While I’ve been otherwise engaged…

It’s been a bit busy for me in the past week, so the blog has languished for the want of an article over the weekend. Sorry about that, there’s some good stuff lined up for the next few days. Sometimes it’s difficult fitting the blog in with work, and something has to give… but while I’ve been busy I’ve come across some interesting bits that may be of interest.

The Edditer, creator, curator and character behind the wonderfully superlative Bloxidge Tallygraph has written a warmly touching, affectionate obituary to the sadly deceased Walsall Observer. It will be of interest to anyone from Walsall who ever lay on the sitting room floor in front of the fire, as I did, and spread the voluminous paper before them, or to anyone who scoured the sheet’s pages every week looking for news, scandal, gossip, a job or a new house. The Observer was an institution and will be terribly missed.

Bop Piper, Labour Councillor for Abbey Ward in Sandwell, seems to have excited the press on a slow news day with his inventive, ingenious advice as to how to beat the ban on bringing your own booze to the Edgbaston cricket match. Bob, an often witty and irreverent regular blogger, had tongue planted firmly in cheek, but the local press and some of his readers seemed to be suffering a humour bypass. Bob responded to the storm in a teacup later that day with a characteristically defiant, up yours riposte.Do read the comments on Bob’s blog, they’re hilarious. Perhaps the Birmingham Post and Sunday Mercury wouldn’t be failing so spectacularly if they actually showed some semblance of being in touch with reality…

Willenhall Councillor Ian Shires, meanwhile, has discovered what Walsall Council appears to consider a pothole. It certainly explains the woeful state of the streets in the borough… you couldn’t make it up.

[Howmuch] has found an excellent site that will be of interest to anyone fascinated by domestic military matters during the second world war. The South Staffordshire Home Guard website pays particular attention to the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion but covers lots of others, too. Fill yer boots, it’s a very absorbing read.

XKCD must have visited Walsall
XKCD must have visited Walsall

Finally, I notice that Walsall Council are talking up the new ring road, and are spinning the line that ‘…Anecdotally, we’re finding less congestion and faster journey times…‘, but when I cycled from the Arboretum junction to the bottom of Pleck Road this morning, I observed that a journey that used to take ten minutes now took twenty-five. I had hit a sodding red at every single set of lights. Well, as any statistition knows, the plural of anecdote isn’t data, so they’re going to measure journey times, just to be sure. And just to be sure, they’re doing it in summer when the schools are out… you can’t be too careful, after all.

I’ll be back with more stuff later this week. Thanks for your patience, and stay tuned.

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4 Comments

  • I really regret not having done a few timed trips around the ring road before it was changed, so I could do a comparison.

    An entirely unscientific trip from the Manor to the Arboretum Island by car I did recently took several times longer than before, and yes, involved a stop at every set of lights, so the claims of increased air quality seem doubtfull as well.

    Problen is, this is all just anecdotal.

     
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  • Thanks for bringing that post by Bob Piper to my attention- the comments are hilarious, especially ‘Angry Voter’.

     
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  • George Roper

    After dropping my daughter off in the town the other day I found myself driving along Lichfield Street towards the Arboretum island. Imagine my surprise (yes, a Viz addict) when I realised that I couldn’t get to Rushall from there.
    And, how ironic that Lichfield Street now takes no part in directing traffic to Lichfield.
    Buses and cycles (and probably taxis) are permitted to go straight across the ‘island’ towards Rushall/Aldridge but those using other forms of transport have to take a left on the new ring road, a right into Hatherton Street and then make their way through the back end of the Butts encountering narrow roads, parked cars and speed bumps.
    I can safely say that not only is this route now impossible, but the alternative as mentioned takes far longer than the original direct route.

    Sorry to rant about Walsall town on your Brownhills Blog but having got it off my chest I feel much better.

     
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  • Hey George, no sweat – an old hand like yourself has freeman of the blog status to rant whenever and about whatever you choose!

    The ring road is fair game to me because it demonstrates how Walsall-centric our council is, and because it also serves as an indicator as to how a person’s pet project can be pushed through with little regard to anything else, just like the hideous ‘refurb’ of the Civic Quarter (Leicester Street to the mortals).

    As to your observation, I think the idea is that non-PCV traffic goes up Bridge Street and down Lower Rushall Street to get out of town. Why? Dunno. It’s clear to see, however, that LR Street has space for conversion into a broader carriageway which will undoubtedly form the next must-have on the shopping list.

    Let joy be unconfined

    Bob

     
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