June 13th - I took a diversion from my usual route to Darlaston and hopped on the canal, which was lovely, despite the wet weather. As I passed by the old mill at Pleck, I noticed that an old bike was still taunting me from the open side of the goods hoist. There used to be two in there, but one has disappeared. It still looks like an old steed - note the sprung saddle - but it seems to be fitted with triple derailleur gears. It might be a bit of a mongrel, as although the wheels look chunky, the frame looks quite dainty. Whatever it is, it’s such a shame to see it trapped there in the tower, like some velocipedian Rapunzel.
May 25th - Heading back from Stonnall at sunset, down into Brownhills, and off to Chasewater. A beautiful, soft red sunset, painting the town with colour. Come on summer, more please…
April 28th - I’ve not really studied this old, derelict mill on the canal at Rugeley before, but it’s quite fascinating, actually. Built in 1863, it’s older than I expected, and I’m interested in its history. Most intriguing are the metal canopies installed awkwardly below the upper row of windows. Wonder what their purpose was?
January 8th - The house that stands on the junction of Mill Lane and ForgeLane in Mill Green, Little Aston is still lying derelict, unloved and appears to be falling into ruin. This is a very large house in an exclusive, rural area. When occupied, it must have been worth at least £500,000, maybe more. I can’t even work out how such a property comes to be abandoned and left to vandals. This was once, clearly, a family home. Someone must own it, their must be a backstory. Nothing has changed here for years. Anyone know anything? It’s a crying shame.
November 16th - A little further on stands the ghost of the Catshill Flour Mill. Now converted into pleasant flats, this imposing, foursquare building once milled the flour for the bread of the town, before being converted into a factory making metal components. Repurposed 20 years ago, the mill still stands imposingly over a largely limpid and quiet canal. Oh, the tales it could tell…
February 20th - Wednesbury has a life-size, fake windmill, and not many people know about it. I have no information on the edifice, or its origins, other that in sits in a garden near the top of Church Hill in the centre of town, is only about a decade old and exists as a kind of modern folly as far as I can tell. I investigated it today - I spotted it a good few years ago, but I had to go to Great Bridge today and had time to spare, so thought I’d go hunting. More on the main blog in the next few days.
You can’t actually get close to it - it’s in the garden of a remarkably ornate, somewhat architecturally eccentric house, and is only really visible in winter when there are no leaves on the trees. I’m told the owners don’t welcome enquiries, and the property is shut behind very tall, secure gates. Anybody have any more information?
July 6th - 10 minutes after the storm, I was on my way again. I don’t know what this forlorn, decaying building was, but it looks like a mill of some kind. Like many industrial canal side buildings in Walsall, it’s original purpose seems to be lost. I’d like to see the edifice fixed up and used for something nicer. Buildings are like dogs - they don’t care if their owner is good or bad, just that they care for them.
At least this one hasn’t been burned down yet, the fate of many good building in the town.