Monday, 5 March 2012

New Blog Site!

We Have Moved....

Hello again, It's Barry here. Clive is also here but not really offering a lot of input at the moment. He's too busy collecting and collaborating.

I've been monitoring this blog since I moved to the new site at  and I'm still seeing a number of visitors to this old & original blog. I'm urging you all to forget this old blog and bookmark the new one over at Brownhills Barry and Clayhanger Clive at Wordpress.

You can arrive over at the new site in a blink of an eye if you click on the link: the new Brownhills Blog

Hopefully you should arrive at the site and will be greeted with a view similar to the below image, depending on what the latest post is showing.

The best Brownhills Blog on the block - Created by Brownhills Barry and Clayhanger Clive.
Well, there you go people... not much left to say apart from stop reading this and get your browser clicking onto the new Brownhills Blog.

Please.... please feel free to contact me if you have anything interesting to share or have any requests, plus don't forget to bookmark the new blog!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook too!



Here is just a few of the posts already on the new site;

- The Most Amazing Video And Glimpse At The Future!
- Highfield House... Gone!
- Highfield House... Going... Going... But Not Gone Yet!
- Sign Of The Times; Tesco Brownhills
- Point Of Sale Gone Crazy?
- Cold Snap And Growing Grit Mountains
- M6 Toll Road Built With Pulped Fiction
- M6 Toll Road Prices Set To Go Up Again

Brownhills Barry and Clayhanger Clive.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

I have taken flight and moved over to pastures new!

To all my followers,

I have only been "born" a few days ago and already I am moving to pastures new. Don't worry though, I'm not going too far away.

I have discovered that when I made the decision as to which website to construct my blog on, sadly I am afraid to say....  I made the wrong choice and went for blogger (The site you are reading now) 

In the few days that I have been a baby blogger, I have realised the limits of this site and now feel the need to export this blog to a more professional and in-depth blogsite.

So I have packed up my blog and taken it over to wordpress.

Please.... please.... please, continue to visit me daily over on wordpress and follow my RSS, Twitter or Facebook profiles.

And, don't forget to contact me if you've got any suggestions, ideas, photo's or comments.

Kind regards and best wishes to you all.


M6 Toll road built with pulped fiction...

I discovered this amazing fact whilst searching for the latest news on the M6 Toll Road. I know to some of you that all I've blogged about so far is the toll road but I believe that it plays a major part in the recent history of the area and has changed the landscape along with the lives of the people that were forced to move to allow its construction.

Mills and Boon novels on the M6 Toll Road
About 45,000 books were used for every mile of motorway.

M6 Toll built with pulped fiction

Old copies of Mills & Boon romantic novels are being used to help prolong the life of the UK's newest road.
In what is an unexpected twist, it has emerged that about 2,500,000 of the books were acquired during the construction of the M6 Toll. 
The novels were pulped at a recycling firm in south Wales and used in the preparation of the top layer of the West Midlands motorway, according to building materials suppliers Tarmac.
The pulp which helps hold the Tarmac and asphalt in place also acts as a sound absorber and is vital in the construction of roads. 
Richard Beal, the company's project manager for the M6 Toll, said the books' absorbent qualities made them a vital ingredient in the construction of the country's first pay-as-you-go motorway. 

 We want to reassure Mills & Boon readers that we're not just picking on their favourite books 
Brian Kent from Tarmac

He said: "People may think they know everything they want to know about the M6 Toll, but it never ceases to amaze them when we talk about the secret ingredient that prolongs the life of this new road.
"We use copies of Mills & Boon books, not as a statement about what we think of the writing, but because it is so absorbent." 
"They may be slushy to many people, but it's their 'no-slushiness' that is their attraction as far as we are concerned."
"This means that the road will last longer before we have to repair it, which is good news for the paying customers using it to escape congestion on the M6." 
He said for every mile of motorway approximately 45,000 books were needed.
The books which are usually end of line or damaged are collected from across the UK and pulped at Excel Industries in Ebbw Vale, south Wales. 
Tarmac spokesman Brian Kent said the company was not suggesting there was anything wrong with Mills & Boon novels. 
"We want to reassure Mills & Boon readers that we're not just picking on their favourite books - other books are down there too."

I wish to thank the BBC for the above article that has led me to write this post.

