Monday 19 October 2009
Queen's Park Station to New Cross Gate
Just writing the start and finish of the journey reminds us how amazing the London buses are: all that, from North West to South East, in just 75 minutes!
Mary, Linda and I met at Queen's Park Station, having taken the Bakerloo Line, and walked round into Claremont Street to ensure that we started at the very beginning, although the driver would have preferred to pick us up round the corner. There was also a brief loo stop, but we were off by 10.45, through the attractive terraces of Carlton Vale, to leave Brent and enter Westminster, possibly the oddest London borough, in that it encompasses the really extremely posh, the deprived, and everything in between. Our busy bus shared the route for a while with the 31. There was an excellent pedestrian area where Elgin Avenue approaches the Harrow Road (permeable, as we cyclists like to note) and then we swept past the Science Photo Library well known to Andrew and other science authors. Over the canal and past the new Westminster Academy, and we were down to Royal Oak Station and into Paddington.
We all know how Linda feels about the Edgware Road, but we enjoyed the many Arab shops and eateries, before sweeping (well, not too slowly) round Marble Arch and down Park Lane, where the Westminster gardeners were putting in the winter bedding plants. As we rounded Hyde Park Corner, we spotted the Duck Tour, which has been a feature of many of our journeys, and I drew attention to the Commonwealth Gates and the particular memorial to Commonwealth holders of the VC and GC. I can't find a decent website to link to, so you need to go and look for youselves.
On down to Victoria, less held up than we had been expecting, and Vauxhall Bridge Road, to enter the striking bus station and pass Vauxhall City Farm. Then on past the Brit Oval and a blue plaque for Monty and down into Kennington, with its masses of Public Housing blocks reminding us of the need for speedy reconstruction in the 1940s and 50s. Linda has commented on Camberwell Green before, so I will simply note the wide range of places of worship around here. There proved to be a wealth of plaques along the road through Peckham and on to New Cross, including those for Oliver Goldsmith, Barnes Wallis, John Tallis , Harold Moody and the Founders of the Pioneer Health Clinic of the 1930s. Bus travel is indeed an education in itself.
Terminating at New Cross Bus Garage at about 12.00, we felt we had had a very varied trip, geographically, socially and historically.