Archive for the ‘Heathrow’ Tag
I haven’t had doner meat and chips in 14 months and went to the Heathrow Fish & Chips Best Kebab Eat In or Takeaway Restaurant to have a bit of cod but didn’t want to wait for the fish to cook. I bet it would have been excellent because the meat was divine. Go soon: this is part of the planned and unnecessary expansion of Heathrow.
Earlier, at the King William, a short guy at the bar recommended the White Horse with the warning that I should watch my head as I entered. This was funny since he was about 4 feet tall; he knew what he was talking about, though, and anyone over 5 feet tall should take note.
While my Doom Bar was being pulled, I mentioned that a guy at the KW had endorsed the place. “The landlord?” asked the landlord, here. “Yes, but a short guy at the bar, first. The landlord’s skills with a map would have me climbing the fence into and back out of the airport.” He nodded his agreement before charging an outrageous amount for the pint: an advantage of having your whole village flattened, soon, is you don’t have to depend on repeat business. Oh…they open at 9 am.
It is truly a shame, though, that such a grand example of a 16th century ale house is going to make way for an expansion of an airport that really can’t handle the load it already has. It should be built around…maybe with a shuttle stop along the way to Terminal 5.
The King’s Arms is doomed. This isn’t because it is actually an Indian restaurant masquerading as a pub; the entire village of Longford is going to be bulldozed for the new 3rd Runway at Heathrow.
I got a cider and sat down to see the conclusion of the episode of Judge Rinder I started at the Five Bells a little while earlier and had a look around the place, amused by the menu (they probably meant ‘chilli,’ for spicy peppers and not ‘chilly,’ for a wee bit on the cold side). I was also intrigued by ‘Chicken Lollipop.’
A thin young fellow came out of the kitchen to talk. Eventually, I found out that he was from Goa and his sister lives in Swindon near the bus station. But, we started with:
Goa Boy: “Where do you come from?”
GB: “Oh, Iceland.”
Me: “No, Ruislip.” I wrote it on an empty spot on my map.
GB: “I don’t know that. How far away?”
Me: “10 km.”
Me, pointing at the scrawl on the map: “No, Uxbridge.” Then, I wrote Uxbridge on the map.
GB: “Oh, I know Uxbridge.”
Positioning the map so the pub was just in front of me, I moved my cider across the table to a point about arm’s length away, lifted it slightly saying, “this is Uxbridge;” then, taking a salt shaker and putting it a little to the right I added, “and that is Ruislip.”
Me: “So, where are YOU from?”
The landlady was standing in the doorway of the Five Bells talking with a teenager further inside; I opened the door and we startled one another then both moved toward the bar. “What’ll you have?” she asked and I asked for a Foster’s then added, “but that looks pretty good, too,” nodding toward the hot chocolate she had set on the end of the bar.
Taking immediate offense, she tensed up and demanded, “WHAT did you say?” I realised the beverage was in a direct line of sight between me and the girl.
“The cocoa. That and a shot of brandy would be grand, but I’ll just have the beer for now.”
Down the hallway to the larger, back bar I spotted these Wanted For Murder posters that were interesting on several levels. First, £20K would be a nice payday. Second, this suburban pub seems to need posters in English, Dutch, and Arabic. Third, the incident occurred on Field End Road about a mile from my house. Small world.
Quiet bar with a giant tele in it showing putrid daytime shows. The one on when I got there was “Judge Rinder” which is kind of like “Judge Judy” except the magistrate is young, British, and flaming. The case: a guy used a dating app and met a girl who turned out to be a prostitute; there were some unresolved financial issues. I didn’t wait around to see how Judgey-Wudgey sorted this.
The landlord and customers at the King William in Sipson were especially helpful with the day’s pub crawl except the landlord kept showing me the wrong places on my maps (even though his verbal descriptions were spot on).
In what turned into a side theme for the day, I patiently explained to several drinkers there that I am no longer a US citizen so my opinion on this week’s US Presidential Election is exactly as valid — if better informed — as theirs. At the same time, I tried to get anyone to open up about the doom that hangs over this neighbourhood that is targeted as the east end of the proposed third runway at Heathrow.
The bartender was true to his word, though. The beer was the best kept on the day’s rounds and the conversation was the easiest flowing. This may still be the case when the 16th century foundation — and cellar — is shaken by sixty L-1011 landings per hour but you can keep the conversation going if you just SPEAK UP DURING TAKE OFFS.
H is for Heathrow’s Third Runway, an expensive boondoggle that will cost more — and have less positive effect — than a similar expansion of Gatwick (although, what is really needed is to steer some of the traffic in the directions of Birmingham, Manchester, or Leeds). In addition to infringing on the Greenbelt, this project will have the added advantage of obliterating two of the villages on today’s route and placing a third one in the flight path at the end of the new runway. Yay!
Featuring in the Five Bells, Harmondsworth
It isn’t a done deal but it IS what the current government has planned so let this run write-up serve as an obit for the villages of Longford and Harmondsworth and commiserations with the property values of Sipson.
The road between Harmondsworth and Sipson: on the left goes the new runway .
Along with the displacement of people, there are several historic pubs — the King William in Sipson, the Five Bells in Harmondsworth, and in Longford the King’s Arms and the White Horse — that will either be flattened or find themselves adjacent to the fence or in the flight path a few hundred feet from the end of the new runway.
But, the encroachment on London’s greenbelt, the nature preserve that rings the city, is probably the worst thing. Hungry and in need of some ballast for the drinks, I stopped for a kebab along the dreadful hazardous waste site that is the current border with the airport. All of this can easily be rebuilt, true enough, and will be. More is the pity.
Doing these in alphabetical order and not doubling up, today’s run could easily have been an ‘H‘ seeing as it started in Hillingdon and finished in Hounslow with two stops in Hayes and one in Harlington. But, it was meant to be the ‘A‘ run and the ‘A‘ it was. Not without some effort, though (full details of the stops will be in their respective write-ups).
The first stop was fairly straightforward, the Angel pub in Hayes (one of the best locals I have been in this year). My next stop was supposed to be the George Orwell (y’know: Animal Farm), but it is now called Bootlaces; fortunately, the garden had salamanders on the wall so I went for Arizona.
With Animals still available, I trudged on toward the Red Lion in Harlington (shuttered) but soon found the functional Fullers pub, the White Hart. The Airport pubs at Heathrow have all been done long ago so I went with Airborne via the Three Magpies in Hounslow. [Coincidentally, my second ever Acid trip was on two magpies: some Heckle and Jeckle blotter.] This stop could also have ticked off Air Force (RAF Lakenheath where the USAF family I spoke with are stationed).
Now, an impression of the run. Oddly familiar, the bit from Hayes reminds me of the rough area around Stewart Avenue in Atlanta (the surface street leading to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport) although I didn’t see open drug dealing or prostitution. As you continue toward the two airports, both routes then enter much more gentrified areas (College Park in Atlanta and Harlington here), followed by the bleak, utilitarian industrial hell-scape that surrounds most airports that do a lot of air freight.
I also found it especially odd that I neither heard nor saw any flights taking off or landing on the run save for the last half mile once I reached Bath Road. That started to freak me out, a little, since I had not heard any news in the preceding several hours and the LAST time something like this happened the world was turned upside down (fortunately, this time it was just my imagination).