Friday 5 November 2010
While the weather was not good for Linda and me on this six bus day, in other ways we were lucky. The 481 runs only once an hour between Kingston’s well-equipped Cromwell Road Bus Station and the West Middlesex Hospital, so we were pleased that our previous bus dropped us there with only 25 minutes to wait. Time to visit the convenient - er - conveniences, and then eat our sandwiches before setting off at 13.00. We thought we should be the only people on the bus, but the driver paused for another passenger, and then a bus operative got on, so we were four. Things changed as we reached the enormous John Lewis on the waterfront, and many more people got on, some having clearly got cracking with the Christmas shopping already.
Over the river and left then right, we could see the autumn colours in Bushy Park. Having seen a pub named for Queen Adelaide on a previous bus, we were surprised to pass another. It seems that her popularity with the ordinary people – despite her hostility to Parliamentary Reform - and the fact that her husband William IV was not as unpleasant as his brothers may explain this.
Through parts of Teddington, we were the only bus. We supposed that most people around here have cars, but our bus was well used, nevertheless. The Teddington Memorial Hospital may have been saved from closure, but now has only limited services. The Red Lion Pub had a very silly sign, and the Old Goat Pub was called Brouge, which we eventually realised was a sort of joke about Belgium because they serve beer and mussels. We went past Squires, the garden centre which (on a previous trip) we had discovered was opened in 1937, and to Fulwell Park, crossing the River Crane yet again.
Two churches had chosen Canterbury saints: the C of E was named for St Augustine and the RC church for St Edmund.
As we came into Whitton, we saw our first low flying aircraft, demonstrating that we were yet again close to Heathrow, but more interesting was Kneller Hall, built for the artist Kneller, but now home of the Royal Army School of Music. Will such historic and ceremonial aspects of the Forces have survived the cuts and still exist when you read this, I wonder.
Now we were into Rugby Union land, passing a statue of players at the lineout, William Webb Ellis House, the World Museum of Rugby and the Chase Bridge Hospitality Village which clearly ‘does what it says on the tin’.
We also had a fine view of the stadium itself before heading along Mogden Lane and into Isleworth, past Redlees Park and a (sort of) blue plaque for Vincent van Gogh, who lived here for a few months when he was 23 years old and working as a teacher. We had seen some attractive houses, including one that looked a bit Dutch, but I doubt if there is any connection!
The next and final feature was the West Middlesex Hospital, which we reached absolutely on time, at 13.45.
All in all, a very pleasant journey, with good looking housing, plenty of green and a number of interesting landmarks.