July 2nd – Passing through Leomonsley in Lichfield later in the evening, I note it’s holiday time for the Australian snails who currently have a bit of a beach party going on.
I won’t make any bones about this: The Lichfeldian ‘A-Snailian’ cult is bonkers, childish, utter nonsense and totally, totally brilliant. People regularly take diversions in their routes to see what the snails are up to.
Find out more here – Facebook (sorry).
I love it to bits.
December 27th – Passing through Leomansley in Lichfield, in a hurry, I did a double take, and had to stop to record the Lichfeldian cervine genetic engineering project’s latest results.
I also learned from the ever informative, cardigan bedraped LichfieldLore that this is the home of the wonderful and witty A-Snalian thing. If you look closely, I’m being watched over the wall.
I’m told this is the second set of deer and penguins, the first being lost in the storm on Friday. That must mean there are others now roaming free.
Be afraid, kids, be very afraid.
June 26th – It had caught my eye the morning before – a late flowering crop of oilseed rape in a field also partially spread with crimson poppies, just in the lee of Pipe Hill as one descends down into Lichfield. Today I stopped and took pictures.
I’m not altogether sure what causes this – but it is beautiful, and quite rare. It seems many of the neighbouring fields are displaying a similar effect. Beautiful in the sunlight.
March 9th – Although the weather continues to be poor,spring is starting to roll in. I noticed today Lichfield Lore publicising an open day at Christchurch, in Leamonsley, near Lichfield. The church in question is my favourite in the city, and is secluded and beautiful, and aI think little-known. When I drifted through today, the churchyard was full of snowdrops and crocuses on the verge of breaking in to bloom. Everywhere, daffodils are in bud, too.
I’d never been inside Christchurch before. It’s gorgeous, and well worth a visit. A real hidden gem.
April 20th – Again managing to miss the rain, a morning spent in Leicester meant calling in for some shopping on the way home. Heading off the Walsall Road at Leomansley through the new estate on the southern fringe of Lichfield, I was struck, as I always am, by how close and claustrophobic this development is. Consisting of surprisingly large houses interspersed with flats and starter homes, the buildings are drab, square boxes with tiny gardens. Crammed shoulder to shoulder, the sunlight comes through here only in patches, and the sky is a long way up. Odd then, that in the middle, a brook that always flowed here was expanded into a kind of green lung, a ribbon of grass, small trees and water, meandering through the fake Georgian architectural hubris like an unwanted puddle of oil in an otherwise clinically clean factory floor. This place is soulless.
November 14th – Leamonsley is old, old Lichfield. Up until about 20 years ago, it was a distinct village, or hamlet on the Walsall Road into Lichfield, but it has since been laid siege to by modern housing estates and ribbon development. Subsumed by the terribly expansive sprawl of an expanding city, the once separate community retains it’s architectural and social identity, as well as one of the best – probably the best in my opinion – church in Lichfield. Unusually, the street lighting here is provided by very white metal halide lamps which give the streets an eerie atmosphere after nightfall. I love this place.
September 14th – I headed off to Lichfield late in the afternoon for some shopping and to chill out over a cuppa. When I left, the sun was still warm and the wind low, but as I returned, the skies blackened and a stiff breeze sprang up. The combination of the golden hour, darkening skies and Leomansley’s interesting architectural textures made for a captivating scene.
June 17th – One for A Lichfeldian, curator and amateur historical whizz behind Lichfield Lore. She’s intrigued by a curious bell on Leomansley Vicarage, Lichfield. I pointed out at the time that there was a spurious bell fitted to the former council house in Brownhills, used to scramble the local fire brigade in days before the adoption of the telephone. I kept meaning to photograph it for her, but sadly forgot until today.
It’s a lot more grand than I remembered, and is now covered in netting to keep the pigeons out. I wonder how long it is since it was last sounded? Also in the picture is the wonderful town hall clock, the three-faced liar. Front face said a quarter to four. South face, pictured, said four o’clock. The time was actually ten to four. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that clock tell the correct time. It’s thoroughly symbolic of the town and it’s fortunes.