BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘main Street’

#365daysofbiking Climbing, slowly

May 1st – A ride down into Stonnall and the lanes. It had been a rollercoaster of a week emotionally, but at least we seem to be getting the virus under control. Things don’t seem as terribly threatening as they did.

Winching my way up Castlehill out of the village onto the Chester Road, the lanes here – severed by the straightening of the Chester Road many decades ago – are leafy and peaceful, and diverge oddly.

But in the quiet of a lockdown spring evening, with birds singing and soft sunlight coming through the leaves, this was close to heaven, and like my body, my mind was climbing, slowly.

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#365daysofbiking Community chestnut

September 12h – Also on my way back from Shenstone, at the bottom of Main Street in Stonnall, a different type of chestnut is absolutely profuse this year.

Sweet chestnuts in their spiny shells don’t really grow edible fruit in this country due to the climate, but they are beautiful ornamental trees with their shiny leaves and fascinating, almost prehistoric looking fruit.

This tree is always impressive.

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February 2nd – It had been a busy day where I’d headed everywhere at top speed (well, as top as I get at the moment, which is still less than my normal average) and it was fairly late when I came home, then headed to Stonnall on an errand.

The weather was cold again, the woman on the train had been right. The moon was hidden behind cloud and is was quite dark for this point in the moon’s cycle. Coming back up Main Street in Stonnall, I couldn’t resist a quite shot of the old swan, but it didn’t turn out how I hoped, the shot of the Shire Oak and junction, currently operating on temporary traffic lights came out much better.

I’m loving this Canon camera – I really am – but I must make time to read the manual. Something I don’t yet understand is making taking night shots a bit of a lottery…

March 31st – It was a fairly decent day, but an appointment in Birmingham meant riding my bike was impractical, so the only bike action I saw was an errand into Stonnall just after nightfall.

Stonnall, amazingly, still manages to support two pubs within very close proximity – the Old Swan and the Royal Oak. Both are decent houses and popular, and it’s remarkable they get the business they do in what is, effectively, a small village.

Long may they continue.

January 6th – on my way home, I had to pop into Stonnall, and as ever, the Old Swan pub was lit up beautifully, like a beacon to the weary and homeward bound. 

I love how many pubs look inviting at night.

October 10th – Another abundant crop is the sweet chestnuts on the tree at the bottom of Main Street, Stonnall, which are now ripe and falling to the ground. This is always a productive tree, and the soft, downy insides of the husks contrast with the intensely spiky, hostile exterior, but it does look oh so cosy to be a sweet chestnut. 

As usual, the nuts are not big enough to eat, as the fruit doesn’t grow well in the British climate, but the tree is stunning and an interesting, handsome curiosity.

January 31st – It was a day of ups and downs. I had to get to the dentist, which is never pleasant, but the morning was decent, and the long awaited arrival of a new computer was good news. The weather turned about lunchtime, and cleared a little around 6pm. It’s really hard at the moment to find decent photographic subjects in a wet, grey or dark landscape. I find myself really craving spring right now.

I went down to Stonnall, and experimented with long exposures without a great deal of success. The long-distance shot from the quarry gates was interesting enough – although out of focus – to feature here. I did like the ones down onto Main Street, but others I took of the Chester Road were useless.

Some days are just to dark to do anything with.

September 4th – The house with the remarkable chimneys in Stonnall, at the junction of Main Street and Wallheath Lane, has an unsuspected history. When I was a lad, the house was a petrol filling station, and the house that now stands on the left was built on it’s forecourt. I remember the garage well; it had a samll shop area through a wood and glass door and I often bought drinks and sweets there on my explorations as a youngster.

I was glad to see it so beautifully preserved, but I do miss the garage. A symbol of changing times.

July 23rd – Stonnall’s Grove Hill is accessed down a rough track, either from between houses on Main Street, Stonnall, or from a field gateway at the other end, in Church Road. Thought to be a tumulus, this sharply defined mound is visible and distinctive for miles around due to it’s single, windswept tree at the summit. It offers fine views all around from the summit, and I often come here for peace and quiet. It’s a fine place to sit and survey the area on a late, quiet, sunny Saturday afternoon.