Monday 9 November 2009
Linda and I met at Sunray Gardens, Denmark Hill, where the pleasant driver had offered Linda the opportunity to sit on the bus to shelter from the brisk breeze that accompanied this sunny day.
Henry Bessemer, he of the Bessemer Steel Converter, had a large estate here of which Sunray Gardens alone remains - he had a model farm, observatory and all kinds of other amenities, reminding us that engineering was a good career back then
We were off at 10.20, passing a serious amount of public housing, Southwark on one side of the road and Lambeth the other, some of it dating from the 1920s. We admired Ruskin Park, convenient for R and R for patients attending the Maudsley or King's College Hospital and were soon into Camberwell Green.
This was a busy bus, lots of shoppers with buggies, so people were standing for almost all the route. It's hard to imagine how even this small bus would negotiate East Street on market days. The revitalising of Burgess Park is underway, together with areas of the huge Aylesbury Estate.
Surprisingly soon we were in Tower Bridge Road, noting that St Mary Magdalen Churchyard, with its charming little chapel, is also up for improvement. Then it was over the river, with fine views of City Hall and HMS Belfast (yes, I will always mention her whenever we pass near enough for it to be allowable!) This was the first of the 5 Thames bridges that our various buses were to cross today
The Tower of London and Tower Gateway Station were briefly visible before we turned right up Goodman's Yard and into Aldgate, where we admired the fishy railings on the pedestrian subway and some classic City street names, before passing Shoreditch bus garage and St Botolph's without Bishopsgate. A surprising number of churches are named after this saint, given that no-one seems to know much about him. And so to Liverpool Street, in only about 40 minutes.