Friday, June 26

WME Update Digest: June 2009

Another month is fast disappearing into the ether, and suddenly we're halfway through 2009 already. I guess its time then for another summary of WME update action...
  • What's all this for starters - an update on WME Warwickshire? Surely it cannot be! Well, the seemingly impossible has indeed occurred, and some new additions have finally arrived after a staggering 12 month hiatus. The photos concerned are views of the 222 Stratford Park and Ride, the 63 bus calling at Rugby, and a new Exploring Keresley Village collection focusing on the local community centre. I'm just pleased to see this oft-forgotten gallery finally moving again - its been way, way too long...
  • From that bombshell we move to another of the stragglers that has burst back into life. WME Coventry is celebrating the inclusion of new canal content as Bridge 8 makes its first appearance on the Coventry Canal. A photo of the old No. 4 route at Binley is also worth a mention, and there are additional views of Canley Station and my old friend the 34 bus at Tile Hill South terminus.
  • Not to be outdone, WME Solihull has continued its own mini-revival. I thus offer you a Stagecoach bus on layover near Birmingham International Station, along with views of the 26 at Kingshurst terminus and the 17 at Marston Green.
  • It's been a solid month at WME Birmingham too. The Maggies pub has muscled its way in on Exploring Hall Green, whilst the Great Stone has increased its existing presence on Exploring Northfield. I can also report additions to Northfield Station (car park and train views) and Exploring Yardley Wood (another look at the distinctive shops on Highfield Road).
  • To WME Walsall, where canal updates have been particularly in vogue. The wonderfully named Porkett's Bridge accompanies a second shot of Forster's Bridge onto the Walsall Canal collection, whilst the Wyrley and Essington receives two pretty views taken near Anchor Bridge in Brownhills.
  • Elsewhere, there have been solitary bus additions to WME Wolverhampton (the 530 at Rocket Pool) and WME Telford (99 at Telford Bus Station). Lowe's Butchers has squeaked in to Exploring Worfield on WME Shropshire; likewise, a view of a large lock at Stourport Basin has nestled in on WME Worcestershire's Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal collection. And finally, one of my favourite pubs has at long last taken its rightful place in the West Midlands Exploration pantheon of photography, so its a big thumbs up to the Beacon Hotel as it settles in nicely amongst the Exploring Sedgley offerings on WME Dudley.
Another constructive month then, its been heartening to see some of my less developed galleries making decent progress. July could be a challenging month as technical issues could prevent me from making as many updates as I would like. I'll do my best to keep things ticking over, and will be sure to keep you posted with developments right here on WME Blogspot.

Saturday, June 20

A June Assortment

Despite a lack of posts here recently, I have been fairly busy with a series of mini-adventures. Let's bring you up to date with the latest exploration action...

Saturday 6th June: Monsoon conditions meant that a planned Warwickshire outing with Rog and Woody became a West Midlands local visiting Bilston and West Bromwich. The weather meant photos were mostly out of the question, but we did get to sample a selection of pubs whilst attempting to stay dry. Wetherspoon's featured prominently thanks to the Moon Under Water in Wolverhampton and the Billiard Hall in West Bromwich, whilst the Bellwether in Wednesbury provided Bruce with the chance for a family photo. Other than Wetherspoon's, the Star and Garter on West Brom High Street proved something of an experience with Woody comprehensively beating Rog at pool. My favourite pub of the day though was the Trumpet in Bilston, a great Holden's local with a nice jazz theme. One bonus outcome of the day was that the photos I did take allowed for the arrival on WME1 of the Rog Files 2009.

Monday 15th June: Going local in Wolverhampton with a visit to Low Hill Library. The library was purpose built and opened in 1930, and provides a distinctive landmark on Showell Circus close to the local shops and the Bushbury Arms pub. I really enjoyed sampling the friendly atmosphere and getting a few shots inside one of the most recognisable buildings in Wolverhampton.

Thursday 18th June: A lunchtime adventure, heading across to Bradley Lane on the Metro and then investigating the local estates of Moxley. The walk allowed for photos of the Travellers Rest and Fiery Holes pubs, and I also found a curious pyramid shaped plinth by the playing fields that marked the location of Iron Mad Wilkinson's former ironworks. Moorcroft Wood and the 680 bus terminus on Charnwood Close also made welcome appearances as Walsall finally got some long overdue attention.

Friday 19th June: More lunchtime escapades courtesy of the Midland Metro, this time staying on one stop further to alight at Wednesbury Parkway. I decide to track down the Walsall Canal, accessing the towpath via the alleyway up from Bannister Road. There's a somewhat overgrown footbridge to investigate, then I follow the cut up past the Bush and round to Blakeley Wood Road. The outing is concluded with a stroll around Ocker Hill that yielded photos of the Waggon & Horses (home of Toll End Brewery, one for a future Rog and Woody trip perhaps?) and the surprise discovery of the old Crown and Cushion pub on Gospel Oak Road - the building is now sadly a shell with half the roof missing.

So there you have it, that's what I've been up to in June so far. There have been a few site updates as well - I hope to bring you further news of those in a forthcoming digest post - and there's still time left in the month to attempt some extra outings too...