Friday 5 November 2010
We had decided that on our convoluted way to the 117, we should add the 118, and so we met bright and early (9.15 rather than our usual 10.15) at Brixton Station. Linda and I were alone, as Mary had issues with her boiler. We walked down to the 118 stop, passing an admirable bike lock (though whether they were Metropolitan Police handcuffs or not we could not say) and were on board by 9.20, heading back past the station. Being related to someone who is interested in ghost signs, we enjoyed the 'ghost shop', and noted that Mr Saunders had been both an optician and a watchmaker.
We passed a number of familiar landmarks, the beautiful Ritzy Cinema, and the handsomely refurbished Windrush Square; St Matthew's Church with the Budd memorial outside it, and above all, the Maggi Hambling Heron and we were heading as straight as (insert preferred cliche here!) towards Streatham.
I suppose I should apologise for so many pictures of Brixton, but it really is full of landmarks.
We passed the South London Marie Stopes Centre and the George IV Hotel (Linda felt he had not lasted long as King, but we reminded ourselves that he had had a long and tiring time as Regent, commuting to Brighton and so on) Which reminds me, there were advanced warnings about the likely effect on traffic of the veteran car run to Brighton at the weekend.
On, still straight, past Streatham Station and Streatham ice rink, we finally turned right down Greyhound Lane, to pass Streatham Common Station, and a pet groomers called Gow Gow.
We were pleased to see that Dave Ridge and Sons (pebbledashing) are still in business in their smartly pebbledashed premises as we came to Streatham Park Cemetery with its attendant florists and funeral directors.
Passing a former school, about to be turned into housing, we turned right down Manor Road, then right again and we were into Mitcham, speeding alongside the green and gold of Mitcham Common. The bridleways are marked with attractive white cutout horses: we couldn't get a photo as we were moving at a brisk pace, but there is a picture here.
The railway bridge brought us to Three Kings Pond, with elegant houses around it and equally elegant geese on it. We came to Mitcham Fair Green, and turned left into London Road, which is part of Mitcham's all-consuming one way system. This brought us to Cricket Green and the Cricketers pub, as well as the Burn Bullock pub, named for a famous cricketer. It was here that the Cricket Umpires Association was formed.
We thought Mitcham looked a very pleasant place, but there are websites like this one that do not agree.
Out of Mitcham and over the River Wandle and the Wandle Walk, we followed the very windy and narrow Wandle Lane, turning left into Morden Hall Road to reach Morden Station at 10.15. For those of us who use the Northern Line further north, it was good to visit, for the first time, the place that trains terminate.