I’ve not been down to Gants Hill for quite a while. The best Chinese restaurant in the world, the Bamboo, closed down, I’ve not needed to visit Robb’s Electrical or Howards Opticians, and I have found that it is just as easy to get the bus in the opposite direction to South Woodford if I’m off to the City. I have been through Gants Hill on the bus to Ilford but didn’t take much notice. There was some delay to the traffic but not that much, and I suppose that some traffic will have found other ways around.
But on last Wednesday evening I had a meeting in The Valentine, a public house that I have never been in before [pause for a few seconds for readers to recover from shock]. It wasn’t much of a meeting because the organiser had not spotted that it was Karaoke night and they also had the Chelsea match on television without the sound. But I digress.
Much has been said about the inconvenience to vehicle traffic due to the TfL works at the roundabout, but nobody, as far as I know, has mentioned the inconvenience to pedestrians and bus users. It’s a bloody nightmare down there. There are barriers everywhere, you don’t know where the bus stops are, some of the underpass entrances are closed, you have to walk 400 yards to progress 20 yards, there are huge ankle deep puddles everywhere - it was a bit of a shock and I got my socks wet. Serenas was empty when I passed by not knowing where the bus stop was, I’ve never seen it empty before.
No wonder the traders have got the raving hump! I’m sure it will be lovely when it’s finished but what’s the point if it’s killed in the process? Will the people return?
So, what better time to remind readers of our next coffee morning on 18th March. We have Tom Platt from “Living Streets” as our guest speaker.