.
It’s amazing how quickly such things decay when unused.
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.
May 13th – Found on the outskirts of Wigginton, a lone cottage, derelict, in the bounds of another, occupied property.
It looks like the remnant of a larger terrace, and also like someone might be planning to, or made a start on renovating it.
It’s some way from the lane, and has a really strong air about it that it might be horrified.
One for the found faces pile, that one.
I do hope this place is one day a home again.
March 7th – Returning via Shenstone, in the new-found evening commute dusk, I noticed that the tiny, log abandoned bungalow at Owletts Farm on Lynn Lane is now visible, before another summer’s leaf growth conceals it once more.
I don’t know why this tiny house, like several in the area is being allowed to decay, as I’m sure that before the rot set in it would have been a nice home for someone.
It has been empty as long as I’ve been cycling these lanes – nearly 40 years now.
A sad little tragedy.