Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Number 116 Route

Monday18 October 2010

Although it had been quite a long day (see the 110 story for the difficulties of even starting our journey), Linda and I felt that we should take advantage of being in the area to experience the 116 as it nips between Hounslow High Street and Ashford Hospital. I hoped it might clear up the geography: I do know that this is not Ashford, Kent, but I thought the other one was ‘Ashford, Middlesex’ and yet here we were popping into and out of Surrey.

So we waited at the magic Bus stop C  and were on our fourth single decker of the day, just before 3.00pm. This will be the last time we use bus stop C, unless we live long enough to attempt the ‘H’ buses.
The 116 snakes through the chicanes of the High Street rather than going round the edge as the other buses have, but we soon rejoined the mainer road past the Treaty Centre, where the pyracanthas were looking particularly fine. Clearly, this is being an excellent autumn for berries of all kinds.
Lots of new housing is going up on the outskirts of Hounslow, built by firms with names like ‘Catalyst Communities’  and ‘a2Dominion’. Shops, however, look a little depressed: there is the Treaty Centre, and there will soon be the Blenheim Centre. But we hope some small shops will survive, notably the 60s sounding ‘Gaylites’ which, sure enough, has been going since 1969.

Over the River Crane, not for the first time, our bus began to fill up with school students as we came into Bedfont and Bedfont Green with a range of different types of housing.

Having passed signs to Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution, said to be in Middlesex, though we were clearly heading into Surrey, we made rapid progress, past a large cemetery, and the grounds of Knyvett College, all very green and attractive. The College is an 11-16 Surrey School, part of a partnership with Howard of Effingham School. Its website does not say anything about Thomas, but he might well be the one who arrested Guy Fawkes, since he is said to have opened a small school in Stanwell.

Within 30 minutes of leaving Hounslow we arrived at Ashford Hospital. It is about to be downgraded (if that’s the word) to a walk-in centre, with serious A and E moving to Chertsey or Isleworth. A pleasant little journey to round off our day.

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