The Number 76 Route

Friday 10 January 2020

Today was going to be a really logical day as we were to go from Tottenham Hale to Tooting on two, consecutively numbered, buses.

Linda and I met at about 10.00, at Tottenham Hale, which is undergoing serious alterations, with new buildings going up all round, and of course, demolition going on as well.

It's being provided with a much better bus space than Euston or Kings Cross, though it's not quite sorted yet. There are no 'facilities' at the tube or bus stations, but you can find what you might need on Platform 4 of the Rail Station.

We headed out and left, and were very soon at Tottenham Town Hall and Holy Trinity Church.  This was built in the 1820s and, according it its website, was modelled by the architect, Savage, on King's College Chapel in Cambridge.
We also noted the plaque for John Williams, a 19th century missionary who died a violent death on one of the islands near Australia.  His plaque is on a cafe called The Post, almost next door to another, called The Blighty.  The name seems to reflect their commitment to the Commonwealth of Nations, rather than to the former British Empire.

The route continues straight, so we passed the College of North East London and the Catholic Church with the inspirational posters against knife crime which we have previously mentioned.  Stamford Hill was busy with shoppers getting ready for the Sabbath, and then we were at Stoke Newington Station

We also passed the handsome entry to Abney Park Cemetery, which is part of the Capital Ring and a pleasantly green place to walk through. By the way, the word cemetery, which seems a long way from Graveyard, or Friedhof, has its roots in Greek and Latin words about lying down to sleep, which seems appropriate.
We had noticed that Hackney had not yet removed all its Christmas Decorations, so we were impressed with the forethought shown by planting a large conifer on the road heading down towards Dalston, which can be dressed and undressed as the season requires.

The route passes into the very Turkish area of West Hackney, so we could admire the attractive mosque, as well as the enormous HQ of 'Beyond Retro'. Princess May Primary School is named for the wife of George V. who tends to be known as Princess May of Teck, that being the part of Germany she came from.

Not for the first time, we came through Dalston, passing its two Overground Stations, and its busy and vibrantly coloured market.  I was puzzled by the Inn sign of the Talbot Pub, which showed a dog with wings.  Talbots were hunting dogs (without wings) now extinct, presumably because there's not much demand for hunting dogs these days. It's also the surname of the family of the Earl of Shrewsbury: none of which explains the wings....

We next headed through the De Beauvoir area to reach and run alongside the Regent's Canal before turning left to cross it.  Here we paused for two minutes 'to regulate the service', which confirmed our view that we had had a very smooth journey so far. It gave us time to note the huge amount of new accommodation being built here as everywhere.

And then, of course, it is the road works at Old Street.  The 'gyratory' has gone, and traffic seems to be moving smoothly.  We were somewhat puzzled by the large castellated building we passed here but, of course, Londonist explains it all.

We came on down past Moorgate Station, getting ready for the persistently delayed Elizabeth Line, and past Finsbury Square.

The Barbican, looms over this part of London, as does the about-to-move Museum of London.  We wonder what will happen to its extensive buildings when it goes.

We were interested to note that a bar at the Globe Pub was called 'Keats at the Globe' but it seems John Keats was born in the stables next door where his father was employed.
Down at the end of Aldersgate, and with views of St Pauls, we were delighted with the angels on swings which are a part of the decorations here.

Then we swung right to head past St Pauls and along a strangely uncongested Fleet Street.
Queen Anne is outside St Paul's because, although we tend to think of the new cathedral as a Charles II thing, it wasn't completed till 1711 (35 years is not bad for a building of this size and complexity, though)

As we came along Fleet Street towards the Strand, we noticed a small bust outside numbers 72-78.  Thanks to the modern miracle that is the web, I can tell you that this is of T P O'Connor MP, an Irish Nationalist.  I suppose he's along here because he was a journalist as well. We also passed the International Arbitration Centre, which proves to be a place where people can hire a room for mediation, or maybe just discussion.

Then we were past the former Aldwych (or Strand) Tube Station.  You can book a tour of the place, or just have a look at this website.  Among its uses during the Second World War, it stored the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.

The makeover at Somerset House seems to be taking a long time, but we were soon crossing the river, and nearing the end of our journey.

We came past Waterloo Station, and then did a long loop round the former County Hall to get back to the rather dingy end of Lower Marsh alongside the wall which screens the platforms.  We arrived at 11.20, ten minutes faster than the advertised length of this route.  It had been a remarkable North-to-South trip, and we had a short walk to get to our next bus, the 77.

The Number 76 Route