Sunday, 5 January 2014

The W12 Route

Sunday 22 December  2013

 We never do buses at weekends:  never, that is, unless an earlier co-traveller expresses a wish to do one more before the end of the Project.  So it was the Linda, Tim (who does the index) and I met at Wanstead Station to catch the 10.14 from Woodbine Place, destination the Coppermill Estate in Walthamstow.

Since this is a bus that goes only twice an hour, we were pleased to be on time. Of course, if we had had to wait, Tim could have shown us where the Wanstead Go Club meets, since he has played there in the past. As it was, we admired the smart outfit of one of our fellow-waiters.

It was a teeny weeny bus, but quite busy for much of the journey.  We turned left along the High Street and then right to pass the church; the number of cars parked outside was a reminder that it was Sunday.  Tim and I noted the monkey puzzle tree in one of the front gardens, and gave a thought to the late great Araucaria.  (Since I’m sure anyone who cares has already read the Guardian tributes, here is the Daily Telegraph.)

The Nightingale Pub has both a bird and a Highwayman  - or at least a horseman - as embellishments but I have been unable to discover why (the horseman, I mean; I do understand why there might be a bird). 

This brought us to a hail and ride section, and we stopped quite frequently as we passed residential properties to reach South Woodford with its station and charming arcaded terraces with green areas in the middle of the road.  Along George Lane, we saw the George Pub
We thought the Lane might be named for it, but since it used to be The Horns, the naming is probably the other way round.  South Woodford also has a rather good looking cinema. 

Snaresbrook Road passes Eagle Pond, with various sea birds, geese and ducks enjoying themselves, and to the beginnings of Epping Forest.  There was only one footway along here, but it was wide enough to be shared with cyclists and indeed, we saw a few, enjoying the unexpected lovely sunshine.

The next event was Whipps Cross Hospital;  first we went round the front (or back of it) on the main road, then turned down James Lane.  Linda saw a royalist pattern emerging, what with George and then James, but we were doubtful.  We turned into the hospital and did a long sweep round the many blocks, wards and entrances, passing the main entrance eventually.  Nobody wanted to get off or on.  Presumably that will change when consultants are available on Sundays. 

We could not help but admire the Pont du Gard look of some of the older wards:  Francis Sturdy, the architect, in the 1880s, apparently had in mind the Italian Renaissance;  he also clearly had a lavish budget.

 Almost immediately we were into the outskirts of Walthamstow, passing a house which must look really festive in the evenings although its embellishments do not show up well in a daytime photo.  
The Mary Squire Almshouses  are here, though she herself was living in Surrey at the time of her endowment.  We also passed the old Watch House, which used to cage criminals.
Our driver managed the narrow road and parked cars with skill and soon we were at the former Co-op with its fine plasterwork.
There was quite a long pause at the central station before we turned into the bus station for a quick visit.  Then it was out past the library and the green area that surrounds it.  We noted that the Council had planted very attractive winter baskets, with pansies as well as greenery.  Then we went on down Mission Grove, passing the Primary School and a very jolly mural and noting with some Watford based nostalgia a street called Cassiobury Road. 

We wiggled around these residential streets, before reaching the Coppermill Pub; we drew to a halt just where the bridge crosses the streams go over the reservoirs and get to the Lea Valley Park.  

By this time we were the only passengers, so we explained to our charming driver what we were doing, before getting off to return to the centre of Walthamstow.  It was just before 11.00.  

1 comment:

  1. I love the W12 and the way it goes all around the houses. The drivers are often friendly and considerate. One driver in particular is really lovely."Hold on tight"