BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Tamworth’

#365daysofbiking Sunspots

August 25th – On the way home I did a lazy loop of Shuttington, Seckington, Clifton Campville, Harlaston and Whittington. Amazingly, there were few folk around in the heat, and I had a lovely peaceful journey home.

At Shuttington, the neighbourhood watch was dozing, but not enough not to keep a close eye on me from an appropriately sun-bathed spot.

It’s nice to see cats enjoying the summer at last.

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#365daysofbiking History afloat

August 25th – The second day of remarkably good weather and so I headed to what’s become an annual fixture for me: The Alvecote Marine Heritage Gathering at Tamworth, where historic narrowboats rally for the three day weekend.

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than admiring lovingly cared for ex-working craft and listening to their owners shoot the breeze.

It’s a great people watching event, with plenty of boater dogs too to entertain and delight.

A perfect afternoon.

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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 It may not be obvious

May 19th – It was a weary run out – Through Shenstone, Weeford, Hints, Tamworth, then up the canal to Hopwas, Whittington and home via Wall and Lichfield. Not a long run, and on a grey, warm afternoon that always seemed to be just on the verge of rain.

It was nice, but I wasn’t feeling the love. My stomach was grumbling and I was tired.

But as usual, a combination of the things I found, the quirkiness of the the country I live in and the beauty of thriving nature around me perked me up.

I’m still chucking about the warning of troops training. That’s so Monty Python and utterly British. And sadly, there was no sign of the cat. I like to think it was called ‘Fluffy’ or some such.

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#365daysofbiking Stopping the line

May 19th – A fairly short ride out on a grey but warm Sunday ffternoon took me to the incredibly busy Strawberry Cabin cafe in Hints for excellent tea and cake, and from there I dropped down to Fazeley on the old A5, and went to check out the old WW2 pillbox on the aqueduct over the Tame.

Pillboxes protecting bridges on the River Tame and Trent are a familiar sight even now, and they lie in various states of decay, little more than a historical curiosity one passes by without much thought – but this one has always fascinated me.

The stop line it formed part of was envisioned to confront the possible nazi invasion at the crossing points of the river, which would have formed a natural pinch point. So this could have been a vital component in the defence of the Realm.

Now it’s just a curious anachronism in a really sleepy, beautiful waterside spot. Thank heavens it was never needed.

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August 25th – A bad time with the IBS at the moment, but I got out late in the afternoon on what was a very pleasant day to the Historic Narrowboat Club heritage gathering at Alvecote, on the far side of Tamworth. 

There were a huge number of old working boats on display, with their proud owners ready to tell you all about them – and these fine characters and their wonderful dogs made for a great couple of hours. 

A very English thing on a lovely Saturday.

May 13th – Found on the outskirts of Wigginton, a lone cottage, derelict, in the bounds of another, occupied property.

It looks like the remnant of a larger terrace, and also like someone might be planning to, or made a start on renovating it.

It’s some way from the lane, and has a really strong air about it that it might be horrified.

One for the found faces pile, that one. 

I do hope this place is one day a home again.

May 6th – Another fine, hot day, another long ride – this time a 55 miler out via Hints and the canal through Tamworth to Orton on the Hill, Austrey and Honey Hill.

You can see a full gallery for this ride on my main blog here.

At Orton, I stopped to study the fine, Francophile church there, and noticed the classic demonstration of weather erosion on the masonry – on the windward side, the deep pits of direct wind and rain abrasion, whereas on the leeward side, the lines cause by lateral pull and frost; on side planar side, the lapped waves of parallel forces.

That church has seem some weather over the years.

February 11th – Finally, a decent ride out. But not without challenges – I’d set out of a day with a punishing Westerly to visit a farmer’s market at Buzzards Valley near Middleton. The day was bright, skies blue and my back was warmed by the sun.

I enjoyed the market, then called at Middleton Hall to photograph the birds on the feeding station, and caught an unexpected rat on cleanup duties. 

The day was steadily getting colder, and snow started to fall. Very small showers, but it was happening. 

I battled up a muddy canal to Fazeley, then returned up the old A5 over Hints – where I scoffed at the GPS app’s forecast for almost continual snow. Then it started.

The ride home – against a bastard wind forged on Satan’s back step and with periodically heavy, driving snow – was a real challenge. But I was glad to be out and in my favourite countryside again, which really is showing signs of spring, as the wallflowers at Bodymoor Heath were keen to point out.

I’m really not into Wyatt’s Old School House painted terracotta pink though. Preferred it white.

A great, but exhausting ride. Real four seasons in one day stuff.

August 27th – I did a 75 mile ride out beyond Tamworth into Leicestershire. I hadn’t rode this way for a decade or more – and I headed for Barton in the Beans and Newton Burgoland through beautiful, sunny countryside on another warm, still day.

A great ride.

But those place names? Go home, Leicestershire – you’re drunk.