Saturday, 14 December 2013

The W4 Route

Thursday 12 December 2013

Linda and I took the W4 from Tottenham Hale Station to its starting point deep in the Ferry Lane Estate.  We explained to the driver that we should be travelling back and he kindly allowed us to stay on board, out of the cold and the remains of the mist.  We gave him a card and he and another waiting passenger expressed interest on the project.  He said he had been driving buses for 10 years but had never ridden a bus outside his patch!  As we travelled towards our destination, at Oakthorpe Park near the North Circular, we came to realise that he had friends all along his route, as he waved, and even bipped his horn to people he knew.

We were off at 10.04, and noted that we were travelling along Jarrow Road.  Tottenham was on the route the Hunger Marchers took in the 1930s, and indeed more recently.  I have, however, found no reference that would tell us whether the street was named for the marchers.

We came out of the estate, and back to Tottenham Hale Station, where massive 'works' are transforming the already acceptable bus area.  Then we turned left to run alongside the retail park and pass the Prince Arthur Pub, presumably named for one of Queen Victoria's many children.  We noted that new build houses are having insulation put on, but felt the builders should get a move on before the wind shreds the tin foil.

Continuing along Broad Lane, we reached the junction with the Tottenham main road, where street improvements will not be complete until this time next year.  We headed past Tottenham's huge police station and down towards Bruce Grove Station, passing a blue plaque noting that Luke Howard, the man who named the clouds, 'lived and died here'.  Both Linda and I thought we had passed a different plaque to him, perhaps somewhere more leafy, but we are clearly wrong.  He started life as a Quaker, but then joined the Plymouth Brethren.  He also corresponded with Goethe, who wrote some verses about him and his cloud classifications.

After Bruce Grove, we were almost immediately into Seven Sisters and passing a range of shops and businesses, some with the Turkish and South Asian influence we expect in this bit of London.

The bus was mainly on 'hail and ride' but was quite busy just the same, as we headed into the Broadwater Farm Estate. We admired the Bob-Marley-and-Gandhi mural, and thought that the whole place was looking pretty spruce and neat - a fact only worth a comment if one remembers its rather rocky and difficult past.

Coming out of the estate, and into more mixed housing, we wondered what the wide expanse of green was.  Some friendly fellow passengers enlightened us:  this was Downhills Park, which we thought an appropriate name for is sloping expanse, though I suppose a tired walker might name it 'uphills park'.  It took us to Lordship Lane, one of those names which could muddle  south Londoners who were wondering where they were.

On we went, through residential streets with pleasant green areas and then made a sharp right turn off Willow Walk.

We were quite surprised when suddenly we were at Turnpike Lane Station, and heading along familiar streets to reach Wood Green.  Coming past the Lord Nelson Pub, we were able to glimpse the handsome war memorial, which commemorates the 990 men of the borough who died in the First World War.

The Grand Palace, which we remember as a Chinese Eatery a few years ago, now seems to have a Polish Flavour to its banqueting.

We turned along Wolves Lane to pass the Garden Centre and leave Haringey for Enfield.  We admired the driver's skill as he squeezed past the parked cars past the Bird in Hand Pub and over the little stream which is the Pymme's Brook atthhis stage in its course, to reach Oakthorpe Park and the end of our journey at 10.50.

Actually, there was no park that we could see, rather the North Circular and the Cambridge Interchange and hundreds of motor vehicles.  But, undeterred, we headed off (under, not across the road) to reach our next bus.

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