Smog is a word derived from combining two words-smoke and fog. Historically the word is synonymous with the air pollution reputedly responsible for an estimated 4000 respiratory â€“ linked deaths in the London area during the 1950s, when the smoke at that time from so many coal fires combined with fog, and with little or no wind, this hung over the capital for several days, partially obscuring the sun.
Todayâ€™s dense fog was mixed the stale smell of smoke which hung in the air around Wombourne-the aftermath of a feast of festive fireworks, and the annual Himley bonfire-which last night brought the inevitable road congestion along the A449 Wolverhampton-Stourbridge Road.
This morning the visibility range along the Wom Brook in Wombourne extended to 50 metres and no more. Strange shapes loomed out of the gloom that seemed to saturate everywhere. The accompanying all-enveloping silence was only punctuated by the nervous call of blackbirds, warning other birds away from their territory-almost like ships and lighthouses do in similar weather conditions.
It remains to be seen whether another two nights of possible fireworks displays will cause a repeat of this morningâ€™s â€˜smogâ€™!
Last Wednesday night, towards the end of BBC 1’s Nature of Britain, Wombourne was featured for a few minutes, when Miranda Krestovnikoff presented her report about the conservation and education work that the Friends of Wom Brook undertake along the Brook in Wombourne. Rather fittingly, her report began in Wombourne, and then switched to highlight the sterling work being undertaken by the Whitchurch group who have developed their water vole habitat.
The main part of the programme, produced by Alan Titchmarsh, focused on ‘Freshwater Britain’-not only providing an informative insight into the lives of some of Britain’s more ‘interesting’ water wildlife, but also presenting a veritable geography lesson, which gave an interesting account of the journey our water takes, from rain falling on our uplands, flowing downstream and forming with other streams into small rivers, which in turn join others to make a large river flowing down to our coasts and thus into the sea.
Below is a link to the BBC Staffordshire website.
When you get to the BBC page, look for ‘Watch Video’/’Freshwater’ – please be patient-Wombourne is featured towards the end of the feature.
Click here to see last Wednesday’s West Midlands part of Nature of Britain