At this point in my walk, I met a very helpful Harringey Council official checking how many litter bins they’d lost and after asking the way I walked under the railway to Bruce Castle Park.
Sadly, the museum doesn’t open until one and I was too early. As Sir Rowland Hill once owned the house, the museum also features a history of the Royal Mail.
I will return to see if there is anything my father printed. It does have the archive of Wood Green Empire and my father certainly did their posters and programs in his works in Station Road, Wood Green.
It was a very surprising area, especially as you consider it was only a coiuple of hundred metres from the riots in the High Street.
From Bruce Grove, I walked up Tottenham High Road, intended to get as far as White Hart Lane station.
There is some sign of looting and arson.
This Aldi store had seen its last, but on the other side of the road, things were different.
The criminality seems to have been very selective. This Grade II Listed building at 639, seems to have been untouched except for the windows.
But had they been boarded up before? Let’s hope someone finds a worthwhile use for the building.
It was just opposite the Carpetright store, that is now completely flattened.
One thing I noticed was that the bus and location maps that are so common in Hackney and Islington seemed to be totally missing from the bus stops.
As this area gets more visitors than most because of Tottenham Hotspur, surely they should be on every bus stop. And whilst on the subject of buses, there are not too many light-controlled crossings in the area, which doesn’t make it the most pedestrian-friendly of areas, as often to get to your bus stop, you need to brave the traffic.
Bruce Grove station is a few stops up the line and is really at the south end of Tottenham High Road, where the riots started last week.
The line has been on an embankment since Hackney Downs and there are again steep steps to get down to the road below. Wikipedia makes this claim about the station.
Despite being in the heart of Tottenham and being at one time a busy station, Bruce Grove ticket office is rarely open.
I was using my Freedom Pass, so it didn’t bother me.
I wanted to go to Tottenham today, to answer a few questions that had arisen in my mind after the trip yesterday to IKEA.
I started at Hackney Downs station.
To say it is a dump would not be fair, as I suspect that staff try hard to keep a station that has lacked investment for years, working well.
It could be a very good station and I think it could be made into a major interchange by just a few changes and perhaps by borrowing ideas from the Overground.
The access to the platforms, which is by steep staircases, must be improved. I’m not disabled, but do appreciate the problems of those who are. In a wheelchair, unless accompanied by say four of Her Majesty’s squaddies, you wouldn’t stand a chance.
It is dark and dingy too and desperately in need of an imaginative repainting. Hackney has lots of artists, so perhaps they could help or design a scheme. Has a station ever been converted into an art gallery? I know the Musee d’Orsay was formerly a station, but they threw the trains out. Babies and bathwaters come to mind.
How about adding a food shop and a coffee bar?
The interface to the buses underneath the station is poor, as the picture in the gallery shows. There should be a light-controlled crossing over Dalston Lane.
But there is a lot going for the station.
It is close to the open space of Hackney Downs.
It is well served by services going to Enfield, Tottenham, Chingford, Cheshunt, Hertford and of course, Liverpool Street.
A walkway did link it to Hackney Central and this could be reinstated to create a true rail interchange for Hackney.
The three most important lines of the London Overground are now well established. I like it and I use the system several times a week. Admittedly, I have a station at the end of my road, but it is still about a kilometre away. The trains are comfortable, clean and I’ve only been late once.
But do others feel the same way as I do?
So I typed “London Overground success” into Google to see what I got.
I found this article, which is sub-titled, Tangerine Dreams. Here’s a flavour.
That the London Overground has been a success is difficult to deny. Whilst it has certainly had its share of delays and difficulties (such as with the rollout of the 378s), its current performance and satisfaction figures accurately portray the step change in service that has happened on the NLL and elsewhere since the Operator effectively made its debut in 2007. In a city where other Operators such as South Eastern are increasingly feeling the heat from passengers over the level of service they provide, London Overground’s performance also serves to highlight that there are effective ways to address the challenges that London’s railway infrastructure brings.
The rest of the article should be read and it is generally positive about London’s newest railway.
Politician’s of all colours will claim that the success is all down to them. In my view, given how the Overground built on successful ideas, rather than try revolutrionary new ones, I would say you’d have to be really stupid to make the project fail and be an unloved railway.
For a transport project to be successful, you have to locate it so that it takes people where they want to go. The Overground does this well, although you could argue it needs more links to the Underground, as Highbury and Islington, Whitechapel and Richmond aren’t really enough. But West Hampstead will come and possibly there will be others if the politicians decide to invest in success.
One factor that helps, is it is the least claustrophobic and most photogenic of London’s railways, with the possible exception of the DLR. I would recommend both the DLR and the Overground to visitors who want to get a different perspective of London.
I’ve used this picture before to show how different the Overground is. This view even ended up in Modern Railways to illuastrate an article about links between the City and transport projects.
I think the next question is can we build on this success?
As the players came out in the Fourth Test at the Oval, a quote from T. E. Lawrence was on the wall.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
I’ll go with that! I actually think, that when you dream in the daytime, you do it because of real stimuli around you, so your dreams fit the facts. When you do it at night, you imagine advice from past friends and companions, which keeps you going in difficult times. I had such a dream in Hong Kong.
I would suspect that Martin Luther had his dream in the daytime, when he analysed what he could see going on around him.
Lawrence is a great source of quotes.
I particularly like this one.
The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern commander.
And this one.
I’ve been & am absurdly over-estimated. There are no supermen & I’m quite ordinary, & will say so whatever the artistic results. In that point I’m one of the few people who tell the truth about myself.
It just shows what a great man he was. It’s a pity we didn’t realise it fully at the time.
We didn’t even learn from this quote.
The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour.
Tony Blair and Dubya certainly didn’t see it coming.
I had a letter from BT this morning, saying could I contact them, if I thought there might be a problem setting up my landline. As the Virgin Media line has been down for a couple of weeks now, and to check my side I asctually bought a new phone handset, I sent an e-mail to BT saying that they may have trouble connecting.
They phoned me within ten minutes and even went to the trouble of ringing me back on the Virgin number to see if it did work. It didn’t.
So that made the score BT 1 Virgin Media 0
Then when I was at the checkout in Sainsburys about half-an-hour ago I got a call on my mobile marked Private. Usually, I don’t answer these, as they are often scammers or crooks. But this time I did and it was Virgin. I politely asked them to ring in a few minutes as I was at the checkout.
They haven’t so far, so that makes it BT 2 Virgin Media 0.
I shall wait in all night to see if they call!
I’ve just recieved an e-mail with the above heading and this message.
Student Finance Application Year 2011/12-Information Required
To assess your application, your student finance agreement needs to be signed and returned back to us . This can be done through “MY ACCOUNT” session of your online account .
Failure to sign and return this to us would mean your next student loan payment and maintenance grant will be delayed.
Thanks for your co-operation.
SIGN ON HERE
Student Loan Finance England.
As it points to a web site in the United States with no contact address, it’s a scam. It also came to one of my trap e-mails, which seem to be passed around by spammers.
I’ve just had some junk mail from Virgin Media, which of course I opted out of, which is entitled “Excitement? We’ve got it by the bucketful.”
It would be good if they could get me a working landline that I pay for.
I’ve actually got a yellow bucket in the garage. If I put it outside the front door, will they put my messages in it.
As a company they seem to go out of their way to annoy people who might want to use their service. If I was to rate, Sky, BT and O2, all of whom I’ve used without trouble for many years, I would give them perhaps 8 out of 10. But Virgin would be up there with the old Eurovision joke of nil points. And that would be generous!