Sudbury Railway Station to Euston Station
Thursday January 10 2019
We had arrived in Sudbury via a ‘cross-country’ bus from Edgware so today was very much about North-West London. It had also been a very cold bus on a grey day so with our extremities frozen we scurried from the forecourt of the Piccadilly Line station round the corner to see a row of 18s patiently waiting.
The last time we rode this route the 18 had been a ‘bendy bus’ (remember those?) and the police had put us in lock down while they checked the tickets. No such adventures this time and whatever the bus company (nice blue upholstery) they had rejected replacing their bendys with a Boris bus so we travelled comfortably, with heating and reasonable visibility.
Having only ever whizzed in and out of Sudbury it remains an enigma but it does have a large and largely open park.
Wembley, on the other hand, seemed very familiar and was bustling today. The national stadium completed just before the last project, had brought a lot of new building to the area and it seems to continue to thrive – there were four vegetarian outlets next to each other, and without the boost and enterprise of many incomers this High Street might be declining also. And the entrepreneurs manage to send money home.
Surprisingly there were two large construction sites on the main road. I am not a crane geek but I gather from this the crane is something special. I am interested that ‘luffing’ and ‘jibbing’ seem to have been carried over from the sailships as the last time I met these words was when we visited the Cutty Sark. Henry would appear to be a construction company, as opposed to a developer and we were certainly dogged by a scaffolding lorry on both this trip and the previous 204.
Down the road, past the Best Western was another site, this time Henley, who are apparently developing the site of the old Brent Town Hall – this must be how local authorities, who have had to prune their staffing and services radically, try and make up the budget deficits resulting from this government’s continuing ‘austerity’ measures.
Once through Wembley the 18 continued to be busy – not entirely surprising as it seems to be the only bus route between here and Harlesden, passing through Stonebridge Park after crossing the North Circular. There was a bus lane all of the way so we could keep up a good steady speed.
Housing is fairly densely packed round here and there was no shortage of religion either with a Moravian Church next to St Margaret’s joined with St George (two saints couple up) and then a United Reform . The Moravians, although originally from what used to be Czechoslovakia, seem to have popularised their Christian beliefs worldwide and have a strong Caribbean following – hence presumably the presence in Harlesden.
Harlesden has a one way system, flowing freely today, which brought us into Kensal Rise – we were promised an ‘Artisan Quarter’ but could not really identify what was meant by this. Apart from Gallego offering us specialities from Galicia we had a run of Brazilian enterprises: Sabor Brasileiro, Brazilian Steak house and Sunshine Brazilian hair . I don’t imagine Brazilian hair could not be catered for elsewhere in the borough but I expect if offers a good level of gossip also.
Jo was a bit surprised at the unsold advertising space though I pointed out that the ‘folk’ opposite in Kensal Green Cemetery would not be that interested..
The Cemetery was the last resting place of Dr. James Barry, who served as an Army surgeon at the Crimea but became even more renowned after ‘their ‘ death. There are many other more famous names buried here.
Talking of gossip we were both entranced by the conversations behind us – friends discussing the one’s pregnancy and her determination not to know the sex of her expected child via the ultrasound process but prepared to flirt with the traditional methods – pointy front or back, needle on thread suspended above the bump? There was also an extensive list of her food cravings. As they stayed on the bus till the end I can only hope they were heading for a conventional check at the nearby University College Hospital.
Were they talking rubbish? – no they weren’t but we were also taken with a van of that name passing in front of the bus – its website explains what it does.
We were still on the Harrow Road and passed several closed pubs – the Nelson Arms and more controversially the Windsor Castle, once famous as a music venue. By now we were close to crossing the Edgware Road, busier than last week on the 16.
Leaving aside other routes we found ourselves running parallel to Westway above us , and with good views of the canal to the left and Paddington basin to the right . Though clearly the traffic pounds and pollutes overhead it seemed quite calm at this level with green spaces between the blocks and a still leafy aspect to what is very much Inner London.
Paddington Green Children’s Hospital, to which I once escorted a reluctant attender, is long gone with parts of the building residential , though some adolescent mental health is on offer. Paddington Green Police Station, on the other hand, hangs in there.
Happy in our bus lane we continued alongside the heavier traffic and passed some dowdy buildings to one side (?due for demolition) and some brightly clad ones across the way. By now we were on the Marylebone Road passing Regents Park, a good view of the GPO Tower, the turning to the station of the same name and the various civic buildings that grace this thoroughfare – the courts, the former Town hall and the Landmark Hotel which will celebrate 120 years since its July 1899 opening. . https://www.landmarklondon.co.uk/about/heritage/
The Wedding Gallery perhaps showing pictures of nuptials that did and didn’t work turns out to be a ‘luxury department store’ for planning would-be-weds. Enough said.
We spotted what looked like a glass protected art installation on the pavement but it turned out to have several nifty bird feeders on offer, to birds of course .
Enough travelled too as we had arrived outside Euston station, having made it from the further reaches of the NW bit of the Piccadilly line in Sudbury in just over the hour, as promised.
PS I promise no more birds next week.