June 14th – Changing places.
On the left stood Brownhills Market for near enough 25 years. where the low block facing me is was the site of Silver Court Gardens, once the 5th most deprived housing estate in the country.
Not now; a row of new build gables, a block of modern apartments. Silver Street has been transformed. There is life and activity here in what was for several years a barren, windswept wasteland.
I’m glad to see this change, and I welcome the people that will live in these places. New builds, new starts and new people.
Not all change is bad.
February 6th – On the corner of Gladstone and Station Street in the industrial backstreets of east Darlaston, a curious little bungalow cottage I’ve always wondered about.
Painted terracotta red with two tall chimneys, Victoria Cottage is an unusual house that doesn’t seem terribly large, but someone is awfully proud of. It has a plaque dating it to 1897, and it’s well cared for and the people who live here clearly love the place.
It looks almost like it was built as a project by someone, it’s such a curious shape. I’m sure there’s a bacstory here that must be fascinating.
Anyone know more?
January 7th – In order to reclaim something from the ride, I headed via Whittington to Lichfield, for if there’s one place that makes for good night photos, it’s Lichvegas.
Once again, the Canon gave a good account, and I’m loving this camera as a low light device: These images are handheld despite some seriously odd quirks in the hardware ergonomics – why on earth would you have an exposure compensation control on the same central axis as the mode dial, committed in hardware? Often you unintentionally skew exposure compensation changing mode by accident – an awful bit of design.
The camera has a very yellow response to even high pressure sodium lights, which is interesting, but it works remarkably well under white LED street lighting and T5 fluorescents.
Whittington Church is hard to get a good angle on, and that subway in Festival Gardens, Lichfield, fascinates me. I wonder how old it is? It’s construction would suggest 1920s or 30s.
December 18th – I did return however in mist which was pretty eerie – coming back from Shenstone I was wary of ice but the biggest issues were remarkably daft driving (overtaking on a bend in reduced visibility?) and a huge pothole I narrowly missed in Cranebrrok Lane.
My muse, Shensone Station, looks excellent in mist with it’s metal halide lights, and rolling into an ethereal Brownhills from Shire Oak in the orange glow of sodium streetlights was pretty beautiful too, despite the traffic.
December 17th – Sunday was a much better day, but whilst the ice didn’t melt as much as I’d hoped, it was well on the way. I love ice and snow. But when it’s fresh; I can’t bear it hanging around. I like a good heavy snowfall, a few days of fun, then a fast thaw.
Not so with this one.
I looped around Brownhills on errands, delivering Christmas cards as night fell: The High Street was grey and damp in the drizzle, but the canal at Silver Street fascinating with the ice, broken up by a passing boat.
Not feeling terribly Christmassy yet. Hope that changes soon.
October 16th – With the sun more or less returned to normal and a ferocious tailwind, I hammered back to Brownhills late afternoon for an appointment. Watching me from the far side of the canal near Silver Street, a familiar character who clearly doesn’t care for my sort much, but that’s a huge bruiser of a cat. A real character.
At the old market place by the Pier Street Bridge, I’m happy to see the housing development is using forward with footings already in for the first houses.
It’ll be so nice to see this place inhabited and alive again.
September 18th – Riding through the backstreets of central Walsall, it’s getting distinctly autumnal. I keep thinking it’s too early, but then, we’re very nearly two thirds into September now, so I suppose not.
Here on the corner of Charles Street it looked lovely, and not having been here for many years, it’s changed a bit, too. Last time I was here the flats on the left didn’t exist and there was a row of Victorian factories in some decay. I remember well a cafe here I used to use a fair bit.
Ah well, nothing stays the same and time keeps moving on.
July 24th – It seems the Walsall stenciller is at it again.
Since street artist made such an art of stencil painting, we’ve had a few copycats spring up locally, but today I noticed a new one on the over bridge to the disused canal arm in Pleck, Walsall.
A small, red person, as might be featured on a warning or keep Britain tidy sign. The image was fresh, there was still overspray on the gravel underneath.
I have no idea what this is about, but I shall be looking out for more… I think it’s rather cute.
March 8th – I wasn’t fast enough to catch the best bit of this, but these two cats were clearly feeling the sap rising as I passed them in HillaryStreet, Place today.
There’s what appears to be a young male, and an even younger kitten. In the instant I spotted them, they were play fighting just by the front door – but as I stopped to grab my camera, I surprised them and they separated in a flash and began to look determinedly innocent.
That kitten looks a right little bugger, if I’m honest.
Cute and funny, and lovely to see.