Alongside a lovely day and some great photo opportunities, today’s Digbeth walk had a tinge of frustration. As well as the top of Moat Lane car park being closed off (presumably because of the spate of suicide attempts from there) the people responsible for checking the gates and hoardings on the patches of wasteland around Bradford Street had done their jobs and there was no way of getting in without breaking in, something I’m not willing to do on my own let alone with a group. Even the gate to Highgate Park by the Paragon Hotel was inexplicably chained up. Eventually the gaps will emerge again but today we had to make do with the streets, which isn’t a problem but does lack the illicit thrill of the pseudo-tresspass.
But we were rewarded. Having reached the summit of Moseley Street we turned the corner and found the biggest gap in the fence ever. Some kind soul has removed 8 to 10 panels of hoarding and revelled the skyline of Birmingham in all it’s glory.
These patches of wasteland around Digbeth are a damning indictment of various things, from the failure and hubris of regeneration planning to the corrupt practices that allow a company to demolish heritage and “go bankrupt” before replacing it, but they do have a strangely nice side effect, giving this major city breathing spaces and uncluttered vistas. If only they were truly open for the public to use rather than being locked away on spurious grounds.
We should thank whoever opened up this view and make the most of it before somebody officious notices it exists. Were it warmer I’d suggest picnics.
Here’s a Google Map link. The number 50 bus goes right past it.