I find unusual information about things of this nature quite fascinating. Do you know any unusual facts like the above for structures in the area? If you do please contact me.


Monday, 30 January 2012

M6 Toll prices set to go up again...

Just a day after I posted my view on the current state of the M6 Toll Road, it has been brought to my attention that the operator of the road, Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) is set to increase prices again, in March this year. 

Brian Mooney from the Association of British Drivers would appear to have the same common sense approach as myself and many other members of the public. Mooney stated "It's a totally mad situation, again. You've got the main M6 operating at twice the capacity, the M6 T - the toll road - is working at half the capacity. The operator is losing money and the drivers have to pay." 

It would appear that car drivers would have to pay £5.50 - a 20p rise, and lorries would be charged £11 - a 40p increase. Although, some weekend and night prices were being reduced.

I'm not going to rant on again as I fell that I expressed my point of view in my previous post although I do think it's totally crazy that prices are rising again and not being reduced to attract customers to fill the capacity. Maybe the operator doesn't want a high volume of traffic because of the wear and tear on the road surface and this pricing structure is working for them but not really working to reduce traffic volume on the M6.


M6 Toll Road - Reduction of charges?

I have recently taken the "long walk"... from Norton Canes through Brownhills West and eventually arrived in Brownhills High Street. Along my walk I couldn't help but stop and stare for 5 minutes whilst I was walking across the bridge spanning the M6 Toll Road (Previously known as the Birmingham Northern Relief Road or BNRR). 

I was aware of the lack of vehicles using the road from the odd occasion when I have coughed up the hefty price (In the variable region of £4 - £5) and ventured onto the smooth and almost brand spanking new tarmac. 

But... when I stood on the bridge and gazed at the open stretch of road, I just could not believe how unused the road was! I am pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of HGV's / lorries that I witnessed using the road. There were approximately 15 to 20 cars, 5 lorries and 2 coaches that went under the bridge in roughly 2 minutes. 

M6 Toll Road - North View  -  Small amount of vehicles using the road.

I believe that some common sense should be used and allow the road to be used for it's intended purpose... reduce congestion on the M6 motorway. For a long time now I believe that if the prices were reduced by at least half for all types of vehicles then surely the increase in the volume of traffic using the toll would allow to make up the lost revenue from charging higher prices. 

Am I the only person who is thinking this makes sense? 

I understand that the management of the toll road must surely have considered this thought and must have concluded that this pricing structure that is currently being implemented is the most profitable. 

But the fact remains that the M6 is currently heavily congested on a daily basis and the road that was designed & constructed specifically to provide a solution to this problem is virtually empty... during every day of its existence so far, compared to the M6.

M6 Toll Road - South View  -  Again... a small amount of vehicles using the road.
Finally... I would just like to make reference to the prices of the road, for car & van owners compared to the original price of £2 for cars and £5 for vans back in December 2003. These prices have more than doubled to £5.30 and £10.60 respectively... whereas the HGV Class 5's paid £10 in 2003 and still pay £10 in 2012 although with a 60 pence increase. (All these prices are peak time use i.e 06:00 to 23:00) 

I understand with inflation all prices rise during a number of years but surely with the current state of the world finances then it would make sense to reduce the cost to use the road and attract more business... thus possibly increasing profits? Maybe I am not in possession of all the facts and figures or in a position to comment professionally but the bottom line is common sense is the key to resolving all issues in life. 


Sunday, 29 January 2012

BrownhillsBob and Oakparkrunner

Today, I have been had the pleasure of reading comments from the two most popular and respected bloggers (BrownhillsBob and Oakparkrunner) in the Brownhills area relating to my new blog.

I would just like to say a big thank you to Bob and Godfrey for making a new blogger feel officially welcomed into the online already busy Brownhills blogging community.

I hope to share many stories, experiences and information with you both in the future.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

South Staffordshire Railway Line

"Pelsall Old Railway Bridge" - This bridge used to carry the old Walsall to Lichfield South Staffordshire Railway Line.

I am planning on taking more photographs of local structures such as in the photo above. It is a great shame that these landmarks of history in the local area are falling away into time... without being captured on film for generations to look back on. 

If there is anybody who has old photographs of the same photo's that I post on here but in their former glory then please comment or contact me. I am very eager to build a collection of the past and present to preserve these structures in the online digital world.