I got a car and drove across the country. I saw lots of flags. Travelling across London I saw quite a few defunct shops as well as demolitions and new building sites.
I drove up the motorway. I stopped at Beaconsfield services. The processes of checking in, distancing and masking were still enforced. I saw a sticker:
I passed by the Central M40 site, which is now expanding ever further and will soon be a small town of its own, engulfing the motorway.
I got to Redditch and there were more flags. There was a flag on the roundabout as I came in to the town. There were flags in the windows. There were flags on the walkways and flyovers:
There were inflatables:
I went for a walk in the woods and saw some of the anti-lockdown messaging that is already everywhere in London, though someone who responded directly:
In a bus stop nearby was more of the usual stuff you see in every London bus stop these days:
Also this one, which I don’t think I’ve seen before, not even around the short-lived Shepherds Bush Green camp:
The old Labour Club is long gone and the foundations have been put down for whatever it is that they’re building in its place. The old Abel Morrall site is also now cleared away for new development, with only the eerie derelict remaining shell of the Ashleigh Works still standing. As a great fan of derelict industrial sites I’m sad that I’ll never get a chance to see inside, the world behind the cracked glass and rotting frames. There could have been such a beautiful contemporary art gallery in there. Decaying plasterboard walls and a collapsed ceiling would provide the perfect backdrop for video journals about gentrification in Hoxton.
Around the side was this superb specimen of abandoned nihilist graffiti, NO GOD ONLY. I’ve left the red pillar box in just in case any hipster tries to steal the image and pretend he saw it in Brooklyn or some other sinkhole.
The most significant local news stories are these:
In all this celebration of St George going on around, I went in to the district of St Georges in the middle of town, though I was disappointed that it was not significantly more enflagged than anywhere else.
I also went past the new Redditch Gateway, under construction. I was interested by this detail on their website, about the attractiveness of Redditch: