This is the second part of his guide to Hornchurch – Part 1 Here
No, 33, Explore Learning: Maths & English Tuition – formerly a manual vehicle shop that sold non-engine bikes, scooters and things. Was boarded up for a few years at least before it became this. Surprised it didn’t become a Costa Coffee considering the nearest one is a staggering 170 yards away AND on the OTHER side of the road would you believe. So you have to CROSS THE ROAD before you can even get to it! An absolute MISSION it is.
No, 35-37, William Hill – men walking in and out wearing white overalls coupled with the windows being smeared in white paint indicated that there was work going on inside. Just days after this scene unfolded, everything it seemed – from the sign to the interior – was finished. Despite my opposition to ANOTHER place targeting desperate and gullible people, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the speed in which it took to carry this work out.
No, 39-45 – was a Waitrose for two or three years until late 2012. Why they thought an expensive supermarket like this would thrive in a town like Hornchurch when there’s a Sainsbury’s just a minute or two walk away is not BEYOND me, but it was still a bit silly putting it there. A Waitrose themed board that covers its exterior informs us where we can go to our nearest one, which is a short bus ride up the road to St. Mary’s Lane in Upminster town centre.
No, 47, – GADGET EXCHANGE – Buy & Sell Trade STORE – Trade-In- STORE. WE PAY MORE! This opened in March 2013. Before, it was Essex Stationary Supplies Ltd. for a good – or bad depending on your view of stationary from Essex – number of years.
No, 49, Welcome Inn – Chinese restaurant dealing specifically in Peking and Szechuan cuisine.
No, 51, Tarantinos – has a terrace out front. Italian restaurant that was burnt down, but has now made a full recovery. Like most Italian places it has many framed pictures of their native heroes on the walls.
No, 53, Stunning Nails – Yes, ‘STUNNING NAILS’! First thing I look for in a woman: ‘‘Cor, look at the nails on ‘er!’’
 I THINK they didn’t have engines.
No, 55, Zarana – has a terrace out front and is probably the best priced Indian restaurant in town:£12.95 for any starters, a main course, vegetable side dish, rice, naan bread & coffee with a King prawn, lamb chop, mix grill & fish costing £1.95 extra (available from Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 to 23:00).
No, 57, Best Of Curry – was called Red Pepper until recently. Swear it used to look smaller than it does now. Dunno if they’re mates with Zarana, but a cheap restaurant like that would surely be bad for this sort of place.
No, 59, News Plus – off licence.
No, 61, Granite Transformations – you get the drill.
And when I was writing this I meant quite literally ‘‘get the drill’’ as this was the point where Hornchurch’s annual road works began. On all the tarpaulin notices that were on the metal fences that repeated themselves to the end of the road it said:
- Major investment in your town centre.
- Hornchurch is open for business.
- Improvements to traffic flow, creating better pedestrian and cycle access.
- Installing more lighting to improve safety.
- Planting more trees.
They forgot to mention that ambulances and police cars will now have to mount the ‘pavement’ that separates the two sides of traffic in order to reach someone in time. Seeing as the council’s favourite hobby is digging up concrete, they will no doubt be doing this again soon when they get enough complaints about the absurdity of their latest road work venture. Wouldn’t surprise me if they did it on purpose KNOWING that people would kick up a stink about the farce; just so they can carry on their hobby of having the town dug up and smelling of petrol.
 At the time of typing (May 2013). I’ve updated other stuff to the present day but I can’t be bothered looking up the current prices at Zarana.
 Having road works going on in the town every year clearly demonstrates that the local council(s) do not know what to spend their money on. It really is ridiculous and an outrage that they can disrupt people’s way of life like this for months on end. Local councillor, John Mylod, sums it up perfectly when he says that it ‘‘seems an awful waste of money and is, in my view, cosmetic not remedial.’’
Quite an abrupt end to proceedings there although it doesn’t feel like it as the tarpaulin seemingly never ends. It becomes a mantra rather than a story. I have to say that I don’t see many trees around nor in the pictures that were depicting this vision of Utopia. If you come out of Granite Transformations you will be confronted with crossings both to the right of you and in front of you along with a phone box, a London Borough themed bin, a flower bed that looks like it’s been planted in a GIANT bin, and an orange takeaway chicken box with the word ‘chicken’ printed in yellow letters – surrounded by the usual array of meatless chicken bones. Or are they pigeon bones? You hear rumours of these places…
In nearby Elm Park I was told by a friend that years ago a group of pigeons that used to regularly hang out in the town centre went missing. It was rumoured (by kids as usual although I wouldn’t bet against there being something in it) that the people who were working in fast-food chicken places caught the pigeons and killed them. They can fly so they could very well have migrated. I digress.
The address numbers 63-99 go missing from …Transformations. Strange. You walk straight ahead (or jog – especially if you’re part of the Tuesday running club in Hornchurch) over the crossing where you encounter Sainsbury’s. When I reach the other side I walk straight ahead down an outside corridor that is under cover with only the glass between me and the till workers in Sainsbury’s on the left while to my right there are plant beds elevated to the top of the two foot walls they are within all the way to its entrance with the pavement and road further on
No, 101-105, Sainsbury’s – you know what they’re like.
No, 107, A pathway in between Sainsbury’s and the pub next to it I guess – confronted by a woman dressed up as a penguin, all for the cause of charity. She’s smiling and doesn’t ask for money, but if she carries on, this penguin could end up in someone’s burger.
 The meat had been eaten.
 The pigeons, not the people working in takeaway food joints although, going by some of the things that are said to be put in some of the food, it wouldn’t really shock me if one could form wings living on a diet of the stuff. It doesn’t stop me from occasionally eating it though.
Part 3 of the Ricky Murray’s guide coming soon
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