Friday, November 23

Another little milestone

Landmarks have been all too infrequent on the WME galleries over the last few months, but hot on the heels of Walsall's century, I can now report that WME Birmingham has joined WME Wolverhampton in the exclusive 200 Club.

WME Brum had been perched on 199 photos for ages, so the milestone was due to be reached sooner or later, and finally we've limped across the line with a belated set of updates. The photos in question offer more views of Blake Street Station, a shot of platform 1 at Aston, a look at Granville Street Bridge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and at Newhall Street Bridge on the Birmingham & Fazeley, and finally another in the series of route 103 at Woodgate Valley photos.

Whether things are gathering pace updates-wise its hard to say, but just over the last couple of weeks there have been some encouraging steps in the right direction. So in my time-honoured tradition, I won't offer any promises other than to do my best to keep things ticking over.

STOP PRESS: These landmarks are falling like dominoes at the moment! I made a little update to WME Coventry this morning in the form of a photo of Jubilee Crescent shops, and it turned out this was the 50th photo on the gallery. Another little sign that things are heading in the right direction...

Thursday, November 15

More Exploration Action

A couple of recent outings to tell you about...

Firstly an outing with Rog last Saturday, and a circular walk from Stourbridge to Hagley and back. The walk took us through Oldswinford and Pedmore, then to Hagley Station before lunch and a pint in Hagley Village. After a little loop of Clent, we returned to Pedmore via Wychbury Hill and finished the afternoon off with visits to the Foley Arms in Pedmore and the Cross at Oldswinford. We reckon we walked about 8 or 9 miles all told, and got some useful photos and some not so useful blisters!

This was followed with a solo adventure on Monday, focusing on Great Bridge and Glebefields. Starting at Bilston with photos of the newly-extended 283 route, I moved on to Great Bridge for a look at the library and Sheepwash Nature Reserve. A ride on the 644 was followed by lunch at Tipton, warming me up on a cold November afternoon. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I then embarked on another walk - not as long as Hagley thankfully as I still hadn't fully recovered from Saturday's exertions. The walk took me to Central Avenue to try some 402 shots, then along Powis Avenue for a look at the Harrier pub and Jubilee Park. Then it was into the Glebefields estate for photos of the library and the Sportsman, followed by a chat with a bus driver at Princes End, the final leg into Rocket Pool and back to Bilston for more 283 photos. Another in the growing list of cracking trips I've done recently.

Friday, November 9

A Century for WME Walsall

Updates to the WME galleries have been thin on the ground to say the least recently, but at long last I have some positive news to report - and another WME landmark to celebrate.

WME Walsall has always seemed the ugly duckling of the main WME sites when compared with Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Dudley and Sandwell - even Staffordshire has got more photos to its name! That might just change slightly now, as Walsall can proudly hold its head high as the latest member of the 100 Club.

The milestone was achieved with the addition of a few more photos, namely a shot of the 377 at Walsall Bus Station, a couple of views of Brownhills Market Footbridge, two shots of the Foley Arms at Streetly and a glimpse of Forsters Bridge on the Walsall Canal.

These additions mark the beginning of a clearout phase on WME1 as I want to change the way in which the galleries are updated. The clearout has also seen some action on WME Wolverhampton, with new additions including Bilston Library, a couple more Bradley Canal Arm shots, the Mitre pub at Bradmore and another in the series of Route 8 shots at Long Knowle.

I hope to fill you in on the changing approach to updating WME in due course, so keep an eye out for that in future postings.

Wednesday, November 7

That Was The Week That Was - Part Two

It's taken me a while but I've finally got round to filling you in on that Rog trip I mentioned - and what a trip it was, with a sprinkling of Withymoor Village, a dash of Dudley Wood and a good old dose of Delph pubs.
  • Withymoor Village - on a mission to get photos of the 297 by Sainsbury's, unfortunately my shots weren't coming out very well. Had a little walk around the estate before heading up to Silver End for our bus into Dudley.
  • 282 - the bus happened by as we waited at Dudley, so we decided to give the route a chance. A nice ride on an Optare Solo, around Netherton, down Yew Tree Hill and then into Dudley Wood.
  • Dudley Wood - a chance to visit Dudley Wood Library before the axe falls on it courtesy of Dudley Council, then a nice drink in The Woodman and a walk past the site of the old Speedway stadium.
  • 208 - another route by accident, the bus turned up at Cradley Heath and provided a ride through Old Hill to Brickhouse Farm.
  • Brickhouse Farm - a look at the Brickhouse pub, then an unsuccessful hunt for food as we couldn't find the local shops.
  • Windmill End - we eventually got lunch at Windmill End, a nice spot overlooking the canal interchange at the Bumblehole. Got a few photos of the various turnover bridges, with The Dry Dock and Wheatsheaf pubs also featuring amongst the piccies.
  • The Delph - after a brief call at Merry Hill, we spent the afternoon at the Delph sampling some of the many local pubs. Having a pint of Batham's at the Vine is a Black Country rite of passage, and very enjoyable it was too. We also tried our hand at pool at the Dock & Iron, whereby I proved myself to be completely useless, albeit with a strange talent for potting the cue ball - Rog was better, but only just!
  • Withymoor Village - I was determined to get the 297 shot, and finally succeeded at the umpteenth time of asking.

A great way to round off an excellent week of exploration - it was a proper Black Country outing, loads of fun and with some intriguing bus routes and photo opportunities taking pride of place. It all sets me up nicely for any exploring I might do in November...