Tuesday 14 March 2023

Come walk with me and finishing a couple of ornaments

I have to be in the mood to take on the ornament fully finishing process, no matter how many times I do it I still don't find it easy, so best not leave it until I have more than a couple to do.

If you recall I wrongly thought I was stitching on 32 count for my January ornament, the one on the left, and It was larger than I wanted so for February's ornament I found some polka dot linen in my stash that I knew for certain was 32 count.  I am much happier with this one.  I shamelessly copied the lovely Carol, of Stitching Dreams and omitted the section he was standing on  so that it would fit into the oval shape.  If I stitch any more from that booklet I will definitely be doing the same again, they look so much better and the process is easier.

Both are from book No.80 of The Prairie Schooler Old World Santas.

(That red bow looks quite bright in the photo, it's really not the bright, must be the light today)

I can't call myself British if I don't mention the weather and seeing as It was the main topic in the news I have to show you what greeted me when I opened the curtains last Thursday morning, yes we had some more snow.  What a pretty sight, unfortunately it didn't last, by mid afternoon it was all gone, I've never seen snow disappear so fast, lol.

Since then we have has a mixed bag of rain, sun and wind.  It was dry on Saturday morning though so I went for another jaunt along the canal, this time taking the opposite direction to the one I shared in my last post.  This one is the Dudley No 1 canal which is on the opposite side of the road to the Stourbridge canal walk I did last week.  
I did a bit of reading after last weeks walk, as you do, and thought I'd share a bit of history of this particular section of the canal
There was an original plan in 1775 for a single canal but that bill was opposed and so the the project was split in two and resubmitted to Parliament and were authorised separately.  They were opened in 1779 and following a joint restoration project between Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society and the British Waterways Board, were reopened in 1967

My walk started at the end of the Dudley No. 1 Canal and is the boundary to the Stourbridge Canal. 
There are eight locks on this section, (there were originally nine) but locally are still called the nine locks.

I was very happy to see this fella sitting on the wall at the start of the locks

At the top of the locks looking back

Still walking along the canal, there is a good view here of part of our huge local shopping centre.  Built on what was farmland The Merry Hill Centre has around 200 shops, a retail park, food court and cinema as well as the usual fast food places and 10,000 parking spaces!  I avoid going unless absolutely necessary but unfortunately all the bigger stores moved here from surrounding towns so sometimes you have no choice.  
The building work started here in 1985 and 1990, despite local protesting over building work being carried out on green space instead of the adjacent former Round Oak Steel Works site.   Since then there have been several extensions and alterations.  In the beginning we thought it was great, there was even a monorail! (which went bust many years ago and was dismantled), but it has been the downfall of all the surrounding towns as no shops want to go to the small towns anymore, if you want anything you have no choice but to brave it.

At little further along is the Marina or the Waterfront as it's now called.  There are some pubs and restaurants along here, there used to be a couple of night clubs too, not sure if they are still there today.  

There is a lot of office space. The West Midlands Ambulance headquarters and control room are here, also HMRC (the Tax Office) and Black Country Radio, as to what else is there and what they do in all those offices I have no idea.

This area used to be The Round Oak Steel Works and was founded in 1857 by Lord Ward.  
During the Industrial Revolution the majority of iron-making in the world was carried out within 20 miles of The Round Oak and It was the first in the UK to be converted to natural gas supplied for the North Sea.  The History of The Round Oak steel works is a story all of it's own, I don't know a lot about it but I remember when it closed in 1982 and the affect it had on the area, so many people lost jobs, it was a sad time.

The steel works made use of the canal that ran though it, I'm sure it looks a lot prettier now than it did back then.

Not such a picturesque walk now we're are past the marina.  The land behind the fence is also where the steel works used to be and is undeveloped but has been left like a wasteland.

I only went a little further over that bridge, there wasn't another person in sight and I started to feel a little bit vulnerable, also it had started to drizzle, so I decided to turn back.  I remembered to bring some bread for the wildlife this time, not so much on this section but this little fella made me laugh.

He deserved a treat after that :-)

I hope you enjoyed walking with me and weren't too bored with the little potted history.  Where we live is full of interesting things if we take the time to investigate, don't you think?



Anonymous said...

Very interesting thank you
Robyn Australia

Jackie said...

What a lovely walk you shared with us. Love the waddling goose, here in Canada especially near the university in Regina Canada Geese are referred to as "rats with wings". Mainly because there are so many of them and they have become very aggressive and attack passersby.

The ornaments are beautifully finished. Good work.

God bless.

Lowcarb team member said...

It was nice to see your snow it looks so pretty in photographs, pleased it soon cleared.

Lovely photographs of your walk by the canal ... and yes, I enjoyed the additional information, thank you.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

All the best Jan

PS The video did make me smile :)

butterfly said...

Lovely ornaments for your tree this year.
Beautiful photos of your walk .
You had a pile of snow , we missed out this year none yet , but who knows a few years ago it snowed in April.

Manuela said...

Hello Maggie,
two wonderful Christmas Ornaments.
We had last weekend snow too.
Beautiful photos from your walk.
Have a nice week. Manuela

Vickie said...

I love your ornaments Maggie! And that heron!

MartinaM said...

I like these PS Sanstas, there are so many beautiful ones out there. Wonderful finish, I like your ovals, I've never tried them myself.
Oh yeah it was a nice walk, thanks for taking me, beautiful pictures.
Enjoy the rest of the week

Gill - That British Woman said...

I chuckled to myself when I read, "I can't call myself British, if I don't talk about the weather." I talk to my dad once a week on the phone and for probably 30 minutes of the hour we talk, it's about the weather. Luckily we are both in Canada so have lots of weather to talk about!!

Love your Xmas ornaments.

Carol said...

So glad I could inspire your oval finish, Maggie! I really love round and oval ornaments the most :) Yours turned out so cute! Your yard looks lovely with the snowfall. We had one this week, but it quickly melted. Thanks for the pretty walk--the houseboats on the canal and the heron are my favorites of the photos today. ♥

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

Walking canal side is wonderful. We often take a leisurely stroll along the Cromford canal. We keep saying we will hire a boat and cruise along a canal someday, we must make it happen.

Jo said...

Your finishes always look very professional to me, they're lovely. I must admit that I'm tending to stay clear of smaller projects because I really don't like finishing them off and would much rather just get something put in a frame. Those canal locks are a feat of engineering, aren't they. It's hard to imagine that they'd have the skills to accomplish something like that so long ago. Awww, that cute little Canada Goose, glad he got a treat.

Heritage Hall said...

Lovely finishes and agree with the oval shape,Maggie.
The walk along the canal just filled with beauty,
but I must express dismay at the uprooting of nature's gifts to implant a mall and stark buildings.... Architects should take a lesson in
the aesthetic of old that related to man and to which man could relate...JMHO.....