Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Number 167 Route

Monday 13 July 2009

This was our third bus of the 5 bus day, but we were undaunted. Although the 167 was signalled as three times an hour, we waited less long than for the 73. Having noted the monochrome nature of the population of attractive, flowery Debden, we were delighted to have a non-white bus driver, who retraced the 20 route with a brief detour down Pyrles lane to serve the many houses in the area. We therefore had another chance to admire the posh independent shops of Loughton, as well as doing the station-and-Sainsburys loop before turning away up Alderton Hill. The Blue Plaque at Roding Valley High School, a performing Arts College, proved to be a Loughton Council clone, and commemorated Winifred Darch, author of school stories including ‘The Fifth Form Rivals’ and ‘Margaret Plays the Game’. She was a teacher and house mistress at the school in the early part of the twentieth century.

Back down through Buckhurst Hill, we were entertained by a young man and his girlfriend. When she squeaked as a wasp bumped along the window beside her, we offered him a bus map to kill it with. But he said it wasn’t doing anyone any harm, and was sunbathing. He then spent a while trying to persuade it into his hand to steer it towards a window, without success. When another young woman screamed and changed seats to avoid it, Jo was delighted at her own stoic calm, evidence that actually being stung a couple of years ago had reduced the phobia to mild dislike.

Buckhurst Hill has a Cricket and Lacrosse Club, with separate websites for each sport.  Personally, having played lacrosse in a reluctant fashion at school, I am impressed that there is a League.
We were soon amid the somewhat pretentious pseudo-Tudor-but-with-classical-columns of Chigwell and over the M11, seeing the River Roding from time to time as we approached Gants Hill Station, repeating parts of our 296 trip, one of today's five, about which you will read in due course. The repeating routes of today meant we had time to notice several witty hairdressers: Heads Up, Kutting Krew, Hair Hunters, Etti-Cutt, The Cutting Edge. Could this become our substitute for Blue Plaques? (Clever montage courtesy of the 63 - former - regular)
We passed Valentines Park and Mansion and Valentines School. Clearly we shall have to come back another day to explore its listed 18th century garden, saved from housing redevelopment in the 19th century by the Council, which now owns it.
Into Ilford, which we feel we know quite well, and past the roadworks, which will have been completed by the time you read this, we off the bus after just over 60 minutes from Debden and were ready to embark on more Essex buses.

1 comment:

  1. The 20 does not travel down Pyrles Lane, it joins Rectory Lane via Hillyfields.