Thursday, 26 December 2013

The W10 Route (or Sam’s bus)

Crews Hill (Rosewood  Drive) to Enfield Town (Cecil Road)
Thursday December 19th 2013
Today was an adventure for both of us. We met at a very busy Highbury & Islington and then caught a train which took us to Crew’s Hill, a place of which we had never heard until this week, in just about 30 minutes. For once some accurate map reading meant that we found the very narrow footpath that parallels the railway line and emerges into a pleasant hilly residential development, where the preferred Christmas decorations seemed to be icicle lights hanging from garage eaves. It was bright and sunny so we had to imagine them twinkling away later in the day. The area was pretty deserted (the station unstaffed for starters) but we found a man raking his front gravel (which tells you a bit about the kind of housing) and asked after the bus as we could see no stop. He waved vaguely across the road and said it stopped about there (or where we wanted) so we settled down on a garden wall to wait 20 minutes or thereabouts for this once an hour services (and then only between 11 and 3), hearing the faint but steady noise of the M25 – that’s how far out we were. (‘Pretend it’s the sea’, said Jo).

Sooner than expected the bus appeared and we asked if we could board and got chatting to the very charming driver, name of Sam, who confessed her W10 is known as ‘Sam’s bus’. She had already waved at two local residents and when a third boarded she asked how the ‘re-decoration’ was going; it transpired this passenger had suffered water damage in the recent storm and the decorators were even now putting the finishing touches to the repairs. Her handbag, and that of the 4th passenger jingled with those sturdy bells the police give out to senior citizens with handbags. That and nearby house front Santas and Snowman added to the Christmas cheer.
Sam told us how much she enjoyed this route and how friendly everyone was (in part I’m sure to her own friendliness) and she certainly missed people if they did not ride for a while. She brings the bus up from Northumberland Park where it is based, but it spends its nights outdoors, at the Go-Ahead garage, meaning it can be pretty chilly when she picks it up. Still it is very petite 1-door bus and once underway warmed up quickly.  We left punctually at 11.05 .

Even the modern A-Z shows this area to be full of nurseries (the plant kind) and some piggeries, which we had seen from the train and sure enough Clay Hill proved to be a fertile (pun) source for
Acers, which my other half cannot resist, multiple deaths to the contrary, and Mediterranean plants which I love but they too sulk in our neat London clay. Talking of Clay the route follows Clay Hill and passes the entrance to Whitewebbs Wood and Park.

Interspersed between the Garden Centres and Riding Stables there had only been one proper bus stop since the start of our route, but we had steadily gained in passengers, all of them Freedom pass holders. On the whole we kept moving which made photography a little tricky but here’s one of the Fallow Buck, a pub actually on the route.
Soon after passing this we saw a sign advising us that it was ½ mile to the New River, which features from now on along this route.  The bus seemed to take something of a loop possibly to serve an Ambulance Station (but not for long according to this) or maybe just to be able to use the roundabout to turn left. By now were in a far more built-up area which street signs indicated liked to be known as Carter Hatch. There was even a sign to Ponders End which we know from our previous riding of routes is but a stone’s throw from Brimsdown; though Jo had threatened me with a trip home from Brimsdown this was not the way to go.

We slipped into Enfield Town, the bus now over half full and slowed by traffic for the first time, and after passing the station came to a dignified halt between the Civic centre and a large Argos Store. Here we said good bye to Sam, who could probably rest for 15 minutes or so before heading back on the 11.50 so she proved to be the only vehicle on this route – a bit like the 146, another rural ride.
We had enjoyed our country outing and smooth ride and took the opportunity to look briefly at the Civic Centre’s little exhibition to celebrate 400 years of the New River, and then looked down at the real thing, here called the Enfield Loop as it was ‘straightened out’ in the 19th century. Both river and path have received some TLC during the course of our Project and we can remember on one of our first trips here how green and weedy and neglected it looked compared to today’s altogether fresher presentation.

The journey home from Enfield Town was slightly quicker but nevertheless more than three times the length of this entrancing 20 minute jaunt through outer Enfield.

We wish you all a happy festive season and if you are a London Bus Driver a good break.
The 'Ladies Who Bus' will be riding into the New Year, just, so watch this space.

Thanks are also due to the proof reading support of '63 Regular' and Tim's technical expertise and input throughout.  


  1. When W10 was first introduced on 01/01/1992, it actually terminated at Crews Hill Station. It was extended to Cuffley Station for a while, but returned to Crews Hill Station until someone in London Buses land decided that the manoeuvre needed there was unsafe so it's curtailed on the Estate ever since. Used to carry a fair number of people round to the nurseries, especially in Saturdays, and you did get to know all your regular passengers. I occasionally used to drive the W10 on Saturdays back in the mid 90's.

    1. Sorry, W10 was introduced on 01/02/1992, not 01/01/1992.

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