28 July 2007

Sluice gate

This picture is taken from the new footbridge from the toll path to Ham House. On the left is the foundation of the previous path and in the middle is a new sluice gate on the pipe to the river. Previously this was an open pipe and so the water ebbed and flowed through it as the tide when in and out.

Stile to nowhere

The new footbridge on the path to Ham House from the river is now complete and what a feat of over-engineering it is! It's bright, large and completely out of character for the area. This part of the path goes into a field that has horses in it and I don't recall anybody, other than me, using this path; so why does there need to be so much intrusive construction?

Alley alongside Ham House

This alley runs from Melancholy Walk to Ham Street. The wall on the right is part of the long wall that surrounds the Ham House complex.

The dark spot in the distance is where the alley suddenly zigzags which creates a blind section in both directions. This may be why it is called Cut Throat Alley though I am not aware of any dangerous incidents there in recent times and I use the alley regularly. 

Wall around Ham House

This is part of the wall that surrounds Ham House and its outbuildings. I took the picture simply because of the irregular old bricks and the contrast with the newer bricks in the repair.

Y 611 KBL on double yellow lines

These yellow lines on the access road on Ham Parade are frequently abused, as they are here.

Mann gets a new shop sign

Mann is one of the three estate agents on Ham Parade. All this scaffolding seems to be just for a new sign.

Flood plain in front of Ham House

There is a low area between Ham House and the river that fills with water at high tide, hence the different vegetation and the almost permanent stretch of mud in the grass. It looks as though this flow of water may have been blocked as part of building the footbridge (I'll try and find out) in which case that character of this area will change.

22 July 2007

Thank goodness for the Royal Oak

There are now only four pubs in Ham; The New Inn, Legless Frog, Brewery Tap and the Royal Oak. Two of these are more concerned with food than beer and one is empty, which leaves the Royal Oak as the only decent pub. And a good pub it is too.

Another lost pub

This nursery on Ashburnham Road used to be the Water Gipsies, a sixties style pub with red leatherette bench seats. No great surprise that it has gone but it does mean that Ham has lost three out of seven pubs in the last few years.

New flats in Croft Way

This plot on the corner of Riverside Drive and Croft Way used to be a garage but is becoming a block of flats. The location is rather good with views over Ham Lands and with shops and schools nearby.

The view of Ham Lands from Riverside Drive

Ham Lands lies between the river and the built up area of Ham and is wild and beautiful. This is the view of Ham Lands from Riverside Drive.

Ham Day Centre

Ham Day Centre is in Woodville Road and shares the same architectural style as the nearby St Richards Church. I love the roof.

Ham Close

This a map of Ham Close, a collection of not very attractive low-rise blocks that sit between Ashburnham Road and Woodville Road.

More nice cottages

These pretty cottages are hidden away in Wiggins Lane, which is just off Ham Street more or less opposite the junction with Sandy Lane.

Cassel Hospital gets a face lift

Cassel Hospital is now covered in scaffolding so I guess it's getting a face lift, probably paid for by the new flats on the far left of the picture.

St Richards Church in Ashburnham Road

St Richards Church in Ashburnham Road is a relatively modern building with a rather nice roof.

Shops in Ashburnham Road

This is part of the parade of shops in Ashburnham Road just north of the junction with Croft Way. Backhaus sells all sorts of German foods and there is another shop on this parade that sells German bread.

Kingfisher Drive

This is the view from Riverside Drive of the backs houses in Kingfisher Drive. As with the rest of the Wates Estate, there is plenty of open space and mature plants.

16 July 2007

Dukes Centre on Dukes Avenue

Until a few years ago this was the playground at Dysart School but the school has moved to Tolworth and the building now houses the Dukes Centre. Kingston Council own the land as the borough boundary takes a detour to include the former school in Kingston when it would make more sense to include it in Richmond.

Mornington Walk

Mornington Walk is a no-through-road off Craig Road with a footpath through to Ham Common. The houses here are more modern than most in the area so they look very different.

Affordable housing at The Denes

This sign has recently appeared at The Denes in Craig Road advertising the affordable housing that is included in the development. Shame about the spurious word "no" in the phrase "16 no new 1 & 2 bed apartments".

