BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘remembrance’

#365daysofbiking Devotional

Tuesday November 17th 2020 – One of the nice things about lockdown Remembrance has been the impromptu and additional devotional displays in towns and villages throughout the country. Decorating of railings, parks and war memorials have been undertaken lovingly and in line with guidelines, creating a sense of community endeavour that has sustained even in lockdown.

One beautiful example are the tributes at Darlaston Town Hall I passed while nipping to the post office on my lunch hour.

I particularly liked the purple poppy dog, the purple poppy symbolising the the sacrifice of animals in war.

My compliments and thanks to the people who created this. It’s gorgeous.

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#365daysofbiking Night memories

November 13th -Back in Brownhills, I had a delivery to make in Ogley Hay, the old centre of Brownhills and location of St James Church, our once handsome seat of the parish, built in 1850.

Sadly, like many local churches, it was despoiled by a hideous extension in the 1990s, but retains its beauty in the grounds around, and the wonderfully stark war memorial.

Sadly the wind had disturbed the wreaths lain in Remembrance the previous Sunday, but in the sodium light, it was still sobering and beautiful.

St. James is a bit like the town it serves: It’s had a lot of changes, not all for the better. But they add character and I adore them.

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#365daysofbiking Poppy red

June 16th – Looks like it’s going to be a good year for crop-field poppies: The gorgeous effect where these delightful flowers bloom amongst agricultural crops and present patches or whole fields of red.

At Stubby Leas near Elford, this gorgeous patch of big red flowers in a field of oilseed rape were absolutely delightful and a patch of brightness after the sun had gone in.

The feathery, fussy and lovely flower was found growing in a ditch, beside the quarry at Sittles, all by itself.

You can’t mention poppies without thinking of the symbolism of Remembrance and they are so beautifully appropriate.

You certainly never forget with these lovely tributes occurring naturally.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

June 6th – The 75th anniversary of the D Day landings in Northern France, when the tide turned in the Allies favour in World War 2.

Darlaston war memorial was as sombre and thought provoking as it ever was: Last year’s remembrance wreaths and crosses fading, but no less sad. But the flowers endure and the memorial’s neatness and clear pride is a credit to the Scouts and others maintaining it.

It was lovely to see the tribute at Mindful Gifts, too.

We will never forget them.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

December 6th – In an otherwise unremarkable, workaday wall  on a main road in Place, Walsall, one of the UK’s many hundreds of industrial memorials to the lost employees in the Great War.

The fourteen lost souls listed on the memorial worked for the Cyclops Foundry which was near where the plaque is now, and has long since passed into history – but the original memorial was saved and restored by the NHS, who operate Walsall Manor Hospital, opposite, not once, but twice: They refurbished the memorial in 1989, and replaced it totally in 2002.

I’m glad it survived and still stands today, bearing witness to those lives lost, and it’s good to see that 100 years on, people still place crosses here to remember them.

#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

November 13th – Back in Darlaston I paid a visit, as I always do, to the beautiful and moving town War Memorial just near Victoria Park and the Town Hall.

This sombre, noble and beautiful monument is one of my absolute favourites: It is respectful, dignified and in just the right place, surrounded by a lovely, well-tended garden.

Laid out at the food of the plinth and in the surrounding beds were the wreaths, crosses and other keepsakes of Remembrance, and a good deal of time was spent reading their dedications and reflecting on my way to work on this sunny, beautiful, better day.

We will never forget.

#365daysofbiking Lest we forget:

November 10th – Remembrance this year is of course marked by the centenary of the end of World War 1, that awful conflagration that set the geo-political scene for the following century and formed the warm-up act for World War 2. Whilst I of course feel the centenary is vital to be remembered, I was cautious about the tone of some commentary. I feel that Remembrance in some ways is being changed and that worries me.

I was heartened, therefore to see the special efforts made in Aldridge and Pelsall this year, and that they were so very, very well done. Aldridge’s Poppy Road was a startling, sad and beautiful tribute to the lost and wounded of Station Road in the Great War, and the way it was done really bought the agony of a generation home.

Similarly, the poppy clock in Pelsall, adorned as Poppy Road is in knitted and crocheted blooms is also stunning. It is a different memorial to Poppy Road, and feels more intimate.

Both are remarkable, community led gestures of Remembrance and I thank all those who have e worked so hard to create them. They both restored my faith that the meaning of this most solemn of national events is not being lost.

#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

October 28th – I was charmed and humbled passing through Hednesford on a much needed restorative ride to Cannock Chase to note the main square has been decorated with knitted and other hand made poppies and material for Remembrance. 

It’s really very impressive, and sobering. It’s beautiful to see so many displays of Remembrance in towns and villages at the moment, particularly on the centennial anniversary of the end of the Great War.

My thanks and compliments to those who took time out to make and arrange this display. Real community in action.

November 13th – I wanted to take some pictures of Darlaston War Memorial with it’s proud array of wreaths and keepsakes, but perhaps fittingly, there were a class of primary school children there with their teacher, explaining the thing, was was heart-warming and most welcome.

Instead, I took a shot of the metal poppy ornamentation on the railings of Kings Hill Park, yet another beautiful feature of a remarkable place.

We shall never forget.

November 9th – In my opinion few war memorials, if any, can match that in Darlaston for sheer beauty and reverence. I’ve never seen such a loving, respectful and intimate civic sculpture and garden as this.

It needs the paths resurfacing, but it’s a peaceful spot that’s well tended and tidy, even in the midst of the autumn leaf deluge, and will see on Sunday people come from far and wide to remember the fallen and pay their respects.

I love the poppy bench and the garden for the blind with the braille and active plant labels.

We shall remember them.