And lastly, I said to myself on this fourth bus of the day. I said it to myself because both Linda and Mary were otherwise engaged, though I was thinking of them as I travelled. The 491 had brought me to the North Middlesex Hospital and, while I’m sure it is a lovely place to spend time, I was glad to step straight onto my 318 at 13.25, headed for Stamford Hill.
It was one of those small buses with only one set of doors, and I wondered how the passenger in her electric wheel chair had managed to get on. I was to discover, when she got off, that her extreme competence at the controls, and the shifting of a couple of buggies made it easy.
We pulled out of the hospital and straight into a Hail and Ride section, along Bull Lane, with a business park on one side and playing fields on the other. A right turn brought us into an area of housing, and to Tottenham cemetery, a huge expanse, not yet full. As we turned left onto White Hart Lane, I was not surprised when a pair of tourists, guide book in hand, asked where the football ground was, and were told to cross the road and go the other way.
We came past Cavell Road and Jellicoe Road. It was quite a change to have some First World War names as my morning up to now had been full of Boer War references, Ladysmith, Mafeking and so on. At this point, the rain, which had been threatening on and off all morning, finally got going and our driver stopped, perhaps a little suddenly, to offer a ride to a man with a baby in a buggy. The housing around here appeared to be former public housing, much of it maintained to a high standard.
We came down to Bruce Castle Park and then to Enfield and Haringey Magistrates Court, which appears to have escaped the cull, before turning left to travel through residential areas before getting back to Tottenham High Street. At this point the raindrops were substantial enough to be called sleet, if not snow, and there were hailstones as well. Bruce Grove Station seemed, by the route we had taken, a long way from Bruce Castle Park, though of course it is not.
The most interesting shop we passed was the Confidence Money Centre, which incorporates the Morning Glory Boutique, though I was also taken by a Sedation Clinic, which proved, perhaps disappointingly, to be about dentistry, rather than general ‘life’s-too-much’.
We had a driver change, which gave me the chance to admire the Tottenham Borough signs, before we passed the Town Hall and came down to Seven Sisters Station. I can’t remember if we have previously reminded our readers that the seven sisters were trees, not nuns or a large family, so I shall do so now.
Our bus got quite busy here as there is also a large supermarket. We entered another Hail and Ride section as we travelled past South Tottenham Overground Station and took a further detour into a residential area, heading quite steeply downhill towards, though not reaching, the reservoirs. Several further turns brought us back to the main road (now Stamford Hill) where the bus terminated, at 14.05.
I was surprised at how speedy the journey had been, as these are serious shopping streets, but then people do manage to get on and off quite efficiently, even when it means abandoning the nice warm bus to face the rain.