BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘School’

#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 15th – Another weekend, another storm, this time the more mundanely named Dennis.

Dennis was a sod though, bringing heavy rain and high wind.

Slipping out on a foul afternoon to get shopping I hit the saturated towpath to Burntwood. An attempt to plough has been made at Home Farm, Sandhills and seemingly abandoned due to muddiness.

The wind howled and rain sang on the surface of the water.

The only bright spot was the Millfield Commemorative Stones – over 130 of them – that had been driven over by a Canal and River Trust contractor – have been lovingly recovered, washed and placed back in position by local man Micheal Newton Turner, who saw my blog post on the matter.

I sent him an Amazon voucher to thank him for his hard, selfless work.

Brightness in unexpected places is always a joy.

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#365daysofbiking Mill stones

December 25th – Happy Christmas!

A traditional Christmas Day bike ride, but only as far as Chasewater sadly and I noticed something I’d not spotted before: The memorial stones along the canal at Millfield near Home Farm at Sandhills, and the fact that the school on the other side have adopted the stretch of canal from Ogley Junction to Anchor Bridge.

This means they’ll tend it and I guess litter pick it and undertake lovely little projects like the individually painted memorial stones, I guess.

Great stuff.

I do wish the school wouldn’t use a windmill for a logo, though. The Mill field the school was built upon was originally that of a steam mill, now flats, pretty much next door to the school. It was a state of the art temple to Victorian mechanisation.

Never mind…

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#365daysofbiking Milling it over

November 7th – A better day than the previous, but only really for being shorter, sadly. I had business in Chasetown so left work while it was still light and headed up there on the canal passing through Brownhills on the way.

It rained lightly most of the time. This weather is getting beyond a joke now.

Approaching the old steam mill at Ogley Hay, Brownhills, the view is lovely at the moment, even for the very poor weather and light. With the bracken and leaves turning, the hedgerows and woods are a beautiful mixture of burnt yellows and reds, with a smattering of green to boot.

The mill, of course, is now private flats and rather splendid; and it of course gave it’s name to the nearby Millfield school, which also backs onto the canal. One mystery, though: The former narrowboat the school had as an outdoor classroom – Tucana – seems to have been missing two or three weeks now.

It has no engine, so it must have been towed somewhere, to do something…

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#365daysofbiking Floof!

January 25th – Passing through the Butts in Walsall mid morning, I was able to photograph this delightful character, whom I’ve met before. She’s a tiny, gorgeous little cat I’ve since found out is called Belle.

A very friendly, affectionate puss, I often see her on the bins here but usually can’t take pictures due to the nearby school.

Today, she shared head boops, nose and back tickles and purred appreciatetively, without taking her eye off the neighbourhood.

Nice to be meeting cats again…

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January 6th – Getting better with the Canon. Actually beginning to like it, which is something I thought I’d never say. That’s a bit sad, as the TZ100 is clearly a cracking piece of kit too and deserves further exploration. I think in a week I’ll take that out exclusively and learn about it.

I was in Brownhills late, collecting a takeaway. Brownhills was quiet, sleepy and I had the peace and quiet to try again at some shots I thought I’d fudged before. This camera is odd – it really isn’t that great at Morris, as the zoom isn’t there I think, but the classic Anchor Bridge night scene was a boster. I also liked what it did with the Commutiy and Parkview Centres. 

Brownhills at night has some really great pictures. Get your camera out and explore.

June 15th As I cycled home up the Scarborough Road in Pleck, I noticed some banners on the railings of the Abu Bakr Islamic School on the old Edward Shelley School site.

Pupils and staff had taken time to make signs thanking firefighters involved in the terrible Grenfell House disaster in London.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this school observe support for victims of tragedy: they had banners in support of the victims of the terrible French terror attacks of 2016.

It’s so nice to see this. It made me stop, and think and that’s no bad thing. My compliments to those who undertook this small but significant act of solidarity with those who do their best to protect and save us all from peril, and great risk to their own safety.

June 19th – I note that the long expected narrowboat rebuilt for Millfield School in Brownhills – the Tucana – has finally arrived at Millfield school, looking rather splendid.

The mooring jetty has been here and largely unused for a few years, and rumours of the boat have ebbed and flowed, but it’s finally here and presumably now, schoolchildren will be using it, which will be great – after all, canals, canal freight and boats are a large part of local history.

I note the boat is now part of a partnership involving Shire Oak School too – I love the logos.

It’s a lovely thing indeed, but I do wonder at the cost…

March 23rd – I need to get a better look at this sometime soon, but today I found myself in Blue Lane East, Walsall, between Stafford Street and the Police Station on Green Lane. On the opposite corner to the cop shop is St Patricks’s Catholic Church, school, and this building, which I assume must be the vicarage or rectory for a much earlier church that the current semi-brutalist modern one.

It’s occurred to me writing this that I know very little of the catholic history of Walsall – I ought to rectify that.

The details on the old house are astounding. Such wonders lurk in the backstreets of Walsall.

November 16th – Cycling past the Abu Bakr Islamic School on the old Edward Shelley campus in Walsall, I noticed a tribute fastened to the railings. It was a nice thing and a symbol of unity.

We all stand together…

February 23rd – A harsh day to ride to work into the wind. It started out sunny and bright, but it quickly became overcast, but then brightened again, It was hard work, and I stopped to take a phone call in The Butts, Walsall. The former school here has been converted into dwellings, and seems to have been done quite sympathetically. I think the exterior doors would have been better in wood or a darker colour, and the white boarded detail in the water tower jarrs; but otherwise, a great repurposing of a very interesting, surprisingly ornate building.