Thursday 20 October 2011
Starting again from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich (we had been in and out and back in again on earlier buses), Linda and I climbed on our third single decker of the day at 12.00, headed for Erith.
Turning onto Stadium Road, which seems always to have been called that, but now contains the strange lilo-effect shooting centre. Then it was the Woolwich-typically-named Ha-Ha Road, Artillery House (apartments) and Grand Depot Road, to reach the town centre, with the huge building site and a hairdresser called ‘in God we Trust Consolidate Barbers’. We did also see one called, rather derivatively, ‘Beyond the Fringe’. Those of us old enough to remember Dudand Pete and Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett can’t help wondering whether clients with the scissors at their neck know where the name comes from. We soon passed Woolwich Arsenal Station, not for the first time today, and came to Plumstead Station soon afterwards. We were impressed by the punning abilities of the Paan shop proprietor.
Next we came to Plumstead. Those of us who like Trollope find it oddly different from the smug rectory at Plumstead Episcopi. The modern Police Station is huge, dominating the street, but we passed smoothly on and soon were in Abbey Wood, where our day had begun. We were interested to see William Temple Church: most Anglican churches are named for pre-reformation saints or with some reference to the Divinity. Soon we came to the Catholic Church of St David, embellished with a fine depiction of Dewi Sant (as I was taught to call him by a welsh colleague long ago)
Passing signs to the great Crossness Pumping Station I enthused about how wonderful the beam engines are, and am pleased to see that you no longer have to wait for Open London weekend to visit.
The Lidl we next passed was probably even bigger than Crossness, a temple to retail to match the temple to sewage, and then we were past the station and heading towards Lesnes Abbey, though, being in a single decker, we could see very little of the ruins in the pleasant open space.
Abbey Wood turns into Belvedere without pausing, but the Working Men’s Club was labelled so we knew we were there even before we passed the station. We again puzzled at the strangely named Halt Robin Lane, before passing the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple and travelling along Church Manor Way to reach Erith High Street, the Riverside Gardens and the Playhouse. We arrived at the end point of our journey at 12.55 ready to step onto our final bus of the day.