Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Number 86 Route

Monday 12 April 2010

Having emerged from the Blackwall Tunnel on the 108 and got to elegant Stratford Bus Station, Mary, Linda and I had to hurry to get onto the 86, before it left at 11.15.
There were already lots of people on board, so we didn't get our customary front seats on this, the only double decker of our journey.

We headed straight along the Romford Road, and in fact were to go straight for many miles.  It's hard to say whether this is because (a) the comparatively flat nature of the land makes straight roads easier, or (b) the roads came before some of the settlements or (c) the Romans were here. Certainly it was very different from some of the lane-like high streets we have wound along in West London

We passed The Old Dispensary which apparently is now being used as Newham Council's 2012 Olympic Offices.  We were, of course, in Olympic territory with good views, though poor photo opps of the main stadium and the aquatics centre.  By the time you read this, it will all be even nearer completion, but this website is quite fun anyway.

The West Ham Municipal Baths is now home to the First Musical Academy,  and we also saw the large Police Station and the Forest Gate Mosque.  We were still heading straight, noticing anxiously that almost all the front gardens had been converted into hard standing - where will all the rain water go?

Manor Park High Street had some attractive shops and we were able to admire them before popping under the North Circular and over the River Roding  and (at last!) making a right and then a left to point towards Ilford and Romford.  Winston Way, we thought, was an indicator that we were getting into Churchill territory, though his constituency was a little further out.  We also noted the Winston Children's Centre. Our route paralleled the railway (our return on the 66 was to follow the Central Line) so we passed Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath Stations.

The pubs on this trip seemed to be in better condition than other places we have been, and we admired the realistic sign of the Cauliflower.  We also approved the Borough's signage about drinking too much.

Other signage we saw included the 'yoof' Church board ('luv 2 talk? talk 2 Jesus) and a hairdresser called 'Dye-ing for a Cut'.  The Territorial Army's 289 Parachute Troop, whose HQ was on our route, has a long history, including supporting the Royal Horse Artillery, an odd mixtures of the ancient and modern when it comes to methods of warfare.  Although we passed signs to Romford Greyhound Stadium, we sadly did not get close to it, nor indeed sample its many delights. 

We reached Romford Station, busy with shoppers, at 12.25.  Much of the 70 minutes of the ride had been in a straight line, but with plenty of shop-and-people watching to keep us entertained.

1 comment:

  1. As you surmised, the 86 follows the alignment of an old Roman road. It stops a tad short of the Roman destination (Colchester) though ...