Tuesday 10 August 2010
This was the 5th of our Heathrow-ish buses today, and the weather had been unpleasant, but were we downhearted? No! Having been fortified by coffee and sandwiches at Terminal 5, we were well up for rain and further exploring.
We got on the single decker 95 close to Southall Town Hall, where even the pavements are a comment on the predominant ethnicity of the area, with attractive little inset designs. We did take a picture of a pavement motif, but mistakenly took it as a movie, and I can find no web pictures. Sorry! Apparently more South Asians live in this part of London than anywhere in the world except, well, South Asia.
It was 3.25, and the bus was full from the start, shoppers going home, but also people aiming for the tube, judging by where people got off. The residential streets we went through began in a poetic vein: Burns Avenue, Kingsley Road, Masefield Road and so on, but as we came into Dormers Wells we went all military, with Allenby Road, before moving on to some English counties.
People were still standing as we moved into Greenford, and past Ravenor Park and the war memorial, and then paused for a change of driver at Greenford Broadway. On down Greenford Road and cross the A40, we came to South Greenford Station and then into Perivale. We went parallel and close to the big road for some way, before crossing the River Brent, one of several waterways today. Down on the Hanger Lane gyratory, some people got off, but the main exodus was for Park Royal Station, suggesting that the Piccadilly Line is more popular than the Central Line.
On along Western Avenue, the traffic going in the other direction was stationary for a long way, but we were making rapid progress, the driver presumably hoping to achieve the very tight theoretical timing of the route.
After St Catherine’s Church, with the saint depicted complete with wheel, we passed the Phoenix High School, and the Defectors Weld pub whose strange name seems insufficiently explained on its website, and the handsome Lloyds bank, with its smart tiling.
So we came to White City Station, or Westfield as it has become known, not, as we expected, turing into the Bus Station, which we know well, but rather passing on, to terminate across the Road from Shepherds Bush Green, at 4.35, somewhat outside the time promised at the bus stop in Southall. A long day, but really very interesting!