Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Hanging Gardens of Redditch

Me - Welcome to the Kingfisher Centre, Redditch. Fancy a look around the shops?

You - Um, no. I'm actually quite thirsty. Is there a pub in the Kingfisher Centre? Why are you walking off towards the shops?

Me - It's hard to imagine shiny tiles and prefabricated pebble-dashed concrete panels as being the materials of the future, but that's what they were once upon a time. What have we got beneath this lovely cladding? There's Martins (THE newsagent). Who's that anxiously stepping out?

You - I suppose you're going to tell me. Fred West?

Me - I thought it was Peter Green with Holger Czukay in the background. But now you mention it ... anyway, my favourite feature is the vacuum tube system for transporting old ladies to the upper levels.

Me - There they are - the Hanging Gardens of Redditch as promised. Pretty impressive actually, with a huge prehistoric fern in the middle of each concrete cylinder, with a spotlight shining down from underneath. It's better than a fountain or a poor likeness of a dead local celebrity (who in this case would be John Bonham, although when Nigel from Dodgy drops from the twig I'm sure they'd form a statuary supergroup). I also like the various yooves 'angin round the benches, with the White Panther guy on the left being by far the best. To balance it out there are five menacing old ladies who resemble the Batley Townswomen's Guild. There'll be no bother today.

You - It's all very good but I bet there isn't a pub here.

Me - There is actually. It's called The Swinging Sporran. I don't have a picture of it.

You - That's disappointing. Did you take these photographs yourself?

Me - Thanks for asking - no I didn't actually. They were taken by Peter Moss Ltd of Halesowen. That should deflect any anonymous cheese-paring in the comments section.

You - I'm off to The Swinging Sporran. Meet you under the giant, swinging concrete flower baskets.

Me - Bye!


  1. The Swinging Sporran! Wasn't it a chain? Tartan disco? Chicken in the basket?

  2. Gangs of old ladies in hats. Always very disturbing. Can you imagine how many sticky sweets there are in those pockets. On a hot day it could get very very messy.

  3. I believe the ambience was lost when the
    the centre's Paolozzi mosaics were unveiled. See http://artsinredditch.com/whats-on/public-art.html?start=1 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/tudorbarlow/2811302080/in/photostream/ etc

  4. I have been asked to anonymously represent the legal affairs of Peter Moss Ltd, and to request that you:
    * re-name your blog "Peter Moss Ltd"
    * make no further reference to "cheese-pairing"
    * say sorry to Fred West.

  5. Anyone got any pictures of the 'bucket' fountain in front of Owen Owen (now Primark). It was such a lovely piece of 70's architecture.