Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Number 144 Route

Muswell Hill Broadway to Edmonton Green Bus Station
Monday September 13th 2010

Our two previous buses had brought us to Muswell Hill Broadway Circus, which it seems can only be approached uphill from wherever you come from – our coming had been much delayed by some nonsense on the Piccadilly line but the buses today were well-behaved, prompt and more or less to time.

Inevitably we headed off down the hill on foot where the first stop is located – the 144 waits rather deceptively by the roundabout with its nice shelter, but does not pick anyone up until just about opposite the Victoria Stakes pub, which has some fairly respectable reviews. As ever there is no hint why a North London pub should be named after a Canadian racing event? Nice views from the top of the hill.

But down the hill we continue, hoping the brakes hold, as we pass various ages of housing well set back from the road, often with a strip of grass in between. Such side roads as we could spot had the usual run of names – another Middleton Road - there seem to be about 11 Middleton Roads/streets etc. and another 13 with a ‘Y’, especially in North London and all probably named for Sir Hugh Middleton – he of the New River which we were to cross more than once today.

Though not as glitzy as the shops up the hill where we had started we still noticed some quite interesting outlets, or at least specialist ones.
Carrier bags clearly still much in demand it’s just such a shame so many of them land up blowing round the streets rather than being re-cycled. More interesting even was Shake n’brow so here you can have your eyebrows threaded whilst you sip a home –made smoothie – not knowing how painful a process this might be I’m not sure if something stronger may be called for? We were clearly getting hungry as we passed the Turkish patisserie, selling of course Baklava, which we all know and love but also Kadayif ( the shredded wheat delicacy ) and dondurma –a Turkish ice-cream.
As we approached Turnpike Lane station the pub sign also references John Gilpin whom we encountered on our previous trips round this way on buses even more distant such as 149 and 259. This Wetherspoon pub takes its name from the toll gate erected in 1765, where High Road meets Green Lanes. The toll gate was dismantled soon after the system of turnpikes (private roads) was abolished in 1872. The fact that several pubs still remain indicates what a busy thoroughfare this continues to be both for buses and local pedestrians.

What I had not expected was that a bus basically turning left at the major crossroads would take a turn round the bus station with such a sharp corner I more or less fell off my seat. Some buses blatantly ignore the bus stations but others go out of their way even if it means heading in the wrong direction. Turnpike Lane bus station is hidden behind the main roads. In spite of the 144 going this way only needing to turn left it actually subjects itself to 2 right turns in order to service the waiting people in the bus station.
Its next test is to deal with the crisscrossing shoppers of Wood Green as they dart across the road in search of whatever brought them to Shopping City in the first place. Again we had both a skilful and thoughtful driver who waited for the joggers though I am sure the next one (number 144, not jogger) was only just behind.  Today we were working our way through the N postcodes: N22 morphs into N17 as we seemed to head uphill, by now going determinedly north, on the A10. Houses with front gardens and a large area of allotments were quite refreshing for what is by and large an inner city residential area, and quite densely populated at that. We were not going to edge much beyond the North Circular but we flirted with it round here (not a very successful relationship)  We seemed to be moving in a parallel universe alongside.  Again the driver was totally unphased by negotiating the huge Cambridge roundabout and then running along off north near Silver Street station.

 Bordering Silver Street and the North Circular, now much wider than it used to be partly due to all those roadworks that cut short our trip on the 141 a couple of weeks back,  is Pymmes Park named for the original 1327 owners. However the whole estate once belonged to the altogether more famous Cecil, Lord Burghley. The walk here manages 10 miles or so of greenery through Enfield, which given how oppressive the North Circular can be is really quite a pleasing discovery. Also in this neck of the woods we saw a sign to the Millfield theatre – a small  arts/theatre venue run by Enfield

Leaving the dual carriageways behind the bus filters further north still and covers the last stretch of what I think of as Edmonton High Street but is more correctly known as Lower Fore Street to arrive, only 45 minutes after starting at Edmonton Green.

What was the compact  Passmore Edwards Library, one of many of his generous donations, has had a change of function.   It now houses the Mevlana Mosque and Rumi Centre celebrating the worship of Anatolian Muslims and specialising in the distribution of Noah’s puddings…whatever they might be! We know from previous trips that the local shopping centre, really an indoor market more than anything, has a range of fruit and food from round the world so maybe we could have found some Noah’s puddings? A glimpse of the future perhaps?

Although there were some slightly snagging road works and major road junctions we made good time on a very North London trip.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ladies Who Bus,

    Concerning your comment about The Victoria Stakes. For years it was The Victoria but during the 1960s it was re-named The Victoria Stakes in honour of the horse racing track that at the time was in Alexandra Park. Shortly after the pub was re-named the race track closed down but the name of the pub remained The Victoria Stakes.
    Jan Matthews