This is the forth part of his guide to Hornchurch – Part 3 Here
No, 169, Centre News – want to find out all the latest news on Hornchurch? Well, come here. Before the invention of newspapers, television and the internet, people would gather on the site of this shop and find out the latest happenings from a bloke with a rambling stick.
No, 171, Boots – they actually sell medicine in here.
No, 173, HSBC – a bank.
No, 175A, a flat.
No, 177, The Sandwich Shop – I am still dumb-struck by the sheer inventiveness of this name. A man wearing a dark blue Mac and green shorts with a beer belly and chicken legs was standing outside. He looked like a shaved chicken as they – shaved or feathered – have big stomachs and skinny legs.
No, 179, Alasya – a Turkish restaurant that was formerly a French one called Bonaparte. Wanted to go there at some point, so was disappointed when I found out it was gone.
No, 181, Marmaris: International Food And Wine – it’s not a SUPERmarket despite what it says on the sign. It says ‘off licence’ on it too, which is more accurate. I suggest they erase the ‘supermarket’ part before they get sued under the Trades Description Act. They have many stalls of fruit outside, but are forced in around 360 times a year by the road works as the fences take up much of the pavements, leaving a route where one human at a time can walk down. So much for creating better pedestrian and cycle access.
No, 183, Ladbrokes – ‘‘give us your money.’’
No, 185a, Akash – Indian restaurant.
No, 185b, Top Kebab – a misleading title as I know for a fact that the ‘top’ kebab to have is cold and has a plate over it in a takeaway somewhere in Strasbourg.
No, 187, Poundstretcher – it’ll stretch you back a pound! Laugh out giggle giggle!
This is where it gets a bit confusing. The building that makes up all these places up to Mandarin Palace is very ye olde looking. Much of it is wooden, black and white, and is on a slope that makes the pavement significantly narrower. Buildings like this just wouldn’t be constructed now as there’d always be a fear that, like many of its clients after a few drinks, it would eventually topple over; which for me makes it even more charming.
No, 189, Prezzo – part of the King’s Head pub that used to trade here.
No, 191-195, Umberto’s Chalice – Italian restaurant.
No, 193, KMP Associates. – chartered certified accountants and book-keeping services.
No, 193A, BVR – a bar that is hidden away behind the businesses around it. There’s a number of pubs and bars on the main strip of the high street and Station Lane, but it was like discovering another world when encountering this. I expected to find a car park and a load of dust bins, but instead found bright lights and a lively atmosphere with people drinking and dancing on a terrace outside a noisy bar. I DID find a car park and a load of dust bins as well, but that’s not the point.
No, 197-201, Mandarin Palace – have a guess. I have said (typed) that comment in an easy going tone – not in one that sounds frustrated at there being another Chinese restaurant. I really like this place. Me and my sister took my nan and granddad here for the latter’s birthday, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it. And you can take the pipe literally or think of it as a euphemism if you want – doesn’t matter to me.
No, 203, house.
No, 205, The Royal British Legion – a place where people go to moan about the volume of music that bands play. And that goes for ALL British Legion clubs.
No, 207-219, – houses.
No, 221, Dr. S. Pervez Medical Practice – a doctor’s surgery.
No, 223-231, houses.
No, 233, Robert Beard Centre – a youth centre where they have a five-a-side pitch outside and a sports hall inside.
No, 235, Havering Tuition Centre – an attractive middle-aged woman with long dark hair and glasses was very courteous when I was asking about the addresses of the places immediately around here while an older Irish woman gave me the short drift.