Elmers End Green to Purley (Tescos)
Tuesday February 2nd 2010
Tuesday February 2nd 2010
This was the closing bookend to an earlier route and proved to be a Tesco to Tesco service – not that we are their loyal customers but they do usually have toilets. Last bus route it was Morrisons to Asda!
On this day we left Elmers End behind us heading South west on a small single decker bus busy, inevitably between the key shopping areas. Today we had one of those occurrences, which slowed our progress early on, namely a cash paying passenger, which makes you realise how rare that is nowadays. .
Almost immediately we had green spaces in the shape of Long Heath Gardens and Ashburton Park and a very nice bicycle track called Waterlink Way. Not restricted to cyclists of course: for walkers, it links the Wandle Way and the Green Chain walk, which we have passed on earlier routes. We crossed the tram (or rather they crossed us) at least twice and we could probably have achieved this journey more quickly and comfortably by rail, but that’s for another day.
Our driver today was very considerate, waiting for the slower older passengers and the bus was busy round the key shopping points.
Closer to the city Centre – Croydon is a city in its own right – we passed a funeral just entering the RC ‘Our Lady of Reparation’ church. On an interesting word association riff, for some this conjured up visions of cobblers and dressmakers making good, for others what the defeated nations, previously the aggressors owed the rest of us post-war!
We passed both East and West Croydon stations and the bus does a loop north to take in Thornton Heath, where the drivers changed at the garage. Round the Mayday hospital there is an intense South Indian belt with the Nanak Centre, the Croydon Mosque, the Chat Patta, Chennai, Chennai Dosa and Taste of Kerala restaurants and Neelam Fabrics. Body and soul catered for. So we were a bit puzzled to find the Belgium Fruit and vegetable Market – ‘name 5 famous Belgians’ has perhaps become name 5 Belgian vegetables?
Going straight ahead and uphill (you begin to notice the climb and potentially the view from the North Downs) the 289 proves to be the only route passing the site of Croydon Airport complete with its de Havilland Heron plane (the last flight went in 1959), famous for being the airport to which Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938 and where he waved the piece of paper claiming to have achieved ‘peace in our time’. However the Battle of Britain memorial along the Purley Way indicates quite how wrong he was.
The bus seems to run out of steam here in Purley: having made the ascent it seemed scared to progress on to more rural Surrey and so left us adjacent to the Purley Way Tescos and Purley Station up on its hill.
Thanks to Tim for updating the index.