Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Number 41 Route

Archway to Tottenham Hale

Monday November 2nd 2009

Jo and Linda were on our own for this 5-bus marathon as Mary was off supporting an educational project in Uganda, but the storms of the weekend had cleaned and brightened London for us. We had already completed two routes in order to get to our starting point – all with seamless joins, the buses feeding out of our hands like tame birds – so it was only 12.50 when we boarded this route. However the law of diminishing returns set in as the first route of the day had some excitements like Oxford Street and Abbey Road and our interim bus traversed some smart and not so smart North London suburbs but the 41 can only be described as ‘less than enthralling’.

Our one ambled as it had closed the gap with the one in front and as a result wasn’t very busy either – Jo described it as a ‘blokey’ bus as all the other passengers seemed to be male. One particular one who had clearly just walked out of the A&E department of the Whittington Hospital spent his journey telling all his mates ‘he didn’t have a clot on his leg’ but needed to see his GP for follow up.

The most attractive part of the trip (had we known it) was just wending its way along the very narrow St John’s Way with the contrast of public and private housing either side of the road, both leafy and attractive – the roads to the left named after Shakespeare’s heroines Miranda, and Cressida. There was a large Hornsey school named for Coleridge and the children were playing out back after half term. The school is large by primary standards – 500+ and therefore had a new purpose built extension across the road which formed part of the September 2009 ‘Open London’ venues. We crossed a disused railway (now part of green chain-type walk) and arrived at Crouch End Broadway, which was looking a little the worse for wear with several shops up for sale and empty. Clearly there are better views off this route…

By Tottenham Lane, in spite of dawdling, our 41 caught the one in front as we passed the new YMCA, and just glimpsed the West Indian Cultural Centre. We had already crossed the New River (neither new nor a river) and crossed the entire set of major North–south routes, rail, tube and road, to push further east towards Tottenham Hale which combines bus terminus and rail exchange. Not far away is the Lea River Valley and Park (in this instance trading park).

This bus has been plying this route since before 1950 with very few alterations to the route – extensions to Highgate and Ilford were suppressed so it clearly serves its community well if dully.

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