Category Archives: cycling

Brownhills Town Festival – On today!

Today (Saturday 19th July 2014), it will be the second Brownhills Town Summer Festival, staged by Brownhills Town Centre Partnership and Walsall Council – following the success of the Christmas event last year and the excellent Canalside Festival, this one looks set to be a belter.
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It’s festival weekend in Brownhills!

This Saturday (19th July 2014), there will be the second Brownhills Town Summer Festival, staged by Brownhills Town Centre Partnership and Walsall Council – following the success of the Christmas event last year and the excellent Canalside Festival, this one looks set to be a belter.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures from Brownhills Canalside Festival 2014

Well, today was the day – and as it happened, it was a great event – Brownhills Canalside Festival was back for 2014 – and it’s very clear indeed that with Brian Stringer at the helm, it was a much better affair than the washout of 2013.
[caption id="attachment_19534" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Loved this pirate. Loved this pirate.[/caption] Continue reading

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It’s going to be a great day – Brownhills Canalside Festival on today!

on’t forget that tomorrow (Sunday 29th June 2014) is the 12th annual Brownhills Canalside Festival which has been truly reinvigorated by the boundless energy and enthusiasm of local activist Brian Stringer, who’s been working very hard indeed to make this year’s event bigger and better than ever before.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fixed in time

I’ve had in a great contribution from a chap who’s been a friend of the blog for as long as I’ve been writing it – Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones – on the subject of early bicycles, which arose from the image of F. Bradbury recently supplied by John and Paul Anslow.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting shipshape for Brownhills Canal Festival 2014

Well, it’s really nice to see that after a few years in the doldrums Brownhills Canalside Festival is reinvigorated by the boundless energy and enthusiasm of Brian Stringer, who’s working hard to make this year’s event bigger and better than ever before.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Certified child labour

John and Paul Anslow have been great contributors to the Brownhills Blog over the last year or so – only recently, we had the great debate spurred by his wonderful images of the brass band and that monstink, Mr Bradbury.

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

It’ll soon be time for the Brownhills Canalside Festival

Details of this year’s Brownhills Canal Festival have kindly been supplied by The Clayhanger Kid himself, Brian Stringer. I’m trying to get as much info as I can, which I’ll let you have as soon as it’s available.
 

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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A bit of a monstink…

I present today a series of three photos, and a wonderful article with some remarkable detail – I’d like readers – not just the Walsall Wood Massive – to help here, please with names and recollections if you have any.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Summer’s first breath

We’ve had a really fine few days, and I really feel now that summer is on her throne – the leaves are all fully out now, the whites and yellows of spring are turning to the reds and purples of summer, and nature and the landscape is resplendent in the multi-colured jacket the sun provides.

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Don’t forget – Brownhills Common Bioblitz this Friday and Saturday

Are you interested in wildlife, or maybe have a budding David Attenborough or Chris Packham in the family – wnt to bring out your inner Bill Oddie or Simon King – If so, Brownhills Common is the place to be this Friday and Saturday.

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Blitz the common!

Are you interested in wildlife, or maybe have a budding David Attenborough or Chris Packham in the family – wnt to bring out your inner Bill Oddie or Simon King – If so, Brownhills Common is the place to be on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th May 2014.

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Brownhills Canal Festival 2014 – details now available

Details of this year’s Brownhills Canal Festival have kindly been supplied by The Clayhanger Kid himself, Brian Stringer. I’m trying to get as much info as I can, which I’ll let you have as soon as it’s available.
 

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No country for old men

Over recent years, my long distance cycling habit has been a little bit curtailed. I’ve been working many Saturdays, when I generally went on long dayrides, or had other commitments – this year, I intend to rectify that, and yesterday started as I mean to contiunue – with a 122 mile rile up into the Peak District.

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Posted in cycling, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What was lost, now restored

I am indebted to a Burnell yet again, as top chap and fellow cyclist Richard contacts me and points out something he noticed that I didn’t – Bullings Heath Grove is now a real place, with street signs and everything.
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A very Good Friday

Yesterday, Good Friday 18th April 2014, was a good day for a ride – with the day off and the sun shining (although not as warm as one would have thought), I headed out to Staffordshire to cath the sun and beauty of spring.
This yew was still waiting to lamb in Hints. Continue reading

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Making a splash!

You readers really are a remarkable bunch – last Friday, I featured a couple of images posted on social media by Chris Leggett of the Express & Star, as part of their bid to gain funding to digitise and open to the public their photo archive – a huge treasury of newspaper images that current exist in print form only.

