Tuesday 21 September 2010
Fenchurch Street Station was where Mary and I met to go to Rainham and begin our journey. Linda being off in Italy, we were pleased that the two of us had a brilliant and sunny day for our trip to Essex as a compensation. We admired a very special pet shop as we awaited our bus, which arrived at 10.45.
Buses in Rainham set off from the War Memorial, a brick clock, and we noted that nearby Rainham Hall is open to the public occasionally: I was amused read that the ghost appears only in the daytime. I'm sure the National Trust has rules about the proper frequency of hauntings, though at the moment the Hall is awaiting conservation.
Ingrebourne Chase, part of the growing Thames Chase Community Forest, on a former landfill site.
As we came into South Hornchurch we saw the former Cherry Tree Pub, in a very derelict state, but were cheered to see that the Bull is thriving. We noted the Bereavement Centre with a flower shop conveniently next door, before moving into Dagenham, and passing Dagenham East Station and then the huge Civic Centre, and then turned right along Wood Lane to join the Number 5 Route for a while. Huge is the word for institutions in Dagenham ( a couple of later buses took us to the Ford Works as you will see if you're still with us for the 170s): the enormous cemetery at Horn Lane and the massive metal structures along Rush Green Road: remains of gas holders we assumed, since sewage tanks - our first thought - don't usually have ladders going upwards.
Then we were quickly into Romford, and past the station. As we pushed on into North Romford, the bus emptied rapidly as shoppers and students reached their homes. We were the only passengers as we headed to North Romford, through a variety of ages and styles of housing, to reach Chase Cross at 11.35.