14 October 2018

Resurfacing Lock Road (and others)

There was a splurge of road resurfacing over the Summer and one of the beneficiaries of this was Lock Road which has also benefitted from new pavements recently. In both cases I felt that there were more deserving cases.

13 October 2018

More flowers

Ham takes Britain in Bloom seriously and this year, trying to build on the success of last year more flowers have arrived in substantial planters across the area. This one is on Petersham Road, as the distinctive wavy wall behind shows.

A more prominent planter is on Ham Parade. I can understand the reasoning but I think that putting it in front of the noticeboard is a little unfortunate as it makes that harder to approach.

12 October 2018


I like house numbers, which is why they keep appearing in this blog. This one on Ham Common demanded my attention for several obvious reasons; the white background made the numbers as readable as they should be, the wall behind is lovely and the freshly brown leaves add the finishing touch.

4 October 2018

Another large job

I think this is New Road but the exact location is not important. I took the picture for the rich combination of white wall, grey scaffold polls and bright blue sheeting. Add to that a few bricks, a couple of signs, some planks and even a touch of greenery and suddenly the picture is full of interesting things to look at. 

3 October 2018

New signs at Ham House

The entrance to Ham House on Ham Street has some stylish and very readable signs. Their wooden frames are attractive too.

2 October 2018

Finishing off in Sudbrook Gardens

The rebuilding of the house at the end of Sudbrook Gardens is almost complete and it taken it final, rather bland, shape. The central brick section is nice but the rest of the house is too plain and the windows are too small. Spreading the brick across the lower level would have helped.

The roadside appearance looks better as the growing brick wall breaks up the expanse of plain render.

1 October 2018

Taylors has moved (slightly)

Taylors has moved, as their old window makes clear. It was on the little spur of Ham Parade that leads onto Tudor Drive and so was a relatively out of the way and it could not have helped being stuck between the dead frontages of a bookies and an estate agent.

Despite that it was always the place that I went for my champagne and gin.

Now I will have to to go their new shop which is firmly in the middle of the main part of the parade on the west side. I took this photo a while ago, just as they had moved in, and the shop looks a lot better now with the shop window filled with bottles.

The new brighter sign looks better too.

27 September 2018

Interesting boats by the lock

One of the many nice things about the river around Teddington Lock is that you can often see industrial boats there, that is boats with jobs to do other than carrying people for pleasure. Boats with functions and designed for those functions and so have interesting shapes and interesting things on board.

The are remains of a name on the side of this one that say something like "Marphy Engineers", with their old 01 telephone number, but wear, sun and water have made it barely readable.

26 September 2018

Starting work on Orford Place

What was St Michaels Convent is being transformed in to Orford Place, "a collection of 23 elegant, new and beautifully-converted houses and apartments, set in three acres of mature gardens exclusively for the over 55s."

The work is starting in the south-east corner and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I will be back regularly to see.

25 September 2018

Flowery trellis

I suspect that eventually I will have posted a photo of every house in Ham Farm Road, if I have not already done so.

This house is as distinctive as most of its neighbours which justifies a photograph by itself and the presence of the flowery trellis seals the deal. It is just a slight shame that the panel third from the left is not quite vertical.

24 September 2018

Heavy pollarding in Riverside Drive

Trees are a key feature of Wates Estate and after fifty years some of them have grown rather large. These two could threaten Meadowview so every so often they get a serious pollarding to reduce the number of leaves and so the reduce the force of any winds on them.

They will look like normal trees soon but for the moment they look harsh and damaged.

23 September 2018

Working on 1 Upper Ham Road

Most of the extensive work being done on 1 Upper Ham Road is happening behind large hoardings but occasionally a door opens to allow deliveries and then it is possible to furtively peak inside to see how things are getting on.  

22 September 2018

Ham Common at its best

Ham Common has had a difficult year with wet Spring, a long dry Summer followed by bouts of heavy rain. Despite this it has, at times, looked quite magnificent.

