23 April 2017

Inappropriate planting in Royal Park Gate

When I moved into Royal Park Gate in 1997 that area was brash and barren but over twenty years the trees and bushes have matured nicely. There used to be no birdsong at all and now it is taken for granted. Other wildlife like the wilding of the area and I have even had a badger in my garden (I am not sure which of us was the more surprised when I walked up the drive).

Now some people, mostly new to the area, have decided that rather than have bushes for birds to nest in they would rather have flowers and so a small stretch of the route through from Dukes Avenue the the river has been butchered. Shrubs have had their lower branches removed, the ground has been cleared and a few silly flowers have been planted.

I am doing what I can to halt, and hopefully reverse, this desecration.

22 April 2017


This is not a parking space. The clue is the double yellow lines. And the dropped kerb

21 April 2017

Richmond Kitchens is coming to Ham Parade

What was Ham Fruiterers is set to become Richmond Kitchens. I know that this is only a temporary frontage but I think it is rather lovely. The shop that emerges behind it has a lot to do to make such an impact.

20 April 2017

A blocked path in Wates Estate

I have said many times that one of the things I like about Ham and Petersham is how easy it is to walk around it because of all the footpaths. This is an exception.

I was alerted to this blocked path by Apple Maps which suggested I use it to get from Kingfisher Drive to Fellbrook. The railings are clearly not original as they look like nothing else in the estate. The path can be seen on the other side but there is no way through to it.

It seems that the residents have chosen to make private a place that was public and Wates Estate is a little less nice because of it.

19 April 2017

An extension takes shape

As with the previous pictures that I have posted of this extension in New Road, it is the clutter associated with the construction that attracts me as much as the actual building.

The extension is looking good though and the use of bricks is welcome. I hope that they do not suffer the same fate as those on the main house and get smothered with a layer of white paint. Bricks are too pretty for that.

18 April 2017

South Corner rises

The rebuilding of South Corner on Upper Ham Road (almost directly at the end of the avenue of trees leading all the way to Ham House) is one of the several major projects locally that interest me. Keeping an eye on it is easy as it requires just a small diversion from one of my regular walks to work.

Most of it is still hidden behind plastic sheeting but what can be seen of the frontage looks good with the use of bricks that match the wall alongside the drive.

17 April 2017

Little House looking grand

It is a fairly long list but Little House, on the corner of Ham Common and New Road, is one of my favourite properties locally and this photograph shows why.

16 April 2017

Wheelbarrow graveyard

There is a little gully by the tow path close between the footbridge and the lock which is a popular place to lay with bikes because of the slopes at either end and the bumps in the middle. This is not an obvious place for wheelbarrows but two of them seem to have gone there for their final rest.

12 April 2017

More change at the Hand and Flower

This sign in the window of the Hand and Flower explains that the pub is having another make-over and this one looks quite extensive. I'll give the new place a try as it is my nearest pub and was also my local for many years but it has been the wars since then including a strange period as The Legless Frog. I wish it well for the future.

11 April 2017

Unusual boat

It is not just the swan's neck that I like here, it is also the utilitarian construction of the cage and the unusual contents.

10 April 2017

New fence

The last time that I took a picture of the fence here it was black and had red leaves trailing down it and it was that contrast that attracted me. This time it is the freshness and brightness of its replacement.

9 April 2017

Back to school

I like taking Douglas Footpath as it winds behind the German School as it is one of the area's more interesting buildings and it is still evolving. The barriers and containers are the latest signs of further change.

3 April 2017

Modelling Richmond Chase

A show home and marketing centre have opened at Richmond Chase and while not much of the development is accessible this model gives a good idea of what it is expected to look like when completed.

The properties that have been completed look good but I am still concerned about what it will look like once all the properties are occupied and the narrow road through the development is full of parked cars.

2 April 2017

What a difference a porch makes

Previously I had been critical of the bland look of the reworked Ham Institute in New Road but it suddenly looks a great deal better with the addition of a porch and lantern above the front door.

31 March 2017


Ham Parade often sees bad parking but not often at the north-east end where LA59 BZD has chosen to mount the pavement and to block the dropped kerb. It is simply selfish and careless.

30 March 2017

New door

A door has suddenly appeared in the wall between Montrose House and Reston Lodge though there is nothing to indicate which of these properties it gives access to.

29 March 2017

Preparing for the third Huf Haus

It has taken a while to get past the planning objections but finally we can look forward to getting the third Huf Haus in the area. The site has been cordoned off, demolishing is due in April and the new house should rise in June. I am very much looking forward to it. The current house is nothing special but its replacement will be.

