BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Hospital’

#365daysofbiking The twilight hour

January 28th – I was due to have a medical procedure next day.I’d left work early so I could make a start and prepare – I had medicine to take soon which meant I wouldn’t be able to stray far from home for long for a while, so a quick loop up the canal to Newtown and back.

At Ogley Junction, the scenery was stark and bleak as night descended.

I like this spot normally. Admittedly, far nicer on a sunny, warm day, but tonight it left me feeling empty and tired.

Perhaps it was the anxiousness for the following day kicking in – I couldn’t really tell.

The twilight hour can be such an unreliable friend.

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#365daysofbiking Brutally wet in Cannock

March 6th – I had an important hospital appointment in Cannock, a place I rarely go. Cannock Hospital is actually lovely, and a model of the best of the NHS, but Cannock itself, I find a bit otherworldly. It’s nice enough, suffering like all post industrial town centres, with odd, lingering pointers to a more prosperous, or at least busy past.

The brutalist concrete relief mural featuring local industrial icons – pit heads, Caterpillar vehicles, Rugeley Power Station and GEC seems to have been transplanted from an earlier building or situation. It’s almost soviet.

Everyone seems to know of Walsall’s hippo, but who ever dares mention Cannock’s concrete elephant? How did that come to be? There’s a story there.

On this wet, grey and unpleasant day, I found Cannock solemn, but pleasant, and I shall come back – mainly to see if it wears it’s cloak of quiet melancholy on nice days, too.

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#365daysofbiking Going with the flow

December 18th – I’d been in hospital for medical tests, which went OK. I came home, uncomfortable, headachy and disorientated, but a cup of tea, some food and peace and quiet and I was ready to ride.

Sadly it was still raining heavily.

In a short spin around Brownhills the bike was coated in mud and I noted the overflows were in spate. It’s really been quite wet the last week and it’s not registered quite how bad it’s been.

Some dry, cold weather would be nice for Christmas I think…

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#365daysofbiking Solid air:

December 11th – Heading back to work after an errand into Walsall at lunchtime, the air was misty, smoggy and heavy and caught the weak sunlight in an unusual way.

I could feel the exhaust fumes trapped low to the ground, but the effect was quite beautiful.

Sad to see the old Workhouse Guardian’s Office, listed but still rotting and vacant, marooned before the monolithic Walsall Manor Hospital.

As far as I know its the only part of the Victorian municipal workhouse in Walsall to survive, and is a remarkable building. Cruelly stranded and ignored by the hospital redevelopment, it sits forlorn an lost, waiting for a use to emerge.

Even down on it’s uppers, it’s a gorgeous building still.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

December 6th – In an otherwise unremarkable, workaday wall  on a main road in Place, Walsall, one of the UK’s many hundreds of industrial memorials to the lost employees in the Great War.

The fourteen lost souls listed on the memorial worked for the Cyclops Foundry which was near where the plaque is now, and has long since passed into history – but the original memorial was saved and restored by the NHS, who operate Walsall Manor Hospital, opposite, not once, but twice: They refurbished the memorial in 1989, and replaced it totally in 2002.

I’m glad it survived and still stands today, bearing witness to those lives lost, and it’s good to see that 100 years on, people still place crosses here to remember them.

#365daysofbiking Wellness:

November 1st – I’m running behind at the moment, please bear with me. 

I had to go to the hospital for an appointment, and went from work mid morning. I was apprehensive, tense, and sad. I looked back down the Walsall Canal from where I came and noticed the curious, dull sunlight on the yellowing trees.

I felt the very chill of autumn in my bones there and then. However beautiful, autumn is always, always melancholy.

July 22nd – Not much riding today, which was sad. I had a lot of maintenance jobs to do on the bikes, and I had to be at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Brum in the late afternoon. I took my bike on the train.

Leaving in the early evening, I noticed the bunnies on the edge lands near a path through the hospital site. I’m glad I caught them; they were skittish, and in all there must have been more than ten. 

Sorry, the picture is a wee bit poor due to the speed and the camera being at full zoom.

I love to see wildlife thriving in urban settings like this. A joy to the heart.

November 9th – Since it’s Remembrance, I thought I’d feature this little-noticed war memorial, which I pass often. It sits in an anonymous, unremarkable wall near shops and industrial units on the Pleck Road in Walsall, just opposite the Manor Hospital.

I know nothing at all about the Cyclops Iron Works, and must check it out, but it’s nice the memorial was restored and survived, unlike many other industrial plaques which were lost as factories closed.

I wonder how many pass this every day, and not realise what it is?

March 11th – It’s nice to see history preserved well. In Walsall, at the top of the old Bradford Street, there used to stand Walsall’s old, dingy general hospital. When that was replace in the 1990s, part of the building that was most historic – the Victorian Outpatients Department – was preserved. New flats were built on the rest of the side, and adjoined to the older, converted building.

Dark, foursquare and made of very, very red brick, it’s a imposing but wonderful edifice.

September 26th – The indian summer continues in all it’s glorious warmth. Out in Redditch today, I noticed commuters once again in summer clothes and everything seemed a might more relaxed than in the previous couple of weeks. This is surely the last gasp of summer for this year, and the quality of light at eveningtide as I passed through Little Aston was incredible. Here at the entrance to the private hospital, the low sun made for a haunting, golden scene.