21 September 2018

Clearing the fence

Some work has been done on the south-east boundary of Cassel Hospital, by where it joins Ham Parade. The main part of this has been to clear the gate to provide vehicle access to the grounds and the adjoining sections of the fence have been cleared of vegetation.

23 July 2018

Towpath improvements

The warning signs that something was happening to the towpath north of Teddington Lock interested me but it took several weeks before I could go and look for myself. I made one effort that I had to abort not long after passing the Lock  due to it being very muddy and me having the wrong footwear to face that.

Eventually I managed to make the journey to Ham House. At first I was disappointed that nothing had changed, the sign may have suggested that the works would stretch all the way to the Lock but they only travel as far as Thames Young Mariners.

When I did find the path I was impressed. This stretch of the path was notoriously uneven before and this is a real improvement. I hope it stays like this for quite a few years and the new path makes it down to the Lock before too long.

22 July 2018

The Hand and Flower expands

The Hand and Flower has undergone a lot of changes under its new ownership. Inside it is smart but outside it is becoming something of a mess and it sits uneasily in its location which is part of the Ham Common Conservation Area.

The latest edition is the covered area to the left of the pub. To be fair, this area was already a mess and the seating there is definitely an improvement.

My main gripe with the changes is the abundance of fairly cheap looking signage. The main sign on the front of the building is reasonable but the lights around it, the menu below it and the poster on the side of the building all detract from the overall appearance.

Things got a little worse after I took this picture with the arrival of yet another sign, the pub's name, on the board above the entrance.

21 July 2018

Building walls at 59 Ham Street

Progress on 59 Ham Street has been steady if unspectacular but it has been noticeable. On this day when I was walking past the foundations were complete and work had just started on the walls. It seems to be a greyer brick that is usual in the area.

20 July 2018

36 Ham Street

There have been a few changes at 36 Ham Street and perhaps the finishing touch is the appearance of the house number on the brick wall next to the new gate. It is lovely.

19 July 2018

Divided woods

It is a little unfortunate that Ham Common Woods is divided by two roads, Ham Gate Avenue and Church Road which split the woods into separate sections each battling with traffic. This is the south-west section with Church Road to the north (left) and Ham Farm Road to the south (right).

It is pretty enough but is something of a beleaguered peninsular with Upper Ham Road forming the third boundary to the west.

18 July 2018

White door

This white door is made all the more striking by the well-worn path leading to it and the vegetation that has been held back to keep the path clear.

17 July 2018

Orange grass

While Ham Pond has turned green, Ham Common around it has turned orange as the heat wave and drought dominate the Summer.

16 July 2018

Green pond

The duck weed has hit Ham Pond with a vengeance. At first only this end of the pond was covered and the birds swam at the far end. Now the pond is covered and the birds are nowhere to be seen.

15 July 2018

Clearing the path

After some years of me complaining that the trimming along the shared path through Royal Park Gate was insufficient, the Council (presumably) came back and hacked it a lot more.

As a result the vegetation is clear of the path and it is possible to walk or cycle past without being molested.

28 May 2018

Preparing another construction site

More local garages are disappearing to be replaced with housing. This time it is in Craig Road where two houses are going to be built. The plans look reasonable but, as always, it will be hard to tell what they really look like and how they fit in with their neighbours until they are completed and that will not be for some months.

27 May 2018

Post Office on Ham Parade

The bus stop on Dukes Avenue by the junction with Northweald Lane still thinks that there is a Post Office on Ham Parade, but it closed several years ago.

12 May 2018

A small FoHL project

Due to several people being away it was necessary to cancel one of the Friends of Ham Lands maintenance sessions but I was up for it and went any way. With just two of us working we selected a modest project and decided to extend another part of the large grass area that we had worked on previously.

The before picture above shows that the scrub had broken up the grass area and brambles were encroaching on the right.

The project was not quite finished, and I want to go back soon to complete the work, but it is already clear that the enclave has been reconnected to the main field and the brambles have been cut right back to make more space for the grass.

