Monday 22 April 2013
The only way from the end of our previous bus (the E9) was to ride it all the way back, so here we were (yet!) again in Haven Green, Ealing, waiting for the bus that would take us to the Islip Manor Estate in Northolt. Haven Green was so much pleasanter in the warm sun than it had been on the freezing cold March day when we shared the space with many school pupils, so we should not have minder a long wait. But the E10 rolled up, only a single decker, sadly, and we hopped on with many other passengers at 12.35.
We set off left along Castlebar Road, boggling at the enormous houses, several of which had become care homes or private schools. Turning right along Argyle Road, we admired the soft green of Cleveland Park and then took a left along Ruislip Road East, which felt pretty familiar after all these E buses. Ah, the River Brent again, we remarked in a blasé tone, but it is a remarkable waterway, after all.
As well as the Gurnell Leisure Centre, there were many residential properties of all kinds as we came into Greenford, passing shops demonstrating the varied ethnicities of this area (we have talked about the Sunjam Caribbean takeaway in the past, but we also liked the way the Raghif supermarket benefited from Ealing's municipal primulas)
Then it was out of the town centre, passing the war memorial as well as signs to the London Motor Cycle Museum before getting back to the Ruislip Road and crossing the Grand Union Canal. We knew we were getting towards Northolt when a military helicopter buzzed by.
We were puzzled by the great mounds in the park to our left, and speculated about tumuli, or mottes left over from early castles; but it turns out we were looking at the spoil from the original Wembley Stadium and White City shopping centre, turned into a facility for public enjoyment.
As we came under the main A40 and into Northolt itself, we liked the rustic air of St Mary’s Parish Church, the first Anglican Parish to appoint a woman, according to Wiki at least.
The Business Park is perhaps less attractive, but then we came out into the main road and were cheered by the charming ‘countryside clock’ before heading up through the residential area that surrounds Islip Manor Park to reach the end of the route at 13.10: a pleasant little grassy space right alongside the roaring A40.
All in all, a pleasant trip, linking some of the areas we have got to know in the past few weeks, and with sunny weather for our last visit (the E11 having been travelled earlier.