BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘marina’

#365daysofbiking Quick Silver

Tuesday January 4th 2021 – A better evening commute, but I was in a hurry to get home. We’re now back in full lockdown, and the world felt that little bit more hostile to be out in, so I just swept through the Silver Street Marina area, and took some quick shots looking up the canal to the Watermead Estate.

It’s not a bad spot this, but the paving at the waterside desperately needs some love – it’s uneven and breaking up. The view is nice though, and a bit of welcome calm in a mad world. You’d never believe this was central Brownhills.

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#365daysofbiking Not what I had in mind

New Years Day, Friday January 1st 2021 – I had this daft idea to go up Barr Beacon and catch a great, frosty winter sunset – the first of the year – with a big zoom camera. So I charged up the Nikon P990 and headed off.

I was soon up on the Beacon, it’s not far. I was pleased with myself: My fitness was well up to the long climb, unusual at Christmas. Especially with my advancing age.

Just one snag.

The sun went down with barely a whimper, and everything was dull. The photography was terrible.

Not only that, the melting snow up there had seen so many feet – it wasn’t even attractive to photograph. Cursing, I left, and did a lazy loop of Queslett, Streetly and Aldridge.

On impulse, I headed for the canal between Aldridge and Walsall Wood, and I liked the marina boats, smell of woodsmoke from stoves and soft lights. The ride was saved, sort of.

As I ploughed back towards Brownhills – the towpaths were hard going, not with ice, but unrelenting mud and sludge – I thought I’d have a go at Clayhanger Bridge with the Panasonic. Not too bad considering the lack of moonlight. A lot of colour in a very dark scene. I liked it.

Some days, you don’t get what you want from a ride, but you do get what you need. And that’s totally OK.

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#365daysofbiking Gimme shelter

March 11th – Going to work via a call in Aldridge on a wet day, I sheltered under Northywood Bridge near Stubbers Green.

It gave me an opportunity to study the boats in the yard nearby.

I noted the one closest to me – a handsome, large craft – was loaded with junk. Perhaps someone was clearing it out.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the halloween pumpkin was to ward off evil spirits deliberately, or was just where it happened to land…

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

January 18th -Whatever happens, Brownhills is always in my heart. The old place has it’s problems – like those of any post industrial town – but I love the canals, the open spaces, the countryside and the frontier feel of a town on the fringe between the West Midlands Conurbation and the rolling countryside of South Staffordshire.

On a cold, clear evening, returning from errands I came along the canal at Silver Street and over the bridge.

I love the Peter Saville efeect of the railings on that bridge, and the great views from it. But I also love the friendly feel of the new housing and occasional moored boat.

I take photos here lots… but it’s so photogenic at night. I love this place with all of my heart.

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#365daysofbiking Getting the bird

November 17th – Another rain sodden day. I know this is getting repetitive if you read these posts in series, but this is seriously what life here is like at the moment. It’s been so wet for weeks now that I’ve stopped grumbling at having to go out in it; it’s just a sort of a new normal.

The state of this is weird.

Down in Brownhills on a shopping trip, a wander over to the canalised for a loop over to Walsall Wood. The birds here – gulls, mallards, swans, geese and more – didn’t seem as tired of the rain as me, but they did seem a bit fractious. Maybe they were missing human feeding, which on a normal Sunday would be almost constant here.

I notice the goose with the white feathers on it’s head is still around. It’ll be interesting to track it over the winter, and see if it mates or if the colour discrepancy renders it an outsider…

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#365daysofbiking History afloat

August 25th – The second day of remarkably good weather and so I headed to what’s become an annual fixture for me: The Alvecote Marine Heritage Gathering at Tamworth, where historic narrowboats rally for the three day weekend.

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than admiring lovingly cared for ex-working craft and listening to their owners shoot the breeze.

It’s a great people watching event, with plenty of boater dogs too to entertain and delight.

A perfect afternoon.

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

December 17th – Returning home through a darkened, very wet Brownhills. A generator was quietly ticking over by the waterside, and there was the clatter of Tesco unloading, and the distant windy sweep of the odd car on the High Street, but little other evidence of humans.

Brownhills looked somnambulant, peaceful and homely, and it was good to see.

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#365daysofbiking On reflections:

December 10th – Passing Silver Street and crossing the pedestrian bridge time for a quick, classic shot of the waterside.

I don’t know why but it’s hard with the Canon to get a shot here I’m happy with. It just doesn’t seem to like this view much.

This didn’t come out to bad though: The water was till, and the way the reflections taper to gather in the distance always fascinates me.

Brownhills really can be beautiful sometimes.

#365daysofbiking Bending the dark:

November 12th -I returned from Walsall via Aldridge and hopped on the canal there. There was a decent sky and conditions seemed quite still, and this view of an unusually quite marina was an interesting experiment from Northywood Bridge.

Must say the chemical plant nearby was smelling rather fresh. Glad I’m not moored here.

August 25th – A bad time with the IBS at the moment, but I got out late in the afternoon on what was a very pleasant day to the Historic Narrowboat Club heritage gathering at Alvecote, on the far side of Tamworth. 

There were a huge number of old working boats on display, with their proud owners ready to tell you all about them – and these fine characters and their wonderful dogs made for a great couple of hours. 

A very English thing on a lovely Saturday.