BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘The Chemical’

#365daysofbiking Looking the other way

Thursday December 3rd 2020 – On an evening ride on a night as the sky was clearing, I headed along the canal to Ogley Junction, and stopped as I usually do on the bridge there, for a moment of contemplation. Normally, I take a shot of the canal back towards Anchor Bridge, but today I turned to the right instead.

Here, the canal continues in a lazy arc to Anglesey Wharf and Chasewater, but before that is passes a notorious area of Brownhills called ‘The Chemical’.

The blue factory unit over there is stood on the site of a Victorian chemical factory and later, an alloy smelting works that poisoned the land, polluted the air and led to it’s descriptive nickname.

The Chemical stood as wasteland for many years until six years ago when the new unit was built as an extension to a local factory. The contaminated soil was encapsulated beneath the new building’s floor, and held safe.

Given a few years, I doubt many folk will ever know why we call this place The Chemical.

from Tumblr

May 17th – Only a short ride today, as my stomach was bad and I was busy with other stuff.

On the canal at Newtown, a familiar scum is developing, and I always get concerned mail from readers about it, who are justifiably concerned that the canal has been polluted by some foreign substance.

Well, it has and it hasn’t: but it’s nothing to worry about. The white film is the pollen and detritus from Sallow trees (Goat Willow) which bloom at this time of year and shed white fluff to the four winds – and it gathers on the canal surface, looking like some terrible contaminant.

It’s really a natural, organic thing and nothing to worry about.

July 29th – I note that the former Superalloys site in Brownhills is now undergoing construction work to build expansion premises for Castings PLC. This is welcome news for Brownhills, as this is the last major manufacturer in the area. I can’t help wondering, though, that as the site of an old chemical works (hence the local name ‘The Chemical’) and then a scrapyard, what must lie beneath the soil. This land has been vacant for three decades, and it’s good to see it brought into use. Lets hope the construction crews are paying attention while they’re digging.