Friday, 9 March 2018

Day twenty seven, after finally doing a bus route near my home last time, I now do the first route that does run near to where I was born, the No 51. It also runs through Blackfen which for a number of years was where John used to live prior to, and after marriage to Debbie.

In order to ride the No 51 it was necessary to get to Woolwich. This required another run with the London Overground to Canada Water and a change to the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich. From here I took a No 472 headed towards Thamesmead and alighted at Woolwich Powis street. I then walked towards the ferry roundabout and turned right crossing Hare street to Woolwich High street.
Bus Stop C looking towards the west and
the Woolwich Ferry roundabout 
Stagecoach 13008 arriving at Woolwich High street

The No 51 starts from bus stop C and is run by Stagecoach and their No 13008 duly arrived at 1610. It was a wet journey throughout and for the whole run I had to frequently rub the condensation off the front window and thus no useful photographs could be obtained whilst actually 'riding the route'. Given it was a trip being taken in the near rush-hour I was expecting some hold ups but there were two parts of the journey where it was extremely slow progress. The first was Westwood lane in Welling heading towards the lights at Blackfen and then once through Blackfen as we turned left from Willesley avenue in the direction of Sidcup. Thus the journey had taken until 1744 to reach Sidcup high street. The bus driver then informed us that the bus would terminate at Critalls Corner at Foots Cray.
Stagecoach 13008 discharging its passengers at Critalls Corner

We arrived at 1756 at this site of abbreviated travel; we were not delayed long, however, as two minutes later Stagecoach No 12345! arrived to take us onward to Orpington and eventually to Orpington station The final stop was reached at 1824, 2 hours and 14 minutes after leaving Woolwich High street. I asked the driver when I alighted how long it should take in the rush-hour and he suggested it should be 1 hour and 20 minutes; quite a difference.
Stagecoach 12345 at Orpington railway station about to enter bus station to layover before its return northward to the Thames

Since I needed to help my mum that evening with her ablutions this was a convenient way to reach her and my childhood home in Orpington, despite the rain. Later I caught the No 353 to Addington interchange and then by tram to Wandle Park.

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