Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Number 97 Route

Tuesday 24 August 2010

We - Linda and I - were travelling on a Tuesday because I had had motherly duties in Milton Keynes on the Sunday and Monday.  I was quite pleased, as the weather for the start of our journey was a great deal better than yesterday's: at least at first...

Thanks to the marvels of TfL, and especially different bits of the Overground, we were at Leyton Station good and early;  but by the time we had found the lurking place of our bus, and been told we had to walk along to the first (request) stop, it was almost 10.00am before we started our journey and found ourselves back at the station in short order.  The view of the Olympic Swimming Centre is phenomenal, and we noted, as before, that many businesses and shops have taken the 'O' word into their titles.  We loved the colourful gardens and also admired the handsome town hall.  Soon we were passing the new flats being built close to (and as a business venture by) Leyton Orient Football Club, and then a large open space, which proves to be Leyton Green,with an almost villagey feel to the houses around it.

 The hanging baskets in Leyton were of a very high standard, though we agreed for the umpteenth time that this has been a very good year for petunias.  Pubs round here were interesting.  The one called The Shoe Laces does not have its own website, so as always I can't tell you what significance the name has.  The King William IV is of course easier:  he's the King whose failure to have legitimate children 'caused' Queen Victoria.  Having been in the Royal Navy, and hit his head on the deck above when standing for the Loyal Toast, he ordered that officers in the navy could drink to the King sitting down. We admired, as on previous visits, the reliefs along the wall of Tesco's in Lea Bridge Road, and also noted Islamic Impressions, a shop clearly promising a wide range of goods.
This brought us to Walthamstow's bus station, which we know well, from numerous visits, but we did not pause, but whipped round it and back out the way we had come.

This was the day of the GCSE results, so our bus had a few more young people than is usual (we are too early for them in the holidays and much too late for them on schooldays) mostly they seemed quite happy.  After George Monoux College and the huge roundabout over the M11 we passed Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium and headed uphill.  We knew we were in Winston Churchill territory (his constituency was in this area) when we saw both Estate Agents and Fish and Chip Shops bearing his name.  Chingford Mount has a 1930s feel, with some attractive tiling on the public buildings and well- maintained houses.  We were also impressed by the expanse of Chingford Mount Cemetery, at the top of the hill.  Mansfield Park clearly has nothing to do with Jane Austen, but played a part in the life of an even more glittering celebrity.

Chingford War Memorial was looking very bright, and soon we passed Chingford Green and Chingford Library, to reach Chingford Station at 10.45.

We enjoyed being back in the East again after our Western and Southern jaunts or recent weeks.

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