August 7th – On the way home and travelling through Stonnall after a tiring day of firefights and frustration, I stopped on Cartersfield Lane to watch as drifting smoke obscured the distant pumping station. My astonishment was short lived though when I got nearer and realised it was the same wheat-dust from the same machine working in a different field to the evening before.
Combine harvesters really are the most fascinating machines.
Harvest must be like the ultimate triumph of the year for an arable farmer, and the hard work and long hours are clear. I bet the dust isn’t much fun in that thing either.
Good to see the harvest home.
September 30th – Right now, Birmingham is doing what it does best – changing. I was in Birmingham for a sunny, pleasant afternoon that felt like the last of summer, and I continued my fascination with the demolition of the library, 103 Colmore Row and the Birmingham Conservatoire. The Adrian Boult Hall is now gone, the library down to it’s last scraps, and 103 Colmore Row is forlorn and truncated, much like the memory of the architect who designed all of them, the great John Madin.
There’s no time for sentiment, because Brum so doesn’t do that; the engineers are driving forward the change in their machines, cutting, smashing and pulverising the modernism to dust. And it’s fascinating, from the jurassic appearance of a resting concrete cutter to the antics of a pair of experts in a cradle slung above the devastation like some hi-visibility acetylene and helmet circus act.
It’s stunning, shocking and wonderful to watch. But I’m glad Madin himself didn’t live to see the crushing of his big civil dream.
September 2nd – Pleased to see the vegetation has been cut back, restoring the fascinating view of Cloud Quarry from the Cloud Trail, near Worthingdon on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border.
It seems like a well run quarry, mining limestone for a variety of industry. Everywhere you look machines are busy moving, breaking or grading stone, and some of the driving on the shelves and roads is very impressive.
I could watch this for hours.