Friday, 9 September 2011

The Number 215 Route

Tuesday 30 August 2011 (Tim’s birthday)

 This was the third of our buses today, and Linda and I walked through the well appointed bus station at Walthamstow Central with a feeling of familiarity. Our discontent when we saw it was a 3-an hour bus turned to delight as we noted we had less than 5 minutes to wait to catch the 12.03 departure.

 A large family boarded our double decker before us, but we didn’t grudge them the front seats, partly because ANYWHERE upstairs gave us better views than our two previous single deckers;  and also because they were clearly in the midst of Eid celebrations (confirmed when one of the younger ones tucked into a sandwich)  So ‘Mubarak’ to all.  We had noted posters like this one on our earlier trips as well as here.
It was very slow along Walthamstow High Street, so we had plenty of time to tally the NINE estate agents within about 70 metres.  We know that since the Victoria Line arrived, property in Walthamstow has been a good buy, but this seemed rather excessive competition.

We passed the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, noticing that several of their posters and announcements were in an oriental language, which I think may have been Japanese: we presume this reflects their local congregation.

It was clearly enrollment day at Sir George Mounoux College, as we saw lots of people going in and out as we passed.  Linda and I were pronouncing it in French, ‘Monoo’ but the bus pronounced it ‘Monnux’.

Rounding the Crooked Billet Roundabout, we at first thought the Walthamstow Stadium (pic 4) was looking quite healthy but it is clear that since 2008 it has been closed and evidently plans for its development into private – for sale – housing are arousing local passions

 We came into Chingford, and noted some interesting shops, the specialized nature of Gerry’s for Nets impressing us.  This was the first time we had seen a Hungarian rather than Polish or multi-East-European shop.  The Helen Rollason shop was good to see as we had admired the woman and hoped that the charity named for her was doing OK.

 Past Chingford Cemetery we were heading up the Lea Valley, with the reservoirs on our right.  Most of the houses had hardened front gardens, and one or two had gone even further than that.

Suddenly, we were into Essex.  We drew into the layby of the Yardley Estate:  sometimes the 215 terminates here, and if it does not it is non-stopping to the Campsite, which we reached at 12.40.

The campsite is in pleasantly rural area, and so there was no option but to hand our rather bemused driver a card, and ride back with him to Walthamstow.

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