Monday 26 July 2010
On this warm but drizzly day, Linda and I crossed the road from our first bus, the 88, and waited the Countdown few minutes before our single decker appeared at 12.05. Mary was busy with grandmotherly duties. Only 3 of us passengers got on at Clapham Common, but as soon as we turned into Clapham High Street, the bus became fuller and busier. For part of the way towards Brixton, we were the only bus on the route.
We passed the Italia Conti School, getting ready to celebrate its centenary in 2011, though that will be well over by the time you read this, and then the Lambeth hospital, now a Psychiatric Hospital and part of the same Trust as the Maudsley. It was formerly a general hospital, though its handsome gateway seems to be all that is left of its past, as the buildings, car parking etc are pretty 20th Century.
The Stockwell Road brought us to Brixton, where many people got off to visit the market and many got on, having done so. They were of course, following the example of some royal visitors a week before.
We passed Lord David Pitt House as well as Marcus Garvey Way and a blue plaque for the Marxist historian C L R James and were pleased that British Black people were being commemorated alongside the international greats. (now is the time to admit that between July 2010 and today I have mislaid the pictures for this trip, and so David Pitt is courtesy of his website)
We had time to be bemused by ‘the inconsistency of everything’, the strap line outside the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning building, before heading past Herne Hill Station to hurry alongside Brockwell Park into Tulse Hill. (yes, this picture too comes from the web... I did have one of Brockwell Park but it showed daffodils, which I felt inappropriate for a July bus)
After that, our next bit of green was the West Norwood Crematorium and Cemetery as we trundled along Robson Road. Along Vale Street, we passed the refuse and recycling centre (or ‘dump’ as my travelling companion refers to it. She used to be one of its patrons, before Lambeth tightened up on people who live in other borough, however close)
Now a ‘hail and ride’ section began (in those days we were quite new to these, and rather excited); whether roads named for Alpine passes, St Gothard and St Bernard, are a comment on the hilly nature of the area, we do not know.
Gypsy Hill brought us to a pub called ‘The Two Towers’ though I have been unable to discover if this is some kind of Tolkien reference; but we do know that Paxton Green is named for the gardener who designed the Crystal Palace, and soon we were past Gypsy Hill Station, and the attractive outside of the Exhibition Rooms, to swing into Crystal Palace Parade at 12.50.