Wednesday 20 July 2011
We had reached Brentford County Court by lengthy means, about which you will read in a few weeks. 'We' were Mary, Linda and me. Walking round the corner, into the neat little bus area, dominated by St Paul's Church spire, we had only a few minutes to wait for our single decker, and were off by 12.05.
We passed what had once been a library, and soon came to the University of West London. The large building labelled TVU clearly dates from its former name. The M4 flyover looks a bit rickety, though I am sure it is rock solid.
The bus was busy from the start and, as we moved into suburban streets, people began to get off with their shopping. Some of the houses were semis, with their front gardens converted to hard standing, but there were also rows of terrace houses, one of which had some topiary in its front garden, which we found impressive.
We came into Ealing, with Elthorne Park on our left, and then into Hanwell, with its small green. Although there were fewer shops on this route than on some, we spotted West 7, which makes possible the kind of house restoration that appears on the television.
The Viaduct Pub relates to the railway, as we could see from the Inn Sign: we had missed our chance of photographing the Grand Union Canal, mostly because we were on a single decker. We were to cross it again later, and still fail to get a clear photo.
We came to Ealing Hospital and again, lots of people climbed on. We went under Brunel's Iron Bridge, and passed the signs to Dormer's Wells. We were going straight along main roads, which made us wonder why we had to be on a single decker bus: we had standing passengers almost all the way, so a double decker would have made sense, as well as being more fun for us. We usually associate little buses with curving routes.
The hoardings along the road indicated that we were coming close to Southall, and soon we slowed -inevitably - to negotiate the High Street. We passed the cinema that specialises in Bollywood films: an earlier cinema had turned into a Lidl.
We were pleased to see the large blue gas holder which, unbelievably, says LHR with an arrow, to show aeroplanes which way to go: I always thought they had technology for that.
A hoarding offered amazing bargains on villas in Hyderabad: can they really mean £15,000, wondered the man sitting next to Mary.
Next we passed the enormous Southall Police Station, as well as Goldfactory, whose website offers many delights, and came to the Shri Guru Amardas Gurdwara. We were soon also to pass the mosque and then a Hindu temple, as well as the Parish Church and a Somali Social Cafe.
We very much liked the the mural outside Hambrough Primary School: the National Curriculum in pictures, from Tutankhamun to killer whales, and from Henry VIII to volcanoes.
Over the canal (still no photo), we came into a rather bleak business park, which brought us into Hillingdon. The large orange, Victoria pub offers Indian food all day. We went along Station Road passing Hayes and Harlington Station, before doing that loop one has to do because the High Street is pedestrianised.
At this stage, the Oyster Reader was not working, and there was a certain amount of chat about free buses as we passed Botwell Green and came to an area of ex-public housing. We had a driver change in the middle of nowhere in particular, and then spotted that the Hayes Town Chapel was offering Christian Camping in Wales.
Through Hayes Village, we had to go onto the Uxbridge Road for a few metres in order to get into the huge residential area which would lead us to the termination of the route. When we finally reached the end of the route, it almost looked like the countryside, with horses in a field.
It was 13.15, and our only transport option was to sit on the bus till we reached Hayes and Harlington railway station. We gave the driver our card, but it left him rather puzzled.