September 13th - I whizzed up to Walsall Wood in the morning on an errand. Coming back, I noticed the canal alive with small fish, and wondered if there was an oxygen problem there, but the fish seemed lively enough. No wonder the herons are so prolific here at the moment.
I stopped to look at the old Black Cock Bridge. Around a century old, I think, and in poor repair, it desperately needs some love. Since alternate routes exist, I think one day this steep and high crossing will be closed to through traffic like Hollanders Bridge in Walsall Wood, as replacement would be difficult and expensive.
Mind, a lick of paint and a good clean wouldn’t hurt…
April 23rd - Spinning home from work, I noticed fresh flytipping in the gateway again at the Shelfield end of Jockey Meadows on Green Lane. A mixture of what looks like building and domestic refuse, it seems to be the usual ‘pull up and shove it off the back of a wagon’ job; unless the culprits have left anything incriminating, or were witnessed, it’s sadly very unlikely they’ll be caught.
People make excuses for this behaviour, saying stuff like ‘If the refuse tips were free for commercial vehicles it wouldn’t happen’ - it would. If you’re prepared to flytip, you aren’t going to go halfway across the borough to an approved tip. The morons who do this do so because it’s easy, relatively risk free, and because, without a doubt, they’re filthy scum with no pride in their environment or concern for others.
It makes me sad and angry.
March 30th - The vehicle entrance to Shire Oak Park - which was formerly the main access to the quarry, and the route used by rangers to get into the lower are of the reserve - had the gate damaged and/or stolen about 12 months ago. It was never replaced by Waslall Council’s Greenspaces team, instead being haphazardly blocked with three light planks nailed between the gateposts.
A couple of weeks ago, the one remaining plank was smashed by a truck reversing through it, which then proceeded to flytip a large quantity of refuse.
This is the state of the ‘repair’, one good tug and those planks will be off. The previous, broken one still lies cast asunder in the ditch by the fence.
I support the Greenspaces team and have fought their corner many times. But come on, this is piss-poor.
This really needs sorting properly. If it had been fixed properly previously, the council probably wouldn’t have had to pay for the rubbish removal of the previous week, either.
December 14th - Cycling along the canal near Clayhanger Common, there’s a spot well-worn as a regular site for anglers. I often pass them here. It must be a good spot to fish from.
It’s clearly utter coincidence that the area around it is peppered with litter.
To whoever is leaving this shit here, I’d just like to ask one thing: you brought this crap with you, can you please have the class and common decency to take it back? Thanks.
May 23rd - Cycling up Market Place, Walsall, early evening, I noticed this piece of graffiti on the buildings closed to make way for the Primark development. Painted from the canopy, you have to admire the tenacity.
I actually think it adds interest to an eyesore…
April 26th - Have you recently employed a cheap plumber to refit a bathroom? Perhaps you’ve done the job yourself, and paid someone a few quid to remove the rubbish?
If you’re wondering what became of your bog and fittings, they are currently adorning a lay-by on Northfields Way in Clayhanger. They aren’t doing much for the area, to be honest.
Flytippers are scumbags. People who turn a blind eye for a cheap jack job are as bad.
February 28th - This chap has appeared on a hoarding surrounding a derelict building in Shelfield. Whilst I’m not approving of the vandalism, the cheek of this did make me smile…
December 1st - I notice that Green Lane on the Walsall Wood/Shelfield border is seeing an increase flytipping again. As usual, this is just domestic refuse, and would have fitted in a wheelie bin or public littler bin. I just can’t work out how the scumbags who do this think. It must take more effort to flytip in many cases than it would do to dispose of the stuff considerately.
August 4th - Up at Chasewater, a cracking example of why the authorities need to sort out the anti-traffic barrier halfway across the dam at Pool Lane. Formerly consisting of plastic barrels filled with concrete, they have now been destroyed. Result? Yesterday, this car was actually parked off the road, on the site of special scientific interest that surrounds the 9-foot pool. Why? Because the owners were too bone idle to park the vehicle in the proper car park and walk a little. This needs sorting.
May 1st - There are some things that Walsall Council does really well, and one of those things is generally their grass cutting and greenspace management. However, something has gone horribly wrong. I was heartbroken this morning to see that the top grass cutting operative delegated the task of mowing the verges in Shelfield along the A461 Lichfield Road has mown off all the daffodils. As many gardeners will know, after flowering, daffs absorb nutrients back out of the foliage to develop the bloom within the bulb for next year. Cutting off the tops will prevent that happening, and next year’s plants will grow blind - without blooms. Cheers, mate, I really owe you one. Not.
Those flowers are usually beautiful, and a welcome splash of spring colour in a drab urban landscape. Now, they’ve been wrecked for next year. What an idiot.
November 16th - bit of a dim moment today. Went out without my camera, completely by accident, and spent the day nervously wondering if I’d lost it somewhere. Coming home along the canal from a day of meetings in Telford and the Black Country, I passed the ‘new’ pool at Clayhanger. It seems to be slightly fuller than of late, but it’s sadly sullied by a large quantity of litter, mostly discarded beer cans, at the benches near the canal. I assume it’s the same bunch who have been causing a nuisance on Clayhanger Common. I just can’t understand the mentality of people who do this.
Apologies for the poor quality photos, they were taken on a phone rather than a decent ..camera.
September 11th - I noticed a week or so ago that a gate had been erected at the Wharf Lane access to the canal bank in Newtown, Brownhills. I speculated then on how long it would be before it was damaged - not long, so it would seem. Passing it today, I noticed that the latch peg had been bent out to defeat the lock, and someone had refasten it with a cable tie. One may speculate that the lock was broken by anglers who often used to park there, but I couldn’t possibly comment…
August 16th - When I made my predictions last month for the next historically significant Walsall building to die tragically in a fire, I forgot about the former Jabez Cliff works. A beautiful victorian building, left to decay with lax security. It had become a magnet for vagrants and junkies, so I guess it was only a matter of time. Yesterday, it was pretty much gutted in a very large fire, the extent of which was clear as I passed this morning. By my return this evening, the beautiful frontage had been demolished. Still, it’ll be much easier to build new stuff on the site now that the troublesome old pile is gone… and with it, yet more of our precious heritage.
Why does nobody in power at Walsall care enough to stop this happening?
July 22nd - How to get rid of a listed building. These masons are carefully removing examples of significant stonework from the Mellish Road Methodist Church, which was sadly damaged during the operation to fill limestone caverns under the Butts area of North Walsall 22 years ago. Never well built, it suffered from cheap, ambitious building techniques, common to many such churches. Having taken the substantial compensation, the original owners sold the church on to developers, whose attempts to do anything with the site were roundly rebuffed by he planning committees for 20 years. Finally, after vandalism, decay and a visit from the municipal arsonists, the church is being demolished, clearing the way for the owners to build whatever they want.
Oddly, Walsall Council paints this as some kind of triumph, when in reality it’s a sickening, depressing example of how commercial interests outflank attempts at development control. But it’s more than that - a decade ago, an application was made to turn the church into a community centre, which was declined, too. Had that been approved, these men wouldn’t be taking apart this sad, decaying building now.
July 17th - more flytipping. Last week, whilst passing through High Heath, I recorded the beauty of this field from exactly the same spot - on this grey Sunday morning some scumbag has just reversed into the field and flytipped a pile of rubbish - which again, would mostly have fitted in a household dustbin. My mind boggles at the kind of tossers who would see fit to visit such vandalism on such a wonderful view.