Because you’re free to read this blog
- April 18th - Between Harlaston and Clifton Campville,... April 18, 2014
- April 18th - A great long ride today, on a warm, wonderful... April 18, 2014
- April 17th - Cowslips everywhere this year. From a rarity 15... April 17, 2014
- April 17th - The minutiae of drainage engineering are wonderful.... April 17, 2014
- April 16th - Of course, the real star of this year’s... April 16, 2014
- April 16th - It’s all about flowers at the moment. I was... April 16, 2014
- 15th April - I noted when passing this evening that the field of... April 15, 2014
- April 15th - I seem to be going through a mechanical rough... April 15, 2014
- April 14th - Clayhanger Common is wonderful. On this sunny,... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Back up on the Chase for the first decent, dry ride... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Up on Cannock Chase. The ears. That’s... April 14, 2014
- April 13th - Up on the Chase properly for the first time in... April 13, 2014
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Blogs I Follow
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Tag Archives: Canal
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.
Five years ago, when I started this blog, one of the largest looming topics was that of the then proposed new Tesco Store in Brownhills – we’d been through a consultation, and the proposal was to build a large hypermarket fronting the High Street.
Last weekend, I revisited for the first time in ages the subject that was once so prominent here – Chasewater dam – but not in reference to the recent renovations, but to the creation of the reservoir and the failure of the earthwork dam in 1799.
Chasewater has been, as any long-term reader here knows, a continual and recurring obsession of mine – I love the place; I grew up with it, visiting regularly I came to love its air of faded, end-of-the-pier decay and beautiful, often unexpected wildlife.
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[/caption] Continue reading
Here’s a thing I’ve been trying to get round to for a while now, but scanning booklets is a time consuming and laborious job – but in this case, very much a worthwhile one.
I have been sent this remarkable and incredibly thorough piece of research into the historical and mapping record for Pepper Alley by Hilary Little, who you’ll remember as the driving force behind the project to record the history and fabric of the lost beer house, the Royal Oak, in Bullings Heath, Waslall Wood.
As is usual, today I visited Erdington Bike Jumble, the yearly tat-bazaar for cyclists that always takes place the first Saturday in March.
Here’s a quick one – a lovely photo sent in by Marion Jones from her father’s collection – a photo of a grassfire on the land that would become Clayhanger Common, but it’s not the grassfire itself (and this is a fine picture of that), it’s what’s going on in the background.
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.
Well, here it is – not merry Christmas (although that’s bearing down upon us) but the fourth and final instalment of the history of Ogley Hay, as researched and written by local historian Gerald Reece, in his remarkable book ‘Brownhills A Walk Into History’.
Following on from the post ‘Old ground’, reader Mike Armstrong asked for more of the Lichfield and Whittington area – so here you go.
Here’s some mapping I’ve been meaning to run since reader Peter mentioned it in the comments to the post ‘Keep out of Cotterill’s road’ on Friday last – I may have posted similar before, but if I have, I can’t find a copy.
Welcome to the third of what was to be a three-instalment series, covering Ogley Hay, the history of Brownhills businessman Charles F Cotterill and the towns evolution into the place we know today, as written by local historian Gerald Reece, in his remarkable book ‘Brownhills A Walk Into History’.
This is important, and I’m very excited about it – Peter ‘Pedro’ Cutler has found the following sale notice in the archives from Aris’s Birmingham Gazette of 26th August 1850.
A quick but interesting one – I’ve just dredged the above map out of my stash – this one has a gruesome correction tear, but it shows Norton pretty much as it would have been when the journalist writing for The Graphic visited in 1886.
I’ve had some fantastic contact recently with reader Wyrleyrob, who’s helped on a number of historical issues- he’s interested in the Birchills foundry/power station history, and has spoken to his friend, great local historian Jack Haddock – together, they’ve come up with some fine images which I can share.
I’ve had a couple of great responses to my request for material on Walsall’s lost power station that existed at Reedswood, until it’s demolition in the late 1980s.
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.
In the modern world of asphalted roads, acres of hardstanding and housing estates by the square mile, we tend to forget that our landscape is riddled with lost brooks, springs, natural drains and man-made culverts, and all have to be managed to prevent flood and ensure adequate drainage, whilst still maintaining irrigation.
[caption id="attachment_14409" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The water is clean and flows well at this point. Image supplied by David Evans.[/caption] Continue reading