kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] kake posting in [community profile] flaneurs

Like we did last year, [personal profile] bob and I decided to make simultaneous attempts at Theme I: Buses, subtheme (c), starting from the same stop, with me taking n=5 and him taking n=6. (To paraphrase this task: you get on the first bus that comes along, stay on for n stops, get off, repeat.)

Last year I ended up in Cheam (map), and he ended up going to Streatham and back (map). I did wonder if this year's journey would be quite similar to last year's, but as it turned out I diverged very quickly and ended up in Putney. In fact I came very close to crossing the Thames, which is quite impressive given that Croydon is often considered to be practically the southern edge of London.

The first leg of the journey was always going to be the same as last year's, since the three buses that serve this stop (photo) follow an identical route for the next few stops. This runs along a road I'm very familiar with, both because I shop there and because I'm researching its history. I did notice an architectural detail I'd not spotted before:

The top floor of a brick building, with a bas-relief saying 'GRAND PARADE'.  The bas-relief has a floral motif in between the words and leaf motifs at either end.  The sky is visible at the top, a clear deep blue.
Grand Parade, London Road. The shops beneath are the usual mix for the area: halal butchers, greengrocers (see example photo from last year's flânage), hair and beauty salons, travel agents. Across the road there's a metal tree, which I have photographed previously.

My next bus was a 250, which diverts from the main road into a long loop on which it's the only service — so I knew I'd be on 250s for a while. However I decided to stick to the original instructions rather than the suggested amendment of staying on the bus until reaching a stop served by more than one route, since I find it less stressful if I know in advance where I'm getting off. This policy paid off, since I discovered interesting things at a couple of the stops in the middle of my four-250 run. The first was Thornton Heath Library (below); the other was Norbury Park (photo).

A conservatory-style extension at the front of a redbrick library.  The walls have floor-to-ceiling windows and the white facade of the building is topped with standalone white letters reading 'LIBRARY'.  The sky is a clear deep blue.
Thornton Heath Library. I think it looks great, though in discussion with a couple of local friends last weekend I discovered that not everyone likes it!

I finally escaped from the land of the monobus onto Streatham High Road, where there are so many buses (photo of example stop from later in journey) that I didn't have time to take a photo of the skeleton in the window of the medical supplies shop next to the bus stop before hopping on the 109 that was right behind. Luckily, someone else had previously done so. I passed an interesting-looking bar:

A black-fronted high street pub/bar with brown leather seats and wooden tables in a small area cordoned off from the pavement.  A corrugated metal shutter is partly pulled down across the front.
The Hamlet, Streatham. Shame about the ugly metal shutter.

My journey then wound on up towards Clapham Junction, where I passed the Arding & Hobbs department store frontage (photo) — once independent, this shop later came under the banner of Allders (also now closed) and then Debenhams. I gazed at the railway lines:

Platforms, lines, and trains at ‘Britain's busiest railway station’, viewed from the top of a bus on a bridge over the railway lines.  The platforms are open to view.  Tower blocks are visible beyond the station.  A red London bus, also on the bridge, is just beginning to enter the view from the left hand side, making a blurry triangle of bright red.
Clapham Junction. I think this is my favourite of all the photos I took on my journey — I like the slice of bus on the left-hand side.

At one bus stop, I saw a church opposite some more building inscriptions:

A grey stone church with a slate roof and a tower topped with a spire. A view looking up at the upper floors of a brick building, taken standing quite close to the building.  Windows are inset at intervals.  A bas-relief near the bottom of the photo reads 'Harvard Mansions 25 to 30'.
Left: St Paul's Church, Battersea. Right: Harvard Mansions, Battersea.

By this point, [personal profile] bob had texted me to tell me he'd finished. I wound up my journey at Putney Station and met him in the pub.

A sausage roll, a small bowl of pickled onions, and a small pot of yellow English mustard, all set on a piece of blue and white checked paper on top of a wooden table.
Sausage roll at the Spotted Horse, Putney.

I used a total of 13 buses on 9 routes, travelling a total of 18.8 km (11.7 miles) in just over 2 hours.

Distance travelled between bus stops:

minimum0.2km(0.1 miles)
minimum (outlier removed)1.1km(0.7 miles)
maximum2.3km(1.45 miles)
mean1.6km(1 mile)
mean (outlier removed)1.7km(1.1 miles)

(The outlier minimum happened when I got on a bus that terminated one stop later.)

Here's a map of my journey, and here's my photoset on Flickr.

Date: 2013-06-12 06:49 am (UTC)
squirmelia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] squirmelia
That is a great looking library!

It is interesting to compare your map from last year with this year.

Date: 2013-06-12 11:09 am (UTC)
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
Good write-up. Your flan sounds fun. I like your Somewhere, South London, cap best because of the steeple that looks like a space rocket and the wiggly contrail in the sky. Somewhere is Clapham according to the street sign in your cap and the location of the local Londis:

http://supermarket.londis.co.uk/38530-londis-clapham

What I rly want to know is... what is in Bob's beard and being cunningly concealed by his phone?! ;-)

Date: 2013-06-16 03:31 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: Martha laughing (Martha Laughing)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
I used to spend significant amounts of time in Clapham South and Balham so the A-road numbers going north were familiar.

BUS TICKET! :-D

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