Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Number 188 Route

Monday 15 March 2010

This was our return bus after the pleasures of the 61 and 161, so Linda, Mary and Jo boarded at 12.55, right outside the Dome, having visited the clean, but stark and freezing public loos of North Greenwich Station, where Mary was able to get the 2010 bus maps, so essential to planning.

Our journey began past the Millennium Village and Primary School but we were soon into 'historic' Greenwich, past the National Maritime Museum  and the Old Royal Naval College, spotting the hoarding that hides the Cutty Sark  as well as the entrance to the foot tunnel.

As we headed into Deptford, we noted lots of new build (one and two bedroom flats, of course, to the despair of people with families) as well as the Creekside Centre 'inspired by dance'. 

There is a large Vietnamese community here, with restaurants and shops to mark their presence, as we passed from Lewisham into Southwark, which has chosen Yellow for its Rotherhithe signs.  We looped into and out of Surrey Quays shopping centre, where we said hello to Linda's pet bus, the P12,  and on round the Leisure Park. 'The Home of Quality Newspapers' proclaimed the building which houses the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.  I make no comment, as we were swiftly on to Canada Water Station, where this whole adventure began, with the Number 1 bus to Tottenham Court Road, in Mach 2009.

We saw the plaque that marks the Surrey Docks fire and, with Bermondsey Station, were in the middle of the Dickens estate.  The names of its blocks serve as a test for Dickens lovers:  Carton and Darnay quite easy, and Rudge positively obvious, but Lupin and Wade requiring knowledge of Martin Chuzzlewit and Little Dorrit.  Druid Street Arch has a plaque to commemorate the 77 people killed by a bomb while sheltering on 25 October 1940.  

Tower Bridge Road begins a long way south of the bridge, and took us past Bermondsey Square, once the cloister garth of Bermondsey Abbey but now very regenerated.  Soon we turned right at the Bricklayers Arms and headed towards Elephant and Castle.  Driscoll House, formerly Ada Lewis House, began its life in 1913 as a hostel for working women  and has more recently been a hotel.  

 There is new building all around Elephant and Castle, including the Oakmayne Tower.  We went on, past Southbank University, the HQ of the London Ambulance Service and the Old Vic before heading over the river and around Aldwych, around the back of the Indian High Commission with its wall medallions.

Then it was up Southampton Row to reach Russell Square at 13.55, exactly an hour from North Greenwich.  We noted the plaque for TS Eliot as we prepared to disembark.

1 comment:

  1. I clearly need to re-read A Tale of Two Cities.