28 March 2017

Clearing out more trees

There has been something of a plague of what looks like overzealous tree removal across Ham in recent years and the latest victim of this is Petersham Lodge Woods where several trees have been cut down for reasons that are not obvious.

27 March 2017

Attractive entrance

This front door is set some way back from the Petersham Road so is not that obvious even when walking past at a moderate pace. Luckily I make a point of looking out for the less obvious.

23 March 2017

Something is happening in Bainbridge Close

Bainbridge Close has something of a mixed history. It was created from former prison land, playing fields I believe, and the far (southern) end became a small gated development of houses that always struck me as being a little sterile.

Then on the junction with Latchmere Close the hideous Latchmere Lodge appeared.

That left a thin strip of land unused and looking unusable, not least because of the substantial trees within it.

Then after several years some boarding appeared, and then got painted white, suggesting that something is indeed going to happen in that space.

22 March 2017

St Michaels from the Common

The former St Michael's Convent on Ham Common is mostly hidden from the outside world by mature trees and it is only in Winter that there is any sort of view. I suspect that this will change when the building changes its use as the new residents will want to be able to see the Common. Then it will be interesting to see how much this aspect of the building has changed.

21 March 2017

Busy weir

The weir is an important part of the complex that includes the prettier and more accessible Teddington Lock and the more dramatic footbridge so it is easy to overlook it. That would be a shame as industrial chic has its own charm.

There is something going on there at the moment. That is bringing more clutter to the weir and that is just the sort of clutter that I like. 

20 March 2017

Behind a new house

I had posted a couple of pictures of the front of this house on Ham Farm Road as it was being created from a garage and wanted to end the story with a view from the back. Luckily a lane leads past it.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the glass wall at the end. There is something similar by the entrance to the golf club that I also like.

18 March 2017

Replacing Ham Fruiterers

It has been quite a while since Ham Fruiterers sadly closed and the premises has been shut since then. Finally work has started on rebuilding it for its new role on the Parade.

16 March 2017

Camilla Cottage goes private

Having been on the market for as long as I can remember it looks as though Camilla Cottage on Upper Ham Road has new owners and they like their privacy. The front wall is now about twice the height that it was and the front gate has been made solid. It seems odd to me to buy a property that faces Ham Common and then to hide from it.

On the plus side, I quite like the finials (though they may be a touch grand for the house) and the house nameplate is suitably neat and unfussy.

14 March 2017

Rescuing a boat

Having recently posted a picture of a sunken boat next to Teddington Footbridge I was lucky enough to be walking over the bridge when several much larger boats arrived to perform a rescue operation.

12 March 2017

Demolishing a house in Sudbrook Gardens

I love the permeability of Ham and so I hate places like Sudbrook Gardens that are No Through Roads. The lack of another exit means that I do not walk down there too often but when I head that a house was being demolished I had to go to see it.

The house that is going is right at the end of the road and is right behind Sudbrook Lodge; that is Old Coach House in the top-right of the picture.

Sudbrook Gardens may not go anywhere but I will be visiting it quite often in coming months.

11 March 2017

Loft extension in Craig Road

With Spring approaching houses across Ham are sprouting new extensions, including this one in Craig Road which is growing a loft extension. As with other such projects it is the work in progress that interests me as much, if not more so, as the finished result. You have to like the orange ladder.

A few weeks later and the new build started to appear. The new roof looked very new and very red, especially when compared to its semi-detached neighbour.

10 March 2017

Cedar Heights from Richmond Park

I have made some less than favourable comments about the appearance of the front of the new house in Cedar Heights and I thought that I would go into Richmond Park to see if the view of the back of the house is any better. It isn't.

It is the simplicity and uniformity of the design that annoys me more than anything else. There is nothing about it that I like.

9 March 2017

Green house in Sudbrook Gardens

Many of the houses in Sudbrook Gardens have been substantially rebuilt or remodelled over the years but the first house on the left as you enter the road has remained nicely untouched. The period styling of the house is still quaint and the green paint adds a nice touch.

I dare say that this house's turn for a refresh will come and when it does they will have to work hard to make it look as good as it does now.

8 March 2017

A misty morning on Ham Common

Ham Common has many moods and even though I have walked across it or around it thousands of times it still has the capacity to surprise and delight me, as it did on this crisp February morning.

7 March 2017

A little extension in New Road

New Road is sort on my way to work (I have various routes to choose from) and that is giving me the opportunity to check the progress of a new extension being built in New Road. This is how it looked on 31 January.

Almost a month later, 25 February, the walls were taking shape and the dimensions of the extension were more obvious. But the main reason that I took this picture was the collection of materials and tools that the construction demanded as they enlivened the scene with interesting shapes and colours.

