please empty your brain below

Next year Tooting?

Happy (belated) birthday. Our nearest buses are the 29 (you've missed that) and the 229 (I don't want to meet anyone on our bus who is 229, as they might smell a bit).

I wondered. BAA make the claim that Heathrow T5 is the largest free-standing building in the UK at 400 metres in length. I wonder how it's total footprint compares with that of the Colney Hatch asylum, or with other large buildings for that matter (like the Cardington balloon hangars or some of the huge manufacturing plants in the Midlands and North).

I have a vague recollection that they did claim it to be the biggest in Europe for a while, but having walked along two sides of the Louvre recently, I would seriously doubt that.

Happy Birthday t'other day and thank you for that \\_excellent\\_ write-up and its clever and most enjoyable metaphorical structure. I live in Muswell Hill (yeah, it's tough, but someone has to do it) and my family and I must have spent years of our lives on the 43.

Princess Park Manor is something round which I cannot entirely get my head, to be honest. I was privileged to visit the hospital before it was entirely closed: very interesting, somewhat troubling, surprisingly non-straightforward about closure being a de facto good thing.

PS You know the old definition of Muswell Hill used to be "the kind of place where they eat muesli out of a wok"? Needs updating a bit for the current decade, perhaps, but still not a million miles offtarget.

Regarding the 43 queue at London Bridge. In the old days of graduated fares, bus conductors had to develop a strategy on how to collect 70 fares in the space of two bus stops. Most passengers from London Bridge Station only travelled just across the bridge.

My solution was to start upstairs at the front then work my way back, making sure I was on the platform as we neared the Northern side of the bridge. Many tried to get a free ride.. not with me!!

As the author of the 42, 43 & 44 Histories on Wikipedia.. I wanted to thank you for the links.
It's a bit bizarre really, me here in Berlin writing London Bus histories!

I used to be a Bus Driver on the Night buses and one of my routes was the N2 from Crystal Palace to Friern Barnet, this involved a rather slow climb getting up Muswell Hill, the only time I was nearly defeated was one New Years Eve when I had so many people on board (squashed right upto the front windscreen) that the bus just ground to a halt about a third of the way up the hill, my only solution was to request as many able bodied passengers as possible to get of and walk up to the top of the hill with the promise that I would wait for them, I finally had about 20 volunteers and had to swear on my mothers life that I would definatly wait for them at the top, it was still a strugle but both Bus and walkers reached the top at about the same time, I did of course wait for all of them and off we went again. With a bit of give and take a happy solution can usually be found to any situation,
ps, Belated Birthday wishes.

Many Happy Returns Diamond.
In the village where I live we only have one bus service on a Thursday morning.

That Princess Park Manor website is a masterpiece of creative writing. To include a whole page of 'history' without once mentioning the original function of the building is classic PR puffery.

However this approach can rebound. I seem to remember reading in the local press a few years ago that one apartment purchaser tried to sue the developers when they only belatedly discovered that the building was originally a notorious lunatic assylum.

You are probably not going to make my local bus route of 267 then ...

Oh, clever! Did you really post it at that time or can you fiddle the timing? Enquiring minds need to know!

dg writes: sorry to disappoint, but in this case a retrospective fiddle

Happy birthday for yesterday, and what an excellent piece today's entry is - classic DG.

Agreed: an exemplary DG post, if ever there was one. And while I'm here: fingers crossed for That Awards Thing later on!

I would have liked a link on "Suicide Bridge" because I am morbidly curious why it is called that.

dg writes: I'd have liked a link on "Suicide Bridge" too, but alas I couldn't find a decent one. Anybody?

How have I lived for nearly 43 years (my turn in July) without Wikipedia London bus route pages? I am open mouthed with wonder.

I like to use the 601 bus to St. Albans, but somehow I don't think I'll live that long...

Regarding Colney Hatch mental hospital, those Victorians sure liked to build some splendid buildings, didn't they?

*looks at local timetables* Blimey, I'm spoilt for choice in my home county if I want to take my birthday bus in May... one that goes through north Leeds and one that goes from Pontefract to Barnsley.

When I lived in Purley we had a local 'Suicide Bridge'. It was situated roughly half-way between Cane Hill and Netherne asylums; a little further south of Coulsdon, on the London-Brighton line. Trains were regularly disrupted by poor souls attempting to escape untold horrors. Pedantic, you must know of this.

Now I live near Beachy Head.

Commiserations on That Awards Thing, DG. U wuz robbed!

Note to self: If attempting to win blog award, only write five really good posts every month. And never mention buses.


Folly, all is folly

What is it about the covered bus station at London Bridge - it's evil at this time of year. Mind you, they're knocking it down and building something nicer when they put up that 'Pinnacle' thing - there are some info boards on the hoardings opposite the bus stops that tell you all about it...

Here's the Wikipedia entry on the Suicide Bridge.

And here is a photo of it taken by Saima.

So it'll be a long while before you come visiting, then - it's the 101 that goes past me.

Happy Belated 43rd DG

Shame you missed birthday 38.
A whole site just of No 38 buses from around the world.

dg writes: I wrote a whole series of posts about the 38, but I was 40 at the time.

I have, in the course of my existence, used the 43 far too many times. But it was only when they brought in the newer buses that I started getting seasick on the stretch between Friern Barnet and Highgate Station - the older ones couldn't get round the hills fast enough.

Re. commuting patterns, you should give it a crack during rush hour. People will naturally form orderly queues at the bus stops, then shuffle on one-by-one when the bus turns up to take them to Highgate Station (which tends to be where everyone gets off for the tube). In the evenings the order tends to collapse a bit, but there is still a sort of queue at Highgate. Coming from the chaos of Tottenham it was a bewildering scene the first time I saw it!

Not so long ago there was an X43 specifically for commuters to the city, but it was slightly before my time in that part of the world. But people did use it, apparently.

Great route, the 43. One of its buses whacked me up the saddlebag as I cycled along Upper Street a few years ago,sending me careering into the kerb. When I caught up with the driver at the Angel stop,and tried to ascertain his rationale, he then attempted to run me down again. I did complain to Metroline and received a soothing letter....

The X43 was great if you lived where I did, but \\_deeply\\_ unpopular further down the route where its stops were few and far between. People were incensed to see part-full 43 buses on a 43 route go zooming past their stop while they waited for a jam-packed one to wheeze up and try to squeeze in another 200 people! It might have been cool transport planning but it was socially divisive and I think it's probably right - despite my personal sadness! - that it was withdrawn.

Nowadays the nutters are *on* the 43, throwing chips, stabbing people etc, rather than at the end of the route... Of course the 70-minute end-to-end journey time meant that there was an X43 express version for a number of years before such non-standard operation was killed off by LRT.

Yay, I like the 43. It took me between the city, home (Holloway), and the only other people I knew in London (in Muswell Hill). Luckily I wasn't there long enough to see too many crazy people on the bus, though there were a few..

Interesting that no-one has mentioned the connection to "booby hatch".

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