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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wooden Boy: Bus note 66


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Henleys, chav chic! You have to picture the scene. The guy in the center was drunk. Can of Stella in his back pocket and proud owner of a Henleys t-shirt. Top chav chic (Birmingham UK): photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 3 May 2010



Pissed up
and his bare arms
all limned webs and flags
he falls into Iceland
        as lean kids
        in Henley shirts
        carrying cue cases
take up pavement
with fuck you laughter.
        The storm
        forecasted
        comes closer
with each tiptoe breath
using up the comic force
of the grand false lashes
on the now shivering girl.




Wooden Boy: Bus note 66, from The Little Wooden Boy, 10 August 2013




Untitled: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 3 May 2010


Oscar Freddie Snooker Cue Case: photo by Ken Doherty (Ken Doherty Cue Sports), 12 July 2012


ED. A member of the English Defence League with the Flag of St George tattooed on his skull: photo by Si Barber (si.barber), 2010


Untitled, Camden: photo by Geraldo, 27 May 2013


Joe Darby (in Villa kit), ex-West Bromwich Albion, world champion of the standing jump in Victorian times. Statue at junction of Halesowen Road and Church Road, Netherton, Worcestershire: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 17 January 2010

Joe Darby

 Joe Darby. A sculpture to the local world standing jump champion of Victorian times. (Ex-West Bromwich Albion footballer.) Junction of Halesowen Road and Church Road, Netherton, Worcestershire: photo by Gordon Griffiths, 9 April 2007


Cradley, Halesowen, West Midlands: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 7 February 2010


One hell of a cooker hood. Cradley, Halesowen, West Midlands photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 7 February 2010


Exhausted. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 19 March 2010


Giant Rhubarb. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 19 March 2010


Rusty door. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 19 March 2010


Weird pipe slide. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 19 March 2010




Blue sofa: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 26 March 2010


 Before dialup: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 11 April 2010


Untitled. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 5 March 2010



5 valves. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT),19 March 2010


GKN Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 5 March 2010


GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 5 March 2010


Exterior view, GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 19 March 2010


After. GKN, Screw Factory, Smethwick: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 7 January 2012


Baggeridge Brick Works: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 28 April 2013


Untitled: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 9 September 2012


Sleaford Maltings: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 1 July 2012


1902: photo by Martin Robert Smith (TranKmasT), 26 March 2010


The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Deritend, Birmingham UK: photo by Elliott Brown (ell brown), 10 October 2009
 
This is The Custard Factory in Digbeth, from High Street Deritend. On High Street Deritend they are restoring the original part of the Custard Factory (the bit labelled Bird and Sons). I wonder how long it will take to finish restoring the former Devonshire Works?  I returned in February 2010, to find the scaffolding taken down. Devonshire House is a Grade II listed building. 1902. Red brick and terracotta with some stone dressings. Four storeys plus attic; 3 bays. Ground floor of terracotta with 6 windows in recesses with ause-de-panier arches, those of the 2 outside bays with ogee gablets. The 3 storeys above are separated vertically by thin polygonal shafts with decorative finials which divide the bays, and horizontally by wide bands of brick to the outside and of terracotta to the centre. In the centre, the bands inscribed 'Alfred Bird and Sons Limited/ Devonshire Works/1837 and 1902' with foliage. Within the grid of shafts and bands, the first floor with couplets of 2-light transomed windows with arched lights and the second and third floors with central windows of cross type and outer couplets of arched windows. Arched parapet with, over the centre bay, a shaped gable with 2 arched windows, tilework of a ship in full sail and little pinnacles. Left and right of this composition, later wings of lesser interest, that to the left of 2, that to the right of 8 bays. To the left again, railings with the Bird's custard motif in them.


Gibb Street -- Custard Factory beyond railway viaduct, Digbeth, Deritend, Birmingham UK: photo by Elliott Brown (ell brown), 24 July 2011


Devonshire Works, Digbeth, Birmingham UK: photo by D7606, 19 June 2013


Devonshire Works, Digbeth, Deritend, Birmingham UK: photo by William Fallows (new folder), 24 July 2010


Devonshire Works, Digbeth, Deritend, Birmingham UK: photo by Tim Ellis, 25 March 2006



Custard factory at the former Devonshire Works, Digbeth, Deritend, Birmingham UK -- door with new AS1 graffiti. Heard a bunch of kids to the left of here. Not sure what was going on: photo by Elliott Brown (ell brown), 12 November 2011


The Devonshire Works Building, offices of the Birds Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham UK: photo by Stephen Wheeler (Wagsy Wheeler), 27 January 2013

13 comments:

TC said...

