August 8th – I still can’t get my head around the state of the trees currently blocking the new development’s view of Catshill Junction. This is a Walsall Housing Group project consisting of apartments, sold as ‘canalside’ dwellings – but as far as I can ascertain, most of the properties have no view of the canal itself due to the overgrown thicket in-between.
Such dense vegetation must also make those flats terribly dark. Unusually for Walsall Housing Group, they don’t seem to have any plan to deal with this and integrate their development into the immediate environment. I find this surprising and sad.
And still languishing unloved on the bank, the Catshill Junction Sculpture.
What a mess.
September 8th – I’ve been a bit disappointed with the new housing development on the site of former tower block Bayley House in Brownhills, between Lindon Drive and Catshill Junction.
Unlike much of local housing development by Walsall Housing Group, it’s very boxy, plain and red brick, and aesthetically mediocre, at best. Secondly, the overgrown canal bank, trees and hidden, overgrown sculpture – which could have been made a feature – have been ignored. Lower floor dwellings in that building must be horridly dark.
I’ve heard it said a local canal group are planning to tend the sculpture, but that isn’t the point: if you pump a few million into developments, a few finishing touches and nods to decent aesthetics cost next to nothing.
Unusually for WHG, this is very poor.
August 26th – Even on a grim, grey day, Wall still has a fascination. Riding in via the track that constitutes Back Lane was a challenge, as it’s very overgrown, but such a delight. The fields here have been fully harvested, and look barren dressed in their underwear of stubble.
The village itself is fascinating. The half-cream, half-barebrik place with the odd gables? That was once a pub called the Seven Stars, and is now a lovely looking home.
Once, it stood on the main A5 between Brownhills and Tamworth, but the road was diverted on to a new dual carriageway half a mile to the south, and peace is restored.
A lovely little village.
June 18th – Back in Leicester, and a better look at South Wigston station’s wasteland garden. Today, amongst the truly beautiful, feral flowers, I found a plaque which answers many questions.
Wonder what happened to the friends of this lonely halt? I think I’m the only friend it has these days. But the love is strong, and that’s what counts.
I’m certain there’s a story in here somewhere.
19th August – I again sneaked out in the early evening. I’d been working all weekend, and was aching for a bit of freedom. I spun up the canal in a lovely golden hour, and I noted the hedgerows and greenery that’s just exploded with growth since the warm weather came. Ferns, hawthorn and nettles are staging a battle to reclaim the towpath along the stretch from Anchor Bridge to Ogley Junction. It’s beautifuly green, lush and verdant.
Later, at Chasewater, I noted how the birds were returning to their old haunts on the main lake – The jetty from the waterski club is now serving as an impromptu gull roost.
A gorgeous evening.