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Walk Reports

Fiona's Full Moon write-up

An astounding 22 people came to last Sunday's Full Moon Walking night walk around the Stirchley / Lifford waterways. It was a walk that featured joint creative input from all Walkspace members and included instructions to 'think like a parrot', a talk under 'the tree of shoes' and a 28-day spell-casting using the lunar-charged moon water. Photos of the event by Pete are here.

Fiona has posted some reflections on the walk, which is part of a series of Stirchley walks she is running this year, on her blog. She speculates on how to 'capture the moon' by creating a post-walk artifact:

These walk artifacts are what I aspire to but I've yet to figure out what I can create from a walk that will be of lasting value. Last year, when I expressed an interest in art, my mentor Kate Spence said to use this time for exploration and play. Be interested and interesting. So I guess you can expect more random walk experiments in the months to come.

Read the whole post here.

If you have seen some interesting examples of art walking outputs, please share them in the comments on her post.

Last chance to moon walk

The final night walk of the season is running on Sunday 22 March, just ahead of the new moon. Dark Moon Walking 2 sees us blending into the night in the parks and dark spaces around Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley borders. Wear black and let us reclaim the night together. You can find out more and also sign up for the event here.

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Walk Reports

Photos from Full Moon Walking

Our second Walkspace walk was another night walk, but happening a fortnight after New Moon Walking it was significantly brighter as the moon was now so bright it was casting shadows.

We had 22 people on the walk, which was way more than we anticipated so there's certainly an appetite for this sort of thing. Yay!

This walk riffed off Fiona's original ideas and brought in Andy and our first associate member Robson who brought some local history and mythology to the proceedings.

We started on Fordhouse Lane at the River Rea bridge then made our way through the Worthings tunnel to the Lifford Woodland which leads to the Reservoir. Passing the various trees, strewn with offerings of bikes and shoes, and the mineral factory we joined the canal and wended our way back to Stirchley.

A full report will follow soon, with details of the third and final (for now!) night-time walk on March 22nd, but for now here are Pete's grainy photos to prove it actually did happen.

Thanks everyone!

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Upcoming Events

Full Moon Walking

An expedition to explore our local waterways by full moon.

The countdown to our second Stirchley moon mission has begun. After the success of Dark Moon Walking, we are running a second Stirchley moon walk on the evening of Sunday 8th March, just ahead of full moon. 

For this bewitching – if slightly scary – group walk, we shall follow a circular route around the waterways of Stirchley and Lifford. If it is a clear night there will be the chance to view some lunar-charged moon water ripe for rituals and spells.

Our water-themed walkabout features secret tunnels, woodland paths, a swan lake, the calm of the canals and a babbling river. 

We think this walk will be magical and look forward to reclaiming these places by night. However our second walk is a lot more off-piste than the first, so please read the small print on the booking page before signing up.

Booking is essential. We will only run night walks if we have a minimum number in the group. More details on the booking page or contact Fiona with any questions.

Categories
Walk Reports

Fiona's Dark Moon write-up

Fiona has written up her thoughts about Sunday's Dark Moon Walking night walk through the parks and along the canal in Bournville. She's structured it as a series of questions.

4. Why a night walk?

Because walking at night is otherworldly and comes with a sense of the forbidden. Green spaces, such as parks, canals and cut-throughs, feel off-limits and taboo at night. The absence of people in them makes you feel safer at night but it is simultaneously strange to see these popular spaces deserted. 

7. Were you scared at any point?

Briefly – by a solitary figure standing at the edge of the woods in Cotteridge Park. It turned out to be a small conifer. This is where night vision can be deceiving and amplify your fears. The reflections in the pond also warped my depth perception of where the water line was.

Read the rest here.

Thanks to everyone who came, and who expressed an interest even if they couldn't make it. The next Walkspace walk will be announced very soon!

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Posts

Hockley Flyover Project

The Hockley Flyover Project is a community photography project run by Tracy Thorne of Ghost Streets. She's done a number of similar projects in Birmingham including Stirchley High Street Stories, where as locals we naturally got involved.

The Hockley Flyover  is an overpass which is part of the A41 in Birmingham that crosses over the top of a unique and fascinating public space called Hockley Circus built during the 1960s. 

We will be running a participatory photography project with local people to document this space, as well as exploring people's experiences and to share stories from the flyover in the new year.

The project is open to people who live and work around the flyover, of course, and they can get involved by contacting Tracy or via the Insta.

[Disclaimer – Tracy is hiring me to run three street photography workshops as part of the project.]

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Upcoming Events

Dark Moon Walking

An expedition into the darkest recesses of Stirchley and Bournville.

Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night.

Rupert Brooke

On Sunday 23rd February, as the New Moon begins, we shall reclaim the night by walking out of the street lights and into the darkest corners of Birmingham B30. 

By day our route is green and pleasant, traversing parks, canal paths and verdant walkways. By night we shall discover how different it all looks and feels when the path is not lit, the trees loom large and all colour disappears? Will there be fear or excitement, a feeling of power or of vulnerability? 

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.

Vincent Van Gogh

This one-hour night walk offers the chance to venture into the unlit borderlands of Bournville, Stirchley and Lifford wards in the safety of a group. To blend into the darkness and embrace the power of our invisibility. To explore our inner fears as well as a sense of awe and wonder. By walking together, we aim to reclaim the everyday urban spaces that become off-limits after dark. 

There will be short breaks along the way to contemplate the darkness or just to blend into the shadows, become invisible and think.

Spaces are limited so booking is essential. More details on the booking page or contact Fiona with any questions.

I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars.

Stephenie Meyer
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Upcoming Events

Photo Walks in March

Pete's Photo Walks continue next month with Bournville on Saturday 7th and Jewellery Quarter on Sunday 29th. They're £10 per person and you can book here.

These walks are for photographers of all types, from cameraphones to hefty DSLRs and are geared towards slowing down and looking at our surroundings.

They're also themed based on the location. Bournville looks at the history of this garden suburb, built by the Cadbury family in the style of an English village. It's undeniably beautiful but what was involved in maintaining this idyl?

The Jewellery Quarter walk looks at attempts to preserve the industrial heritage of the district in the face of rapid regeneration, but who's heritage is being saved and what is being forgotten in the process?

Details of all Pete's photography walks are here.