Wanstead to Gallions Reach Shopping Centre (Beckton)
Monday September 6th 2010
Well, after the glitz and fame of the 100 (600+ hits after being kindly tweeted By Diamond Geezer – thanks) the 101 was always going to be something of an anti-climax, not helped by its rather remote location requiring serious travelling to get to either end of the route.
Clearly the locals are prepared to fight to keep their open spaces and the Flats offer sports grounds, a golf club and of course some wilder areas with three or four ponds.
Not far past the Wanstead Flats we passed a large well-maintained cemetery which Jean recommended as also offering good walks – something confirmed by the existence of the following guided tour .
This was to be about the sum total of our greenery for the day though as you shall see Beckton proved to be leafier than anticipated. But I get ahead of myself.
First comes East Ham and immediately the bus, a proper double decker, became fuller and busier. By now we are familiar enough with East Ham to know that going south towards the River the bus takes a back route round behind the High Street and that was the way for us today. It passes through Ron Leighton Way, which we guessed must be a local footballer (you are very much in West Ham territory): however, my research indicates that he was in fact the local (old) Labour MP for Newham who died in 1994. In case you are interested, although there have been some boundary changes the local MP remains Labour and is currently Stephen Timms.
Today was very obviously the first day of term. The bus seemed abuzz with students of all ages who had been into their various places of education and were sharing timetables with their friends either directly or by phone, and each primary school we passed had a clutch of anxious ‘new mums’ outside.
Then once we had crossed over the busy A13 we were entering Beckton or Beckton Alps as the signposts promised us.