Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Day 8 buses 18 and 19

I had originally intended to combine these two buses with the No 20, but time beat me to it. Indeed it took over six hours to just do these two routes. I left on the 09:55 to Victoria and alighted at Balham to catch the hourly Milton Keynes train to Wembley Central.This train deposited me at Wembley Central at 1105 after another trip past the blackened remains of Grenfell Tower. In order to get to the start point of the No 18 I needed to catch a bus to Sudbury and rather than get a No 18 merely to retrace my steps I caught the No 182 going to Bushey lane.
Sudbury and harrow road station
Collection of VWs awaiting starting back to Euston
Evidence I was on bus heading for Euston

So it was at 1125 that I boarded VW1892 on the No 18, another Metroline Volvo chassised, Wright bodied vehicle, although unlike the 6, 7 or 17 which were utilised earlier in proceedings, this bus was not a hybrid. The bus then followed the Harrow road back through Wembley and on to Harlesden and at 1155 we stopped in Willesden to change drivers, since this bus is based at Willesden Junction depot. Traffic was fairly light through much of this part of NW London and we only hit really painfully slow moving activity once past the Paddington Basin. Thus the Marylebone road was its usual crawl but we still made it to Euston Station at 1232, which made the entire journey only 1 hour and 7 minutes. This gave me hope I might do the three buses I hoped for, as I changed onto the 253 to Hackney which was my ride to Finsbury Park.


Bus having arrived at Euston railway station


The journey to Finsbury Park through Camden and Holloway was fairly trouble free and I reached the station just after 1PM. I felt a bit peckish so nipped into Greggs for a Tuna sandwich and Ginger beer and then waited under the awning of the Finsbury Park Interchange, as its called for my mount to Battersea bridge southside.

HV256 waiting at the Finsbury Park Interchange to head to Battersea


The No 19 was an Arriva Volvo Hybrid HV 256 which left the Finsbury Park Interchange around 1316. This is a route I am very familiar with as when the bairns were younger I would stop at the Sylvanian families shop in Mountgrove road and buy Christmas or birthday presents. As we reached Highbury corner it was announced the bus was on diversion as Islington High Street was closed for road works and a significant diversion it was indeed. We went down through Hoxton to the Old Street roundabout where we turned right and headed for Clerkenwell road. Thus we missed out all of the Islington shopping area and Sadlers Wells/ Roseberry Avenue and only regained the usual route outside my previous place of employment, 127 Clerkenwell road. I had worked here for 16 years straight from 1992-2008 and then another two years later 2009-2010. My employer's lease ran out last year and finally it looked like the owners were replacing the lifts or at least giving them an overhaul.
The roof work at 127 Clerkenwell road

The junction of Roseberry avenue and Clerkenwell road with Grays Inn road crossing them with Theobalds road beyond. The G is the pole dancing pub next to where I used to work!!




Crossing Battersea bridge approaching journeys end
This diversion was definitely a longer way round but since it's not the usual route we didn't seem to dwell very long at any bus stops. Normal service having resumed, however, the area around Cambridge circus to Piccadilly circus was again a bottleneck. The bus then continues west to Knightsbridge and then south down Sloane street before heading west again before turning left into Beaufort street and finally crossing Battersea bridge.

The bus arrived at 1445, this is so far the longest journey I have done on one bus. Thus it was with a heavy heart that I had to accept defeat as to reach the nearest part of the No 20 I would have had to get to Walthamstow and to do that would have necessitated getting to Clapham Junction, taking the London Overground to Gospel Oak and then the Overground two car diesel to Walthamstow Queen street. Instead I walked to Clapham Junction Station, briefly stopping to look at Battersea heliport, which was empty at the time and caught the 1523 Littlehampton train home. Total score two buses in six hours!

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