Hayes End (Kingsway) to Hounslow Bus Station
Thursday July 18th 2013
The bus turned right off the main road, passing down the rather pleasant Church Road complete with Church Green and a distant view of St Mary’s Church – apparently the oldest building in Hayes, which was largely farmland or brickfields until 20th century manufacturing firms set up shop here and the housing followed. The Fountain House Hotel had some sort of plaque, which we could not see but it probably relates to its earlier history as a school where the totally unqualified (in teaching terms) Eric Blair aka George Orwell taught.
Much more 21st Century is the Holmesgate Place development. And I can see anyone moving there would need the H98 to get to more important transport links.
As we joined Botwell Lane there was some traffic queuing but the driver let both doors open to cool the bus, which made it a more pleasant ride than our previous 1-door only trip. As well as St Mary’s we had passed a chapel and then came one of those really recognizable RC modern churches that seem very typical in the suburbs all round London’s fringes, this one dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Hayes Town has probably been spruced up; the roundabouts were newly paved and cobbled and there was an exuberance of hanging baskets and quite a few local shoppers as well. Traffic is managed too with a bus only lane taking a service road behind and crossing over the Grand Union canal. Here is where the various lighter and heavier industries developed and flourished as this part of outer London offered a choice of routes from the West into London: road rail and canal. Just past the bridge there is a large building labelled YMCA though from this website it seems more about local Youth work rather than cheap accommodation??
The railway station’s name implies it serves both localities though I would have to say it seems nearer to Hayes but sure enough the bus, having crossed over the M4, then arrives at Harlington Corner, and much slower traffic along the Bath Road. Being on the main road we saw little of what remains of old Harlington save for the White Hart. The proximity of the airport means there is that mixture of bargain accommodation – Travelodge, Premier Inn – airport parking and warehousing type facilities. Although a Red Route, traffic seemed very slow today and combined with the heat led to a kind of torpor in your author which meant that after several trips in this area it took till today to twig that Cranford, as in Cranford Technical College is named for the River Crane.
This is a long route combining old lanes with major arterial roads and as a result the times given on the bus stop – 32 minutes is way off the mark as today we took 50. And so we say goodbye to the H routes from Harrow through Hatton Cross to Hounslow...