Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Number 271 Route

Thursday 12 May 2011

This was the third bus of the day:  we had come from South of Honor Oak to the heights of Highgate, and this bus would take us back to Finsbury Square and the city of London.   ‘We’ were Linda and me, since Mary was busy child-minding.

We walked down the hill from where the 214 had left us, and were not kept waiting long before the 271 rolled up.  The view down the hill towards London was slightly misty but still extensive and we headed downhill, reaching the Whittington Hospital.  The significance of the area was marked by a couple of pubs: Whittington and his Cat and the Whittington Stone, with an inn sign showing young Richard presumably with ringing in his ears.

A handsome Manga graffito occupied one wall, cheering the Holloway Road up considerably, and we also admired a church poster ('Galilean Carpenter seeks joiners’) and ‘The Loving Hut’ which proved to be a restaurant serving ‘pure vegan and vegetarian cooking’ so I hope no reader thought it was another kind of establishment (we saw one of those a little later, we think, since it was called ‘My Desire’ and had its blinds firmly drawn)

Another interesting shop front was London, a rather specialist estate agent for Hungarians, and we also passed the HQ of the National Youth Theatre

Our first bus journey of the day had shadowed parts of the South London Overground, and now here we were at Upper Holloway Station, a part of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, heading down the Holloway Road to the huge and rather decayed looking Odeon.

We came to a campus of the London Metropolitan University, not to mention the Nag’s Head Waitrose which used to be Jones Brothers.  We liked the name of a Ghanaian Restaurant  - Sweet Handz - and were interested in a pub called ‘The Horatia’.  It has previously been known as the Lord Nelson, so it seems not too fanciful to hope they have renamed it after the hero’s daughter (see this less than well written bit of Wikipedia)

Arrived at Highbury Corner, and Highbury and Islington Station (yes, the Overground again) we noted the totally inadequate  provision of cycle parking, and had barely time to register the Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar before heading down Canonbury Road, the only bus to serve this part of Islington.  Neither of us has ever visited the Estorick Collection, and we were not inclined to interrupt our journey today, but we shall certainly come back now we know where it is!

Past Essex Road Station, and over the Regent’s Canal, we were soon into Hoxton, passing the Salvation Army’s Hoxton Centre and then to Old Street, where we noted the Wesleyan links:  not just the Leysian Mission and the Wesley House, but also Epworth Street. (For those of you who, like Linda, do not know this story, it was at Epworth Vicarage that the infant John Wesley was rescued from a fire, and declared to be ‘a brand plucked from the burning’, thereafter being expected to devote his life to God)

From there it was a short step to Finsbury Square , where we arrived within 30 minutes of leaving Highgate, for once less than the advertised time!


  1. Have you changed your website? It looks great , but if I could offer a genuine suggestion, its not easy to work out why you are embarking on such a fascinating project. Eventually I found a paragraph in your archive page before your first blog, but I need to know more.......who are you? why are you doing it?

    Happy new year!

  2. Oops, while I was tweaking the design for my hosts over Christmas, I managed to accidentally delete the introductory paragraph. We have just put it back. I hope that explains a bit.

  3. @Tim : why do you make it so difficult to post a comment ?!

  4. Tim - thank you for that. This has to be a classic 'One Show'-type feature - you know; slightly quirky, interesting, an element of education and history. Can you pitch it to them on a milestone - bus number 300 or something, though I suspect that will come round fairly quickly.

    bacitizen - glad it wasn't just me, took me ages to work it out, though i imagine it filters out time-wasters.

  5. This blog is hosted by Blogger and that determines how the commenting system works.

    Sadly, it is a fact of life on the Internet that if it is too easy for people to comment, then you get a lot of spam advertising unsavoury things. I think the blogger system is a reasonable compromise between keeping the spam out without being too inconvenient, but I agree it is a pain.