Thursday, 21 November 2013

The U2 Route

Thursday 21 November 2013

Perhaps we should start by saying that this bus route has nothing to do with the elderly pop group of the same name.  No, it is a simple single decker which took Linda and me from Uxbridge Station to Brunel University.  After a brief visit to the facilities of the Pavilions Shopping Centre, we were on our way at 10.35.

The bus was very full from the start, with standing room only.  This is not something we are used to, since usually buses are either frequent or unimportant.  But the reason soon became clear when we reached Uxbridge College, and many young people got off, to pursue learning.

We turned left at the TA Centre, which we noted particularly because this was the day after the government's plans to rename the TA became newsworthy.  We were now in residential streets of a prosperous appearance, and crossed over the River Pinn as it makes its way from Pinner Park towards the Grand Union Canal.  It makes a very pleasant walk, though when we walked it the gate at the end was locked, forcing a lengthy road detour. Here is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated description of the Celandine Trail

We took a turn out of the  houses and onto the main road to visit Hillingdon's amazing greenhouse of a station, but were soon  back out to Hillingdon Circus, and then more housing, many of the properties having hardened front gardens.  We were the only bus along these roads, and picked up a number of passengers as we went along.

Indeed, our route took us through street after street of housing, ranging from bungalows to substantial detached properties.  We admired the autumnal creeper on one semi.  I am almost sure it is a clematis, but the web offers either pictures or names, but seldom both.  There were also some lovely acers.  The peculiar weather of 2013 has certainly brought us a lot of autumn colour.

Passing a school with an overgrown beehive at its front, we were unable to ascertain whether this was merely a playground object, or whether it was a school which keeps bees.  Brunel University, which is after all quite close,  does have a research department concerned with the declining numbers of our bees.

After we had passed Crescent Parade, with its multiple charity shops, we  noted another school, this one being either extensively rebuilt, or newly built, but could not catch the name. Hillingdon is clearly building many new schools, and this might be one, but I am not sure.

The bus was gradually filling up again, with a mainly elderly clientele. As we headed along Pield Heath Avenue, we entered a brief Dickens patch, with streets called 'Micawber' - doubtless occupied by people expecting that something will turn up - and Copperfield.

When we paused by Hillingdon Hospital, the bus once again emptied, leaving us with only one fellow passenger for the last few metres.
We soon reached Brunel University's spacious sports fields and handsome buildings, though we were surprised to note its proximity to Uxbridge's mortuary and cemetery.  We stepped off the bus at 11.05, after a journey of precisely half an hour through the residential areas around the south of Uxbridge.

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