Since there’s been a welcome focus on the treatment of our local architectural heritage in the days since the Jabez Cliff fire in Walsall, I thought I’d once again delve into the urban exploration community and their activities in Walsall. To this end I visited the excellent 28dayslater forum, and found a couple of great explorations of still extant Walsall buildings of note.
Way back in 2009, forum veteran and urban explorer extraordinaire Dweeb (whose excellent work I’ve featured here before) explored the old, abandoned BOAK leatherworks on the corner of Bridgman Street and Station Street. This is a historically significant – and recognised – building that is symbolic in so many ways of the history of Walsall, both industrially, socially and politically. Meanwhile, fellow forum old hand rookinella posted an extraordinary exploration of the Walsall Union Workhouse’s Guardians Office, that currently stands forlorn and out of place on Pleck Road in front of the new hospital.
Both of these buildings still exist and are in grave danger – they represent nothing more than a pain in the backside to our civic leaders and their friends the property developers. We need to be vigilant – just yesterday the Express and Star reported that our council leader, Mike Bird, wanted to go down in history as the man who got the Mellish Road church demolished. Well done Mike, I couldn’t have vocalised the historical ignorance and wilful neglect that sums up the council’s planning policy better. Two decades of bluster, fudge, lies and prevarication to end in loss, which we’re all supposed to welcome. Is it any wonder that our leader is a laughing stock?
Walsall, where failure is marketed as success.