- Starting with WME Birmingham, and a new collection that carries a fair bit of personal significance. Sutton Coldfield is a place I have a lot of affection for, having been a continual thread throughout my exploration history. This all began back in the 80s, visiting the town with my aunt and cousin, calling in at the McDonalds on the corner of Lower Parade. Fast forward into the late 1990s, and Sutton Coldfield was one of my first ports of call during the Stuart outings, with memories of the 104, 377 and the chip shop on Beeches Walk. Sutton has also played a major role in my solo trips, including my early University/Centrocard trips exploring the railway station, and then there's the Rog outings to Roughley and Streetly - such a lot of personal history, so many memories. The new Exploring Sutton Coldfield collection makes a start in terms of showcasing the town and these memories, but with a photo each of the Gracechurch Centre and the Library I feel I have barely scratched the surface. Even so, I'm delighted that the town finally has a collection all to itself.
- Moving onto WME Solihull, and another new local collection - Exploring Kingshurst. The photos concentrate on my May 2005 visit to the area, rather than my visit just the other week, and provide views of the Babbs Mill Nature Reserve and the River Cole. The collection provides a much-needed injection of local area photos, meaning Exploring Marston Green finally has some company - and about time too!
- The final set of updates involve WME Walsall, beginning with more local additions, this time to an existing collection - Exploring Pelsall. Photos of the Ocean chip shop and the Swan pub add further pieces to the Pelsall jigsaw - I particularly like the chip shop shot, it was a nice bonus photo back in June 2005 and now has added significance after Rog and I visited for some chips here last November. I've also added two views of Adam & Eve Bridge to the Wyrley & Essington Canal, giving me the chance to eulogise further about one of my favourite canal haunts, the stretch from Lane Head to Dudley Fields past the back end of Rough Wood. I guess I'm just in a eulogising mood!
It may only have been a small update, but it was undoubtedly a useful one, especially with regard to adding some more local stuff in amongst the buses and trains. As updates go, this batch was also more intimate than usual, getting me back into the swing of things and giving me the chance to ramble on about special little locations. These personal connections may seem somewhat trivial, but they lie at the heart of my exploration - from revisiting favourite spots from the past to discovering new places and making more great memories, thats what its all about, thats what I'm all about. It does me good to just remind myself of that from time to time...