Monday, 16 July 2012

The Number 362 Route

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Mary and I met at Grange Hill Station, Linda being on holiday, and walked around the corner, relieved to see a 362 pulling up.  We had a brief wait while the driver had a break, and were off by 10.25.  We looped our way round residential areas, with good gardens, wondering whether the fact that they had no garages meant that they had once been public housing.  

As we came up towards the Fairlop Water Industrial estate, the mix was varied by blocks of apartments, but soon we were into greenery , with very distant views of Canary Wharf and, indeed, the Shard and that new building at Elephant and Castle.  There were horses in some of the fields, and so we missed Linda, who loves to see horses! And we passed the Hainault Forest Golf Complex as well.

 A wooden whale on a roundabout as we approached Mark’s Gate told us we were arriving at Whalebone Lane, and the naming (Moby Dick, because I know the picture is very small!) of an intersection with the A12 confirmed the cetacean theme.  I have been unable to discover if there were corset makers around here, or whether it was to do with the whale trade in general.

This is where we saw the first residential tower block of today’s journey.

We thought of Linda again in Chadwell Heath, as there were large office blocks to let; and then we thought of Roger, as there was a wall advertisement of the kind he likes, for ‘Mapsons, the jeweller of repute’.

We also enjoyed the international claims of Delboy’s.

Nipping round the Eva Hart Pub, a Wetherspoons named for a local lady who survived with her mother but not, sadly, her father, when the Titanic went down, we came to The Keith Axon Centre.  This is a real puzzle:  it’s a Redbridge Library and Children’s Centre, but its website does not say who Keith Axon was (or is) and if you Google the name you get a veteran member of the BNP.  I am baffled.

Still, we were soon going around the green at Little Green, with its village-y feel and shop, and we arrived at King George’s Hospital at 11.00.  By the time you read this, it will be clear whether it has survived the threat to its Maternity and A&E services or not (see the 173) 

Actually, the issue still seems to be live in July 2012.

A pleasant, brief ride through parts of Essex that we now know quite well!


  1. Re. Whalebones. There were an enormous pair of them erected to form an arch thereabouts, several centuries ago.

    They were then moved for safe keeping to the Valence House museum in Becontree, where they still are, but no longer surrounding the entrance doorway as they did until recently.

    (From a correspondent who formerly lived on Whalebone Lane South)

  2. Thanks for the plug for the Save King George Hospital Campaign. Andrew Lansley gave the go ahead to close the A&E and Maternity last year, but they remain open today. There is a public meeting this Friday 20 July at Ilford Central Library at 8pm about how to get the closure decision withdrawn.
    More at