Monday, 16 May 2011

The Number 172 Route

Thursday 12 May 2011

Two trips in one week may seem excessive, but Linda and I will be away next Monday, and Linda did not want to miss one of her most local buses.  Mary was busy with the grandchildren.

From Brockley Rise, we headed along the road, past Crofton Park Station, and the Passmore Edwards Library, due for closure 
The Cornish philanthropist, as well as being a temperance and Peace campaigner, believed that education and opportunities to read for ordinary people was the way forward.  Ho hum.

As we passed the cemetery, Linda pointed out that the shop on the corner had once been an undertaker’s, but was now a betting shop.  Brockley Station (yes, it’s the Overground Fan Club again) has all been attractively landscaped.  We hope that the same will be happening to Honor Oak Park soon, though the internet leaves one rather doubtful about how long the rescue works there will take.

Anyway, this is meant to be about buses, so on with the 172, now passing that interesting embankment wall embossed with the words ‘sow, grow, reap’ and currently supporting rampant and pretty campanula, which certainly needs no sowing to grow.  Thanks to help from Sarah after an earlier journey, we were confident in identifying the roadside trees as hornbeams.

Past Goldsmith’s College and we were at New Cross Gate station, still tracking the Overground, though I promise that this will be the last mention of it this time.  We liked the name ‘De Lord’s Canteen’ for a restaurant serving African cuisine.  Has anyone else noticed that the word ‘canteen’ has become rather a popular name for eateries?  I suppose that, as memory fades of school dinners, it sounds OK.

                                                      We also noted the Christfaith Tabernacle in its Bethesda Building, named for the pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem associated with one of the miracles of Jesus.  Then we came to Brimmington Park, and headed along the New Kent Road  The Wazobia Restaurant offered us the opportunity to ‘wine and dine in opulent surroundings, and we liked the Everlasting Arms Ministry with its mosaic mural apparently of the Canterbury Pilgrims, who would have headed along this way before the ministry’s inception. After the edge of Burgess Park and a view of the slow-growing Shard we passed the plaque to the late great Henry Cooper and came to Marcia Road, where people died in an air raid in 1917.  It was odd to pass the other end of East Street Market, having been along the Walworth Road more than this one in recent journeys.

Progress towards Elephant and Castle was faster for us than for non-bus lane traffic but we still had time to see that he Heygate Estate is indeed coming down.  It’s worth reminding ourselves that the  people who first moved in, and indeed several generations afterwards, rated the benefits of indoor lavatories, running water  and fresh air highly, compared to the grim housing of the pre-bombing streets around here.

After Elephant and Castle and the Faraday memorial progress was much faster, up to the Obelisk at St George’s Circus, the Old Vic and Waterloo Station.

Over the bridge, Linda was prevented from taking her normal river views by the camera battery dying and needing to be replaced.  Still she was back in action as we came round Aldwych, and admired the medallions on the Indian High Commission building, as well as the entrance to Bush House, with its fulsome statement about ‘the Friendship of English Speaking Peoples’.

We were taken aback when the bus terminated here.  Our driver had to come upstairs and pry us out of our seats: she said that she had changed destinations on the signage at Elephant, but we tend to listen rather than look, being occupied  with the passing scene, so had missed the change.  But there,  no harm was done, and we were able to catch another 172 after a ten minute wait outside Clement’s Inn with time to cross the road to check that the little tubby statue looking down Fleet Street behind St Clement Dane’s was indeed Samuel Johnson.  

There was also a notice about a former well, possibly one of the ones mentioned here 

So on we went, past the mouldings of chinese workers at Twinings, and the many pubs and taverns of Fleet Street, to sweep to the south of St Paul’s Cathedral, where the traffic was slowed by ‘works’ as well as tourist buses, and up along New Change, to terminate well beyond St Paul’s Station, This enabled us to catch some attractive gardens in the space left by a blitzed church, and also the statue of Rowland Hill, before disembarking at 10.50

PS If you (improbable I know) are wondering at the delay in blogging this journey, it is of course because of the collapse of Blogger over the end of last week, which also appears to have deleted comments made by readers on several of our routes.

1 comment:

  1. So pleased to be able to report that the Passmore Edwards library referred to here and in the 171 account did not close, but is now supported and staffed by the local community under the auspices of Eco Communities. The library service is still provided by Lewisham Council but the library space is becoming a focus for local activities. (2013)