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Daniel Sturley Rivers, lakes & canals
27 Jun 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

A Short Walk Along the Dudley Number Two Canal at Bumble Hole

A grey day yes, but still nice for a short photo-walk along the Dudley Number Two Canal at the beautiful area known as Bumble Hole! Starting at Bumble Hole Bridge going past the Visitor Centre and as far as the south entrance to the 2768m Netherton Tunnel. Back towards  the visitor centre via another path. Photos taken along the way by Daniel Sturley. 

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A Short Walk Along the Dudley Number Two Canal at Bumble Hole





A grey day yes, but still nice for a short photo-walk along the Dudley Number Two Canal at the beautiful area known as Bumble Hole! Starting at Bumble Hole Bridge going past the Visitor Centre and as far as the south entrance to the 2768m Netherton Tunnel. Back towards  the visitor centre via another path. Photos taken along the way by Daniel Sturley. 


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June 27th 2021  Photography by Daniel Sturley

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43 passion points
Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
25 Jun 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of The Mercian - June 2021 Update Two

A great shot of The Mercian from Egg Hill in Frankley shows how the building now dominates the city skyline. So close to fully clad now too! Great photos in this construction update from Elliott and Daniel.

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The Construction of The Mercian - June 2021 Update Two





A great shot of The Mercian from Egg Hill in Frankley shows how the building now dominates the city skyline. So close to fully clad now too! Great photos in this construction update from Elliott and Daniel.


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14th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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14th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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15th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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15th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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16th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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19th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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19th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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19th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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19th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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19th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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21st June. Photography by Elliott Brown

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21st June. Photography by Elliott Brown

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21st June. Photography by Elliott Brown

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24th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

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24th June. Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

There are now over 1200 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

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30 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
23 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!

A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.

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Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!





A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.


Walsall Arboretum

 

I got the train back to Walsall from Birmingham New Street. Starting from platform 4c, the train went via the Soho Loop Line (meaning it bypasses Perry Barr and Aston, and doesn't stop at Hamstead or Bescot Stadium as it was the train to Rugeley Trent Valley). The only stop before Walsall was Tame Bridge Parkway. From the station, it was around a 15 minute walk, via the High Street and Council House in Walsall. Then you have to cross the traffic lights at the busy junction of Broadway North with Littleton Street East. Which was also near Queen Mary's High School. Your first sight of the arboretum is the Arboretum Lodge.

 

History of Walsall Arboretum

The Arboretum was built on the site of Reynolds Hall, which was the home of the Persehouse family from the 16th century. By the 18th century the estate had been inherited by the Littleton family, who developed lime quarries in Walsall. By the 1840s, one of the quarries had been flooded, and was used by local people for bathing and skiing. The then Mayor of Walsall during 1844 drowned in the lake, by then known as Hatherton Lake. By the 1850s, the quarries was being surrounded by villas and Queen Mary's Grammar School.

The Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company was formed in 1870, and plans started to turn the estate into a park. Plans included the building of two lodges, a boat house and bandstand by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. The Arboretum was laid out from 1872 and opened to paying customers by 1874. In the following decade the Arboretum Company ran into financial difficulties, and it was sold to the Town Council, who opened it up as a free public park in 1884.

There was a major refurbishment programme in the park from 2010 until 2015, this included restoring the buildings, the lakes etc, and building a new Visitor Centre. 

A bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome, an author born in Walsall was unveiled in 2016, while a bronze statue of a horse was relocated to the park in 2017.

 

West Midlands Cycle Hire

Before entering the park, I spotted a new West Midlands Cycle Hire docking point on Broadway North, so checked that out first. At least two bikes were not properly in the dock.

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Later after leaving the park, saw a man with a white van, loading some bikes into the van, and making sure the other bikes were properly in the dock. I did not find any other West Midlands Cycle Hire docks in Walsall on this visit.

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The Arboretum Lodge

This is the main entrance to the park at the corner of Lichfield Street and Broadway North. Built in 1872, it was originally the subscription paid for entrance to the park, but has been free to enter here since the local Council bought the park in 1884. It is now near the busy traffic junction on the Walsall ring road. It has a distinctive clock tower.

