Wednesday 13 June 2012
Having taken the train to Hayes and Harlington Station (apparently freedom passes are not valid beyond this point) we needed to walk a couple of stops to get to the start of our route, in Clarendon Road. The driver was bemused, so we gave him a card at the start rather than at the end of the trip, and off we set, at about 10.10.
We had seen a double decked 350, but ours was a single decker. Indeed, all the 350s we saw except this one were double deckers, which was slightly annoying.
Hayes is full of Nestle's works, street names, nurseries and so on; but there are also plenty of green spaces and the odd ghost sign. We came to Hyde Park Hayes, an office development with very attractive outside spaces, designed by Wilson McWilliam: whether the world needs more offices is always worth considering, especially as there was a large semi-derelict something across the road, and we were to pass a number of 'to let' office developments of various kinds.
Of the various food outlets we saw, we noted one advertising 'English breakfast and Chinese food' as well as an ex-pub calling itself 'Inhibitions' and promising 'exotic dancers seven days a week'.
Crossing the Grand Union Canal, we went through the gates into Stockley Park, an amazing business park, with water features and green areas, as well as prestigious looking offices for Canon, Samsonite (we thought appropriately near Heathrow for a suitcase company) BP, Marks and Spencer and Apple.
Once we were out of the salubrious environs of Stockley Park, we came into an area of mixed business and housing. Much of the housing stock had once been public, and some still was, we thought. But we also saw rather a handsome ex-pub, attractively turned into housing.
Crossing the Grand Union again, we took a turn into West Drayton Station and out again, and then into West Drayton itself, noting a Jade and Marble shop called Hydrodragon.
Also in West Drayton is Drayton Hall, HQ of the pharmaceutical Company, Ferring.
We supposed that the proximity of the airport is what attracts all these companies, though we were surprised that, travelling in this direction, we had heard no aircraft up to now.
But crossing the M4 and heading towards Harmondsworth, we had aeroplanes overhead. We crossed the little river which I think may be the Duke of Northumberland's River or possibly the Longford River. (I apologise for this vagueness, but my A-Z goes all impressionistic around Heathrow) and so came into Heathrow, terminating at the subterranean bus station of Terminal 5 at 10.45.
As you will see from Linda's pictures, we actually had warm sun, blue skies, little fluffy clouds for this enjoyable trip. One would almost have thought it was summer.