Last Friday evening, I came back home via Walsall at around 7:30pm. On the way through what was a very weary, against the wind journey, I popped down to take a shufty at what was left of the BOAK building, destroyed by a suspicious fire earlier in the week.
Sadly, after sneaking through the security barriers (look kids, I’m terribly reckless, don’t do it), I found little remnant of the once proud building. The demolition has clearly been swift and professional. The chimney seems to have been dismantled using a hydraulic platform, and as usual these days, rubble is sorted from metal for disposal.
This is a tragedy.
I have been in communication on Twatter and by email with a few other members of the Walsall online community who are rightly concerned about the continual attrition of our town’s heritage, history and architectural diversity. Not just by the common execution of arson, but by demolition, often unexpectedly.
It has come to our attention that there is no definitive list of lost buildings in Walsall and it’s environs, and I think we need to assemble one. We would also quite like to curate a list of buildings currently under threat; maybe with an objective of making the public more aware of their vulnerability.
It should be pointed out at the outset that this isn’t just about the handsome, Victorian buildings that are becoming so rare, but about all buildings that are, or were, loved in our communities. Pubs, churches, houses, factories, shops. Anything that gives the borough its character.
We invite views, contributions and ideas on this topic, from bloggers, photographers, historians, urban explorers and anyone with an interest in local architecture and culture. Suggestions on how to manage such a project, and how to collate the material in one place are particularly welcome. This is not our baby. It should be a community thing, driven by those who share a common concern.
I know this will be of interest to many – The Stymaster, Pheaseyviews, Linda Mason, The Plastic Hippo, The Mushroom, Rich Johnstone, Stuart Williams and others too numerous to mention. Please let me know what you think.
If you haven’t, please read the commentary from reader Andy Dennis on the BOAK fire. Andy makes well reasoned, fine points about this stuff which are very difficult to argue with.
Our jewels are being taken from under our noses. We need to start focusing our disquiet.
Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot Com. Cheers.