BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘market’

September 4th – Returning to Brownhills in the evening, I was pleased to note that the development of new housing seems to have finally started on the site of the old market place off Silver Street, with earthmoving plant commencing operations.

Realistically, we have no chance of ever getting the market back, and the space it occupied has lain idle for five years or more. It’s open, sad and dispiriting and the houses being built here will be a great improvement, and will also mean an end to the serial occupation of the site by travellers.

A good thing, a long time coming.

August 28th – I’d heard there was going to be a a canal festival/floating market thing at Alvecote Marina in Tamworth, so I took a spin out to check it out – it was a fine event, with what must have been nearly 100 boats, floating traders, food, drink and entertainment. 

It was very crowded and a very hot afternoon, but it was a lovely do.

As ever, the dogs made it. Boater dogs really are characters.

August 5th – Looping back, still with a heavy heart, I stopped on the Pier Street bridge and noticed that more exploratory groundworks had been taking place on the old market site off Silver Street, clearly in preparation for new housing given permission there.

I’m all for that and hope work starts soon – anything that makes this area look less open and bleak is welcome to me.

That thought, at least, made me somewhat brighter.

May 28th – I got to the floating market at Fazeley about 3:30pm, when the sun was out and conditions were good. It was a much smaller event than the year before, but still quite lovely, but I was struck by the lack of visitors. I have no idea why folk weren’t here; maybe the local advertising was poor. Perhaps earlier showers had put them off. Perhaps previous years had been disappointing.

Whatever the cause, it was sad as it was a nice event that I think potentially could have been larger and better attended. As usual, the boater dogs were the stars of the show and were charming and funny.

The boaters too were welcoming and friendly and I’d love to see this event prosper, but serious work is going to have to be done somewhere to make it happen.

August 30th – Today was a great day to be zipping about the Black Country on my bike, seeing people I needed to see, The streets, the urban architecture, the market at Tipton.

 It all glistened like a jewel in the sun.

I said there would still be fine days to come and I wasn’t wrong. Yet again, my beloved Black Country lifted my spirits and filled me with a sense of belonging.

These are the places I love.

December 19th – I rode to Rugeley from Lichfield, hoping to pay the food market a visit, but due to the awful weather it seemed to be packing up. Rugeley itself though was very festive, and I spent an enjoyable few hours shopping, getting something to eat and just wandering around. Rugeley is doing better than many similar sized towns, mainly due to the huge area it serves – with two indoor markets and plenty of little independent shops the place is a hidden gem.

The train layout is actually in one of the indoor markets, as a festive attraction. The Timesaver bus is a nice touch.

Despite the grey dampness, it felt a lot like Christmas, and I felt distinctly festive as I hauled my way back over Longdon Edge. 

My apologies for the poor picture of the wee dog, but that was the only image I managed to get. I fell in love with him!

January 2nd – Today, I was at a loose end. Things hadn’t come together well, and I felt miserable and disconnected, but I got my rug together and headed into Lichfield at dusk. It rewarded me beautifully – I love the Christmas lights here; even more poignant at the close of the festive season. It’s amazing how poncing about with a camera and creating a little can cheer you up.

For those counting, it’s the third anniversary of riding 365 days a year. I actually started the project in April, 2011 in order to ride every day of the 30 days of that April, mainly to stop fellow twitter cyclist Renee Van Baar from nagging me about it. At the end of that month, i was enjoying the thing so much I carried on, and vowed to make it 365 days.

Sadly, over the new year of 2011/12, I suffered bad food poisoning, and was off the bike for two days. I was gutted, and so feeling cheated, I started again. Today was the third anniversary of that resolution.

I often agonise over to whether I continue this, and I welcome reader opinion, so please do comment; but this journal is so much part of what I do on a bike every day now that it would be hard to stop. The readership continues to grow; over 5,100 followers.

Statistics for this year gone have been a total distance of 9,296 miles. That’s still about 25½ miles a day. A remarkable total of 14,446 photos have been taken. On the journal so far, there have been 3,028 posts. I have cycled continuously, every day, for 1095 days. 

In total, the journal has run for 1,368 days from the start, and something in just shy of 35,000 miles. Think about that; I’ve cycled every day, rain, snow, wind or shine of the last 1,368 days, all except 2. I’m proud of that.

I guess I proved a middle aged, ordinary geezer with a fondness for cake and tea can do this.

Thank you for riding it with me. As long as people are enjoying this, I’ll keep doing it.

Your comments are, as ever, welcome, even if it’s just to tell me to shut the hell up…

December 20th – Today, today was great. I had a Christmas errand to run near Rugeley, and heard there was a farmer’s market on. I’ve never really had a good look around the town, and I have to say I was impressed. This former mining community serves a very wide area, and so maintains a good selection of shops, a couple of indoor markets, and the produce market itself was brilliant. 

I’d not realised how good the architecture was in the town centre, either; I must go back when it’s quieter and have a good mooch around.

The huge inflatable Father Christmas by the sports club is brilliant, too, and can be seen from a long distance.

I returned with all manner of Christmas treats.

That wee dog in the indoor market stole my heart – such big, sad eyes!

October 2nd – The skies were dark and dusk was settling on Walsall when I came from work, tired and finding it hard to keep any speed up. I was loaded with shopping, and unwell, so it was a real drag; but as soon as I looked around me, I realised that I was entering the autumn dusk, and actually, it’s a thing of beauty.

I’m glad to note either my hands are steadier this year, or the camera is better in low light than previous ones, as none of these images was taken with a tripod.

The darkness isn’t all bad.

September 5th – I’m rediscovering my love for Birmingham. It’s a great place. I spent time in Digbeth, and mooched around the fruit market and Chinese quarter.

Birmingham is vibrant, beautiful, and buzzing. If you know where to look.