Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Number 491 Route

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Having taken a circular tour round the Elsinge estate (Waltham Cross) in a single decker, I was rather hoping for an upstairs for this, my third bus of the day, but I was disappointed.  I was on my own, and the whole note-taking and camera handling business is easier if one can be out of the way upstairs, but never mind.

We set off at 12.15 on what was listed as a 45 minute journey, though it was clear that this part of London was particularly slow today.  We set off along Eleanor Cross Road  to reach Monarchs Way, which seems to take traffic away from the shopping centre.

There were advertisements for the Whitewater Centre  although it is closed at the moment as far as the general public is concerned as the Olympics are coming.  As we headed along the Hertford Road, the traffic was solid in the other direction, but we were able to nip along quite smoothly.  We turned right along Solar Way and then along Innova Way to serve the Innova Business Park, though no-one, as it happens, wanted to get on or off .  I thought the building labelled BIC might be the world biro HQ, but of course it stands for the London business innovation centre. 

Once out of the business park, we headed for the River Lee (spelt this way here!) and over the causeway bridge to Enfield Island.  The Street names are confirmation that the land used to belong to the small arms part of the Royal Ordnance:  a number of Georgette Heyer heroes, for instance, had Manton duelling pistols.  We had been here before on earlier buses, but it remains an attractive place, with its own narrow boat moored in one of its water features.  A number of people got on to leave the island, as we passed the splendid hawthorn blossom of Velocity Way and Ordnance Road, crossing the small River Lea.
As we came to Brimsdown Station, I noted that traffic waiting to turn left was being held up by the level crossing, and then we turned through the business area to pass close to Ponders End Station and reach the High Street, where many passengers got off.  The traffic here was very slow, again, so I had time to notice the mostly hardened front gardens of the terrace houses.  I noted, for our collection, a hairdressers called Heir Kutz, as well as the Goat Pub  which seems to be a music venue.  The other pub we passed was the Wetherspoons Picture Palace.  Unusually, the Wetherspoons website does not explain the name.

The turn into Galliard Road brought us into a well-used Hail and Ride section, with substantial numbers of people getting off and on this busy bus.  Some of the front gardens here were impressively gated and fenced, and one even sported two araucaria trees, where many gardeners might think one was too many.

At this point a 491 going in the other direction met us, and I noted it was going to terminated at Brimsdown;  evidence, I suppose, of the slow traffic I had experienced or witnessed all morning.

Now we rejoined the Hertford road, to pass the King William IV pub and head to Edmonton Green Bus Station, though we did not turn into it.  Many people got off, to be replaced by many others heading home or possibly to Asda, and we were slowed by some roadworks of an indeterminate nature.

We passed both the Salvatioin Army and the Mevlana Rumi Mosque.  This is the branch of Islam famed for its ‘whirling Dervishes’ but the mosque was merely a quiet house. 

We also came to the Edmonton Labour HQ, with its signage for the MP Andy Love,   a surname we very much like. (hello to the Leicestershire Loves...)

After that we came, comparatively swiftly, to Silver Street Station, and popped onto the  North Circular for a few metres to reach the North Middlesex Hospital.  It was 13.25, not exactly the journey length suggested, but we had often said that we think the bus stop times suppose a non-existent time of day with no traffic. 

This route had linked up various places the project had visited before, and the rain had held off for the whole route.


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