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As I entered, I saw the bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome and a man riding one of the new West Midlands Cycle Hire bikes out of the park.

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Bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome

The Walsall born author of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (1859 - 1927) was honoured with a bronze bust, close to The Arboretum Lodge. It was sculpted by local artist Phil Kelly, and was unveiled in June 2016. Jerome was a Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, and the Jerome K. Jerome Society lobbied for a sculpture to be made to recognise him, in the town of his birth.

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Jerome K. Jerome was born on the 2nd May 1859 at Belsize House on Bradford Street in Walsall. The Grade II listed house used to be a museum from the 1980s until 2007-08. The Jerome K. Jerome Society is hoping to find a new home for the exhibits that used to be in the museum.

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Hatherton Lake

Originally a quarry pit, it was later flooded, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a lake used for bathing and skiing. There is a boat house on one side (built 1874) and a Bandstand (built 1924) on the other side.

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the bandstand.

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This view of Hatherton Lake towards the boat house.

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Later found an upper path that led back to the lake, and got this view with a distinctive Victorian style lamppost.

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Another view towards the boat house on the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it used to be a quarry pit until the mid 19th Century.

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One more view from the benches viewing area on Broadway North of the lake. Noticed that there is no steps or ramp down to the park from up here, you have to enter via the lodge, or anther gate.

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Boat House

The Boat House is the only Grade II listed building in the park, dating to 1874. Probably designed by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. It is a timber-framed building with hipped tiled roofs and a raised lantern. It has cast-iron columns and a concrete base supports above the water level. It is on Hatherton Lake.

First saw the boat house going in a clockwise direction around the lake.

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Later saw the boat house on the walk back to the lodge,  just after passing the poppy field, and from the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it was opened around 1874-75. Especially with all the modern alterations to it.

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Bandstand

The present bandstand was erected in 1924, replacing a previous structure on the same site that was built in 1873, which was of the conventional octagonal form. It is near Hatherton Lake.

The first view of the bandstand from the opposite side of the lake, shortly after I first arrived in the park.

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The second view going off the upper path, was an area where you could look down at the bandstand and the lake below.

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Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre was opened in November 2015. The opening of the visitor centre was the culmination of the arboretum restoration programme, delivered 2010 - 2015. Within the new building is retained a former agricultural building that pre dates the park. The new centre was wrapped around this key historic feature.

On the left is the Industrial Garden featuring Fluffy the Oss.

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Bronze horse statue of Fluffy the Oss

This statue of a bronze horse was originally commissioned by Walsall Council in the 1990s, and used to be outside of the Civic Centre. But due to vandalism, it was removed to storage. Years later it was restored to the condition it is in now, and installed in the Industrial Garden near the Visitor Centre at the Arboretum in 2017. It was originally sculpted by Marjan Wouda. The garden celebrates Walsall's industrial heritage and is situated by the site of the old limestone workings.

Fluffy the Oss is a feature of the Industrial Garden at Walsall Arboretum.

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The Leckie Building

This building was built from 1902, and opened in 1904 as the Pavillion Refreshment Room. It was designed by H. E. Lavender, and was the focal point of the park. It closed down in 1931, but reopened in 1936 as the  Joseph Leckie Sons of Rest Social Club for older adults which it remains to this day.

First view from the path to the centre of the park, but was a pair of trees in the way of the view.

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Later walking back to the lake and lodge, got a pair of rear views.

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There was a stone dated 1902 at the back of The Leckie Building.

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Ladies Bowl Pavillion

This was originally a refreshment pavillion built in 1934. It was called the Richard B Sutton shelter. It was built of Cotswold Stone under a tiled hipped roof, with a locally supported by circular section rustic stone columns. In 2003 it became the club house for the Ladies Bowls Club.

This was near the halfway point of the park, saw a Welcome to Walsall Arboretum sign / map, and then followed another path back towards the lodge and lake.

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The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden was quite close to The Leckie Building. This was an upper path view of it.

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There was these steps with railings down the middle and a semi circlular arch above.

