BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘factory’

#365daysofbiking Looking the other way

Thursday December 3rd 2020 – On an evening ride on a night as the sky was clearing, I headed along the canal to Ogley Junction, and stopped as I usually do on the bridge there, for a moment of contemplation. Normally, I take a shot of the canal back towards Anchor Bridge, but today I turned to the right instead.

Here, the canal continues in a lazy arc to Anglesey Wharf and Chasewater, but before that is passes a notorious area of Brownhills called ‘The Chemical’.

The blue factory unit over there is stood on the site of a Victorian chemical factory and later, an alloy smelting works that poisoned the land, polluted the air and led to it’s descriptive nickname.

The Chemical stood as wasteland for many years until six years ago when the new unit was built as an extension to a local factory. The contaminated soil was encapsulated beneath the new building’s floor, and held safe.

Given a few years, I doubt many folk will ever know why we call this place The Chemical.

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#365daysofbiking Hog wild

June 18th – I’d been alerted by the works security system in the night to movement in the yard on CCTV. When I checked it out, two large hedgehogs were courting in the back near the grass where we have a park bench and some grass for time out and the smokers. I watched them with interest as I didn’t know we had hogs at work.

Coincidentally, at work later the groundsmen came to trim the scrub back behind the premises and disturbed this young hoglet, clearly not one of the lovers from the night before.

Cat treats were sought, and the little prickly one ate a large hearty meal before retreating back to the quiet end of the scrub.

Nice to see them about considering the way the population of these charming creatures is suffering of recent years.

Drivers and workers now have signs and instructions to watch for hogs crossing!

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#365daysofbiking Fruitless endeavours:

December 3rd – Spotted in the rain from the canal at Bentley Bridge: Ripe, delicious-looking eating apples rotting off the branches of the tree that fruited them, which is on a piece of edge land between two factory yards on the far side of the canal, both sites derelict. 

The tree and the ground out stands on appears unreachable to all except maybe those in a canoe or boat.

Which is a shame, as I bet the crop is lovely.

November 23rd – telford, early. After a stressful train journey that involved missing my usual bacon roll, I diverted from my usual route to visit a cafe for a pause and something unhealthy to fill my belly.

It was a sunny, cold, bright morning, and in a factory yard hedge, by a seldom-walked main road, a beautiful display of what seems to be some kind of rose.

I have no idea, but it pulled me up short with the unexpected beauty.

March 21st – I noticed this lad hopping about the yard at work, looking for scraps of food and collecting nesting materials. I don’t see many sparrows at work, so I took a photo of him.

He likes this old cable drum so I’ve made it an impromptu feeding station – I only had a bit of stale fruitcake to put out today, but I’ll bring some seed and stuff tomorrow.

I like to see the birds in factory yards and around industrial estates, it’s a reminder that even in the most harsh of environments, nature is around us, doing it’s thing.

Just like Mr. Sparrow here.

October 15th – In a factory yard in the darkest Black Country, a temporarily misplaced young hunter peers hopefully from a bund wall at standing water. There might be the odd frog, I guess, but no fish in there, sir. 

He watched for a while, then, as if called, suddenly flew  away. He seemed to know exactly where he was going.

This is why I adore the Black Country.

May 23rd – On my way home, I rode past the JCB plant at Rochester. The huge factory has a landscaped park in front of it containing large lakes fed by the river Churnet. On one, I was lucky enough to spot the two resident black swans, who are noted for their presence here.

Australian imports, these birds are uncommon and very grumpy that I wanted to photograph them. I love the white stripe on their bills.

A lovely thing to see.

January 15th – also seemingly decaying unloved is the old Veolia plant on the Lindon Road on the border between Walsall Wood and Brownhills. Once a chemical waste disposal site, it started life as Effluent Disposal, and went through a number of incarnations before being purchased by Veolia, who’ve since built a new HQ at Cannock, leaving this place vacant.

It appears to have resident security on site, as one would expect.

There was talk of this place being converted into a food processing factory, which seemed bizarre, given the history. The site was up for sale for ages. It’s hard to think of what it could be next, really.

I imagine any estate agent has a challenge on their hands shifting this.

January 21st – This is intriguing and good news. This new factory has been built from scratch on the Clayhanger/Walsall Wood border at Maybrook Road. This company have decided to move here from up north, creating real engineering jobs and bringing its business into the area. What fascinates me is that the occupiers have been moving in for ages now – loads of cranes and lifting equipment here every weekend. I don’t know what they’re doing here, but there must be a lot of heavy gear involved.

July 6th – 10 minutes after the storm, I was on my way again. I don’t know what this forlorn, decaying building was, but it looks like a mill of some kind. Like many industrial canal side buildings in Walsall, it’s original purpose seems to be lost. I’d like to see the edifice fixed up and used for something nicer. Buildings are like dogs – they don’t care if their owner is good or bad, just that they care for them.

At least this one hasn’t been burned down yet, the fate of many good building in the town.