Tuesday 10 August 2010
This was a wet and miserable day, but Linda and I felt quite cheerful as we set off on an epic five bus trip, which took us, or so it seemed, round and round and round Heathrow.
We emerged from Feltham Station (trains from Waterloo, very easy) and had a bit of a scenic walk to find the head stop. Eventually a very nice security bloke in the Feltham Leisure and shopping area announced 'all London is here' as he touched his forehead, and showed us. So we were onto our double decker by 10.35, destination Northolt. We were pleased that it was a big bus: most of the 90s we saw in the other direction were single deckers.
We crossed the Duke of Northumberland's River which, as we suspected, is not really a river, but an artificial cut made by the owners of Syon Park.
Planes were landing so close to us that we were a little uneasy, so it was good to see the many animals of the Hounslow Urban Farm clearly unaffected by the heavy traffic on the road and the relentless noise from overhead. Our next river was the River Crane, and shortly afterwards were over the A 30 and into Hatton Cross, visiting its bus and underground station for the first, but not the last time of our day. From there, we turned into the great city that is Heathrow, apparently employing more than 10,000 people itself, without counting the innumerable hotels, both large and larger, and the acres of carparking with their attendants. The bus was not busy, but that may have been because we were mid-shift as far as airport workers were concerned. Then we were over the motorway, and into Hillingdon, noting the good use of wide pavement for cycle track as well as pedestrians. Nestle's Avenue told us the name of one of the big, if controversial employers of the area, and we also saw signs to the London Motor Museum about which we did not know.
Over the Grand Union Canal, and into Hayes and Harlington, the bus needed to go 'round the back' of the pedestrianised shopping street, and soon we were travelling through a pleasant residential area, where the road was lined with what I am pretty sure were Gingko trees, which seemed adventurous of the Borough. Many of the front gardens had been turned into hard standing, so we enjoyed one that had gone to the other extreme. Then we were going through Yeading to pass Jedi-Robe, the Star Wars shop and so into Northolt. The village sign still uses the old Middlesex county coat of arms, and the garden and small clock tower were looking lovely as we arrived at the station at 11.30.