Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Number 310 Route (Not)

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. 

1 comment:

  1. (I could have sworn I posted this yesterday, but perhaps not): you also passed some almshouses when you did the 35 and 37 routes (also 355, if you've already done it, one of the school routes and P5): Trinity Homes on Acre Lane are now sheltered housing but started life as almshouses.