Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The W8 Route

Thursday 12 December 2013

Chase Farm Hospital was looking rather depressed as we got off one bus and went in to make use of the facilities.  But the staff we spoke to were charming, which probably makes up for a lot.  It has just lost the last stage of the fight to save its A and E department.

Linda and I were excited that this was a double decker.  Since for much of the journey we were alone on the top deck, we could not help wondering whether the big bus is necessary for this route.  Maybe in summer, because this route takes you to the Lea Valley Leisure Complex.

We set off at 12.37 and came out and left along The Ridgeway, and then forked further left to go along Lavender Hill.  This is one of several road names around here designed to worry South Londoners, who claim the better known Lavender Hill, immortalised in the Ealing Comedy, which you can watch here.

We passed a range of different housing, starting with the many flats carved out of the old hospital buildings, and moving through different periods, before coming to Gordon Hill Station and heading on down hill, with fine views as the murky mist of the day cleared.  The London Martial Arts Centre is here, as is the Hop Poles Pub, which used to be haunted though I am not clear whether it still is. 

Linda read this entry and adds 'I note the poltergeist for the Hop Poles pub was run down by a bus - he should haunt the buses really, but perhaps he does not want to be hanging around too much?'

Both the Conservatives and the Labour Party have their Enfield North HQs here.  The current MP is a Conservative, Nick de Bois. With a name like that, he is presumably not a EuroSceptic.

We were taken with the name of the Petzotic pet shop, and regret that they don’t seem to have a website, as you might expect it to be quite witty.  We also passed the Jolly Butchers Pub with its ornate exterior and really very 'jolly' chaps on the inn sign.

These buildings were a contrast to the ugly Civic Centre which we passed having crossed the New River.  (We have referenced the amazing waterway frequently since the project began, but here again is a link to the splendid walk from Hertford to Stoke Newington which we highly recommend) 

We came to the buildings of a Victorian Charity, The Church School of Industry, which is now converted into apartments, as is almost every old building in London.

At this stage we turned right, rather than going through the centre of the town and passing the market.  So we passed the Dugdale Centre  and came out along Bush Hill with some enormous detached properties.  The trees lining the road were hornbeams, their shape interesting even when the leaves have gone.  Many of the houses had hardened front gardens, and the verges had ‘raised beds’ presumably to prevent parking on the grass.  We passed Edmonton cemetery and Edmonton County School, but it was not until we had crossed the A10 that we felt we were in Edmonton itself.

We saw the Charles Lamb Institute. It is named for the local resident  and established almost a century after his death, rather than having anything directly to do with him.  It’s now flats, a gym and a nursery.

Our bus entered the fine bus station at Edmonton Green Station, and lingered for a while before moving on, past a fine row of terraced houses being extensively renovated.

Turning down Bounces Lane, we were briefly held up by a car driver behaving rather stupidly, but our bus driver was patient (aren't they always?) and we soon got going again. 

We noted a range of shops, mostly small and independent, before coming to the Church of St Peter the Apostle.  ‘Are there any others?’ asked Linda, wondering why they had added the further identification.  I said I thought not, and indeed have not found any.

Next came an extensive area of social housing, though it is

mostly, we thought, now privately owned, with gardens and balconies in good order.

These brought us out onto the main road and we turned right and then immediately left at The Cart Pub to get alongside the railway and a small trickle of water which we thought must be some bit of the Lea and its tributaries.  We were on Picketts Lock Lane for a moment, but came no closer than that to the river or the navigation. At 13.20 we arrived at the Lea Valley Leisure Complex, which seems rather bleak, though it may well hum with activity at times other than lunch time on Thursdays. 

This route, which links Enfield to Edmonton had takenus past a range of housing, not to mention some railway stations we had never previously heard of.

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