BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘rural’

#365daysofbiking Bridge to my heart

Saturday 22nd January 2022 – The endless rain and murk seems to be coming to a bit of a break – and a cessation in this grim period is not a moment too soon, I can tell you.

Out for an evening spin on a clear but cold Saturday – maybe picking up a takeaway on my return depending on how busy they were – I decided to have a punt at photographing the Anchor Bridge from the canalside adjacent to the pub that gave it it’s name. This is a familiar muse to long-term readers, but it makes for a lovely, colourful night photo and really illustrates Pickle’s fascination with bending the dark.

I’ve always loved how this bridge looks so bucolic yet is actually on the very frontier between urban sprawl and rolling countryside. On the far side of the canal, flats and houses all the way through Catshill and Ogley Hay. Behind me to my left, the undulating fields and hills of Home Farm, Sandhills. Ahead, under that bridge, the houses on Lindon Road at the foot of Shire Oak, and Chandlers Keep, the site of a former foundry.

And at the still point, me in silence, listening to the noise of traffic, the wind, the odd instance of wildlife and drinkers filling the space between them with laughter and music.

This spot, this bridge at night are in my heart and soul. It is very Brownhills, and a part of my psyche. Bizarre, but true.

The curry was most excellent.

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#365daysofbiking Take me home

Saturday November 7th 2020 – Some important bike maintenance tasks and gusty weather kept me busy at home, and I slipped out very late on a test run.

Coming off Lazy Hill and down through Bosses and Footherley, I caught the wind behind me and the speed of empty, but owl-haunted lanes.

The reassuring light of my headlight, some good music on the phone and the joy of quiet, assured speed took me on a night flight home that was rather wonderful.

I did enjoy it so.

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

January 18th -Whatever happens, Brownhills is always in my heart. The old place has it’s problems – like those of any post industrial town – but I love the canals, the open spaces, the countryside and the frontier feel of a town on the fringe between the West Midlands Conurbation and the rolling countryside of South Staffordshire.

On a cold, clear evening, returning from errands I came along the canal at Silver Street and over the bridge.

I love the Peter Saville efeect of the railings on that bridge, and the great views from it. But I also love the friendly feel of the new housing and occasional moored boat.

I take photos here lots… but it’s so photogenic at night. I love this place with all of my heart.

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#365daysofbiking Cold comfort

November 19th – Next morning, back to Telford in the early morning on a hard frost, as expected. Mill Green was as beautiful as it always is on such a morning: Icy, pale but mistily serene and peaceful.

It was a good morning for once and that looked like continuing. With the winter tyres on, I’m ready.

Come on then, let’s have it…

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#365daysofbiking Misty mellow morning

September 17th – My sadness at the end of summer and oncoming winter slides in and out, accompanied usually by a delight at the new season.

They say that drowning is quite pleasurable if you stop fighting it. Autumn and the oncoming darkness are a bit like that for me.

Early morning in Mill Green, on my way to the early train, the mist, low sun and autumnal fields combine and give me a reason to be positive about things.

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#365daysofbiking Garden tiger

August 4th – I had a call to make over in Bridgtown and I was pushed for time so I blasted down the A5 and over the challengingly complex Churchbridge Islands, just for the hell of it. 25 minutes later, my errand was complete and I returned via Great Wyrley, intending to check out a lost lane I’d been meaning to do for a while.

In Hazel Lane, I startled this handsome set of stripes and whiskers who was stalking something small and squeaky in the hedge. What a fine garden tiger!

An absolutely gorgeous cat who was clearly very annoyed with me for disturbing it’s activities!

Someone if very proud of that puss, and justifiably so.

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#365daysofbiking No place like home

August 2nd – One of the more surprising developments happening locally at the moment is the new care home being built on the Chester Road at Stonnall, on the site of a former concrete block factory and quarry.

The home – which is a large, impressive and has the appearance of being very well built has risen over winter and the preceding spring and seems to be nearing completion.

This doesn’t look to be your average granny farm, but rather a specialist care facility for older folk with particular challenging needs and I think it’s the kind of thing that is needed here with our raging population – and the jobs it provides will be welcome, too.

Part of the development includes road safety improvements here on the Chester Road, which is good to see.

I wish the proprietors and future residents well in this new venture.

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#365daysofbiking The golden hour

August 2nd – This week has been all about seasonal markers, and this evening as I left Shenstone for Stonnall and home, the harvest was well underway.

The fashion for huge, cylindrical baling seems to have ceased and we seem to be back to the more space efficient (and stable!) rectangular ones.

As ever, the machinery, synchronicity between drivers and sheer power of the operation is breathtakingly impressive, and a reminder that the countryside is still a huge, open air factory floor dedicated to our sustenance.

Always impressive to watch.

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#365daysofbiking It must be spring!

March 15th – Heading home from the station after a long afternoon legal meeting in Birmingham, in order to mitigate a rather evil wind, I took to the back lanes.

On my way, I passed this wonderful sight, which catches me by surprise every spring.

They must have been planted by some wonderful individual as they go in colour bands.

A beautiful thing.

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#365daysofbiking Semaphore

March 11th – A trip to Droitwich made a pleasant change.It’s not often I come out here these days – the younger folk in the team generally do it those jobs now, but sometimes I like to pay a call for the adventure of it.

Droitwich Station is interesting – the line here hints at a much busier past, with derelict sidings and a large signal box, but today the line is pretty sleepy and rural.

I’m interested to see that here, old mechanical semaphore signals are still in use, which always seem terrifically heath Robinson to me. They are a masterpiece of rods, wires, rollers and mechanical interlocking and it’s a wonder how they keep working so long.

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