I do love the way this highly original craftsman off there in his West Midlands dumbfoundry sorts the nuts and bolts of a rhyme, that sadly abandoned and blasted feature of the millennial poetic landscape.

It's almost post-post-industrial of him not to say extremely generous as well really.

Michael Peverett said...

love this post! A real nice journey tracing connections from the High Street out to the back sticks.

ACravan said...

This is fine and very powerful in every way -- the poem, the pictures, and the words which accompany the pictures. But so sad and depressing. I know we were a long way from the "summer of love" during the Summer of Love (I was discussing this with my daughter yesterday), but I didn't mind having the illusion then or being able sometimes to maintain it now. I guess if I have a favorite line it would be "all limned webs and flags." This fills me with despair, but I'll get over it as I move into the day (I hope). I guess the young man represents what I've heard Morrissey describe as a "beer monster." Curtis

Curtis Faville said...

Aye, mate.

How long will we go on sifting the detritus for earthy images of beautiful decay?

Detroit is now passing through hell on its way to--?

Redemption?

I reread the last chapter of Huckleberry Finn yesterday and tears came to my eyes. Huck leaving town to find his fortune in an immensity of emptiness.

Here we are on the Edge.

Ed Baker said...

the young girl
sitting alone
starring into her cell

phone
as though she were

holding-on
to something

..... sacred

& there are people
behind her talking to
each other : about the ruins ?

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

...The storm
forecasted
comes closer...

EMERGENCY EXIT
TO OPEN
BREAK GLASS TUBE

8.14

light coming into sky above still black
plane of ridge, red-tailed hawk calling
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

that compared to absorption
of that, view of that

present of what is, happens
is sketched, makes it

grey white of fog reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull gliding toward point

Hazen said...

“The storm forecasted comes closer . . .” A fine poem, this moment on the street. An epitaph for the damned, who wear their pain tattooed to their skulls.

Devonshire Works. Not anymore.

Wooden Boy said...

Thank you, all, for your comments. And thank you, Tom, for spending some time round our yard and coming back with those fitting images.

Those disused factories: the grandparents of the kids with cues could have found work at the GKN factory. The ruins of community are just as stark. There's much held in common between Birmingham and Detroit.

Birmingham's a favourite spot for EDL protests due to the large Muslim population here. The last one was particularly ugly.

I like the Joe Darby statue very much. That shirt's the work of one brave Villain.

VINCENT FARNSWORTH said...

Just an note of interest, that word "chav" apparently comes from the Romanes (Gypsy) language; it means "boy"

Wooden Boy said...

I think Vincent's right about the etymology. The term has been used increasingly as a perjorative over the last ten years or so. There's a lot of debate over here as to whether it's become little more than an expression of class hatred.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Another fine collaboration--kudos to the both of you.

Unknown said...

The forces of reconstruction appear to be overwhelmed by the forces of disintegration. "The storm forecasted" has been drawing closer for lifetimes. Great poem Wooden Boy. Great selection of images Tom.

If only the cops in Egypt were mere statues.

The human condition, collectively speaking, is not looking great.

Some folks, however, are constructing magnificent new projects for what? The aftermath?

I read in what little information is available that the leakage of radioactive water from Fukushima is really not very significant. The mildest sort of radioactive elements like tritium. The Japanese government has decided that at some point it will try to step in and take measures to stop the leak.

A non-cataclysm, that is, the slow continuation of this process of disintegration, murder, war, machinization, alienation, poverty, theft, corruption of all things natural if ever there was a nature, may be worse than the Cataclysm. I wonder how my kids will be doing if the seas do not boil soon.

I feel better now. I will cheer up and go about my day.

Saludos,

Harris

TC said...

Many thanks to everybody, any friend of WB is a friend to us and a joy forever. We are honoured to have had the chance to put our Works to work on such high quality work yet again.

Some decades or eons back, there was much talk about Poetry of Place. Less so of late. Now I think it's more about Conceptual -- or was it Apps? In any case it always seemed as elusive a thing as the Scarlet Pimpernel, this Poetry of Place. To paraphrase La Rochefoucauld's mot on the subject of love -- like ghosts, much talked about seldom seen. There were the articles, the conferences, the whatnots, and then... nothing.

Perhaps it helps to have lived in a place all your life, to care for it fiercely. So that writing about it would become less a "project" (those require launches, or at least booty-laden dinghies I believe) than, like they used to say, a labour of love.

Just so you know, this post may mark the launch of a cunning plan. (No one has a lunch or a breakfast these days, it must be a launch.) Let this plan be known as The Joe Darby Memorial Tour of the History of Industry.

Next stop:

Lewis W. Hine: Scott's Run, West Virginia, March 1937