Thursday 19 April 2012
Having arrived at Brent Cross main shopping centre, we made our way over the various foot bridges that bring you to Tesco’s carpark, whence the 324 departs for Stanmore. Our bus, leaving at 11.26, then took us past Toys R Us and Babies R Us and the huge Holiday Inn, and over the big main roads and the River Brent to call at … Brent Cross main shopping centre (yes, I know, but those are the rules).
We had plenty of time to notice the arrow-infested upholstery, which indeed suggested that we might be going there and back or to and fro.
By the time we reached Hendon Station and then the Police College, the driving rain had stopped, to be replaced by steamed up windows, so that even Linda could not manage many amazing photos.
We did notice that parts of the Police College are for sale, presumably for conversion into flats. We were into a fairly long Hail and Ride section, with most of us passengers sitting tight in the warm, as we came along Colindeep Lane to cross the Silk Stream on its way to the Brent Reservoir.
From here it was a fairly straight run along the A 4140, past Kingsbury Station, and then Queensbury, built later and given the name to chime in with its pre-existing neighbour. We were in another Hail and Ride Section, through residential areas, where maisonette blocks had been built to match existing larger houses.
At Stanburn School, we were intrigued to spot the notice that referred to its restored blast shelter.
But we do know that the government in the period before the bombing began focused a lot of ARP work on school buildings. After all, the children were meant to have been evacuated away in ‘the countryside’ while the bombs fell. The fact that the evacuation scheme was neither as comprehensive nor as popular with parents and children as had been hoped meant that community centres like this one actually remained as schools. Though of course it was mainly the V weapons, from June 1944 onwards, that fell during school hours rather than at night.
Down Stanmore Hill Broadway, passing White House Fish and Chips which is Renee’s favourite eatery, we swung into the forecourt of Stanmore Station at 12.10, pretty well exactly in the time specified for this route.