3 November 2011
Our trip on the 248 was prefaced by a fairly long stroll around Romford. Linda and I are not at our best with directions, and Mary was not with us to be the voice of good sense. After about 40 minutes we realized that the 248 bus stop was just across the road from where we had ended pour previous journey (we had thought that we could walk through the Liberty Centre, take a right and reach St Edward’s Way. Still, as the Wombles used to say, ‘exercise is good for you, laziness is not’, and we were compensated by the rapid arrival of our bus, the only double decker of this four bus day round the South East corner of Essex. (the outstretched arm in the picture is the sleeve of the Project's logoed hoodie, by the way). It was almost 13.30
Our detour had given us a chance to admire the huge tank left over from the Brewery, when it was a brewery, which we should not have been able to photograph from the bus. The we were off on the familiar tour round the town, taking in the station and Professional Music Technology, shortened to PMT, which makes us smile every time we pass it. Here we changed drivers: this has happened on previous visits, so clearly it is a convenient place for drivers going off duty.
Heading out of Romford, with the massive YMCA looming on the skyline, we passed a small, overgrown park. Eavesdropping on our neighbours on the other front seat, we learned that, since it had been taken over by a private company, possibly for development, it had been both fenced and neglected. We passed the end of a street named Roneo Link, which proves to be named after the factory which made copying machines familiar to those of us old enough for Freedom Passes. British History Online has this to say about it:
The local tradition of light industry, well established by the end of the 19th century, has since then been continued and extended. The largest modern factory is that of Roneo Vickers Ltd., manufacturers of office machinery. It lies at the junction of South Street and Hornchurch Road, now called Roneo Corner. It was on the Hornchurch side of the old parish boundary. During the 1890s part of the site was occupied by a bicycle factory. The Neostyle Manufacturing Co., later Roneo Ltd., opened its works there in 1908. In 1975 Roneo Vickers was a subsidiary of Vickers Ltd.
Sadly, another of the former enterprises, the Lovable Brassiere factory, does not appear to be memorialised in a street name (and, by the way, the only company I can find of that name is in India).
On the way to Hornchurch, we passed a dance shop called 'Tappy Feet', as well as the Harrow Pub and Harrow Lodge Park. As it was just before 14.00, our bus had filled with students, who now disembarked for Wingletye College. Road works for the water company slowed us down, and there were more roadworks among the shops of Hornchurch. We had time to notice the 'Oh My Cod' chip shop. Along Butts Green, and past Emerson Park Road, the bus was briefly 'on diversion', and then we came to Frances Bardsley School. Aside from the fact that she established the school in the early part of the twentieth century, I have been unable to find out anything about her. Whether she was very rich and hired teachers, or merely taught the girls herself is not clear
Upminster Bridge is separated from Upminster by an attractive village green, with a windmill. We swept past Upminster Stationwithout going into the forecourt, and after this the bus was nearly empty as we admired handsome houses, some old, some less so. A fenced off stately home-ish place was not identified and except for saying that it is NOT Cranham Hall, I don't know what it is.
Soon we were into an extensive area of housing, much of it former public housing, we concluded, and we reached out end stop, in Lexington Way at 14.10.