(All pix are clickable thumbnails, if you wish to see the picture at a decent size).
|Our tour begins in Baron's Court station. I have spent many happy hours waiting for trains such as the one illustrated to arrive. Actually this train is heading on east into central London but you get the idea.|
|We exit through the wonderful green tiled booking hall, built by typical Victorians who assumed that everyone was a midget and no more than about 50 people an hour would ever use the station. It only takes one newspaper seller (in the evenings they set up stall on the right), one tourist fumbling at the ticket machine and one irritated commuter with rucksack (a part I frequently play) and the entrance is blocked solid. Fortunately it was not too crowded today so I was able to take the shot of the outside without being flattened by the hordes pounding in and out. And given the unbelievably narrow street outside that was just as well.|
|Note to any Health & Safety Officers - there is no pedestrian crossing in the street facing the station. People just have to fight across the traffic as best they can. One barely has time to admire the splendid frontage. The sign says "District Line" because when the station was built the Piccadilly had not been extended into the Hammersmith area.|
Now for the daily life or death challenge - crossing the A4. I have referred many times in this blog to the perils of this road junction. Our view looks back across the junction where Gliddon Road meets the A4, with the station just beyond.
You will notice the car occupying the space reserved for cyclists. This is so routine that no-one bats an eyelid. There is no right turn from the A4 so drivers turn left and swing their cars about, using the bike space. Sometimes two or three attempt this manoeuvre at once, blocking the left turn for people who actually want to go down Gliddon Road. They hoot and make gestures, the drivers in their way (who can do nothing until the lights change) pretend not to notice, the traffic blocking back down the A4 swirls around angrily and everyone has a good time.
|Gliddon Road becomes Edith Road and ends at the junction with Hammersmith Road. This view shows the contrast between the Victorian terraced houses and the modern office blocks that now line Hammersmith Road and dominate the entire area. The houses were built for families with servants - they have grand entrances, basements with separate entrances for tradesmen and deep gardens. They are all now converted into flats and though the houses remain rather imposing, the character of the road has deteriorated.|
so onward through the windswept canyon of Hammersmith Road towards my office.
The final landmark is Olympia,a structure that dwarfs the road and all surrounding buildings. The many events held here provides the cafes and pubs in the vicinity with much of their business.
I was going to add a section about the train journey and this is part of it - Rayners Lane on a sunny evening. The Piccadilly Line train has arrived from London. It terminates here and the passengers are waiting for the driver to walk back up the platform, having checked all the carriages are empty, and take the train into the siding where it will turn round and go back east.
Usually a Metropolitan from Harrow arrives soon after a terminating Piccadilly but you never know.