#365daysofbiking Chains changed:
November 16th – Heading back to Brownhills and home, I stopped to look at the view of Silver Street now the building works are finished here. Around 200 new, modern dwellings on what was 12 year dead wasteland and an abandoned marketplace. The change from desolation to signs of life and habitation is remarkable. Every time I see it, I struggle to take in the massive change here.
Change for the better.
About 6 years ago I speculated that this then desolate, windswept, empty place was haunted by the ghosts of civic failure. They have been exorcised, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, there are signs of life developing in my old town again. The people that live in these houses now will use the local takeaways, pop for a paper, a haircut and use the high street out of convenience. No, it’ll never boom like it did, but this trade fillip has to be welcome.
Finally, Brownhills is becoming unshackled from the system built housing misadventure of the sixties. All we need to do now is finally rid ourselves of the blight that is Ravens Court…
June 14th – Changing places.
On the left stood Brownhills Market for near enough 25 years. where the low block facing me is was the site of Silver Court Gardens, once the 5th most deprived housing estate in the country.
Not now; a row of new build gables, a block of modern apartments. Silver Street has been transformed. There is life and activity here in what was for several years a barren, windswept wasteland.
I’m glad to see this change, and I welcome the people that will live in these places. New builds, new starts and new people.
Not all change is bad.
February 10th – I’m liking the look of the houses going up on the old Brownhills market site right now. Hopefully, when complete they’ll bring lightness and a more populated feel to this once very open, wind-swept area of town, and hopefully also much needed footfall for the High Street.
Since the new houses became occupied on nearby recent developments, there has been a notable increase in people on the High Street, which can’t be a bad thing.
September 9th – Change is happening fast at the site of the old market in Brownhills. At the start of the week the earthmovers and excavators were just moving on site, and a mere five days later the groundworks are well underway with new sewers and the like being dug.
I’m sad to see the marketplace gone in some ways – like most Brownhillians I remember the good days of the market here as being excellent – but we have to move on, and the days of prosperity for the traditional market generally in the UK have long since passed, their job being replaced by online retailers and everyone’s favourite tat bazaar, eBay.
But it will also be nice to see life here again once more.