11 May 2018

More work on The Old Malt House

A minor project completed at the side of The Old Malt House facing Ham Street recently and now something more substantial seems to be happening, judging by the size and extent of the hoardings and the presence of a skip.

10 May 2018


I was hoping to continue my walk along the towpath beyond Teddington Lock and onto Ham House but I was quickly thwarted by large puddles which I was not dressed for.

Ironically the point of this journey was to see the work that had been done to repair and improve the footpath that had led it to be closed for a while. More work is required I think.

9 May 2018


It has been a good year for Bluebells. I took these pictures around Ham Common Woods but they could have been almost anywhere. The first set were by the side of the road in Ham Farm Road,

The second set were clustered around one of the trees in front of Ormeley Lodge.

8 May 2018

Opening up Richmond Chase

I had made several visits to Richmond Chase where I was frustrated by a barrier limiting my exploration and then, suddenly, it was moved back a long way to open up the next phase of properties for sale. They are on the right while building continues behind the fencing on the left.

The look and feel of the development is now being revealed. The road is constructed, the small front gardens have been planted and the bin stores are in place. The true appearance will be known once the cars arrive. I am not hopeful.

7 May 2018

Clearing scrub by St Andrews Church

Gardeners seem to have been busy across Ham and North Kingston this year and the latest area to get their attention is the patch of Ham Common Woods that lies between Upper Ham Road and St Andrews Church.

Here the graveyard can be seen at the top of the picture and Ham Farm Road is off to the right. In twenty plus years of tramping around Ham I have never seen this area cleared before.

Moving across to the other side of the wide path and turning around to look towards the main road the extent of the clearance is obvious and substantial.

26 April 2018

Foundations at 59 Ham Street

Ham Street continues to draw me to it to see how various projects are progressing. The main one is at number 59, next to the Library, where the foundations of two new houses are now in place.

Progress had been made on completing the ground floor when I returned a few days later, despite the almost constant rain that we had at that time.

24 April 2018

Spring border at Ham House

Every time that I go to Ham House, which is several times a year, there are changes in the garden to look out for. With the onset of Spring (which so far has been just a few days squeezed between Winter and Summer) the long borders in the rear garden are showing off their daffodils.

22 April 2018

Vote Labour

There are elections again this year and that means that the area has started sprouting election posters. The Labour ones may not be the most numerous but they do make the most impact.

In contrast the Lib Dem signs are a jumble sale mix of different posters from different campaigns that have a common diamond shape which manages to confuse some voters who insist in displaying them as squares.

20 April 2018

Update on Richmond Chase

Progress at Richmond Chase seems to be slow but there is progress and on every visit, I go there every couple of weeks or so, there is something new to see, though these days I usually have to peek through the barriers to see it.

This time the progress was at the front and on the right with the large area of brick driveway, some more planting just beyond the barriers and beyond that a line of bin stores which failed to be mentioned in the promotional material.

One my next visit things had changed again with the brick driveway extended a lot further and a new (presumably temporary) fence to separate the houses that are still very much under construction from those that are almost finished. I hope that means that the barrier will be going soon and I will be able to walk down there.

19 April 2018

LS08 TBU parks badly in a bad place

The double yellow lines are there for a reason and the dropped kerb is there for a reason too but LS08 TBU ignores that and chooses to park badly in a bad place.

16 April 2018

Spring tides at Teddington Lock

There was a time, when the children were boys not men, that I checked the tide tables and went along the towpath when high tides were due but those days are now long-gone and I am as surprised as everyone else when I chance upon a particularly high tide.

I noticed this one as soon as I started crossing the footbridge from Teddington as the water was above the level of the weir making it redundant.

The tide was still coming in as I walked around the island and then along the towpath. Here you can see the ledge that boat people stand on when guiding their boats through the lock.

The Barge Lock looks a very full as the extra height widens the water and hides most of the construction. Only the stairs give a clue that there might be something in the water.