Ruislip Station to West Drayton Station
Thursday June 13th 2013
(Linda alone whilst others on holiday…)
Due to a faulty bus my previous route, the H13, had abandoned me and others up at Ruislip Lido; still, though hardly ‘flaming June’, it was pleasant enough to walk down from the reservoir, and along the High Street, which in Ruislip usually feels welcoming and well used. By the time you read this the station forecourt works will probably be finished but when I travelled most routes were starting at different points along the High Street, and that is indeed where I plus several others boarded this U1. Interestingly (for us bus geeks at least) the E, H and U routes all cross over at Ruislip.
We headed south to the Ickenham Road by doubling back along Church Avenue, where I did not really spot a church – a Beefeater Grill, the White Bear and one of the Mormon churches of the Latter Day Saints, but UK roads are not usually named for them. More interestingly many of the homes and fences sported posters saying ‘No to HS2’. When I tried to follow up these links my web searches landed me on two different ‘Whoops’ pages leading me to wonder whether the anti-campaigns have been hacked as the only one still active refers largely to the Chilterns where indeed HS2 might go underground. Quite why we need a new train line, which will only save 20 minutes and seems set to deliver yet more people into London rather than encouraging business in the Midlands I don’t know. Anyway as this is quite a desirable part of outer London I can quite see why people around here would dislike the idea of building and living with an extra railway line.
Once over the Swakeleys roundabout and watching the A 40 speeding below the U1 also picks up speed heading towards Uxbridge – I fleetingly glimpsed a sign for the Dogs Trust, where they re-home abandoned canines. I suppose they maybe exercise them on Uxbridge Common, which we were crossing. The students who were as noted the majority passenger group all got off along here, which I thought might be Brunel University but in fact is more likely Uxbridge Technical College.
Just before Hillingdon Hill the U1 takes a turn left down the narrow but rather scenic Kingston Lane and this was to offer me my first glimpse of Brunel University. What I saw looked modern and clean but already deserted (has university term finished?) and was probably the reception end of the campus. We shall be returning. Further down Kingston Lane are the university’s extensive sports fields and how lucky they are to have them so close by.
After the hospital the bus leaves the busier roads to head into a large area of social housing named for pink and purple flowers – thus Violet Avenue, Lavender, Heather and Campion ditto. Many of the properties must have been sold off as there were several ‘For Sale’ boards dotted around.
This route then rejoins the West Drayton Road in what I learnt was Yiewsley where I was promised a new Morrisons – yes – Yiewsley Library – yes – and the Grand Union canal, more difficult to spot but historically very key to what is now a quiet corner of West London.
At one point there was a sign saying John Ralph Crossing , which proves to have an interesting story behind it. So local boy makes good both in his chosen career as an engineer and a successful competitive cyclist but experiences ostracism in both areas due to his Communist Party affiliations and loyalty. In spite of this he has been remembered in a road naming.