Saturday, 16 November 2013

The T32 Route

Addington Village Interchange to New Addington Parkway 
Thursday June  13th 2013

It is in fact only 4 short tram stops from end to end of this bus route and even with the weaving it accomplished underway it only managed to take 10 minutes. To our delight it was a double decker so gave us excellent views over the surrounding hills and countryside with just a glimpse of  Addington Palace, supposedly once a trysting place for King Henry and Anne Boleyn (who else?) when these were still hunting grounds. Nowadays it's a 'wedding venue' though Henry and Anne's relationship is hardly the best role model.

This historical link also accounts for the rest of the road names on our route downhill, recalling some of Henry’s advisors (there were many and it was easy to fall out of favour) such as Wolsey and Walsingham then crossing a small stream running through an area of green before climbing uphill again.

New Addington has something of a reputation as a ‘no-go’ area and indeed on our last trip a couple of years ago Mary and I were warned off from going to New Addington Parkway (a warning we ignored).  It’s not hard to see why.  Although the various parts of New Addington provide homes for about 21.000 people, making it one of the largest collections of social housing in the South East, communal facilities and shops are still not plentiful, some of the pubs have closed down and many of the green areas were thoughtfully provisioned with ‘NO BALL GAMES’ notices.  But there was a Youth Club in the Goldcrest Way Community Centre.

Having passed through and up the drives/streets/roads of homes with the odd block of flats we came to some industrial units – and Angel Welding – and then arrived at Central Parade (the main shops for New Addington) and came to a halt by the Minor Injuries and GP Surgery complex, where this very brief journey terminated.

We explained the Project to the driver who was newly qualified and on his first trip on a T32 so we congratulated him and gave him a card. He did not really know why this route, of the three T routes deserves a double decker but there you are, he’s the lucky one. A waiting passenger spotted us as we descended and offered to take our photograph with the bus – we rarely appear on our own blog as we prefer to let our words speak for the journey and really the buses and drivers are the stars not us, but it was such a friendly gesture that we have included it.
 The Health Centre looked quite busy when I popped in to use the facilities with a preponderance of the elderly who would find this easier to access than the Mayday University Hospital – a good 30 minutes plus away.

Folks’ friendliness, and generosity of time continued as we walked and got lost several times from this stop to the start of the T31. As usual we headed in the wrong direction (though I always feel that a crescent is just a long way rather than wrong way round) and asked four locals to direct us to the start of the T31. Three of them told us but advised we take a bus as it was quite a long way. The fourth thought walking might be a good insurance against the extra calories we were about to consume come Christmas and more or less took us by the hand until she was sure we were on the path to the resting T31. It really was not very far but we enjoyed the chance for four local residents to disprove the negative publicity this area sometimes has (and which I fear I may have just added to). 

PS En route we saw a lovely ‘Old Man's Beard' clematis to go with the old women posing by the bus. ' I gather the other name is ‘Traveller’s Joy’ which is perhaps a better summary of this 10 minute trip.  

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