BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘view’

#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

April 16th – Life may be on hold at the moment, but Brownhills has been steadily changing and improving for a few years now, and I can’t see that process slowing up much, even with the current unpleasantness caused by coronavirus.

A few short years ago the view up the canal from Silver Street towards Catshill Junction would have been blighted by the empty market place and waste ground where Silver Court Gardens once stood, a set of five tenement blocks that really were quite grim.

But now the view of houses and trees in blossom over limpid, peaceful water is a world away from those bad days.

And I continue to watch my community evolve.

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#365daysofbiking Eternally connected

March 13th – Friday came as a day that was decent to start, and then gifted rain in the afternoon. When I left work, the rain had cleared leaving a bright, sunlit evening on which to admire my beloved Twin Sisters, the two church spires of Church Hill in central Wednesbury.

I love to admire this view from Kings Hill Park. I love the hill, the space, the rooftops before the tree-lined ecclesiastical summit. I love to think of the hundred or more years these lovely buildings have watched over the industrial landscape and it’s changes below.

And I also wonder how many people like me have stood in this place and done exactly the same as me over the years. I love the way it’s all kind of eternally connected.

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#365daysofbiking On the western skyline

December 1st – Looping around and back up Walsall Wood, I became aware I was in the midst of a gorgeous sunset. Chasewater would have been my place of choice to catch such a vivid one, but sadly I wouldn’t make it in time, so I headed up Shire Oak Hill.

The view downhill to Walsall Wood, Walsall and the wider Black Country is always stunning, and it’s a good while since I saw it in a good sunset. It was worth it.

This is one of the greatest local views and very much unappreciated.

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#365daysofbiking High on the hill

September 11th – Another sunny day, and passing through Kings Hill Park, my twin muses, the sisters of Wednesbury’s Church Hill were captured well by the camera.

I love the way these two totally different churches compliment each other, looking over the area imperiously as they have done for more than a century.

The view could probably be improved with the removal of the car sales place but that’s by the by.

On a lovely autumn day, the treetops of church hill were just starting to get their seasonal jackets on, and all was pretty much right with the world.

A decent autumn day can really warm the heart and nourish the soul, and make one realise that the loss of summer isn’t so bad after all.

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#365daysofbiking Old haunts

July 11th – I had an appointment near Brieley Hill in the morning. The weather was grey and the Stourbridge trains were having a cowturn but I got to Cradley Heath and cycled up the canal through Saltwells.

Years ago, I spent a lot of time in Cradley and its environs. It’s still a busy little town, but it’s changed, suffering the same economic and social pressures as anywhere else.

This is of course, deepest Black Country and I was pleased to see the chain makers still behind Cradley station.

The goats at Saltwells were a pleasant surprise, too.

It’s been a while since I was back here, and it’s still a decent old place. I should come back when I have more time, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Iron man:

June 28th – Been a while since I was last at Ironbridge. A long dayride with a companion I don’t ride nearly enough with was great: Miles of chat, fun, company and relaxation were just what the doctor ordered.

Arriving at the gorge and bridge at 5pm, ice creams were had, coffee and… Pork pies. Well, it’s a Ironbridge thing.

We explored old haunts, stopped at a riverside pub, marvelled at the bridge (now a lovely deep red colour following extensive renovation) and enjoyed the river, gentle atmosphere and evening warmth, before climbing out of the gorge at the east end and riding home via Ryton and Albrighton.

A lovely place I don’t go nearly enough, with someone I really should ride more with too.

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#365daysofbiking A quiet bower

February 23rd – The mist that fell in the last hour of this gorgeous day was possibly the best light in which to see Hoar Cross church. It was beautiful, and I’ve missed it so much.

The Church of the Holy Angels was built next to the great hall at Hoar Cross, but otherwise in the middle of nowhere by Lady Meynell after her husband was slain in a hunting accident (at least, according to Staffordshire historian Henry Thorold). Whatever it’s genesis, the grey blue light highlighting the peaceful but eerie church and grounds made for a serene and thoughtful 30 minute break.

Nice to see the primroses in flower here, and also the view over the Needwood Valley from the spot opposite the church which still has the bench donated by Noel Woodford, with the wonderful passage from Keats.

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365daysofbiking Noble jacket:

October 7th – I set out on a pleasant but cold afternoon full of optimism. I was off to Cannock Chase to find deer, fungi some fine downhills and some autumn colour. 

Fate had other ideas.

The first problem was I’d left home with a flat battery in my camera, so all these are phone photos, and without exception, I think they’d have been better pictures if taken with my camera. But I would tend to think that, I suppose.

Two mechanical failures and I was sunk. A makeshift repair on a shredded tyre wasn’t dependable, so a quick visit to Castle Ring was to be my lot. 

I found good toadstools on the sandy embankment by the canal between Wharf Lane and Newtown bridges, which was nice, and the golden hour at Castle Ring was beautiful. Sad to note though now the once stunning view is again obscured by the tall trees down the hill – you can barely see the power station at Rugeley at all now.

A great sunset as I passed back through Chasewater just rubbed salt in my flat battery wound.

Some days are just not well starred. This was one of them, sadly.

#365daysofbiking Tinges:

September 15th – Nipping top Shenstone and Aldridge on errands, I stopped on the railway bridge to survey the classic view over the rooftops of the village, to note that autumn was coming here now – and not just the accelerated leaf drop of the leaf-miner affected horse chestnuts, either – but tinges of red and brown in most of the trees.

Soon this will be a riot of colour, and then bare trees again to close out the year.

Where has 2018 gone?

August 24th – I nipped to Stonnall on my way home, and the view from Shire Oak was a gorgeous as ever when I passed: I’ll never tire of that view of the Ladies of the Vale over the quarry and rolling countryside to Wall.

On my return to Brownhills, dusk was falling, and the new flats at Anchor Bridge glowed well as the dying sunlight caught the damp tarmac.