Thursday, 13 April 2017

Walsall

Off to Walsall in the West Midlands. I love these old advertising clocks, especially when the originally wording is left in place when the premises changes hands. Multiprint UK is probably a fine company, but I doubt that it prints handbags and brief cases. Although perhaps it is looking to the future of 3D printing. (But now having done some research, I see that Multiprint UK's parent company is of course Walsall Leather Co Ltd).


This building can be found at the northern edge of the town centre, on the aptly named Townend Road.


Shame the clock isn't working, but at least it is painted in a fabulous shade of blue.



Apart from the clocks, the purpose of my Walsall trip was to visit the New Art gallery. And for two reasons - firstly to visit an exhibition of Idris Khan's work ("A World Within", on until 7 May 2017), and secondly to support this wonderful gallery which is going through funding cuts. So if you get the chance, please pay a visit. You can't miss it - it is right opposite the blue clock above.



Back to the clocks. This is the Victorian Arcade.


And here is a clock!


Okay, so it is a modern one, but still nice to see anyway.




To the south end of the town centre now. A steepish hill and a few steps (which, with a swollen ankle at the time, felt like a major trek to base camp) leads us to St Matthew's church.



Now if you want old in Walsall, look no further than St Matthew's. Established on this site since at least 1200, the church was rebuilt in 1462, and then underwent further major restoration in 1821.


St Matthew's has had a clock since 1466, but the current version by J Smiths and Sons of Clerkenwell was installed in 1865.




This next clock sits on top of the Old Square Shopping Centre building, although it looks like it was originally something else. Anyway, there's that lovely shade of blue again.




Next up is the Hatherton Centre, which houses a number of Walsall Council services.



This is quite a nice brick building, not particularly stunning but not unpleasant on the eye. Unfortunately the clock face has sustained some considerable damage.




The impressive clock tower gatehouse below forms the entrance to the Arboretum, which is an oasis of peace and beauty in a busy town. The road junction that this gatehouse sits on must be one of the most pedestrian unfriendly in the country, but the clock leads you into another world.




The park was opened by the Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company in 1874, but was subsequently taken over by the council in 1881, whereupon admission became free.

The clock itself was installed in 1886.


Incredibly there were plans in 1967 for a new roundabout and flyover at this busy junction, which would have required demolition of the clock tower. Thank goodness sense prevailed.






At the far end of the park, by the café, stands this lovely blue clock.



This is not just an object of interest, a sit is clearly a working clock.


It was originally used to help maintain the timetable of either the buses or the trams.


Opposite the Arboretum, the clock on the High School can just be glimpsed.


Going back towards the town centre we pass the library, originally opened in 1906 with a 1965 extension. This clock is situated within the entrance.



We are now back in the town centre, with one of the modern old-looking clock columns.



Up above the Vision Express shop are the offices of First Personnel, who have a clock in their corner window.




And now for our final clock in Walsall.




I have seen reference to this being the old bus station building, which would make sense as it is next door to the modern bus station.







Bye bye Walsall.