Friday, 24 February 2012

The Number 299 Route

Monday 13 September 2010

Linda and I had planned to meet at Cockfosters at 10.30, in order to take a couple of buses to the 102 and then one more.  Mary was only just back from the West Country and so it was just the two of us.  But the Piccadilly Line ensured that we were not able to start when we wanted to:  faulty signals slowed everything, and then engineers on the line between Arsenal and Finsbury Park brought trains to a standstill (they were meant to be there, you understand, not like leaves or snow).  So it was 11.55 when we finally climbed onto the single decker 299, heading for Muswell Hill.

Our direction was south, past smart shops (The Blue Olive for Greek food, for instance)
and well spaced houses.  We also –of course – noted the segregated and broad cycle track.  We entered a ‘hail and ride’ section, indicating, we thought, the limited customer base for buses in this area.  We admired Enfield’s coat of arms on a handsome block of flats, as we headed down into Southgate, passing some distinctive homes.  There is a gigantic Asda (though of course a Waitrose as well…) and Southgate Station has a substantial bus area as well.  The Alan Pullinger Centre seems to be a thriving youth centre, but I cannot find out who it is named for, or when.  Leigh Hunt Avenue is, however, easier to explain, as the man was born here.  I put a different link on the 298 post, so if you want examples of his poems, try there.

Southgate College was busy with students coming in and out, a feature of  our whole day, perhaps because of the late start: we were to share buses with a number of school and college students, whether at lunch time or at the end of the day.  The Southgate Masonic Centre, on the other hand, was quiet at this time of day.  It is the Provincial Grand Lodge for Hertfordshire.  By the way, I do recommend the Museum at the Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street, which is full, as Howard Carter remarked on another occasion, of wonderful things, but only open on weekdays.

We swept on to pass Bounds Green Station, and some views of Alexandra Palace, and reached Muswell Hill by 12.20, after a short and enjoyable journey through some of the more desirable parts of outer North East London.  You only realise that it really is a hill when you look down at the views.
We are coming up to our third anniversary, so it's fitting that we shall be travelling the number 300 next week.  We continue to have fun.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're still having fun. I am having fun reading your blog, and often think of you when on an unfamiliar bus - I "did" the 48 the other week, coming home from Walthamstow on a weekend without the Victoria Line.