Monday, 5 December 2011

The Number 256 Route

Thursday 16 November 2011

Noaks Hill to St George’s Hospital Hornchurch

We walked round the corner from our previous bus to the busy Noaks Hill Road, and waited outside the Bear Pub, apparently once known as the Goat, but here since the 18th century.

Linda and I were on board by 13.10 and heading down hill, with countryside on our left (including horses grazing, always a pleasure to Linda).  We passed the Pomapdours Pub, and speculated whether it was named for the hairstyle or the 18th century courtesan, but have since failed to discover any answers.

This brought us into Hilldene, and part of Harold Hill, embellished by a roundabout with standing stones. We have noted before that this part of East London has adapted its planting to the possible drought consequences of climate change.  There has not been much rain lately and we thought they were looking rather good.

We paused briefly in the forecourt of Harold Wood Station before continuing our journey through the pleasant housing estates, built, we think, to house people  being relocated in the later 1940s from bombed South and East London.  If this is the case, it would help to explain the startling number of care homes and ‘sheltered living’ complexes we passed.  We were, it must be said, rather surprised to see one being built for the Over 55s, at a time when people will be working until they are 67 or 68.
Very large houses were interspersed with bungalows, and we noted again what a great  year it has been for pyracanthas. Students got on and off as we passed Havering College. 

 There was a lot of traffic on the Southend Arterial road but fortunately our crossing point was controlled by lights so we were not held  up.  After passing a large Mormon Church,  we reached the outskirts of Hornchurch, with its ‘Oh My Cod’ chip shop (no, I am not making an connections there) and then made our way through the town. 

 We noted  that Elly’s Couture offered clothes for ‘Proms, Weddings, Races’ but deduced that this meant for Ladies’ Day rather than actually riding or indeed running.  We had experienced the road works of Hornchurch earlier in the day, and passed the plaque for the heroic boy seaman Jack Cornwell (see Linda’s account with the 252 early in November and also here) but this time we swept on past the station, to reach St George’s Hospital at 13.45 after a pleasant 35 minutes.

This had been a neat day, starting and finishing in Hornchurch, with a little loop around some of South Essex’s residential areas in between.

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