Sunday 18 September 2011

Supplementary Stratford Snippets

A number of largely unconnected items that were omitted from recent Stratford blogs  [read again:- episodes (1), (2) or (3)] due to lack of space.

Stratford is also a mini-hub for National Express ...
... coach services, in particular the A9 from Bethnal Green and Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport, running every 30 minutes 24 hours a day, seven days a week ...
... a stunning frequency and luxurious as well.

National Express, a bit like Boris the Blue et al, doesn't like to tell you about its timetables, BUT if you scroll down the home page to the very bottom, your beady eyes might just focus on this tiny phrase, printed in pale grey to help those who are struggling to find useful information WITHOUT making a booking  ...
BUT don't try looking for the A9 'cos you won't find it, not under A9 at least. You need to look for the 006, which doesn't exist, ... 
  ... it's actually the A6. Then you scroll through a few PDF pages and, abracadabra and sim salabim, you will eventually find the A9, with a bit of perspiration and perseverance. Now that procedure is really obvious, isn't it? Technology, phooey!

Not only does Boris the Blue insist on keeping bus timetables a secret, he also won't let on about Underground and Docklands timetables either. So (here) is fbb's attempt to reconstruct a proper table for journeys between Stratford International and Beckton. Not all stations are given a time, but it gives some idea of how long a journey takes and it looks about right.
But (here) is a much more speculative attempt at the Monday to Friday peak time journeys which run to Woolwich Arsenal. Of course a "real" timetable would merge these two chunks of information. The departure list for Woolwich gives "approx every 8" and "approx every 9" minutes ...
... which makes no sense as it doesn't fill the gap properly.

It is sad that the DLR doesn't seem to understand timetables or allow the rest of us to consult them. Presumably the drivers know when they are supposed to leave?

But the big extra fascination in the area is (or was) Stratford Langthorne Abbey founded in 1135, but largely gone by the mid 1800s. Once the railway from Stratford to North Woolwich opened in 1846, what was left of the ruined abbey grounds was swept aside to make way for industrial buildings.
The gateway remained in the early 18th century but not much else.
The railway ran parallel to Manor Road, then called Marsh Lane. Likewise the original lane leading to the gate moved south and became the modern Abbey Road. The old estate is, however, home to a more recent mighty ecclesiastical-type building.
Synagogue? Home of a Victorian "Flat Earth" sect? Neither. It is the Abbey Mills sewage pumping station, built under the aegis of Joseph Bazalgette, saviour of London from "The Great Stink". It was part of a sewerage system built between 1865 and 1868. The pumps lifted the "sludge" by about 40 feet allowing it to flow further east and eventually out into the sea. Its south bank sister is at Crossness.

From an Abbey dealing with the Salvation of man's soul to a Cathedral of sewage, salvation of man's health.

There is now a more modern pump house nearby, a far less attractive building, but doubtless more efficient.
Much of the abbey grounds have been re-re-obliterated by the huge Stratford Market depot for the Jubilee Line. The tiny little tape worms in the aerial map extract below are the trains, parked and ready for service. Sweet!
It would appear that the pub "Adam and Eve" (see diagram above) was demolished to make way for the depot.

On the western edge of the former Abbey site is the River Lea; and in a weird set of spooky coincidences, part of the river there is called the Prescott Channel where Dan Cruikshank found the remains of the Euston Doric Arch (read again).
What goes around, comes around in the bizarre blogging business.

How about re-naming the town "Stratford Langthorne", then perhaps the odd errant American tourist would realise his Shakespeare searching stupidity and set off in a broadly Birmingham direction.

Next blog : Monday September 19th  

1 comment:

  1. It should, of curse, be obvious that if you want to go to Stansted you look at the timetables of the coaches from there.

    This will give you the details, but whether the stop information is for where the coach from Stansted arrives at or departs to go to Stansted it is not so helpful, unless, of course, the same stop covers both directions. This time they don't give any route number, right or wrong, so it does beg the question, why does it appear on coaches?