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Summer Poppy Field

The poppy field is quite a sight to see at Walsall Arboretum each summer. It is close to Broadway North and Arboretum Road, and not far from the bandstand.

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I wasn't the only one to stop and take photos of this poppy field, even dog walkers stopped to take a look!

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A macro zoom in to one of the poppies.

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After I left the park, a look at the poppy field over the wall from Broadway North.

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The best of the rest of the park

Having just passed the Arboretum Lodge, and bust of Jerome K. Jerome, I saw these flower beds to the right of the path.

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The paths around the Arboretum. This one (below) was between Hatherton Lake (right) and the Deep Pond (left).

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While I was checking out the Hatherton Lake, I also saw the small pool to the left of the path. This is also called the Deep Pond. Behind is the villas on Victoria Terrace, which indirectly led to the quarry here closing, and the land being landscaped as a arboretum / park.

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After the Visitor Centre, the long path that runs past The Leckie Building. A lot of tree coverage here.

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A view of the Hoar Brook that flows through the Arboretum. Didn't see much of it, other than this view.

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Near an area called The Lion's Den. Briefly went off the main path to the left. Then back over the area with picnic benches near the Ladies Bowls Pavillion (on the right).

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This path was after the halfway point of the park, and the start of the walk back to the lake and lodge. Lots of trees, after all this is an arboretum!

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Some hills as the path goes around a curve, and more trees. Perhaps this landscape was carved out as the quarry, then later grassed over from the 1870s.

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Now on the path that follows the wall (on the left) near Arboretum Road. Down below (to the right) is Hatherton Lake and the Hoar Brook.

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Eventually the path goes back down towards the lake, as you can see here.

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After I left the park I saw WM bus 6600. It was on the National Express West Midlands, Black Country Bus Rally from Walsall to Wolverhampton. This was the only bus I saw. It was on Broadway North crossing the lights onto Littleton Street East (the Walsall ring road). Click the link above for the photos.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
22 Jun 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - June 2021 Update Two

Work is progressing fast on floors 6 and 7, getting close to halfway up now. 15 photos in this construction update all taken on 19th June.

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - June 2021 Update Two





Work is progressing fast on floors 6 and 7, getting close to halfway up now. 15 photos in this construction update all taken on 19th June.


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Photography by Daniel Sturley

See more in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Construction Photography

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40 passion points
Elliott Brown Transport
21 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

WM 6600 bus in Walsall

On Saturday 19th June 2021, National Express West Midlands had a vintage bus rally around the Black Country. From Walsall to Wolverhampton. I travelled up to Walsall by train and went to Walsall Arboretum. After leaving, I only saw the WM 6600 bus on Broadway North, before it went up Littleton Street East. I did not spot any other heritage buses around.

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WM 6600 bus in Walsall





On Saturday 19th June 2021, National Express West Midlands had a vintage bus rally around the Black Country. From Walsall to Wolverhampton. I travelled up to Walsall by train and went to Walsall Arboretum. After leaving, I only saw the WM 6600 bus on Broadway North, before it went up Littleton Street East. I did not spot any other heritage buses around.


WM Travel bus 6600

I was aware of National Express West Midlands having a vintage bus rally in the Black Country. This included their modern buses in the heritage liveries. This was on Saturday 19th June 2021.

Got the train up to Walsall Station, and walked to Walsall Arboretum. After a walk around the park, I exited from the Arboretum Lodge that I entered earier, I saw a vintage bus on Broadway North.

 

I quickly got some photos of it while it was at the traffic lights, but was a car in the way.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was no time to wait for the car to move out of the way.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was able to get one more shot of the bus with licence plate no: NOC 600R as it passed the lights. With route 39 on the rear. It was heading onto Littleton Street East. These roads are part of the Walsall ring road.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

I'd previously seen the same bus (WM Travel 6600, NOC 600R) at the Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day, back in November 2018. When it was displaying as route 74 to Wednesbury via Wednesbury (The modern 74 bus route goes from Birmingham to Dudley via West Bromwich).

dndimg alt="Yardley Wood bus garage 2018" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yardley Wood Bus Garage Open Day 2018 (2) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Look out for a Walsall Arboretum post coming soon!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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