BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Ogley’

#365daysofbiking Draining colour

December 8th – I headed back to Brownhills along the canal back towards Catshill Junction, which on the way passes the beautiful view of Hammerwich across the fields of Newtown and Ogley Hay.

I notice now the fields, trees and hedgerows are very brown and lifeless-looking although there seems to be a crop down of some sort.

It will be some months before the gorgeous green comes around again, which always makes me sad.

But this is a beautiful view, whatever the time of year, it has to be said.

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#365daysofbiking Opportunism

August 24th – It would appear that herons will eat not only fish and amphibians, but small rodents too.

Home Farm at Sandhills were getting their wheat in – watched carefully by an undaunted heron, who was clearly hoping for something squeaky and furry for tea.

I never knew herons did this, but apparently it’s fairly common. Remarkable birds.

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#365daysofbiking Time is


January 2nd – I’ll start this with a note about this journal. Older readers will know I started this journal on 1st April 2011after being encouraged to do 30daysofbiking by ace cyclist and top Dutchperson Renee Van Baar. From the moment I agreed, the die was cast.

Sadly, I was very ill with food poisoning the following New Year,  so never rode a bike on 31st December 2011, and 1st January 2012. But I steeled my resolve, and I carried on, and I never missed a day since. Every day from 2nd January 2012 I have got on a bike and ridden somewhere.

From 100 mile plus rides in one day, to trundles to the shops, I have recorded my daily life as a cyclist, in all its ups and downs. That’s 7 years, or 2557 successive days (including 2 leap years), and about 63,000 miles.

I adore keeping this journal – both writing it, and creating the photos.I welcome feedback. If you have something to say – that I should stop, continue or do something differently, please get in touch by commenting or mailing me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

Today was my first day back at work and on my way back, I headed up the canal to Newtown. I had forgotten to charge my camera, and it was flat, so these are actually photos from an iPhone, which just shows how much phone camera technology has advanced.

When I started this journal in 2011, my phone would not have been remotely capable of images of this quality.

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#365daysofbiking Fade to grey:

November 24th – A grey , dark day with few redeeming features. A little maintenance on the bikes failed in the face of a more serious issue, and I headed out before nightfall for a breather. A full circuit of Chasewater and Chasetown offered little in the way of photo opportunities, and the images, apart from one, reflected the colour of the day.

The night, some what perversely however, was a bit more dramatic, as I captured at Anchor Bridge.

April 7th – Ogley Junction Footbridge is mystifying me a little. The bridge itself and deck were restored beautifully, to much local praise. The remainder of the work – the spit and polish, if you like, hats been patchy. 

The pathway off the bridge was originally remade badly, and now has been dug out and corrected, which is good to see. But the bit baffling me is the masonry.

The brickwork on the wing walls has been vary sparingly pointed, here and there. To me, it looks like it all could have done with doing, and bits still seem to be in a parlous state. I’m prepared to accept the work might be ongoing and not finished yet, but if it is a work in progress, there’s no logical pattern to completion whatsoever.

A bit of a conundrum.

March 16th – I had to nip up to Burntwood after an early return from work, and I took a muddy, wet canal towpath up to Chasewater.

My favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhills seems to be getting into a spring jacket ever so slightly, and the greens were just a bit brighter than a week ago.

Ogley Junction bridge is now finished, and it looks great. The metalwork and bridge deck have been superbly refurbished, but it’s sad the brickwork didn’t get any love. Maybe that’ll be a separate job. 

At Chasewater, I was surprised to see the reservoir overflowing. It’s normally allowed to fill and overflow at this time of year, but the valves are still closed and the spillway is flowing with water. In light of the dispute ongoing between Staffordshire County Council, the owners of Chasewater and the Canal and River Trust who use the water it contains, it’ll be interesting to see how long the lake continues to overflow.

March 1st – I took the chance to check out the Ogley Bridge renovation work, as I feel sure it must be close to reopening soon. As I suspected, if you approach the works from the Chasewater side it’s possible not only to enter the work canopy, but leave from the far end, with less hauling of the bike – just a bit of a throw and clamber around some sectional fence. 

The scaffold cross-members that originally blocked the bridge deck have gone.

I note that the painting now seems to be over and that the deck has been surfaced with a nicely grippy texture, so as I suspected, reopening cannot be far off now, which will reopen the route for less adventurous cyclists and walkers.

This renovation has been much more thorough than I anticipated.

February 24th – An abortive ride out to Lichfield from which I planned to arc back around to Chasewater and catch the sunset, which looked like it would be a cracker. I got as far as Ogley Junction Footbridge and discovered the camera battery was flat. 

I was very annoyed, but investigated the bridge restoration, and was pleased to note that they’ve replaced the bolt whose absence was irritating me. And the replacement looks authentic, too.

Nice work. Terrible phone photo.

February 4th – The restoration of Ogley Junction footbridge continues apace, and now encased in a plastic tent, a noses through the screen shows the rails have been shot basted of old paint and a coat of primer has been dusted over.

The stripping has revealed the old, construction-time repair to the north side in all it’s glory with handmade nuts and washers, and this seems like a thorough job.

The bridge isn’t passable with a bike, but is on foot if you’re prepared to hop on the work pontoon. It’s a bit bouncy, and you need to watch for ropes and trip hazards, but it is possible to cross if you’re bold.

I was hoping they’d sort out a diversion, but it doesn’t seem that they have. Mind, the rate they’re cracking on, it won’t be long until they work is complete.