Monday 16 March 2009
This was the bus that brought us to Crystal Palace, to do the Number 3 Route, so you can see what a long time ago it was!
It’s a route of two halves, as sports commentators say. The 363 has only been in existence since May 2003 (I know, you have to be old to think six years ago is recent: but some London bus routes date back to very early in the last century) Before May 2003, the 63 was supposed to go all the way from Kings Cross to Crystal Palace, but sometimes disappointingly terminated at Forest Hill, when the traffic further north had been too slow. So the 63 now always terminates at Forest Hill Tavern while the 363 starts at Elephant and Castle and sweeps on to Crystal Palace almost regardless!
I boarded it at Elephant, therefore, with Linda planning to join me as we paused in Forest Hill. A huge new building is going up at Elephant, and so there were road works and all sorts as we heading along the New Rent Road and the Old Kent Road. Of course we now know that the new building is Strata and whatever the Daily Telegraph said back then, it has settled down a bit, not to mention the ugliest building accolade being usurped along the road at London Bridge.
The bus turns down Trafalgar Avenue, passing the Lord Nelson Pub, one of the stops on the Monopoly Pub Crawl We Ladies who Bus always like to hear about the strange hobbies of others….
Trafalgar Avenue brings us down into Peckham, with its wide range of shops and food. This was faster than on some journeys, and soon we were alongside Peckham Rye.
Turning left, we came to Honor Oak, where Linda was ready to board, thanks to the miracle of modern phone technology.
After waving goodbye to the 63 as it sat in its layby waiting to turn across the traffic and head back to Kings Cross, we passed the Old Camberwell Cemetery and came quite close to the Horniman Museum, before turning right into Wood Vale.
I have to recommend the Horniman, although we weren’t actually close enough to see the plaque, because it is a wonderful museum (and has more recently been undergoing amazing works in its attractive gardens)
Along Sydennham Hill, we passed the home of Sir Francis Pettit Smith, developer of the screw propeller, and went on to skirt Crystal Palace Park.
Thus we arrived at Crystal Palace Parade, my first visit here, though not Linda’s, in only a little over the timetabled 40 minutes.