Wednesday 10 April 2013
Another bus route, another Tescos, as it nearly says in 'Kiss Me Kate'. The E6 runs from the Biulls Bridge Tescos to Greenford Station, and I was pleased to be walking the couple of miles from the Toplocks estate to Bulls Bridge. The only problem was that I was dressed for Tuesday's weather, not Wednesday's, so I was soon carrying fleece and waterproof and strolling along in short sleeves. There are a lot of swans along this stretch, but I was comforted by the fact that we all know 'they can break an man's arm' and I am a woman.
I thought Linda and Mary might have enjoyed the walk, but I expect they are walking along the banks of the Danube instead. Anyway, I am not supposed to be writing about walks, but about the E6, so let's get on.
This was another single decker, though slightly larger than the E5, and we were off by 12.50. For the first 10 minutes of the journey there were few passengers. We headed out and towards Hayes, round a roundabout planted with reeds, though whether this is a reference to the canal or to the rains we have been having, I cannot tell.
We turned left at The Crane Pub, with no inn sign to indicate whether this was a wildlife, River or building site reference.
Into residential areas, we passed mostly hardened front gardens, though some had planting as well, including some serious Pampas Grass.
The private parking did not mean that there was easy transit for buses, and our opposite number had to occupy the pavement for us to get past.
Turning left to go alongside the busy A437, we were briefly held up by police dealing with a traffic incident, so we were able to see that the daffodils were just about emerging. As we approached Hayes and Harlington Station, we came at last to a few shops, the first we had seen since leaving the superstore. No wonder the buses are well used.
We passed the West London YMCA and then popped over the Canal at the Old Crown Inn to go round the back of the shops before emerging to follow the main shopping road. There was a despairing litter-picker, dabbing at the heaps of fast food containers and bottles. The canal towpath had been similarly cluttered, though there was a Waterways boat picking the shopping trolleys and plastic bags from the water.
As we came along to the roundabout by the Lombardy Shopping Park, our tickets and passes were inspected, and then we came to a 'Marshall (sic) Assisted Pedestrian Crossing'. I am not sure what this is, though I suppose it could be a lollipop-person in term time.
Back into residential areas, I took a picture of some very good forsythia, especially for Andrew who likes other people to grow it, since it takes a lot of pruning and has a limited season, two factors he abhors in shrubs.
There were also primulas on the roundabout as we approached Yeading, and did a loop round the Yeading supermarket, whose name you can probably guess, as well as a shuttered Comet store and a B and Q where a delivery lorry was behaving in rather a silly way and held us up a bit.
The route takes us past some rather good allotments, almost all of them well dug and just waiting for a bit of warmth, I surmise, before the potatoes go in. Any attempt to plant them, as traditional, on Good Friday would have been doomed.
The 'Waterfront Developments' seemed to have been rather delayed, though whether by the weather or the banks was not clear.
I realised we were out of Hillingdon and back into Ealing when we passed a banner which read 'Ealing Walks, Why not join us?'
A mixture of homes lined the route at this stage: a batch of bungalows, a lot of public housing, and some early 20th century terraces, as well as semis. And then we reached Greenford Broadway, with its range of shops and businesses. I saw that we could get 'nice bites' at the Caribbean takeaway. but we were going quite nippily and there was little time for thought. Or we could have eaten at Gurkha Spiceworld or, strangest of all, the Bombay Chinese Restaurant. (Need I tell you that I cannot find an explanation for the name?)
There was also the Revolution Centre, which proved to be an accountants specialising in Benefits advice, though I see from the Web that there is also a hairdresser of the same name.
Then we headed on along Ruislip Road East and under the A 40 to reach Greenford Station at 13.45, just less than double the suggested journey time.