BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Pipe’

#365daysofbiking A solved mystery

May 18th – Cutting back over Brownhills Common I remembered that I’d not recorded a mystery I solved a couple of months ago (because my photos then were too poor) – so I paid the site of a recovered childhood memory a visit.

When I was a child I remember walking over the common many times with my father, between the Chester Road, Parade and Watling Street School. I remember back then there being a fair sized, man made pool, surrounded by crunchy gravel, that in spring had frogspawn in it. At one end of the pool was a concrete rectangular bulkhead with a blue pipe protruding that trickled clear water into the pond.

There is no pool today, no gravel. I have looked for evidence of the pool on maps, aerial images and spoke to people about it. The only person I ever found who recalled it was fellow Brownhills historian David Hodgkinson.

Mooching over the common in spring, I nearly suffered a spill coming off a track by the corner of woodland into a ditch. Seeing a concrete block formed the edge of the ditch, I made a discovery.

It is certainly the concrete bulkhead I remember. It has a ten inch vitreous pipe in the centre, the protruding part smashed away, although it clearly once projected from the surface. The inside of the pipe is blue.

The site of the pond is now a copse, and bone dry. but it’s still a hollow.

I was astounded to find the site of this, which I’d convinced myself was a false memory.

Now, the site and pipe are clearly many years dry. I wonder who created it, and why?

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May 19th – At Pipe Ridware, the former St James church, closed in 1983 became the charming and well-loved Ridware Theatre for a further 20 years before finally shutting around 2015. This tiny performance space barely held 60 but put on some great shows.

Sad to see it closed and decaying. I hope a new use can be found for it.

August 10th – Popping up to Aldridge on my way to work, I noticed this character pointing the way to a local drainage supplies company, Venture Plastics, on Brickyard Road. 

In what seems to be a nod to Futurama’s Bender, it can’t have been an easy thing to do so well. Brilliant.

Wonder if it has a name? My compliments to the creator. A masterpiece, and brilliant advertising.

July 15th – Also a pain is the himalayan balsam. This tall, beautiful plant is growing in abundance now, and flowering strongly on damp waste ground, stream banks and the hinterlands and margins. It’s beautiful pink/white, metallic-scented flowers hide the real problem: this is an invasive species introduced by the Victorians.

The plant grows so tall and thickly that it chokes all beneath it, yet once established, like japanese knotweed, it’s very hard to remove.

The A461 Pipe Hill at Lichfield, and most of the verges to the waterworks at Pipe Hill are full of the stuff, season by season edging it’s way to Muckley Corner.

A beautiful undesirable.

November 25th – A curious thing has happened at Anchor Bridge in Brownhills. There used to be a gas pipe running along the front of the bridge – it was cast iron, and painted black. When I was a kid, climbing it was  a challenge and a rite of passage. Yesterday, scaffold was erected at either end of the 300mm diameter pipe; today, it had been removed and the ends capped. I wonder why it’s become redundant?