been around 18 months since Joseph Bazelgette’s Crossness sewage pump was last
open to the public following the discovery of asbestos. It’s been several years
since I last looked inside and I thought it was time I went again. Unfortunately
I was one of a great many with the same idea and the Trust’s organisation showed
signs of buckling under the strain.
Feeling lazy I decided to spend £3 on the shuttle bus from Abbey Wood station the first of which was due at 10:30. I was there with 16 minutes to spare just in time to see the bus depart well before time. It was two minutes to eleven before another bus departed Wilton Road with a load of disgruntled half frozen passengers.
A quick bus turnaround at Crossness was made impossible by the need to queue on the bus while the fares were taken and in many cases change found. It would have been so much quicker to have gone back to the old system of an onboard bus conductor.
The queue for entry was about 15 minutes long and the two ladies on the cash desk were somewhat overwhelmed with both cash and card payments. It would have been faster if they were a little less interested in friendly banter and more intent on reducing the time spent in the bitter cold wind.
An hour later the queue was three times as long.
It must be next to impossible to accurately estimate the demand and the problems were those of success. I hope the tea and cake didn’t run out.
If you have not been to Bexley’s Cathedral you really should make the effort to go at least once. The next steaming day is 19th May.
People were still being left behind by the bus when I returned at about 12:30.