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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
25 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Longbridge Colours: a series of five steel sculptural barriers under Bristol Road South, near Austin Park

From Austin Park in Longbridge, a path has been opened up under the Bristol Road South Bridge on what was originally the Halesowen railway line, and there used to be a station on the other side of the bridge. Local artist Stuart Whipps has designed five steel sculptural barriers in the archways separating the bridge from the River Rea. Based on the 1979 'Mini City' upholstery.

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Longbridge Colours: a series of five steel sculptural barriers under Bristol Road South, near Austin Park





From Austin Park in Longbridge, a path has been opened up under the Bristol Road South Bridge on what was originally the Halesowen railway line, and there used to be a station on the other side of the bridge. Local artist Stuart Whipps has designed five steel sculptural barriers in the archways separating the bridge from the River Rea. Based on the 1979 'Mini City' upholstery.


Starting from Austin Park in Longbridge on Saturday afternoon, 22nd January 2022. Instead of going to the exit gate on Bristol Road South,  I headed down to the footbridge over the River Rea.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

River Rea view towards Longbridge Town Centre, with South & City College Birmingham (Longbridge Campus) {formerly Bournville College} on the left.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The River Rea under the Bristol Road South Bridge. The water looks a bit dirty under here.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This used to be the Halesowen railway line. Heading under the Bristol Road South Bridge in Longbridge. On the left is the five sculptural panels by Stuart Whipps (born in 1979).

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Information sign all about the artwork located here called Longbridge Colours (2015). Unveiled in March 2021 by local Northfield MP Gary Sambrook. There is also thoughts on the former factory from Colin Corke, Vicar of Longbridge.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Longbridge Colours based on the upholstery of the 1979 'Mini City' made here at Longbridge. Designed and made by Stuart Whipps in 2015, but installed in 2021.

Colours used include: Vermillion Red, Ermine White, Pageant Blue, Snapdragon Yellow, Russet Brown, Demin Blue, Reynard Bronze, Java Green, Champagne Beige and Black.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exiting onto the other side of Bristol Road South. Approximately at the former site of the Longbridge (Halesowen railway) Station site. The building was derelict by 2010 to 2011, and was demolished by 2012 or 2013.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The River Rea from the other side of the Bristol Road South Bridge.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

First time exiting from this path. This used to be a British Rail gate that was locked. Area overgrown. Site was cleared by 2018, but it was only opened up to pedestrians and cyclists in 2021.

dndimg alt="Austin Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path BRS Austin Park 22012022 (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
24 Jan 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Garden of Memory at Warstone Lane Cemetery

Did you know that there used to be funerary chapel at Warstone Lane Cemetery? Dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, it was built from 1847 to 1848, but was badly damaged during WW2 and was demolished in the 1950s. During the 2019 to 2021 restoration works, the site was found again, and was turned into a Garden of Memory. Railings and gates removed during the war was also replaced.

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Garden of Memory at Warstone Lane Cemetery





Did you know that there used to be funerary chapel at Warstone Lane Cemetery? Dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, it was built from 1847 to 1848, but was badly damaged during WW2 and was demolished in the 1950s. During the 2019 to 2021 restoration works, the site was found again, and was turned into a Garden of Memory. Railings and gates removed during the war was also replaced.


Garden of Memory

Warstone Lane Cemetery Chapel was dedicated to St Michael and All Angels, and was the funerary chapel, which once dominated the landscape. It had stained glass windows manufactured by the Chance Brothers. It was built around 1847 to 1848. It was demolished in the 1950s having been damaged by bombing of the Jewellery Quarter during WWII. The cemetery was already in decline, and damage can still be seen on many memorials in this part of the cemetery. Restoration work took place from 2019 to 2021, and the footprint of the chapel was recreated as a Garden of Memory, so it can once again be served as a space for the community to congregate, contemplate and celebrate life.

