Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Number 295 Route

Thursday 9 February 2012

On this extremely cold day, Linda and I met at the Sainsbury's in Ladbroke Grove, known to the family as 'Sylvia's Sainsbury's' but of course better known for the memorial to the victims of the train disaster of 1999.  By the time we got on the bus we were quite cold, having rejected one that was only going to Wandsworth Bridge rather than all the way to Clapham Junction,  but the bus was warm, and 10.20 is a perfectly reasonable start time.  Although this superstore is such a hub for buses, only the 295 actually starts here.

Turning right down Ladbroke Grove, we passed Morpheus, which proves to be the HQ of a record label:  we just liked their mural.  Just as we thought we were going under the Westway, we swung right along Cambridge Gardens, the first of several wriggles on this route.  Indeed, this is the sort of route that is usually served by a single decker, not that we were complaining.  We did turn left to go under the big road in due course, and passed Latimer Road Station.

Along St Anne's Road, the terraces have striking diamond pattern brickwork, and one also had a blue plaque for Albert Chevalier, the writer of the music hall song 'My Old Dutch'.  We soon reached Royal Crescent, and the Kensington Hilton, with the remains of various snow persons on the green areas which we passed.

Pretty soon, we were at Shepherds Bush, passing the station and the green and the war memorial, still bright with poppies, and heading down Shepherd's Bush road towards Hammersmith. One of the roads we passed was 'Batoum Gardens, which seemed very odd to us.  Batoum is on the Black Sea coast in (now) Georgia, and seems to be one of the places to which British servicemen were sent after the end of the Great War to try to deal with the Bolsheviks.  Odd to have a west London street named for it, especially since the other streets around were more traditionally named.

Once we had been into and out of Hammersmith bus station, we continued towards the river, travelling that philanthropists' road, with Guinness Trust flats on one side and Peabody Trust buildings on the other.  The Suffolk Punch Pub had a picture of a horse's head on its sign, rather than a depiction of horses working, which makes a change.  Down Fulham Palace Road, past the Charing Cross Hospital, we turned left along Lillie Road, where there once once a branch of Chelsea College, and were soon among the tall  blocks of the Aintree Estate. We also passed a little ghost sign, though what 'sitting pretty' is about, I don't know.

A further wriggle brought us to the Fulham Road, where a very unsightly blue Marks and Spencers dwarfs a little row of houses.  We wriggled again, taking in a bit of the New Kings Road, to reach Wandsworth Bridge Road and the River.  The tide was out, and there was lots of mud showing.

We were amazed at the huge amount of building around the south side of the Bridge, Battersea Reach now stretching further than many of the 'council' estates of the 1950s ad 60s, though of course with wonderful river views.

This is the area that used to be redolent of candlewax when Price's factory was here (Linda says it also used smell of gin from the distillery) but now it is mostly housing, including the former candle works.

Turning left into St John's Hill, we passed the modern Plough Pub which replaces, we assume, the pub for which the road was named.  And then we were at Clapham Junction Station and the end of our ride.  It was 11.10:  not bad, we thought, for a serious north-to-south distance.

1 comment:

  1. I think I misled Jo. Subsequent research for the C3 indicates that the smell was more likely the sugar refinery than gin, but then Young's was not that far away either.