August 6th - Over on my main blog, I’ve been giving much thought lately to the vexed question of Walsall, it’s disappearing architectural heritage, and the spate of arson attacks that are robbing our borough of it’s finest jewels. On my way back from Darlaston this afternoon, I stopped to ponder this great gem, the Walsall Union Workhouse Guardian’s Office, currently evens at William Hill for not making it past autumn. A lovely building allowed to rot, uncared for, and marooned in the middle of a new development, in this case the rebuild of the Manor Hospital. Surely, some use could have been found for this grand place? When Lichfield built their new hospital, the old buildings in front were retained and used for psychiatric services. Walsall doesn’t seem to possess the same vision.
Not half a mile further on, there stands the other end of the scale. Perhaps not architecturally significant, but socially, very much so. The Orange Tree pub - closed for some years now - has suffered at least two mysterious fires and is utterly wrecked internally. This once-thriving community meeting place is now silenced, and lost, like so many others. It can only be a matter of time until it too is razed to the ground. But how many folk, I wonder, have noticed its eclectic mix of chimneypots?
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