#365daysofbiking Into the madness:
November 28th – Telford, that evening, viewed from the Euston Way.
Telford looks best at night. The station is crowded due to a cancelled train. The train I’m expecting is late. This is not going to be fun.
The lights, the steel and glass, the pretentions to being internationalist, commercial, vital and a centre for financial business work best at night.
In reality, Telford is an industrial and commercial sprawl, but it ain’t all that.
But it could have been a contender.
Oh well, into the madness…
#365daysofbiking Here I stand:
November 6th – One thing I forgot in the years I hadn’t been coming to Redditch is a small rule that also applies to fellow new town Telford – never risk an unknown shortcut when in a hurry.
I was dashing for the train. I took what I thought would be a route around by the bus station and under the subway to the station. Instead, I lost all sense of direction totally and ended up on a ringway flyover overlooking it, a good 10 metres above where I needed to be with no easy way back other than to retrace my steps.
Urban design on such an inhuman scale does not make for intuitive routes.
Redditch should come with a decent cheat sheet for those on foot and cycling….
365daysofbiking Decent, enough:
October 6th – From the wailing and gnashing of the NIMBYs of Aldridge, anyone would think that the block of apartments planned for the long derelict land right at the bottom of High Street on the Elms Island would be some monstrous, hideous carbuncle that didn’t fit with it’s surroundings at all.
Studying it closely while in the village of 26,000 on Saturday afternoon, I actually decided I quite liked it. I’m not fond of the flat roof, which is a cop out in design terms, but the rest of it is an interesting blend of textures and colours, and is actually quite bland, really. It’s not too big, it certainly doesn’t block light to the hHigh Street as some alleged and it seems a good match for the rather stark pub nearby.
I’m sure the elderly folk it’s built for will enjoy living close to the amenities of the ‘village’ centre, too, and it will help keep the local retailers busy.
It seems a decent thing to me.
August 24th – At Chester Road near the Stonnall turning, just before Castlehill, change is afoot. The old quarry with the hardstanding, idle since the 50s after it’s use as a concrete block manufacturing works is now undergoing groundworks for the construction of a new care home.
There have been a number of planning applications for this site over recent times, and permission for a fairly large elderly person’s care facility was granted last year and will involve extensive modifications to the road to mitigate the driveway.
It’ll be interesting to watch this progress.
August 8th – Unusually, I was in Redditch visiting a supplier and despite the (currently rare) overcast day, I was reminded of what gorgeous, surprising corners the new town has.
Redditch gets a lot of stick – much of it deserved – for dull planning and generally being a product of postwar urban design; but where it works – Lick the respectfully preserved Church Green or the gorgeous Arrow Valley Country Park, with the time hamlet of Ipsley preserved within – it’s rather wonderful.
I actually like this place a lot. There, I said it.