Southgate Station to Chase Farm Hospital
Thursday December 12th 2013
We rode it to the ever modern-looking Southgate Station and located the stop for the W9, the next bus ‘de jour’. It’s very easy to go in circles round here, but all was well and the countdown gave us 8 minutes in which to swap cameras and have some peppermints before climbing onto a single decker at 11.40 so the clock in the photo is right!
The W9, which is of course a back streets bus, takes a little circular loop round Fox Lane to reappear further down Bourne Hill – the junction is apparently the site of a former cattle pound. Fox Lane was largely Hail and Ride with few takers as is almost always the case in the more affluent neighbourhoods; it may be different at rush hour times.
We also passed the rather un-cherished looking Palmers Green High School which proves to be a private educational establishment catering for girls 4-16 so maybe times are not too good??
Climbing again we were on or approaching Winchmore Hill which appears to be one of the more inaccessible London ‘villages’ complete with a village green and independent coffee shops – not a chain to be seen. Victoriana or Mistress Appleby's shop promised Antique wedding and engagement rings rather than anything racier, as befits this corner of Enfield, seemingly preserved in another age.
The bus continues and after some twists and turns we took a detour that we originally thought was to serve a new looking Sainsbury’s – however what it was really accessing was the Highlands Estate, which had been developed from the former buildings of the Highlands Hospital where patients were treated between 1887 to 1998, originally those who needed isolation because of ‘fevers’ – scarlet, diptheria and those other illnesses which penicillin and antibiotics have made history of, then later TB. Jo and I were pretty impressed with the conversion – clean London brickwork, small Queen Anne style blocks interspersed with lots of trees, a nursery and a residential home so my guess is that the developers more than recouped their £20 million pound investment. A few blocks still remain unconverted or shut up but by and large it looked much better than the hospital which was our final destination. We could not decide whether the blocks were named for prominent persons (Rutherford – physicist or Mary Seacole – nurse), former ward or doctor names or bits of Scotland – Pringle and Ballantyne .
We retraced our ride and headed further into the area between Winchmore Hill and the next station on the railway line (the Underground feels a long way away), Grange Park, built on some land bought from the Grovelands Estate – as in the park we passed right at the start. We could see little except some generic greenery but Bush Hill Park houses a golf course and park, and the New River runs through it.
*PS You should see her real knitting..