The Regeneration Game

This is something BrownhillsBob has mentioned on more than one occasion , and several separate conversations with friends and my dear better half prompted me to vary my Sunday morning cycle route this morning for some illustrative pictures to accompany a rant. They’re only cameraphone snaps, but they serve the purpose.

I’d like to get one thing out of the way first though: Some of the things that have been done in the name of regeneration in and around Walsall Wood have been very worthwhile: I don’t wish to rubbish the efforts made by some people (for example, Mike Flower, despite having poor taste in political parties, has done some excellent work for his constituents). The new paths, benches, and railings around the corners of Coppice Rd, Brookland Rd, High St, and the Library are pretty good (though the ones at Brookland Rd have an unfortunate effect of reducing visibility at the junction).

My point here is that Walsall MBC have, if you’ll excuse the expression, pissed (or, given a picture below, should that be puked?) forty grand up the wall providing artwork that now makes the environment look worse, not better, and certainly hasn’t regenerated my area in any way I can see. In fact, the only regeneration that seems to have occurred has been in Luke Perry‘s wallet.

On with the tour.

First of all, the pit head gear:

replica pithead gear

The replica pithead gear just off Coppice Rd. The industrial estate in the background occupies the site of the real one, closed in 1965.

and a closer view of one leg, with anti-climb paint:

A closer view

A closer view of one leg. Note the replacement bolts.

That leg has had some bolts replaced: maybe the scrap dealers don’t have a stihl saw. The bolts on the leg behind have a blob of weld securing them.

I’m now returning to my original view that it looks like a pile of scrap: but more of that later. Not clearly visible is the NCB lettering on the flag on the top. As one friend put it “funny, considering they’re the ones that shut it”.

Anyway- onwards:

the rusty metal crowd at the bottom of Brookland Rd

A close view of the oxidising crowd at the junction of Brookland Rd & High St

and a bit further down the High St, something both pleasant and useful on our ‘villiage green’:

benches on high st

The benches and information plaque on the High St.

and just a few yards further:

Man, whippet, and vomit.

On the corner of St John's close. This has a decorative effect to the rust, caused by vomit.

This is, so I’m told, a reproduction or interpretation of a scene in one of the windows of St John’s church. Presumably, the glass doesn’t have decorative vomit rust. Sums it all up for Walsall Wood really. Off to the canal:

wot no fish?

The angler, rusty, and without Bob the fish.

The angler has now been without the copper fish ‘Bob’ for 18 months. Anyone care to bet that it will never be put back?

That kind of sums it all up. We’ve got 40 grands worth of steel, rusting and looking tatty. It’s vomit-stained, graffitied, and damaged. It serves no purpose and actually detracts from the environment, rather than adding to it. It looks like scrap, as BrownhillsBob pointed out, but now, it’s even worse.

I realise the rusting is presumably deliberate- but then we have the half-painted pit gear, with bright, new (stainless?) bolts as well. It’s just shit really. Meanwhile, the promised resurfacing of the east side of the High St has been quietly forgotten. If this is regeneration, you can keep it. Anyone got a few tins of hammerite smooth?

[edit: Have a read of this. Not Damaged? “Patina? Please…..]

2 Responses to “The Regeneration Game”

  1. The Regeneration Game (via Pigblog) « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog Says:

    […] Read more at Pigblog… […]

  2. Nick Elliott Says:

    Even the park area is ‘cluttered up’ with completely unnecessary ‘street funriture’..! It seems like a trend (particularly by Walsall council) to stick as much clutter as possible into sites where theres traffic (person or car)…Talk about Walsall councils ‘Bad Taste Department’…!!