Photos below taken during January 2022. Headed into the cemetery via the open gate on Pitsford Street on Saturday 15th January 2022, while checking out Hockley Mills near Jewellery Quarter Station.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Vyse Street Gate

The cemetery was originally surrounded by cast-iron gothic railings which were removed in the post war period, when the chapel was demolished. The railings and gate posts were replaced during the 2019 to 2021 restoration works. The Vyse Street frontage has new cast-iron railings which were matched to the original design using archival drawings and confirmed by small pieces found during the restoration work.

Photos below taken during January 2022.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem (Jan 2022) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View below of the new painted railings and stone pilars on Vyse Street, seen during August 2020.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem Vyse St (Aug 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

View below of the new painted railings on Warstone Lane, seen during November 2020.

dndimg alt="Warstone Lane Cemetery" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warstone Ln Cem Vyse St (Aug 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Environment & green action
23 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

This is a wonderful walk or cycle ride in a wonderful Park. There is so much to enjoy including the Swan Pool, Sandwell Priory ruins and Sandwell Park Farm.  Enjoy with our compliments.

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Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail





Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

This is a wonderful walk or cycle ride in a wonderful Park. There is so much to enjoy including the Swan Pool, Sandwell Priory ruins and Sandwell Park Farm.  Enjoy with our compliments.


To get to Sandwell Country Park

If you are travelling from outside Sandwell, catch the West Midlands Metro from Birmingham or Wolverhampton to West Bromwich Central. Alternatively catch the no 74 bus to West Bromwich Bus Station.

Note:  We recommend you buy a day ticket on the My Metro app before you travel.

dndimg alt="West Bromwich Central Tram Stop" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 24 West Brom Central (Aug 2021).jpg" />Photography by Elliott Brown

Outside the station you could hire a West Midlands Cycle bike if you do not fancy walking.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire West Bromwich" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH West Brom (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" />Photography by Elliott Brown

Turn left onto the West Bromwich Ringway, then pass West Bromwich Bus Station. Turn right onto St Michael Street, continue onto New Street into the New Square shopping centre. Perhaps stop for coffee.

If you missed West Midlands Cycle Hire before, there is another docking point outside of Central St Michael's Sixth Form College.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH West Brom (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Cycle Hire at Central St Michael's Sixth Form College (August 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue through New Square and turn left towards Cronehill Linkway Car Park. Next walk up Cronehills Linkway, stop at the lights and cross over the Cronehills Interchange Bridge.

dndimg alt="Cronehills Interchange Bridge" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Cronehills IB West Brom (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Cronehills Interchange Bridge. Photography by Elliott Brown

Near The Expressway follow the path onto Sandwell Road North, then onto Taylors Lane and Woodward Street until you get to Dagger Lane.

Turn right onto Salters Lane and continue heading down to the gate.

Enter Sandwell Valley Country Park. 

At the gates, enter Sandwell Valley Country Park.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" />Salters Lane entrance to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue along Salters Lane through the park. The path/road here is a bit rough.

Along the way you will pass the fields of Sandwell Park Farm.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley cows" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Sandwell Park Farm. Photography by Elliott Brown

You will then cross the first bridge over the M5 motorway.

dndimg alt="Bridge 1 M5 Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" />Bridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

You are now on the other side of Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Now turn left onto Beacon Way and follow the path all the way around the Swan Pool.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" />Swan Pool at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After you've gone around the Swan Pool, turn left which takes you back onto the main path /road towards Park Lane. You will pass the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

At the end of this path, turn right alongside Park Lane, heading to the gate.

Note: If you want to leave the park here, you can, but there are no pavements on Park Lane.

dndimg alt="Park Lane gate Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" />Park Lane gate at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Let's continue along the path towards the ruins of Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall.

They were built in the 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich.

Located next to the 'Sand Well', a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name, it was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 during the Reformation, and later demolished.

