Putney Bridge to Baker Street
Monday July 27th 2009
My folk memory of this bus growing up in NW London was that it was the route that took you to the Zoo – very important to know for some-one who had junior membership of the Zoological Society – however since 2002 it has terminated at Baker Street.
The upper deck of the bus gives an excellent view over Fulham Palace Garden which is quite extensive. The bus itself was very popular with passengers the length of its route and the upstairs was almost always over half full. We noted that large chunks of Fulham Recreation ground next to the rather lovely Fulham cemetery were being re-seeded but equally flocked over by the birds so the net gains (no pun intended) may be small. Just at Fulham Cross we spotted Zazou Cuts for men, and alongside the run of antique shops the Arab Cargo Company all ready to ship your purchases away! Lillie Road winds it way like the Lane I’m sure it once was and past of course Sir John Lillie School. (As several routes use Lillie Road I thought it would be easy to find out who he was but it is difficult even for Google to get past the barrage of web pages created by, for or about the school! Possible candidates include a pre-Shakespearean actor, an 18th century general and a US Bostonian who seems to offer links to the families of both Churchill and Bush, but the favourite may be a director of the East India Company…
Empress State Building (not a patch on its New York mate). Much of this route duplicated the 430 we had travelled some months ago, but is rather more creative around Earls Court – today there were no concerts or exhibitions to tempt one in but we did pass both sides of Earls Court “Creating Legends Since 1937” apparently.
Along this bit of the Old Brompton Road there seemed to be several Cornish inspired names in the side roads and once into Kensington & Chelsea Borough the public flowers took on additional grandeur, and actually some novelty (Lilies and hibiscus) along the Cromwell Road aka the A4. Apart from the Cromwell Hospital this stretch is wall to wall hotels dominated by the very tall and plain Holiday Inn, but we also noted the Radisson, the Cromwell (Best Western) which was a very pretty and spruced up original building, as indeed is much of the nearby Queen’s Gate.