Sunday, 2 June 2013

The H9 and H10 Route

Wednesday 22 May 2013 

There appear to be no routes numbered H4,5,6,7 or 8, so here we are jumping to H9 and 10.

These two circular routes  are numbered differently simply because they go in different directions.  So the rules committee agreed that we should do the pair only once.  Of course  one way systems may mean that we do not cover every inch, but that is the decision.  

Mary and I met at Harrow on the Hill Bus Station at 9.30.  Linda was, we hoped, having a lovely time exploring the east of England with German friends.  We headed out of the bus station, and over the railway, passing what had clearly once been a pub but was now a kebab place.  We caught a glimpse of Harrow High School, and also of a hair dressers to add to our collection.

But perhaps the most interesting name was the Estate Agents  since Lingam is the personification of the male aspect of the deity, and is how Shiva is often represented, while Gold is a pretty standard English/Jewish surname.   Our co-passengers similarly reflected the ethnicities of the area, and so did the various places of worship we passed.

Mostly, though, this route was through the semis and detached properties of Metroland.  Almost all had hardened front gardens, some with three cars on them; but this did not stop the residential  roads being lined with cars, making some of the route quite difficult.  There are no little parades of shops, except when the route touches on a main road, and the H9/10 is the only bus through here, so the heavy car ownership is explainable.

Effectively, we took a loop East and then North, round Harrow, before heading South to Rayners Lane, and then back to Harrow.

We visited Northwick Park station, with signs to the hospital, and then sped along the road towards Kenton.  We were, actually, literally speeding in a couple of places, as we activated those ‘slow down’ signs which some boroughs have, on our way through Headstone. 

On a trip that was to be heavy with religious buildings, we passed St Mary the Virgin, Kenton’s C of E Parish Church, Kenton Methodist Church, a large brick structure, and then a Wealdstone’s Evangelical Church.  After Harrow Leisure Centre (I am not going to say anything about fitness being a religion) we came to the Siddhashram Shakti Centre.


Passing North Harrow Station (it is on the Overground, so of interest since all three of us are Overground people) we found the bus filled with the perfumes of Araby and, sure enough, there on the right was the Dubai Mall, not to be confused with the huge place in Dubai, but with a remarkable range of interesting products.

Harrow’s enormous Crown Court brought us back down to earth, and then we passed the Kodak works.  This used to be the heart of Kodak’s operation in Britain when we all needed film, developing and printing for our photos, but digital put paid to that in an amazingly short period of time.  The site  is to become a new community,  with almost 1000 new homes.  The planning reports mention offices and shops but not other forms of work.   Sic transit gloria industriae .

After that brief flurry of commercial interest, we were back into semis, some with wonderful wisterias and ceanothus bushes. We also passed signs to Headstone Manor which houses Harrow’s Museum, and which we shall certainly visit some day.

Heading on south, past Rayners Mead open space, we came into Rayners Lane, the tube station’s design making it clear that we were on the Piccadilly Line and then passed the Zoroastrian Centre, once the Grosvenor Cinema. 

Continuing south and west, briefly, before turning east, we crossed the Roxbourne Brook - a stream so minor that all Wikipedia has to say is that it joins the Yeading Brook – we came to  Heathland School and then to Eastcote Lane’s attractive cemetery.  This brought us to South Harrow, where the shops again reflect the ethnicities of the locals.

We noted a women-only class for both Zumba and belly dancing, but were not tempted.  It was here that our bus had a fairly long pause, and we guessed that we had got ahead of ourselves with our nippy rate of travel.  Then, to maintain the religious buildings theme of this route, we came to the Welsh Churchone of several in London.  We also looked up the hill to the private school at the top, before passing a house which had clearly suffered a serious fire. Our last religious building of the trip was a synagogue, before we were back into the middle of Harrow, noting that ‘those’ flats, or were they offices? are still not built, but that St Anne’s is due to be regenerated.

We were back into the bus station at 11.20, after a 50 minute loop around the borough, and ready to look for our next pair of buses.


  1. The Overground station you refer to is Harrow & Wealdstone, not North Harrow, which is on the Metropolitan Line.
    I went to what is now Harrow High School when it was Harrow County Boys' Grammar School. At that time there was an independent school across Gayton Road called Harrow High School.
    To demonstrate the changes in religious makeup of the area: the Siddhashram Shakti Centre used to be a Salvation Army citadel, and the synagogue in Bessborough Road is on the site of a former Methodist church.

  2. I have lived here 51 years and the kebab shop to which you refer has never been a pub to my knowledge. It was a joke shop for a period in the eighties....