It was excavated between 1982 and 1988.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Sandwell Priory Ruins at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Next to the Priory is the ruins of Sandwell Hall. The land was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished the existing buildings to build his house.

The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Remains of Sandwell Hall at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After this, continue along the path, and then cross over the second bridge over the M5 motorway.

Alternatively if you have time, check out the Ice House Pool and Cascade Pool.

There is also another path that takes you back towards the Swan Pool.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="https://www.birminghamweare.com/uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Second bridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After the bridge, there is a path where you can take your exit towards Europa Avenue, or you can continue onto Dartmouth Park or Sandwell Park Farm.

The Europa Avenue exit goes past a Mercure Hotel near M5, Junction 1 and The Expressway.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="https://www.birminghamweare.com/uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Leaving Sandwell Valley Country Park at Europa Avenue. Photography by Elliott Brown

From Europa Avenue, take Beeches Road to Birmingham Road. If you want to catch a bus instead of the tram, the 74 stops on Birmingham Road.

Here you can either go down Roebuck Street or Roebuck Lane. Go onto Devereux Road, and get onto West Bromwich Parkway.

This is the end of the trail.  We hope you enjoyed it!

If you need a tram, follow the path to Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Look out for trams.

dndimg alt="West Bromwich Parkway" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 19 West Brom Pkwy (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Metro tram at West Bromwich Parkway. Photography by Elliott Brown

It shouldn't be too long to wait for a tram at Kenrick Park Tram Stop.

dndimg alt="Kenrick Park Tram Stop" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 23 Kenrick Pk (Aug 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Metro tram arriving at Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Photography by Elliott Brown

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50 passion points
Elliott Brown Sport & leisure
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway

On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.

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Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway





On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.


Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club

The Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club, also called Bournville Model Yacht & Powerboat Club, was founded in the year 1900 as the Bournville Model Yachting Club at Rowheath Park. By 1926, George Cadbury Jr (son of the late George Cadbury who died in 1922) commissioned an area of marshland on the now famous Bournville Village Trust, to be reclaimed, and a concrete pool of even depth was created. The surrounding park is called The Valley Parkway by Birmingham City Council. The club has their own Boat House on site, and regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and Sunday afternoons for model power boating. They sometimes also meet on other days for model boating.

 

26th March 2017

That Sunday there was model RNLI  powerboats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th October 2018

On a Thursday morning walk through The Valley Parkway, I only managed to get one photo of a model yacht in the lake. See the project gallery for more photos. They don't usually sail the model yachts on Thursday's. At weekends they regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and on weekdays, they meet on Wednesday mornings, and sometimes Tuesday afternoons. It's the power boat sessions that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Oct 2018) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

15th August 2021

A Sunday morning walk along Bournville Lane, to see if I could see any activity from the Bournville Model Yacht Club. Luckily, there was a whole bunch of them out at Bournville Lake, with a lot of model yachts, as you can see in the gallery below. The members seem to be mostly retired men and women.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
09 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021

I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.

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A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021





I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.


Previous Sandwell Valley Country Park post from my visit of July 2017.

 

Sandwell Valley Country Park, 4th August 2021

It's been around two years since I last got off the tram at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. And since then we have had the pandemic. By late July 2021, the Midland Metro Alliance closed the extension from Bull Street to Stephenson Street (so all stops to Library are closed until October 2021 for track relaying works). So I booked my day ticket in the My Metro app before I set out, and travelled to Bull Street Tram Stop.

I got the tram to West Bromwich Central, and after a coffee and toastie at Costa at New Square Shopping Centre, started walking towards Sandwell Valley Country Park (via the Cronehills Interchange Bridge which crosses The Expressway). I avoided Dartmouth Park, and got to Dagger Lane, and headed down Salters Lane to get into the park.

