Chingford Station to Yardley Lane Estate (and back)
Wednesday August 1st 2012
Back to Essex and Chingford Station for our start on this 4-an-hour route. We are getting very fond of Chingford – friendly staff at the rail terminus, a calm bus station and the High Street, while not superbly smart, retains enough shops, with signature fascia boards, to make it appealing and interesting. Another passenger who boarded with us gave an anguished squeak as her friend missed the bus but thanks to other plentiful vehicles at Chingford she leapt onto another number and caught us up on the High Street. The Hornbeam trees looked neat but leafy as we passed Chingford Village Green complete with cottages, the war memorial opposite the Police Station and the Bull undergoing something of facelift with the upper stories to be converted into offices – not sure whether they will be let but better than the whole edifice disappearing.
After the Green came a steep downhill (yes Essex can be surprisingly hilly) and the bus launched into ‘Hail & Ride’ mode, meaning all those passengers who had boarded with their shopping could get off as close to home as possible – home being a series of terraced and semi-detached post war homes, well maintained at that. On emerging from the estate we were closer to Sewardstone and could glimpse the grassy banks enclosing the reservoirs. We crossed routes with the 215 and road names such as Antlers Hill and Hawkswood Road conjure up the times when this must all have been part of Epping Forest.
As we climbed back up the hill we were briefly detained by a dust cart coming the other way but it gave us time to admire the view down to the Lea Valley. But not time to pause as this is a circular route and the bus was already on its return journey to Chingford, the shops and station. One way was just about the nine minutes promised and the round trip just over 20 minutes.