BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘War Memorial’

#365daysofbiking Night memories

November 13th -Back in Brownhills, I had a delivery to make in Ogley Hay, the old centre of Brownhills and location of St James Church, our once handsome seat of the parish, built in 1850.

Sadly, like many local churches, it was despoiled by a hideous extension in the 1990s, but retains its beauty in the grounds around, and the wonderfully stark war memorial.

Sadly the wind had disturbed the wreaths lain in Remembrance the previous Sunday, but in the sodium light, it was still sobering and beautiful.

St. James is a bit like the town it serves: It’s had a lot of changes, not all for the better. But they add character and I adore them.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

June 6th – The 75th anniversary of the D Day landings in Northern France, when the tide turned in the Allies favour in World War 2.

Darlaston war memorial was as sombre and thought provoking as it ever was: Last year’s remembrance wreaths and crosses fading, but no less sad. But the flowers endure and the memorial’s neatness and clear pride is a credit to the Scouts and others maintaining it.

It was lovely to see the tribute at Mindful Gifts, too.

We will never forget them.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

November 13th – Back in Darlaston I paid a visit, as I always do, to the beautiful and moving town War Memorial just near Victoria Park and the Town Hall.

This sombre, noble and beautiful monument is one of my absolute favourites: It is respectful, dignified and in just the right place, surrounded by a lovely, well-tended garden.

Laid out at the food of the plinth and in the surrounding beds were the wreaths, crosses and other keepsakes of Remembrance, and a good deal of time was spent reading their dedications and reflecting on my way to work on this sunny, beautiful, better day.

We will never forget.

#365daysofbiking Inconceivable:

October 23rd – Darlaston on a sunny day. Heart of the north Black Country, architecture, memory, history and nature.

How could you not adore this place?

It feels like my second home.

As I gradually reboot from feeling lost, places like this help me feel it’s worth the while again.

January 19th – My health doesn’t seem to be improving. After getting over the worst of the fever of last weekend, I’m left with a rattly chest, a cough and a head cold.

It feels like it’s never going to go. My average speed is down to a miserable 10-10.5mph. I feel unfit and lost. And the weather? It’s lousy. It’s been like it since before Christmas, and right now I could do with sun, some warmer temperatures and some spring flowers. And the ability to do 15mph without feeling like I’m about to collapse.

‘Tain’t too much to ask, is it?

Meanwhile, in a chilly Darlaston, a view I’d not noticed before – with no leaves on the trees, looking over that splendid, dignified war memorial, the whole range of Darlaston architectural history: The Post Office, Rectory Avenue, The Columbarium, St Lawrence’s Church. What a fine set of buildings on that skyline…

November 13th – I wanted to take some pictures of Darlaston War Memorial with it’s proud array of wreaths and keepsakes, but perhaps fittingly, there were a class of primary school children there with their teacher, explaining the thing, was was heart-warming and most welcome.

Instead, I took a shot of the metal poppy ornamentation on the railings of Kings Hill Park, yet another beautiful feature of a remarkable place.

We shall never forget.

November 9th – In my opinion few war memorials, if any, can match that in Darlaston for sheer beauty and reverence. I’ve never seen such a loving, respectful and intimate civic sculpture and garden as this.

It needs the paths resurfacing, but it’s a peaceful spot that’s well tended and tidy, even in the midst of the autumn leaf deluge, and will see on Sunday people come from far and wide to remember the fallen and pay their respects.

I love the poppy bench and the garden for the blind with the braille and active plant labels.

We shall remember them.

November 8th – And further on, at the top end of Victoria Park, the trees look absolutely beautify now they’re shedding their leaves. Riding up around the park, it was good to see the guys from the council tidying and sprucing up the war memorial for Remembrance Sunday.

The day in prospect was making me heavy-hearted but with such a lovely start, it couldn’t be a bad day on the whole.

October 27th – I managed to finish work in the early afternoon and got myself and my bike to Lichfield for a lovely autumn sunny afternoon.

The old city and the sisters of the Vale looked gorgeous with the low sun and long shadows, as did Festival Gardens, the war memorial and Minster Pool.

Lichfield can be awfully up itself sometimes, but it’s a very beautiful place and it would be impossible not to love it – and a content afternoon mooching for gifts in the junk shops and charity emporia was a great way to unwind.

Some great weather at last!

November 10th – The sadness of things. Post Remembrance Sunday, Darlaston War Memorial is a small sea of wreaths and small crosses, many with dedications to the lost and fallen.

I’ve said many times, this is the most sombre, sensitive and beautiful such monument I know. Standing there today, on a grey morning buffeted by the inclement weather, I was lost in contemplation for a good while.

It must have been the wind making my eyes water.