#365daysofbiking Down amongst the derelict

Monday November 30th 2020 – The weather remained bad, and heading home late up Brownhills High Street, I stopped to check a text, and then looked to my left. Ravens Court was never a success. Opened in 1964, this dystopian, anonymous shopping precinct was mostly empty until 1970. It enjoyed a period of being mostlyContinue reading “#365daysofbiking Down amongst the derelict”

#365daysofbiking Monumental controversy

July 22nd – I’ve been riding through Bloxwich more often since the Chase Line upgrade, and I keep passing the remarkable sculpture of Lady Diana Spencer outside the monumental Masons that commissioned it. It’s certainly an unusual landmark. The sculpture was made around the year 2000 in tribute to the deceased Princess, but when unveiled,Continue reading “#365daysofbiking Monumental controversy”

#365daysofbiking It must be yew

May 5th – Still suffering, but a cold, grey ride up through Weeford, Whittington and Croxall to keep moving. Passing Shenstone Church on the way, something was missing. I had an attachment to that old Yew: shelter in rain when I was a child, shady in summer and totally imperious, I’m sure it was felledContinue reading “#365daysofbiking It must be yew”

#365daysofbiking Scum

May 2nd – There are many reasons why the local canals develop an organic, natural scum throughout the year. From pollens to seeds, from tree-mast to algae, all kinds of unpleasant looking but natural detritus develops and dissipates throughout the seasons. Due to the early spring warmth and extended spring, at the moment there’s aContinue reading “#365daysofbiking Scum”

#365daysofbiking Slippery customer

March 30th – Spotted on a recently cropped tree stump near the canal by Birchills locks, some impressively horrid-looking slime mould fungus that looks for all the world that it might spring to life and try to take the country by force at any minute.I’ve not seen any of this stuff for years. It wasContinue reading “#365daysofbiking Slippery customer”

August 11th – I had to pop to Shenstone on an errand on my way home from work, and the chance to ride these sleepy, familiar lanes, even on a dull day is wonderful.  I crossed Church Hill through the churchyard of St Johns, purely as I hadn’t been up there in a while. IContinue reading

November 19th – The Queen herself today travelled to Birmingham (by train, which won’t have been delayed and will have had a working toilet) to open a station that hadn’t closed and has merely been subject to having a retail opportunity badly assembled on top, and is still unfinished. Brenda won’t have had to walkContinue reading

November 1st – Gentleshaw Church, like that of Kings Bromley, shows something that I think deserves wider attention, but makes me somewhat outspoken. Victorian architectural hubris wrecked many fine churches with utterly horrible extensions – sadly an abomination that went on for another century. (I know the extension is 1903 – but it was plannedContinue reading

August 13th – A bit better today, and I’m on the mend, and out and about earlier. Time I note for another periodic explanation… This isn’t pollution at Catshill Junction, or anywhere else it’s happening. This time the scum film at wind traps and bends on the canal is caused by rose bay willow herbContinue reading