16 June 2017

Hawkco on Ham Parade

The demise of the Village Supermarket has seen its sign partially removed to reveal some local history. Hawco is one of the many names that this shop has had in the past.

14 June 2017

Preparing the ground

I had to peek through a hole in one of the gates to take this picture and it was worth it. This is the site of what will soon be another Huf Haus, this time in Ham Farm Road and preparations are well underway for the superstructure that is due to arrive later this month.

12 June 2017

Refurbishment in Back Lane

This house in Back Lane was always distinctive because of the high wooden fence that obscured the ground floor. I thought that the fence was going when the house was substantially refurbished recently but it was replaced with an almost identical one and now it looks much the same as it always did only a lot cleaner and fresher.

9 June 2017

A new sign for The Hand and Flower

I was not sure whether the revamped Hand and Flower would retain its name or try something new as it did when it was the Legless Frog and now that question has been answered. A wooden plaque has appeared with a new logo and the old name.

7 June 2017

Vote Labour

Election time floods the area with signs extolling us to vote for a particular party or candidate and in some places, such as along Petersham Road, there is a visible battle for supremacy. That battle interests me little but I do enjoy the defiance and the colour of the few Labour posters that go up.

The one above can be seen in Ham Gate Avenue though the house that it belongs to is in Sudbrook Gardens.

Another prominent sign is in Lock Road where it is positioned to face up busy Craig Road.

5 June 2017

Major changes for The Hand and Flower

Time is very relative in this blog; I took this picture on 3 May, I am writing this post on 6 May and it will appear on 5 June, by which time The Hand and Flower will probably look very different and may well be called something else.

Apparently it is to become a Korean Restaurant and bar and is to be more upmarket. Obviously the Legless Frog tried something similar with little success but they put less effort (and money) into transforming the building which left them trying to convince us that the lean-to conservatory at the back was a cosy French restaurant.

I know little about Korean food but will give it a try, assuming there are some vegetarian options, and I'll certainly give the bar a try too.

3 June 2017

Sight screens on Ham Common

I was somewhat surprised when on one of my regular walks across Ham Common (23 April) I saw some construction work going on on the middle of the Common. I went back later to see what they had done and found this row of holes recovered with grass squares.

From their location is was obvious they they were there to provide support for sight screens. I always make sure not to move behind the bowler's arm but not everybody is aware of that rule.

A couple of weeks later, 6 May, I saw the sight screens in action. Also clearly visible was the new and very white boundary rope which I hope will encourage more people to respect cricket's role on the Common.

1 June 2017

Pretty new fence in Ham Farm Road

The far end of Ham Farm Road is a cul-de-sac and, despite that, I often venture down there out of curiosity. That curiosity was rewarded when one of the neat little houses there acquired this neat little fence.

30 May 2017

Fortune House

Fortune House sits proudly on the corner of New Road and Craig Road and has this modest nameplate on the Craig Road side. The ivy had just been hacked back substantially to reveal the sign which deserves to be seen.

28 May 2017

A house waits its fate

Many of the houses in Sudbrook Gardens have been substantial updated, and extended, in recent years and this is one of the exceptions. It looks quite sad, almost as if it knows that somebody will see this as an opportunity site and the existing house just an obstacle to be got rid of.

Whatever the fate of the house I hope that the quirky blue gates remain.

26 May 2017

Another lost garden in Petersham

I have nothing against the extension to this house on Clifford Road where it meets Meadlands Drive but I do not like the way that the garden has been replaced with a uniform impervious brick. A patter in two colours would have been better and leaving some space for planting would have been better still.

24 May 2017

Glasshouses at The Palm Centre

At the far end of the newly opened section of The Palm Centre in Ham Street are the remains of an old glasshouse. It is somewhat dilapidated now but still exudes industrial charm. Not shown here are the gaps under the floor that I presumed were used to heat the building.

In contrast, this is one of the modern glasshouses in the main part of The Palm Centre, which I find equally charming.

22 May 2017

The new Russell School takes shape

The new Russell School buildings have been quite some time in coming and they are finally taking shape.

I last took a picture of the construction just over a year ago and then all that existed was a metal shell.  That gave some idea of the scale of the new building and the addition of the walls and roof means that we now know what it will look like, at least when viewed from among the brambles along the lane leading to Ham Polo.

