Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Number 183 Route

Monday 28 February 2011

 Normally Linda and I like Golders Green Station, but not today! For starters, the toilets were ‘closed for refurbishment’ and then a 183 pulled away without pausing at its designated headstop, because an 83 was hogging all the space. There was anger at the bus stop but another 183 was having its break and the driver assured another would-be passenger that he would pause for us.  And he did. 
 So we were on the way to Pinner at 13.25, and gradually thawed after our previous chilly  bus and the unnecessary hanging about at Golders Green:  eating our sandwiches helped, and we agreed that it was a pity for us that Mary was doing grandmotherly things and could not be with us. We swung out of the station, past the clock and along the Golders Green road. 

The many Kosher shops and cafés, as well as Hotels called ‘King Solomon’ and ‘King David’ were evidence of the dominant ethnicity of the area.  The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus   is part of the Jewish Care network. 

Crossing the River Brent (and signs for the Capital Ring ) 
we were into Hendon, passing the offices of the Hendon Times, as well as signs for the Church Farm House Museum and the RAF Museum.

We also saw the Daniel Almshouses.

Next came a series of handsome buildings:  the Hendon Campus of Middlesex University, Hendon Library and Hendon Town Hall,displaying the coats of arms of Barnet’s many twinnings 
There was time to admire all this civic pride, as the traffic was very slow:  eventually it became clear that a tiny piece of road maintenance was closing one lane for about 5 metres:  enough to cause about 500 metres of delay.

Views of Wembley Stadium accompanied us as we crossed the motorway and passed Hendon Station, before going over the River Brent again, to note the ‘Wonderful Chinese Patisserie’ which is a restaurant rather than just a cake shop.  And then we were on our way to Kingsbury and impressed by the little thatched cottages of Roe Green:  until we read the slightly sneering description of British History Online: ‘Although it had lost some of its houses and trees, Roe Green Village, which had been made a conservation area in 1968, retained something of the atmosphere of a village green. In Slough Lane and Buck Lane there are some timbered, thatched houses, built between 1921 and 1930 by Ernest George Trobridge, aptly described as 'artificial old-world creations heavy with thatch and make-up'’.

Hennessey’s Bar had an entertaining Guinness sign and we thought Gooseacre Parade a good example of the period when this area grew most rapidly:  we were out of London and into Harrow.  We noted the ASHA charity shop, but did not know till we got home that it is an American charity aiming to educate children in India.  Past Kenton Station, we swept round the large roundabout that goes over the railway, passing Harrow High School which is celebrating its centenary this year.
We were a bit surprised that our driver ignored signs to Pinner, but of course he needed to swing into and out of Harrow;  we have been able over the past few weeks to notice that the Fat Controller Restaurant has closed and has not yet achieved new management, which seems a shame as it was a good name, though we have no idea about the food…  As usual, we found ourselves pausing at the station, where a police officer seemed to be marshalling the substantial number of people wanting to get onto our bus.  Then we were round St George’s shopping centre (we have been here too often recently!) and on past the handsome Harrow Cemetery.

North Harrow turned into Pinner, with the houses getting bigger though the front gardens were still hard standing.   We admired the Red Sky Shisha Lounge, whose facebook page says that their website is coming soon, if you are interested in smoking in a large heated garden.  The Harrow Carers’ Centre is along here too, as well as the Instep School of Ballet.

We reached Pinner at 14.35, and headed for the Metropolitan line to go home after our four bus outing.

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