BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘raikes’

#365daysofbiking Lane’s end

Monday March 8th 2021 – I was discussing online the other day a local lost stub of a lane that used to be Bullmoor Lane. Bullmoor Lane ran from Raikes and Chesterfield, a mile or so north of Shenstone, shadowing the Watling Street, to a junction near Wall Butts at Hilton, where it met Cranebrook Lane and Boat Lane. As a kid it was one of my first local discoveries. I loved that quiet, undulating backway, and still do.

When the M6 Toll came through at the turn of the millennium, the last half a mile of Bullmoor Lane was diverted south, to meet Cranebrook Lane without building a second flyover, leaving the old stub abandoned.

It still exists, and is now gated, but when nostalgic one can push past the gate and ride the crumbling asphalt to the edge of the new motorway, echoing in my childhood tracks.

I always find these dead, divorced and orphaned lanes a bit sad: Dark Lane at Longdon is one, just closed as out of use, like School Lane at Norton. But other lanes were lost to the toll, especially around Hammerwich and and Shenstone Park.

It’s the feeling that they hold memories, which cannot be put back, I think.

A curious bit of melancholia on the exercise ride.

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March 11th – If you’re riding Bullmoor Lane between Hilton and Chesterfield, in the back lanes near Shenstone, beware of mud and … other stuff.

The farmland here has been up for sale for a long time, but now seems to have an owner and they seem to be improving the soil. Slurrey tankers appear to discharge into a large red mobile tank from which a crop sprayer is replenishing it’s supply before returning to it’s smelly, but important task.

Nice to see, but man alive it makes a mess on the nearly roads

March 11th – A ride out to a farmer’s market then on tho Middleton Hall for cake, and back via Hints and the A5. The day wasn’t the best of weathers, but is was pretty good, and I didn’t get rained on until very late in the ride.

I noticed the animals on this ride particularly: the first spring lambs up at Barracks Lane; the goose at Middleton Hall. But what stole it were the cats: the lovely chap drinking from the canal at Catshill Junction; the weary, wary looking farm cat at Raikes Lane; the black tiny one in Fazeley.

Spring must be coming, the cats are starting to emerge.

January 19th – On the way back, I passed Chesterfield Lodge on Raikes Lane. It always looks so peaceful and welcoming at night, but on Victorian maps, this was marked as a workhouse. Whether it was this actual building or a predecessor, I never quite worked out. I’m still hoping Kate Cardigan of Lichfield Lore might weave some of her investigative magic here and find out the truth one day.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous house, that’s for sure.

December 18th – Geekout time again. I nipped in to Shenstone in the morning to beat the storm and pick up a Christmas present. On my way, the wind blew me down Bullmoor Lane to Chesterfield, near Wall. On the bend near Raikes, there’s been an electricity pole for years that’s fascinated me. It has a really complicated arrangement of equipment mounted upon it, and it’s effectively in the middle of nowhere. I’ve always been interested in it’s purpose, so I resolved to find out.

After a fair bit of googling, it’s an ‘automatic recloser’, and a really high-tech piece of equipment with a simple purpose; it’s an 11,000V breaker, performing the same kind of job as the ones you get in a modern domestic fusebox.

It consists of the unit that switches on and off the supply – the big box at the top, which breaks the three phase supply voltage present on the lines above, and an electronic control unit called an ADVC, which detects when there’s a fault, such as overcurrent in the load. A small transformer sits high up to supply the ADVC.

The ADVC reads the signals in the line, like voltage and current, and should it detect a problem, it disconnects or ‘opens’ the recloser, breaking the supply. Since most faults with overhead lines like this clear themselves quickly (they may be weather, vegetation or vermin related, for instance), the ADVC monitors the disconnected line and automatically recloses – reconnecting the supply – automatically.

The system is monitored by complex electronics with a computerised controller, and can communicate by radio telemetry, hence the antenna; it even has batteries so it can keep working if it’s own supply is interrupted.

I’ve been meaning to find that out for years… you can read more here.

This project takes me to some strange places, sometimes…