 

Sandwell Park Farm

Welcome to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Home to Sandwell Park Farm. This sign seen from Salters Lane. Sandwell Valley Children's Fun Fair is to the right.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I almost walked up the road to the car park, but instead got back on Salters Lane towards the gate and went through it into the park.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path / road to walk on was quite rough. On the right saw a field full of cows.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These flowers growing in the field are Helicrysum arenarium, according to a scan of Google Lens on my phone.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further down, another field was full of sheep.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The rough path continues on towards the first bridge that crosses over the M5 motorway.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Before I crossed the bridge, saw another path, this one runs around Hillhouse Farm

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

M5 bridge crossing no 1

The first bridge over the M5 motorway. It is a Weak Bridge, so only vehicles of 7.5T mgw or less. Assume it is used by lightweight farm or park vehicles?

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The bridge rises over the M5 motorway as I walked towards the other half of the park.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A lot of traffic on the M5 below. Heading towards the end of the M5 and M6, Junction 8. Left lane, M6 south, right lanes, M6 north.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below towards M5, Junction 1 for West Bromwich. There was also a sign for Birmingham Park & Ride (either train or tram). If train then it probably means either The Hawthorns or Smethwick Galton Bridge.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Swan Pool

This is the largest lake at Sandwell Valley Country Park. It is called the Swan Pool (alternative names include Wasson or Warstone). Used for sailing. Home of ducks, geese and swans. Paths around the lake for walks, taking your dog for a walk. Also used by cyclists.

A walk around Swan Pool, along the paths in a clockwise direction.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some swans in the lake, near decking used for fishing.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was Canada geese in the lake as well as some Greylag geese.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After leaving Swan Pool, got a couple more photos from the path towards Park Lane, near the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Path from Park Lane

After leaving Swan Pool I was next heading towards Park Lane. I eventually got to this gate and crossed over, but couldn't see any pavements to safely walk to The Hawthorns, so instead followed the path towards the ruins instead.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking back to the Park Lane exit, behind me, I was approaching the ruins of both Sandwell Priory (closed 1525) and Sandwell Hall (demolished 1928).

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sandwell Priory Ruins

The remains of Sandwell Priory, a medieval Benedictine monastery, which was excavated between 1982 and 1988. Some of the finds are on display at a small museum at Sandwell Park Farm. It was built in the mid 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich. It was located next to the 'Sand Well' a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name. In the first couple of centuries there was probably hundreds of monks here, but by the second half of the 14th century, there was only about one or two monks at the priory. After a recovery in the 15th century, the numbers declined again by the time Cardinal Wolsey closed it in 1525. By this date there was only the Prior and one monk, and many buildings were in a poor state.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sandwell Hall Ruins

Sandwell Hall was built in top of Sandwell Priory in 1705. The site was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished most of the existing buildings to build a new house. It was built in brick and had towers on three corners. In the 19th century a portico supported by columns was added to the front of the hall, and the hall was extended to the west. The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

M5 bridge crossing no 2

After seeing the ruins of both Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall, the path leads directly to another footbridge over the M5 motorway. Again a Weak Bridge for vehicles with 7.5T mgw.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I wasn't expecting to cross the M5 twice, as I originally thought of leaving the park at Park Lane (but no pavements).

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Busy traffic on the M5 below. Was a 40 mph limit towards the junction with the M6.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Southbound towards Worcester and Bristol was fine, just northbound to the end of the M5 looked congested.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exit to Europa Avenue

After crossing over the second M5 bridge, I left via the path towards Europa Avenue. Found a housing estate with various cul-de-sacs. The path emerged onto a cul-de-sac called St John's Close. Saw this Welcome sign.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now on Europa Avenue, saw this Sandwell Valley Community Noticeboard next to a red post box.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing a Mercure Hotel, I took a route towards Kenrick Park Tram Stop, via Beeches Road, Birmingham Road, Roebuck Lane and Devereux Road. Found a path onto the West Bromwich Parkway, and Kenrick Park was a short walk away. The tram back had no free seats, so stood all the way back to Bull Street.

 

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

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