6 March 2017

Bull Meadow

I do not know how official it is but the school playing field in Sandy Lane has been named as Bull Meadow by Richmond Park FC. I have never seen a bull there, and I never expect to, but I like the name and, besides, any name is better than no name.

5 March 2017

Minor works to St Andrews

I wander down Church Street quite often these days, mostly to check on the progress on Richmond Chase (Latchmere House), and on one of my recent walks there I noticed some minor works being done to St Andrews.

4 March 2017

HY59 XRC and YG61 MLL ignore double yellow lines

This section of Parkleys Parade, outside Wendy's Workshop, attracts a lot of bad parkers who are perfectly happy to park on double yellow lines and also block the dropped kerb thereby being an unnecessary annoyance to both pedestrians and motorists. The double yellow lines are there for a reason.

3 March 2017

Merlewood gets a new name plate

Back in June 2016 I posted a picture of the new fence at Merlewood in Hazel Lane and noted at the time that the house had a hand drawn name plate on the gate; finally that has been replaced by a neat wood one.

1 March 2017

Sunken boat

It gives me great pleasure to walk over Teddington Lock Footbridge twice a day on my way to and from work and I always cross slowly looking both ways to take in the view. On this day the view towards Kingston included a small boat that had lost its long battle against the water.

28 February 2017

BG04 XUY parks in Ham Lands

There is a tarmac road off Riverside Drive to Teddington Lock for obvious reasons but those reasons do not include letting people in to park in Ham Lands. 

27 February 2017

Rebuilding South Corner

I have another new construction project to follow. The work at South Corner in Upper Ham Road has been some time coming and it is a full two years since the trees were cleared from the long drive to allow the many construction vehicles to get through to the site. 

26 February 2017

Another major crash in Ham Street

Not long after one car ploughed a large hole in the wall outside of the Tollemache Almshouses by the junction of Ham Street and Ashburnham Road another car made another large hole a little way up the road in what was the Royal Oak by the junction with Sandy Lane.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the main traffic flow is Sandy Lane to Ham Street to Ashburnham Lane which has two give ways in it which some drivers are tempted to ignore. Another part of the problem is some drivers.

25 February 2017

An extension in Beaufort Road

The house on the corner of Beaufort Road and Lammas Road is on a large plot so it is understandable that it is being extended. The new brick is a close match to the old though it is too early to say whether it is close enough. It is also far to early to say what the overall impact of the extension will be once it has been completed. It is a prominent site so I wish it well and will be watching.

20 February 2017

Handsome knocker

This door knocker may be small but it gets noticed because it is so attractive; somebody else remarked how pretty it was as I paused to take this photograph.

Little things like this can do so much to brighten the area up and they take relatively little effort, the hardest part is finding the appropriate object. I am shamed into thinking how little contribution to the decoration of the area I make, despite some grandiose plans.

18 February 2017

Traffic lights in Petersham Road

I am no longer surprised at the excuses they find to close Petersham Road and to create traffic chaos in the area. This time it is electricity.

17 February 2017

Outside seating at Petersham Nurseries

I preferred Petersham Nurseries when it sold plants rather than teas but it has retained enough interesting things to pull me back there from time to time.

I was lucky on a recent visit that it was a damp and miserable day which kept a lot of the tea drinkers away and those that did come sought shelter in one of the greenhouses. That left the outside seats empty and so I was able to take this picture of the quirky table and chairs with no people spoiling the view.

15 February 2017

Checking up on Cedar Heights

There seems to be a lot of building going on at the moment and I am struggling a little to do enough walking to keep up with it all. The new house going up in Cedar Heights is the furthest from where I live and so I have to make a special effort to get there regularly to check on progress.

I am still far from convinced that the house will be a good addition to the road and the arrival of the glass to fill the front windows does little to convince me otherwise. It just looks boring at the moment.

13 February 2017

Beware of Dog

The wall on the corner of Upper Ham Road and Sudbrook Gardens hides a sunken house and also sports this attractive, if unfriendly, sign. It is not a big sign and it is some distance from the entrance so I doubt if it has much impact but I like the colour and the typeface.

However, I also think that "Beware of the dog" is a better phrased message and the addition of the word "the"would have improved the spacing of the bottom line.

11 February 2017

Creeping towards the Petersham Road

There is a neat line of cottages along Petersham Road and then a more modern house much closer to the road. The end cottage is breaking ranks with its neighbours to the left by taking advantage of its neighbour to the right to grow a front extension.

I like the row of cottages so am slightly suspicious of the extension but I am prepared to suspend judgement until the building works are complete.