Tuesday 1 September 2009
Kensal Rise to Wandsworth
My turn to be on my own (the first time since the Number 2) and an easy journey to the start from Camden Road to Kensal Rise on the North London Line, or rather 'The Overground'.
I was onto the 28 by 10.20, with an official journey time to Wandsworth of 71 minutes. We zigzagged along routes known to us from other buses, past Asian and Portuguese shops but also strong evidence of Caribbean beer drinkers. We headed generally southwards, pausing to change drivers at Westbourne Park Bus Garage, just as we'd gone over the canal, under the Westway and under the railway. With all these transport links, I was not surprised to see that we were in amongst the Brunel estate.
We were going at rather a stately pace, stopping for pedestrians who had not yet made up their minds to cross, decelerating in case the lights turned from green to amber, and so it was not surprising that we were later held for a while 'to regulate the service'. Fortunately, and thanks to the Guardian, we all know that drivers get into trouble for 'fast running' as opposed to 'slow running'.
We passed The Arancina coffee bar with an orange Fiat 500 in the window, and then a right turn and a little wiggle took us to bendy Kensington Church Street and a sports shop called Sweaty Betty. Other retail highlights were an ex-church selling 'beds on 4 floors' - happily no jokes about 'heavenly rest' - and The Kiwi Kitchen in North End Road. The only blue plaque I saw, as Linda found with the 27, was David Low in Melbury Court. This does, however, gives us all a chance to remind ourselves what a great cartoonist he was.
One of the pleasures of this route was saying 'hello' to many other buses we had been on, and seeing remembered highlights, like the excellent bike racks in the middle of High Street Kensington. Also, on this route, a lot of posh shops, like Ken Lo's restaurant, and a shop selling Iranian caviar. The 28 also took me to Sand's End, which we had seen advertised before but never visited. It proves to be the bit of Fulham that takes you down to the river.
Over Wandworth Bridge and we were into 'the Brighter Borough', squeezing under the railway bridge and onto a bricked piece of road (not that we needed slowing down any further) to pass the Town Hall and South Thames College ('shaping your future'). We arrived at the South Side Shopping Centre in our allotted 71 minutes running time. I estimate that, if the drivers had gone at the pace of the 87 (which I took for my return journey and about which you shall read in due course) we could have done it in 40 minutes!