Kind of blue, a token of our support

Down on the track bed, it’s very soggy and 30 years of litter stinks, quite frankly. Image from Brian Stringer/Back the Track.

Ages ago, I ran a piece here about how local activist and Clayhanger Kid himself Brian Stringer was starting a campaign to bring back into use the old rail line that runs from Pelsall through Brownhills – not to carry trains, but as a walking and cycling route for the community.

Since then, I’ve reported on how Brian and the crew have been beavering away, clearing rubbish, getting and excavator in and have shifted skinfuls of rubbish and detritus from the disused cutting – well, not you can do something to really help this worthwhile endeavour.

The Back the Track crew and Brian himself have been sharing the following great news and request for help n social media:

We are very pleased to find we are included as a choice in the TESCOs blue token charity scheme in the Brownhills store.

So if you feel you would like to support our local community project, as they say, Every little helps.

Now, the blue token scheme works like this: there are a selection of collecting tubes near the checkout in store, labelled with different charities or causes. What you shop, you’ll be given a number of blue tiddlywink counters with your receipt, depending upon how much you have spent: You put these in the tube relating to your chosen cause and when the appeal ends, the number of counters are totalled up and converted to cash and donated accordingly to each cause.

Right now, Back the Track are one of the causes you can support, and I think it would be an excellent idea if we donated our counters to them.

This is a really worthy project, on a formerly polluted and rubbish-filled derelict rail cutting at the very heart of Brownhills; to see it tidy now after years of neglect is a joy in itself.

Much of the old South Staffordshire line is already an official, Sustrans supported cycleway, from Ryecroft to Pelsall, and more of it is an unofficial, but well-used trail from Ryders Hayes to the rear of the Swan Pub in Brownhills. Brian and the Back the Track campaign would like to see this extended further into Brownhills, linking to Chasewater – and eventually to Lichfield if possible.

Again, my thanks and admiration to Brian and all who help either physically in person or by donating your blue tokens in Tesco. You are the true spirit of Brownhills and we’re all proud of you.

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