Monday, 4 March 2013

The Number B 13 bus

Monday 4 March 2013

Linda and I travelled by train to New Eltham and then walked up to the library to catch our bus, destination Bexleyheath, at 10.05.

It was a single decker with only one door, and it was absolutely filthy:  excusable if there had been slush, mud and salt over the weekend, but Linda confirmed that London had had the same dry and sunny weather which I had enjoyed in the Midlands.  We don’t usually take much interest in who runs our buses, but this was Arriva, who should be ashamed.  We noted, at the end of our trip, that other bus companies had managed a bit of cleaning.  It is an extra annoyance when the sun is shining and we should like to be able to enjoy the views.

After passing a number of shops and cafes, including Big Boyz Cafe - it seemed to us unlikely that salads and cottage cheese would be on the menu - we were out into residential streets, mostly bungalows with hardened front gardens.  We came to St James Mar Thoma Church, which proves to be a sect Syrian in origin, which has been around in Britain since the 1950s.

The next landmark was Avery Hill College, once a Teacher Training place, but now a campus of the University of Greenwich.  Here. as we hairpinned round to the right, the first 'hail and ride section' began,  ensuring that we kept up a pretty good pace.  We turned to and fro through residential streets, some with bungalows, some with moderate sized semis and terraces;  there were not many businesses around here, though we did note 'Bathrooms Beyond'.  

We didn't know that we were on the outskirts of Sidcup, and we did not penetrate the town centre, but we did see that Stunners Hair Studio had closed and was available with the flat above it.  Along Burnt Oak Lane, almost all the semis had had substantial extensions  and some had replaced their windows as well

The Hail and ride section resumed, with attractive spaces  along the road, and we liked the Royal Oak Pub, with its white weather boarding, but I cannot find any useful information about it.

As we continued towards Bexleyheath, a lady boarded the bus whose Oyster card had insufficient funds.  She proffered a £10.00 note (or maybe even a £5) but the driver said he had no change.  We might have been there for the rest of the day, but a public spirited passenger managed what the driver clearly did not feel was his job, and between us we changed the money down to the required denominations.  Arriva was not impressing us today, as you can probably tell.

By now we were coming towards our destination, and recognised the road closures of the major works which we have been enjoying for the past few weeks.

It was 10.25 when the route terminated outside the library:  the last time that we shall journey into Bexleyheath, presumably ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment