Camden (behind Sainsbury’s) to Clapham Common Station
Monday July 26th 2010
This started and ended as an overcast clammy day with some fairly feeble rain in the middle (not an umbrella’s worth) and low cloud obscuring some of the photographic opportunities.
88 – two fat ladies – slight exaggeration but 2 bus ladies boarded at Camden after what seemed like a pretty long wait which somewhat set the tone for the whole journey…
It was a long time since we had done any real central London trips, having been out beyond the TfL limits recently, and while in some ways it was good to be back – lots to look at – in other ways it reminded us how unpredictable central London traffic can be.
Bayham Street, one of Dickens’s many dwellings and past the glories of Mornington Crescent – refurbished Craven A building and less furbished Taylor Walker pub (the lamps and trimmings needed a polish) and Koko club – I am sure it looks better by night.
Talking of disrepair, the former Temperance Hospital looks a real wreck along the approach to the Euston Road – perhaps it’s like the picture of Dorian Gray and the more the population drinks the more it crumbles? Not that we’re exactly tee-total.
The bus had to detour round a stranded car that seemed to have died on this rather busy thoroughfare.
the Flower School. Even more surprising was a shop headed up hair-raising for kids, which I thought must be an exclusive children’s salon – it however proves to be a much more worthwhile venture.
We were quite surprised to see extensive queues of young people often with buggies in line for the Polish Embassy which finds itself in this corner of the West End. Of course the 88 soon crosses Langham Place with the cleaning of the Broadcasting House nearly complete and arrives at Oxford Circus – strange all that disruption last year to create a diagonal crossing and hardly anyone uses it? The journey down Regent Street towards Piccadilly seemed painfully slow today – we had a quick ticket inspection and then spent our time wondering randomly –
- why the road surface was quite so bumpy, after all this prime tourist Regent Street
- is oh-so-English Burberry still justified in flying the flag?
- and why had another car ground to a halt on a double yellow line just short of Eros?
Milling crowds almost obscured the entrance to Westminster Abbey, leaving us to contemplate the Sanctuary Building nearby – once the HQ for the British Union of Fascists (I take no credit for this historical information). Soon after this and before we got too much of a nasty taste the 88 dives down Great Smith Street, which is much quieter . There was some debate as to whether the new government had dropped the Children & Families from the schools bit of its Education department so ‘we’ may be floating free again? Here is the HQ anyway, then bits of the Home Office too and eventually the 88 creeps up behind the Tate Gallery emerging in time to cross Vauxhall Bridge , which is of course where the rain set in – spoiling the transpontine photo opportunities of which I am so fond.