26 January 2015

Garages off Hardwicke Road

Some of the sets of garages may be going but there are still plenty around to enjoy and these are off Hardwicke Street, close to the junction with Dukes Avenue.

One of the nice things about these garages is that they are all different

The garage at the end has obviously just been worked on with its freshly painted section but it is the wheelbarrow that demands attention. I do not know if it was put there to keep it safe and dry or as a decoration but I'll treat it as the later and welcome it for that.

21 January 2015

In-filling on Meadlands Drive

Ham is beautifully littered with rows of garages but times change and cars can now stand the rain and no longer need to be kept indoors. Garages started to be used for other things but the need for them has been reducing and some of them are going.

This plot is on Meadlands Drive close to where it first touches The Copse at the East end of the road. There used to be a few garages here but they have now gone and something is growing in their place.

17 January 2015

St Richard's at night

Architecturally St Richard's in Ashburnham Road is one of the most interesting buildings in Ham thanks to its star-shape and its many-pointed roof. The roof rises on three of the six points of the star and the extra space beneath is filled with stained glass.

This is more obvious, and more dramatic, at night when the light inside the church highlights both the shape and the colour of the glass.

15 January 2015

What is happening to Ham Common Woods?

If you go down to the woods today you could be in for a big surprise. I was.

A recent walk along Ham Gate Avenue alerted me to work being done on the trees but I thought that was just a little trimming but walking along Ham Gate Avenue again a few days later I caught signs of the work being done in the heart of the woods and went inside to have a closer look.

What I saw was a lot of open space where once there had been trees and bushes.

The ground was littered with evidence of the recent damage, there were severed tree-trunks, sawn branches and wood chippings.

The narrow strip of mud on the left is the path. Walking along here used to give me the childish pleasure of exploring unseen in dense woodland, the sort of thing Rupert the Bear did. Now the path is exposed and the woodland is bare. The temptation to walk through these "woods" has gone.

9 January 2015

Save The World Club community mosaic in Ashburnham Road

I've taken pictures of the Save The World Club community mosaic in Ashburnham Road a few times, and rightly so, but not that recently and I have a better camera now and that is all the excuse I needed to do so again. I also wanted to capture it on a grey day to avoid the sunlight reflecting in it.

While the scale of the mosaic can be appreciate from a distance the detail is best seen close-up, and there is a lot of detail.

3 January 2015

Improving Cut Throat Alley

Firstly, thanks to the anonymous comment poster who alerted me to the recent changes to Cut Throat Alley. I would have founded them at some point but it was nice to be notified.

The improvements started at Riverside Drive with new paying stones and a dropped kerb leading on to Ham Street. Then there is a new path across the green island. Normally I would bemoan the loss of any green space but I am happy to make an exception in this case as the green space is low quality and the path is useful.

The first long section of the Alley looks a little brash at the moment but I think it will calm down with a little bit more wear and weather. The surface is rather like that used for Douglas Footpath but that was more orange and looked inappropriate running through a grass. Here the walls give the path a firm shape, keep the gravel in place and make sense of its colour.

The little shimmy in the middle of the Alley is its defining feature and elevates it from the common straight paths.

As it heads towards Melancholy Walk, Cut Throat Alley loses its wall on one side and I was delighted to see that the new path only stretched as far as the tree line, not the path boundary.

One of the many things that the Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum is looking at is at improving routes for pedestrians and cyclists, something I heartily agree with,  and this is a good simple example of what can be done.

30 December 2014

Cleared site at 57 Ham Street

There is now no sign of the house that used to be 57 Ham Street or of its garden. The site has been cleared ready for the new house that is going to be built there and its size can now be appreciated and it is a lot bigger than it looked to me before.

The one sign of the old house that remains, for the moment, is the number 57 attached to a fence post in the front-right corner of the plot.

28 December 2014

Remembering the Water Gipsies

The Water Gipsies is one of the pubs that have disappeared since I moved to Ham. There are four altogether, or five if you include The Dysart which is now a restaurant that reluctantly serves drinks sometimes. It used to be on the corner of Ashburnham Road and Croft Way. I only went there once and all I recall of it is the red leatherette benches that used to be familiar in pubs.

Bizarrely I found this memory of it in a front garden in Maguire Drive. I say bizarrely because I had spotted the Crooked Billet sign in the side garden of a house there some years ago but had never walked past the front of the house where this sign sits proudly.

I do not normally retouch photos posted here as I want to show Ham as it is, but I did this time to make the most of the faded colours.