Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Number 89 Route

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Linda and I, Mary still being busy with family affairs, headed for Slade Green by train and boarded the 89 at 10.20.  Through suburban streets, and at first very flat, we noted TV aerials on high stalks to get reception. The Corner Pin Pub, named for the outermost and hardest to hit skittle, seemed to be in quite a good state, whereas a little later we passed a mound of rubble, only the pub sign, for The Harrow, surviving to tell us what it had once been.

We turned into the dual carriageway of North End Road, zipped along, round a roundabout and back, to turn left into Colyer's Lane, steeply uphill and then down again,  passing the green -though rather parched - open spaces of Erith School and then Northumberland Heath.  The substantial homes of this area mostly have hard standing instead of front gardens, but I expect all that green space will absorb the rain, if we ever have any.

At Bexleyheath bus garage we had a change of driver,  and then we passed signs to The Red House before reaching Bexleyheath centre, with its William Morris clock.  There was an attractive fountain, too, but the water was all foamy:  whether a deliberate ploy to prevent  trouble in the school holidays, or just a mistake, we do not know.  We noted lots of good shops, and an enormous Asda, before moving on, past more signs to the Red House, along Crook Log.  This is both a street and the pub (now a Toby Carvery) part way along it.  Apparently Roger Moore, The Saint, once lived around here, but that is Wikipedia and not a blue plaque sighting.  We admired the very modern Crook Log Leisure Centre and swimming pool, and were rather taken aback at the sight of a gun shop, since we though that opportunities for wild fowl shooting round here must be a bit limited.

We saw Erith and Belvedere Football Club's ground, and then were interested by two more pubs.  The first was Guy Earl of Warwick.  A cursory web search suggests that an awful lot of Earls of Warwick were called Guy, and this one may have been early 14th century and involved in wars against Scotland as well as opposing Piers Gaveston.  Then we saw a pub that appeared to be called 'John Barras' but it proves to be the name of the chain, rather than a fascinating local person.  The Woodlands Farm Trust was on our right:  we have passed it from the other side, on other journeys, but this was the first time from the Shooters Hill side.  We also passed signs to Severndroog Castle, of which I had never heard, but Linda was abl to tell me about the hopes to get it all restored.  The large military accommodation blocks were on our left as we came through the edge of Eltham, noting that the Blackheath Dog Spa was closed and up for sale - they only lasted 18 months!

After the huge roundabout that offers you the Blackwall Tunnel or the Channel Tunnel (because it is the A2!) we were onto the heath of Blackheath, which is looking very dry, and the station, the private hospital and St Matthew's Academy, which has taken the Gove route of having nothing to do with local agencies.

And so to Lewisham, not for the first time.  We were interested to see that the derelict area where once there was a cinema is to be a green space, with a turfed mound in process of construction.  We look forward to enjoying its finished look on future trips.  As it was, we arrived at Lewisham Station at 11.30

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