March 6th - The spring evaporated today. On the way home, it rained, and the the wind was horrid. It wasn’t a good day to be out on a bike and I found myself longing for the mild weather to return.
Sadly, the dry towpaths I’d been enjoying for a couple of weeks took a set back into muddy slurry again.
Ah well, there’s always tomorrow…
yahoonewsuk asked: Hi Browhill Bob, I'm emailing from Yahoo News UK and I was wondering if I could please use your picture of Redditch Church in a slideshow I'm compiling for the site? You will be fully credited. Thanks
Yes, sure. What’s the nature of the slideshow, and can I see a link when it’s finished please?
March 3rd - The Four Crosses at Shelfield is a classic community boozer. Basic, but comfy, it serves fine real ale and is friendly and welcoming. I love the place. It’s telling that this small pub survived, while the plusher and larger Spring Cottage less than 50 yards away closed and became a retail grocery store.
Recently, following a frankly bizarre planning application, the venerable pub has been declared an ‘Asset of Community Value’ by Walsall Council. This declaration is essentially meaningless, but does show the council’s commitment to support this tiny pubs existence, which is appreciated.
The other pub I know to be listed in such a manner is The Black Horse at Edingale, which closed some time before it came to Lichfield District Council’s attention,and was awarded the status primarily to prevent the former inn being converted into flats. When I passed the other day, the Black Horse was still closed, and appeared to be in use as a private dwelling.
The unescapable fact of these things - ACVs, Local Listing and other such declarations - is that although planning can sometimes stop stuff being changed, you can’t force a business to continue to exist; you may well preserve a building, but not the pub itself.
A quandary for our times, and a demonstration that planning, heritage and community are uneasy bedfellows.
I wish the Four Crosses, it’s regulars, landlord and community well. If ever a pub deserves to thrive, it’s that one. Long may it do so.
I’ve had a message today from an anonymous commenter who thinks the black bags in the lay-by at Coppice Lane, Brownhills may be rubbish collected by Community Payback crews and left for collection by organised waste disposal team.
Have to say, that’s great if that’s actually the case. However, it’s odd as Coppice Lane was as litter-strewn as ever and it is a notorious flytipping hotspot.
Interesting. I may well stand corrected, and thanks for the tipoff - but my views of flytipping remain unchanged, obviously.
March 2nd - Meanwhile, over in the layby at Coppice Lane, the flytippers had been busy. There must be 20 or 30 bags here - none were open, so I have no idea what was in them, but it looks like domestic refuse - all dropped in a pile, clearly from a van or truck.
The people that do this are criminals, and scum beneath contempt. If you know who did this, please dob them in to the Council or cops.
This stuff can present a health hazard and costs a fortune to deal with. Civilised humans don’t flytip.
From the engineers who first built the canal.
To the engineers who built over it !
A true testament to remarkable engineering.
Just a few other shots, I thought were worth sharing.
After praising the efforts of past engineers, The present day planners & builders are sadly lacking, after coming up with this monstrosity !