Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Number 278 Route

Well, here we are at our third non-existent route (the last one was the 239)  The 278 had a very busy and varied life until its end in 1993.  It was mainly an East End bus, though it did get as far as Aldgate for a few months in 1988-9. All the details are here:

I thought I might take the chance offered by the hiatus to write a few words about the chanciness of Blue Plaques.  Linda and I have, before now, complained that if we just glimpse a blue plaque, it is very difficult to track it down. The English Heritage site lets you search by post code, which is fair enough if you know where you are, but not by street name. We noted these two, walking through Chiswick, on the trip which included the 265.  I don't know the post code for Chiswick, having never had relatives or friends in that neck of the woods.  But, you may reasonably say, if you are on foot, you have plenty of time to examine and photograph the plaques, which is of course true.

On the other hand, if you do know even the first part of the postcode, English Heritage gives you a list.  If, for instance, you type in ‘NW1’, it offers you 323 to sift through, which is a little cumbersome.  Perhaps they might find the money to extend their search engine to street names, since their data base does include them. Here, for example, is something interesting from my neck of the woods, Lyme Street, Camden

There is, of course, another element of randomness.  If you travel on a bus in one direction and one way streets are involved in the route, you might never know of some blue plaques.  For instance, we travelled the 274 from East to West, and so never saw the blue plaque in St Pancras Way to William Daniell,  artist and engraver of Indian Scenes, (though the link takes you to some of his British aquatints) which we would have seen had we been heading towards and not away from Angel.  But we did see the plaque for Dylan Thomas in Delancey Street, which we should not have seen had we been going East and thus up Parkway.
And if one always travels north on the 10, 24, 29, 134 etc, the many blue plaques of Gower Street, Pre-Raphaelites, society hostesses and medical discoveries, remain unknown.

 Finally, I just wanted to mention the many plaques put up by boroughs, or fan clubs:  I think we referred to the H G Wells Society's plaque a few weeks ago.  The only way you can identify these is by reading them in situ, and then of coure you can look up the person concerned,  But if they flash by, they are pretty untraceable.

We thought you might like Bromley's mention of Mr Hawkins, since the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park are such a delight.

Normal bus coverage will now be resumed until the 301.



  1. You may already have covered them, but a couple of unusual routes coming up.
    281 has a special route that only applies when there are matches at Twickenham Stadium, details at
    Next game Sat 25/2/12, get to Hounslow between 3 & 6pm, there will be no traffic to worry about.
    The second is the 283, which runs to both Barnes Pond & the wetland centre at different times.

  2. There was another 278 created in 1994 (replaced part of truncated 178), but discontinued in 2004 (became part of 178 again). See