BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘vandalism’

#365daysofbiking to the point

Monday February 8th 2021 –  About the only thing the pandemic has been good for has been the re-emergence of political graffiti.

It’s everywhere – the angry, the conspiracy theorists, even satirists are having a go. They’re all a bit rusty but it’s coming along nicely.

Here at Catshill Junction, just on the bridge, some disaffected soul has expressed themselves. Blunt and to the point.

Generous offer but I’d rather not, cheers.

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#365daysofbiking The writing is on the wall:

December 4th – Oh dear.

If you’re patriotic and love the country please do try not to defile it for others – and if you really can’t resist, please do check the spelling first if unsure.

Bloody idiots.

August 17th – Well, we’ve had a little rain (but not nearly enough) and something becomes clear: Grass fires are dramatic and worrying and do lots of damage, but as can be seen here on Chasewater Dam heath where there was a fire a month ago, it’s recovering well. The fire has cleared the scubas and fresh plants are shooting anew, and the area, although still scarred, is taking on a green appearance.

The grass fires are awful and so unnecessary, but nature clearly heals, and remarkably quickly too.

July 29th – There have been mercifully few grass fires around our area in this tinder-dry hot spell, which has surprised me. Kids and discarded cigarettes, not to mention the awful disposable barbecue fad, seem to be causing a rash of fires elsewhere as they sadly usually do; but near Brownhills we have so far been impacted only lightly it seems.

One such fire was here on the heath between the dam and bypass at Chasewater; an apparently large fire when reported, it seems that quite a small area has been affected.

Whilst this is a pain, unnecessary and a scourge, it’s not the end of the world: The heath will quickly recover and for a time, smaller species should enjoy a boom, and it’ll soon there will be little sign the fire happened.

Better it hadn’t happened at all, but still…

July 10th – Popping from work into Walsall at lunchtime, it seemed the wasteland a the bottom of Bentley Mill Way had been the scene of a small scrub fire.

I first saw the lone fireman, tending the petrol powered pump extracting water from the canal, then saw the last of the smoke from the lads doing an excellent job, as ever.

These fires won’t harm the scrub much, it’ll soon grow back, but the commons, heaths and patches of wasteland right now are like tinder, and there will be many more such fires across the area if the fine weather continues.

And all the time, the good folk of the West Midlands, and indeed national Fire Service will be on hand to do their utmost to protect lives and property.

Thank you.

June 20th – To my dismay, the agressive and pointlessly regular towpath mowing schedule continues on local canals, to the detriment of wildflowers growing there, like the poor orchids.

In recent years, the canal management have insisted on having the canalside grass mown every month – not only is this unnecessary, it inhibits the growth of some wonderful species and destroys others in their prime.

The mower had been through today, and although the operator was mindful of some orchids, many more were destroyed.

If the grass had been left another month, it would have been to no detriment and huge benefit.

Frustrating and pointless.

April 7th – A day at home doing bits and pieces, and then an errand to Shenstone on a lovely sunny afternoon. On the way, I came over the old bridge at Footherley, and was reminded it was very nearly the anniversary of a piece of graffiti that fascinates me.

I remember the boldly carved script ‘Billy + Tracee 30-4-83′ from when it was new and surprising. Now, nearly 34 years later, I wonder, as I do often who Billy and Tracee were, where they are now, and wonder if they’re still a couple?

I do hope they’re still local, still together, and pass this, often as a reminder.

March 27th – Over at Bentley Bridge, near Darlaston Green, mixed feelings as the former Boat Inn pub is cleared for demolition.

Derelict for years, long-time site of a car wash, the building had been long since targeted by arsonists, flytippers and ne’er do wells. The Boat had outlived it’s useful life, and the last beer was supped here years ago. But it’s very sad to see a pub lost, and in an industrial area with loads of vacant land already, it’s hard to see what, if anything, might replace this building.

October 5th – This is an odd one. Drifting for a while on the canal around the Black Cock Bridge in Walsall Wood, this abandoned pleasure craft does seem to have been someone’s home for a while, with boards tied at a broken side window, and signs of recent life inside. There’s no boat registration visible, no apparent engine and the craft is just drifting.

I had thought the boat had originated locally, but I think that assumption is wrong, having studied previous photos.

I guess, if abandoned this can be considered flytipping, and I suppose the Canal and River Trust, the people responsible for the canals, have a procedure for this sort of eventuality, but it must be a real pain hauling it out of the water and disposing of it.

A curious thing indeed.

September 17th – Unusually, I had to visit a supplier in Wolverhampton late in the afternoon. With a strong wind blowing from the west, it was a fun, easy ride home along the canal, which I picked up near Horseley Fields on the Ring Road. 

I notice 540 Degrees, the cat-loving street artist whose work I’ve spotted before has been to Wolverhampton. I know I shouldn’t, but I do like his work.