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The parachutist, the helicopter and the Brownhills daredevil

Last year, I asked readers to show support for the Express & Star in their bid to gain funding to digitise and open to the public their photo archive – a huge treasury of newspaper images that current exist in print form only. 27555892 Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Express & Star, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Leaving hibernation

We’re a third of the way through March, and daffodils are out, the sun is high in the sky and spring is in full effect – I left in the afternoon for a quiet, fast spin – I ended up on a 45-miler around Lichfield, Croxall, Edingale, Harlaston, Whittington, Weeford and Shenstone.
[caption id="attachment_17934" align="alignleft" width="300"]How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette How Shenstone looks best: in silhouette[/caption] Continue reading

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Dazed

I’ve had a request from the young David Evans to re-run some photos from a post I created in 2011 – David has requested this as new reader and commenter Roger Mosedale has joined us in the last few days, and David feels that he may be able to help with the school photos here.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Churches, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Urban spring

As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
The domestic geese at Brookvale Park are every bit as hostile as their brethren at Chasewater Continue reading

Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Events, Features, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Accentuate the positive

It’s good to see that local cyclist, railwayman and blogger Aiden McHaffie has recently had some success in bringing to resolution a case of bad HGV driving, as recorded in a bike cam YouTube video.
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Light and graceful

From time to time here, we mention the history of Aldershawe, the estate and large house overlooking Lichfield from high on the hill near Wall – this remarkable and secluded property is, of course, closely intertwined with the Harrison family who owned it for a time.
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I think that nails it…

Periodically, I’ve expressed my intrigue at the history of Chesterfield Lodge, at the tiny hamlet between Wall and Shenstone – Chesterfield is a small place, but has some remarkable architecture demonstrated in its houses and farms.
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Posted in Churches, cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Work starts on Holland Park improvements

I had this press release yesterday from Walsall Council, and I think it’s important to share it here – it’s nice to see Holland Park getting some love at long last – the paths and some aspects of the fabric have needed attention for a while now.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Local media, News, planning, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

2014 New year quiz!

It’s been a long time in the making, but great fun – here it is, the Brownhills Blog New Year 2014 quiz – Get stuck in and see if you can win!
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 216 Comments

Something cheesy for Christmas

I’ll keep this brief, as I know there are folk in Short Heath suffering in quiet, restrained dignity as they haven’t had their Liberal Democrat Focus news sheets this week due to the inclement weather – please spare a thought for those less fortunate souls this Christmas.
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Posted in Bad Science, Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local History, Local media, Local politics, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Just one day like this…

Today I escaped for a bit – the weather was reasonably good, I had nothing pressing, and rather than fiddle with blog posts and other stuff, I decided to go for a decent ride.

I jut love those little windows, and that gorgeous spire. Continue reading

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Christmas Fayre at Chasewater Innovation Centre today!

Here’s a chance to get into the Christmas spirit this Sunday, 1st December 2013 – there’s a Christmas Fayre being held at Chasewater Innovation Centre – at the same time, you can check out the Santa Specials at Chasewater Steam Railway, and take a wander around the lake which is now full and teeming with wildlife once more.
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Cannock Chase Messines Model on Countryfile

The first world war model of Messines, it’s history and recent archeological dig have been the talk of Staffordshire for a while, and tonight formed the basis for a great article on the BBC program Countryfile.
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Posted in Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local History, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kingdom of rain

This video takes a journey homewards after work – I pick it up in Walsall Road, Darlaston, and travel through James Bridge, Alumwell and join the New Ring Road at the Rollingmill Street junction.
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Posted in cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Shared media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stag do?

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This is just a quick note to warn people given to exploring the open spaces of the area that the deer population are getting amorous. Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Cannock Chase, Chasewater, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lane’s end

In the circles of my cycling mates, I’m fairly well known for my forthright and controversial vies on cycle facilities – bike lanes, shared use paths, coloured bits of tarmac etc – that generally non-cycling traffic engineers create to try to make junctions easier for us on two wheels.

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Posted in Bad Science, cycling, Environment, Events, Interesting photos, It makes me mad!, Just plain daft, Local Blogs, Local media, Local politics, News, planning, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The lights that shone bright in the Blackout

On the continuing theme of wartime Brownhills, air raids and the social upheaval that went with all that, I dug into the newspaper archives for examples of people fined for breaking the lights-out rules.
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local History, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Shared memories, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall Wood stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not what I’d hoped

Yesterday was my usual annual visit to the Cycle Show at the NEC, Birmingham, which I usually love – however, this year’s event left me feeling somewhat disappointed.
This is a £1,500 electric, self balancing unicycle - the solution to a problem nobody has. Continue reading

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Inner Hays

Here’s another ride cam for all those who ask for them – including Trev in Oz, Rob Flodders and BillyTheBez – this one is edited, realtime bits of a mostly off road journey from Jerry’s Lane, near Weeford, up the bridleway that is Knox’s Grave Lane to Packington, then into the wonderful Hopwas Hayes Wood.tumblr_mss53rl8jJ1qib2vgo4_1280 Continue reading