20 May 2017

Weathervane at Ham Manor

I have simply no idea how this weathervane escaped my notice until now. I can only assume that either somebody has sneakily installed it recently or I had seen it before and assumed that it had already be included in the blog.

It resides on one of the buildings at Ham Manor in Ham Street, but not the main one.

18 May 2017

A grand wall for a modest house

It is hard to describe this wall without using the word pretentious. Most of the properties along this stretch of Petersham Road have low brisk walls, often with an undulating top. Only this house has gone for the Full Monty with large brick pillars, stone finials and gold-topped railings. The overall effect is completely out of keeping with the house and the rest of the street.

Regular readers (there are some!) may remember that this house also featured here a few months ago for having a very boring front garden.

16 May 2017

Wisteria in Wiggins Lane

Wisteria is one of the defining features of Ham and many houses use it to add Spring colour. One of the very best examples, and always worth several visits, is in Wiggins Lane off Ham Street.

14 May 2017

Something ugly in Cedar Heights

I have been worried about this new house in Cedar Heights for some time because of the simplicity of the design - it still looks as thought it were drawn by a child. I reserved final judgement until it was finished in case some decorative features rescued it from its unbearable blandness but, if anything, the plain white finish has made it even worse.

It is a real shame as one of the areas more interesting and attractive modern buildings is directly opposite it.

All I can hope is that they build a large wall in front of it. Or paint flowers all over it.

12 May 2017

Neat house in Sudbrook Gardens

I took a picture of this house a few years ago and it justifies a second appearance because of the way that the garden set it off so wonderfully this time. It made me stop as I was walking past (to check on the house demolition at the end of the road) and I wanted to share that moment.

10 May 2017

The Palm Centre has expanded

I have always liked the Palm Centre and I pop in there from time to time just to enjoy the plants, glasshouses and garden ornaments. When I visit I explore every corner and on a recent visit I found that there were now even more corners to explore.

There always was a separate planting area almost hidden away in the north-west corner and when I went into that I discovered another large planting area off of that one. Ham Street lies beyond the brick wall at the back.

This section of the Palm Centre is vast and I have tried to show that in these pictures. At the far end they reach almost up to Orangery café at Ham House.

8 May 2017

House demolished in Ham Farm Road

Last time I took this picture, just a couple of weeks ago, the house was still visible above the hoarding and now it has gone. It will be June before the new Huf Haus starts to appear in its place.

7 May 2017

Battered doors at Petersham Grange

I've featured Petersham Grange before because it is a distinctive and attractive house and I like this battered door too. The main entrance, just to the left, is wide and ungated so this door is not used.

6 May 2017

New box and hatch door

Just as the path leaves Parkleys heading for Church Road the entrance to Beechrow is on the right and on the left this large box and hatch have just appeared. They are just beyond the smaller box and hatch door that have been there for many years and which I once managed to look in to.

5 May 2017

Vetech Motor Services

The old signs for Vetech Motor Services were tatty and broken so they deserve to be replaced. The red makes the new signs very bold and eye-catching, especially for anyone waiting at the 371 bus stop opposite or emerging from Northweald Lane.

4 May 2017

New gate in an old wall

A new gate is being built into the long and old wall that encompasses large parts of the Ham House estate at the east end of Ham Street. Behind the wall lies the Palm Centre.

3 May 2017

Brash signs at the gym

The gym at the north-west end of Ham Parade has acquired some brash new signs that are somewhat out of keeping with the brick buildings. It is hard to avoid them when walking past, which I guess is the point.

2 May 2017

139 Petersham Road

I like the way that every time that 139 Petersham Road has added new house numbers that they have left the old ones there. It is an interesting history of fonts and fashions.

1 May 2017

Stunning window at Ham Village Centre

I am enjoying watching Ham Village Centre emerge from what was the Royal Oak on the corner of Ham Street and Sandy Lane. This window facing Ham Street is the most impressive feature so far.

Drawn into the window is a detailed historical map of the area and I find it impossible to walk past it without pausing to look at it.

This close-up shows just how detailed the map is. The public house (P.H.) in the centre of the photo is, obviously, the location of the Ham Village Centre.

30 April 2017

Deer in Richmond Chase

The Richmond Chase development on the former Latchmere prison site makes the most of its proximity to Richmond Park in its marketing material and is reinforcing that connection with this deer standing outside of the show home. I hope that it still has a home somewhere on the site once all the construction has finished.

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.