Chelsfield Village Centre to Princess Royal Hospital Farnborough
Thursday September 26th 2013
Chelsfield feels like a real village (I believe the more modern buildings are closer to the station not on this route) and therefore it is not surprising to know it was the childhood home of the author of the ‘Miss Read’ books which always seemed to take up a lot of space at the library when I was growing up. The books seem a world away but the village only a short bus ride now! The lanes are slightly sunken so today’s photographer Mary was not able to capture the horses in the fields, nor can I describe the smell other than to say it was ‘rural’. On the corner of the lane was the 'Bo-Peep' a rather humbler pub serving the hop pickers and farmers but the current licensees have tried to compile the history of the inn which goes back to the 15th Century. The route is also handy for Hewitts Farm where you can ‘pick your own’ this being the best time of year.
At Christ Church the R3 leaves the main road and dives along Charterhouse Road through an area where most of the roads are named for boys’ public (ie private) schools which just about dates the era of building to mid 20th century. Quite spacious it has to be said and well tended gardens with pyracanthus the stand out shrub today. Personally I think they are so spiky a fall into a lively bush could kill you, but viewed from afar the colour is lovely. This route cuts across and delivers you to Orpington along the Sevenoaks Road past the Conservative HQ (lucky Bromley returns the other Johnson boy, but unlike the 'Other Boleyn Girl' neither will lose their head. ' )
Orpington High Street manages both to thrive and always be busy even with a huge Tescos which must have drained much of the business from the shops. What remains is an eclectic mix of shoe repairs, charity shops and pawnbrokers all seemingly well patronised.
A further loop followed through another residential area – this time the former Coppice Estate – “Coppice Garden Estate built by Bromley Council in the 1950's to house some of London's overspill. Beautiful mix of red brick cottage style dwellings and green areas. Now a mix of social and private housing.”
This infrmation came from Wikimapia but we had rather guessed that the area had once been public housing because of the road lay-out (and lack of shops) . The bus loops somewhat and then comes out at the top of a hill at Crofton School which covers quite a large site and for a Junior and Infants has large numbers of pupils.