Tuesday 12 October 2010
Linda, Mary and I were on our way by 10.10, on this sunny morning, on a bus that was going to take us straight to Croydon. By straight, I mean that the driver barely had to turn his wheel until we we were manoeuvring round central Croydon. We passed Brixton Station, and thought how the Victoria Line had revolutionised transport in this part of South London since its opening in 1971. (The fact that it was first proposed in 1948 is a reminder of how patient one needs to be when public projects are in consideration)
Richard Budd Memorial. Some of the houses along Brixton Hill have handsome tiling ornamenting them and, as we moved towards Streatham, we noticed that they are set well back from the road, allowing a bit of breathing space for the residents. We were sorry to see that the Telegraph Pub is now boarded up, quite possibly as a result of a dispute between the owners and the Licensing Committee.
We admired not only a 'ghost' Bovril wall advertisement, but also Sharman's, which we understand to have been a clothes shop before it became a WH Smith. But it is sad to see both the Megabowl and the cinema closed. It was with relief that we were able to note that the skating rink is still open. Our route was taking us past both Streatham Hill and Streatham Stations, and then into Norbury.
Viola McAnuff Memorial Fund, one of whose shops we passed, was a reminder of what individuals and their families can do, and we also passed the Employment Tribunal which was, you might say, a reminder of what some individuals choose to do to others. We noted that Age UK Headquarters were already signed with their new title, logo, etc, though we were not entirely sure what had been wrong with 'Age Concern' as a title.
Meanwhile, we had been looking out for interesting food outlets: The Baltic Staff Food Store, which is apparently Lithuanian, a butcher referencing the HMC, or Halal Monitoring Committee and then the Bunga Raya Restaurant 'spend a little, savour a lot'.
Thornton Heath Pond, we regretted yet again that it is only a bus stop and not a water feature. And we were inspected. This is the first ime that this has happened to us for months, and seems to us to indicate a lack of trust in the driver, unless of course you are on a bendy bus (or 'free bus' as they are sometimes known) We passed the Mayday hospital and the Thornton Heath Mosque as well as a block of flats with a metalwork tree up the outside of it, close to West Croydon Station. We were interested in the Sunshine Tropical Delivery van: we've all enjoyed ackee, but were puzzled by 'baba roots'; it proves to be a drink.
The driver, to whom we gave a card, was amused, and said he had always wanted to get on one bus to the end of a route, then another, then another. He had been a very pleasant driver, waiting for people running to catch him, but still keeping to his time.