January 17th - Rotate ninety degrees sunwise from the bell tower, and there’s Darwall Street in a precious golden hour. This is the risibly named ‘Civic Quarter’ which, as home to several large bars, is more properly thought of as the centre for Walsall’s night time economy.
Ignoring the odd aberration, most buildings here are historic and repurposed; an old cinema - The Imperial - is now a pub, as is the former Registry Office. Walsall swapped certificate and celluloid for a pie and a pint.
Apart from the jarring paving and hideous street lights, this is a nice spot, with plenty of history and physical geography not too far away.
Behind the buildings on the left, the Ford Brook leaves cover and skulks through town in the open for a short while, often stinking the place out. It’s a major tributary of the Tame, and will never lead to Walsall threatening the tourist trade of Bourton on the Water.
It’s not a bad town, really. Just badly misunderstood. Sadly, most grievously by many who live here.