BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘interesting architecture’

#365daysofbiking Things that happen when you’re not looking

February 14th – I haven’t been to Birmingham much this winter, and the first time passing though overground since Christmas in daylight made me stop in surprise at a building growing in the Colmore Row business area.

This office block has grown on the site of John Madin’s now demolished brutalist gem 103 Colmore Row: The former Birmingham Natwest Tower.

103 had passed its time and it is right, I guess that it has gone and change is happening. But I do miss it, it was a startlingly beautiful bit of brutalist design – a priapic monument to mammon.

The building replacing it is so far unknown to me: But it seems huge. In my head 103 fitted perfectly, in a forest of towers, but it clearly never was so, and the rising of a replacement is somehow shocking in size and imposition.

This is what change looks like. I’ll be interested to see this develop.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2SYGxBn
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking An awkward subject

January 26th – Like the village itself, Walsall Wood Church of St John is a quiet, understated gem. Originally a tiny church, extended massively by the Victorians, then again pretty brutally by the diocese of Lichfield in the 1980s, its personality has maintained surprisingly well.

It’s a lovely subject at night, has a great clock and presents a great aspect to the road. But for a couple of things.

The bloody streetlight just out of shot on the right, and the pedestrian crossing light in the foreground.

Any decent angle on the building includes one, the other or both, destroying the shot. It’s one of those frustrations that just make the character of a place.

But that’s Walsall Wood for you. Never less than quirky.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/319LESL
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Changing times

January 17th -Slowly, imperceptibly almost, Walsall is changing. After many years in a state of flux, buildings are springing up around the north of the town centre.

Land that was, I think, a car park in the days when Walsall College was on Wisemore is now a smart new Travelodge hotel, with a beauty salon to be in the basement, and an odd kebab chain takeaway adjacent.

Further toward the new Tesco is a brand new drive thru Macdonalds, much to the chagrin of the dietary purists.

But this is the new economy – retail is dying, the new town centre is about entertainment, food and convenience. Over at the waterfront, a new cinema and restaurants are doing well and I wish hem success.

It’s time Walsall moved forward, and although slow progress, I’m glad to see it.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2G3dOp4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Listed

January 5th – I went for a spin up the McLean Way – the rail to trail cycleway that Brian Stringer and Back the Track have been reclaiming on the old South Staffordshire Railway line that runs through Brownhills.

It’s a bit muddy in places but easily rideable on a mountain or off-road bike. The mud is shallow, and sits mostly as a 3 inch layer on top a solid ballast base, so once you cut into in, it rides well.

On the whole it’s brilliant, it really is and a credit to all involved.

This aqueduct over the former railway conducts the Anglesey Branch Canal from it’s terminal feeder point at Chasewater to Ogley Junction. The bridge is a nationally listed building, considered almost unique in construction and style.

It’s in a sorry state, and I think the Canal and River Trust will have to do a fair bit of maintenance before too long.

But it’s a beautiful thing, and incredibly well thought out.

Unusual to see if from underneath.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2tz7OkE
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking A hidden gem

December 27th – It was a grim, grey afternoon and I had to go to Erdington – of all places – on an errand. I saddled up and headed my usual route over Shire Oak, down the Chester Road and through the leafy private estates of Little Aston to Sutton Park and on.

It was a foul, wet afternoon, with little to commend it. But I did stop for a breather at Little Aston Church, a really fine example of GE Street’s devotional and elegant design in an interestingly bright stone.

I have to say, it was the most handsome thing about the day.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/39vFK2k
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking A beautiful approach

December 26th – I love Chasetown High Street – day or night, it’s actually a great little thoroughfare: Busy due to the mix of housing and shops, the hill combined with the mixed architecture makes it fascinating.

On a wet Boxing Day evening, on the way back from seeing family it was nice to stop and take a picture.

I’d still like to make a low rent version of the Bullitt car chase here. But on choppers or BMX bikes. It’d be fab.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2SDP2TX
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Further abroad

December 23rd – And on, from Ashbourne to Matlock, then Bakewell. Bakewell was a different proposition – night was falling, and there were early revellers around (including one in a rather fetching sprout suit)…

In Bakewell it was Christmas: Bitingly cold, with beautiful lights and a hushed air of determined shopping. The shops themselves were gorgeous.

Several hours were spent before returning for home. A great pre-Christmas trip.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2u0SmOw
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Eccentricities

December 23rd – It’s now traditional for me to have a day out somewhere different before Christmas. Today I visited Ashbourne, a place I’ve passed through lots but rarely stopped and studied.

The architecture and frantic air of business was fantastic, but what I really liked was the small, eccentric details: St Oswald’s Church with the afterthought clock and gothic gateposts with the skull detail. The Art Nouveaux staircase in the entry to an outdoor shop.

This little, but very dense valley town is utterly gorgeous. I must return at a more relaxed time.

Oh, and the cycling content? I test rode a new bike while I was here. Wel, a couple actually but that’s another story…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/37ldcGP
via IFTTT