There has been, and for all we know still is, a 310, but only in the outer London, non-TFL sense so the Rules Committee (see FAQs – Route 301) has determined that it should not appear on our list.
In order to convey we have not merely forgotten or jumped some numbers (would we do such a thing when OCD are our middle initials?) we have allowed ourselves to fill in such gaps with modest riffs on route linked themes. This week Almshouses, which are a whole lot more common than you might think – we have passed them on all the following routes:
Number 44 – near the Tooting end of Garratt Lane
Number 77 – as above
Routes 58 & 158 – Leyton Almshouses
Route 123 – Ilford Almshouses
Route 142 – Stonegrove Almshouses
Route 149 – West Hackney
Route 199 – Greenwich Almshouses
Route 243 – Wood Lane
Route 307 – Barnet (2 sets)
and on the following routes which we have already travelled but not yet posted:
Route 337 – close to Richmond
Route 344 & 345 – Battersea
Essentially Almshouses were and continue to be affordable housing for the more vulnerable, usually the elderly and sometimes tied to a particular trade – for example the Watermen’s Complex in Penge.
Nowadays they are mostly run by charities. Many are now listed buildings which of course brings its own issues – can you fit affordable heating, modern kitchens etc, and double glazing to make the properties more comfortable, and yet maintain the charming exteriors? We like them as they represent a long-term investment by previous generations to provide social housing for the less privileged, even if prior to the Reformation some of the seemingly altruistic founders were aiming to guarantee themselves a short-cut to heaven. Also they provide an architectural change from other neighbourhood domestic buildings.