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Chasing the rainbow

I’m still, after several decades, exploring Cannock Chase – since getting wonderfully lost around the quarries near Bevin’s Birches last week, I’ve developed a thirst for spots I’ve not been before.P1070053 Continue reading

Posted in Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The last big weekend of the summer

It’s been another heat bank holiday weekend, and I got to cycling over the Chase and through East Staffordshire – too many pictures for 365days, so I thought I’d do a gallery.[caption id="attachment_15473" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Elderberries, Walton upon Trent Elderberries, Walton upon Trent[/caption] Continue reading

Posted in Cannock Chase, Churches, cycling, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Back down the old Kit Bag

I had fun over Cannock Chase yesterday, exploring the area around Wolseley Plain and the old quarries near Bevin’s Birches – while there, I also cycled down Kitbag Hill, the sharp semi-road incline that forms part of Marquis Drive between the old RAF Hednesford and visitor’s centre and the old level crossing at Moor’s Gorse.
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Up hill and down dale

Today, I got into the Derbyshire Dales and crossed into North Staffordshire – a straightforward trip along the High Peak Trail and down the full length of the Tissington Trail was just what was needed, and once at Ashbourne, I doubled back and headed back to Ilam via Mapleton and Blore.
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Posted in cycling, Environment, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coming down from above

Yesterday, on a borrowed mountain bike I headed out to Brocton Fied on Cannock Chase, and starting near the Glacial Boulder and trig point, I threw myself and the bike down into Sherbrook Valley, then followed the stream down to Stepping Stones.

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Crossing the city

I thought it was about time for some more ride videos – I know many readers enjoy these, and a lot of the bicycle-curious wonder about cycling the canals in Birmingham city centre.
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Eine kleine Nachtmarket

Well, it was a balmy summer evening, and the atmosphere was carnival-like and relaxed. There were loads more stalls than last time, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
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Posted in cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An urgent appeal… anyone know Keiron Barley?

This is an odd little appeal for local people – Yesterday, Birmingham Cyclist blog admin @brumcyclist asked me the following:
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Jammin’ – pictures from Our Big Gig

Well, I nearly missed it due to other commitments, and like the Bands on the Beacon, I arrived late, but Our Big Gig in Walsall Arboretum this afternoon was brilliant – I can honestly say it was a cracking event the restored Arboretum basked in the sunshine, and Walsall, in all it’s diversity, came out to enjoy an afternoon of music and fun.
[caption id="attachment_14857" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Dalbir sings Jessie J whilst giving Table pro tips to a young apprentice Dalbir sings Jessie J whilst giving Table pro tips to a young apprentice[/caption] Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, Local music, News, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Summer of Fun continues…

Thanks again to council whiz Kate Goodall for bringing this fine festival happening next week to my attention – along with Caldmore, Chuckery is one of my favourite bits of Walsall and has, to put it mildly, a banging community spirit, with a very diverse community.
Chuckery Festival 2013 - Poster Medium Continue reading

Posted in cycling, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

To be in England, in the summertime

Another day, another great ride – I headed out early afternoon, firstly to Chasewater then on to Lichfield and the festival market, then from the busy city, I headed to the quiet of the east Staffordshire countryside – Whittington, Croxall, Walton, Rosliston, Lullington, Harlaston and back via Wall.
[caption id="attachment_14740" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Pipe Hill poppies Pipe Hill poppies[/caption] Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Chasewater, Churches, cycling, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Shared media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Pictures from Brownhills Canal Festival 2013

I have to say, the weather was dire, and I didn’t arrive until late, but there was much to like about the Brownhills Canal Festival today – I don’t know if it was the poor weather or what, but there seemed a tad more atmosphere to it than usual, and I did genuinely enjoy pottering around.

I've not tried the tilt-shift thing on the camera before. Ooh, shiny. Continue reading

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Tearing up the forest

Here’s a video I’m posting specifically for Rob Floders, who I know enjoys my cycle videos – Rob’s having a really tough time at the moment, and although I know a daft video can’t make anything better, I hope it makes him smile just a little.
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Posted in Cannock Chase, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Just plain daft, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s festival weekend in Brownhills!

This weekend, we not only have the Brownhills Canal Festival on Sunday (June 23rd 2013), but Brownhills Town Centre Partnership and Walsall Council are running Browhills Town Festival the day before (Saturday, 22nd June 2013).
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Posted in Brownhills stuff, Clayhanger stuff, cycling, Environment, Events, Followups, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local media, Local music, News, Panoramio photo discussions, Panoramio updates, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments