March 14th - I escaped work in Tyseley at lunchtime, and headed onto the canals of Brum on a fine sunny afternoon. From the Soho Loop, Winson Green; polyanthus in Centenary Square; the canal mural opposite The Bond in Digbeth; Galton Bridge and Ludgate.
Sometimes, this city still feels like it’s mine. A cracking ride.
November 20th - It’s all about stations this week. Off to Telford for a meeting early, then back to Tyseley. A day of delays, missed connections and grim, grey weather. I get to see a fair few of the local rail stations around Birmingham and the Black Country, and they’re a varied bunch, from the Victorian to the modern, from the beautiful to the pug-ugly. This one is Smethwick Galton Bridge, built adjacent to the imposing, remarkable iron bridge canal crossing it’s named after. Straddling two canals, the station sits at the crossing point of the Snow Hill former GWR line and the Stour Valley Line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Everywhere you look from this complex, multilevel edifice there is history, be it Chance Glassworks decaying nobly down the line, or the historic, grim 60s architecture of Smethwick.
A station so complex, I’m not sure how it was planned, in a place who’s history is far more convoluted. Not bad for a grey Tuesday waiting for a late train.
March 12th - Half at work, half not. Just doing a few bits and pieces that matter, then going my own way for a few days. Today, I popped to Darlaston for an hour or two at lunchtime, then headed off on the canal to Birmingham. The sun came out, and Birmingham and the Black Country performed beautifully. Anyone who says this place is ugly hasn’t looked. This is a gorgeous place, and I want to shout it from the rooftops. Up yours, London…