Highbury and Islington Station to Leamouth (Saffron Av)
Thursday January 19th 2012
Steadfastly we pushed on down the Balls Pond road as we approached Dalston Junction – the Turkish barber indicating just one of the diverse communities that populate this area. Barbers’ shops are a good example of ‘arrival city’ businesses – you bring your skills and expertise from your country of origin and set up shop to cater for your community – barbers shops in particular being a good community and social resource. By now this route was doubling back on the journey I had made via the Overground to catch the bus in the first place but if it was logic I wanted I would not be on this project. At Dalston Junction we crossed with one of about nine 277s I counted heading the other way; there is something very comforting about a run of red buses on a grey and rainy day.
Coming from Graham Road we avoided the worst traffic of Hackney and breezed past the Empire, the old façade a wonderful Frank Matcham flourish and the side extension suitably modern. The clock on the Town Hall was correct as well and today I spotted the Mare Street studios, but they prove to be spaces to rent rather than something more specific. More incongruously, Freed of London, famed for their dance wear, especially shoes, has a factory here and the contrast between the stock and the rather run down building is interesting.
(it’s often known as the People’s Park) and the whole area offers a range of delights both as a living environment and park proper.
Planned by James Pennethorne and opened in 1845, and now largely within Tower Hamlets borough it will also play a role in the Olympics. There have certainly been some new additions as could be seen even from the bus.
This has a very different history, having been created on the site of 1940s war bomb damage (including the site, marked by a Blue Plaque, where London’s first Flying Bomb fell) and now consisting of a range of different sections – the Go-karting track looked excellent and there is an Ecology stretch leading to the Green bridge – we whizzed by too fast for me to capture it but I did get a clutch of buses lurking by Mile End Station.
website gives a brief overview of what is to be seen round here and makes a good case for why it should be Two Mile End?!?
Apart from some D buses the 277 is the only route along here and for the first time since Hackney there was more than just me plus a another on the top deck.
especially on a wet Thursday morning . By now I had realised that my left boot had let in water and I had a wet sock and that there was no heating on the bus. I looked enviously at the other front seat passenger who was wearing leopard skin pattern wellies, but she agreed it was cold and banged the window shut. By now the bus had given up on passengers and was speeding along the very fast Aspen Way from which it turned off to its final resting place. I had not done much prior research on this route except for the start and finish and was quite looking forward to admiring what I imagined to be a little estate built like a spice rack – Nutmeg Lane, Saffron Avenue, Oregano Drive, you get the picture.
Clutching my map and directions for Canning Town I was hailed by a security guard who pointed me in the right direction. “What are all these big grey blocks?” I asked ‘Telehouse – security data’ was all he said. Well I had to Google that didn’t I? Having got a couple of error messages on my first attempts I was about to get all conspiracy theory on you, dear reader, but Google finally served up the following link, so perhaps it is just ugly rather than actually sinister.
What an amazing route – upmarket Islington down through colourful Hackney with green spaces galore in Victoria and Mile End Parks THEN through the monied not to say muddied waters of Canada Quays finishing in a rather baleful industrial estate near the Lee River mouth, and all in under 50 minutes.