Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Number 324 Route

Thursday 19 April 2012

 This is a remarkable route as far as our project is concerned.  If, when we began in March 2009, we had gone for a speed record, as that man in the Evening Standard the other week did, we should never have travelled this route.  This is because it did not exist until October 2010 as you can see here.

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.

Although the weather was more like a nasty November than spring, there were excellent wisterias along the way, as well as lilac (both pink and its normal colour) and ceanothuses.  We came onto the Edgware Road by the retail park but turned quickly up Hay Lane to loop through residential areas and reach Roe Green with its unexpected thatched cottages. This between-the-wars village was built (using German POWs, by the way) to house workers at the huge aircraft manufacturing works.  It is however named for a much older Roe Green House, so perhaps it should make us think of deer and not A V Roe the aero engineer.

 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. 

1 comment:

  1. http://www.stanburnblastshelter.co.uk/page/?title=About+Us&pid=2 for more info