15 July 2007

The wild part of Ham Common

The bit of Ham Common that lies between Upper Ham Road and Richmond Park is often overlooked but it is my favourite part as it is wild and few people go there.

XB41 EOP causing problems on yellow lines

XB 41 EOP is parked on double yellow lines (as is the car in front of it) which makes it difficult for cars to make the tight corner and it also blocks the raised walkway that leads to the zebra crossing.

Shane Warne goes out to bat

They play cricket on Ham Common most Saturdays over the Summer but this week was a bit special as it was a charity match featuring Shane Warne. Here he is going out to bat. He scored about thirty runs in two overs before skying a catch off the bowling of a young lad.

Ham & Petersham Cricket Club

This is the sign for the Ham & Petersham Cricket Club just before it was put up to announce their game on Saturday.

VU02 YLY is not very close

OK, so it's not the worst case of bad parking but I did find it rather amazing that he managed to park so far from the pavement despite, as you can see, having clear bays in front and behind. And by parking over the boundary with the road, he has made it more difficult for the car that is trying to park in front of him.

Good crowd for the cricket match

A bigger crowd than usual for the cricket today as Shane Warne (the best bowler of all time) was playing in a charity match.

13 July 2007

Vine Cottage

Vine Cottage is on the north-west side of Ham Common.

Newish house in New Road

New Road (off Ham Common) has quite a mix of houses, including a few newish ones like this.

Spenser Court, Parkleys

This is the side of Spenser Court, which faces towards Ham Farm Road.

Just another nice house on Ham Common

This house is on the south-east corner of Ham Common by the junction with Lock Road.

10 July 2007

LT51 XEO in a disabled bay

This car is in a disabled bay without a blue badge or a pay-and-display ticket.


This is the New Road side of a house on Ham Common with a wonderful collection of windows.

Entrance to Byron Court, Parkleys

Almost hidden amongst the lush vegetation is the entrance to Byron Court in Parkleys.

Victorian cottages in New Road

New Road has an eclectic mix of cottages, including these Victorian houses. New Road is narrow, one-way, and leads on to Ham Common by the pond so the location is pretty good but there is little parking and most of the houses are attractive but small.

Gate House Garden

I've previously posted some pictures of the Gate House Garden in the south-east corner of Ham Common and this sign on the garden wall explains the history.

Ham Institute, New Road

I'm not sure if Ham Institute is still going but it was a fairly typical working man's club with snooker tables, darts and cheap beer. I never went there myself but have spoken to several people who have.

I do not know the history of the building but there are clear signs above the front door that changes have been made over the years.

Another nice house on Ham Common

Byron Court, Parkleys

This is part of Byron Court in Parkleys with the vegetation looking very fine.

Boxall Cottages on Ham Common

The rather attractive Boxall Cottages overlook Ham Common from the north-west side.

The cottages are some way back from the main part of the Common, behind both the main road and the slip road, and are a little lower than the Common too so I suspect that the view from the cottages do not quite live up to the location. There is no problem with the views of the cottages though.

Avenue of trees across Ham Common

This is the avenue of trees across Ham Common looking away from Ham House towards Upper Ham Road where the old route to Richmond Park ends rather abruptly.

7 July 2007

New bridge nears completion

The new bridge that completes the path past Ham House to the river has been under construction for some months now but it is finally taking shape and may be finished soon. It is far more substantial, wider and taller than the previous bridge which fits in well with the Council's apparent policy of making the natural areas look as unnatural as possible.

Path alongside Ham House

The path that leads from Ham Common then goes around Ham House towards the river. Here Ham House is on the left, Ham Polo on the right and the river is straight ahead.

Ham House from the back

This picture of the back of Ham House was taken from just inside the gate that leads to Melancholy Walk. Here you can see that the path that started with an avenue of trees across Ham Common leads through the garden of Ham House to the rear door.

Gate to Ham House

Melancholy Walk ends at this rather magnificent gate to the gardens of Ham House.

Tree in Melancholy Walk

This is one of the trees in Melancholy Walk near Ham House and I just liked the way that the morning sun brought out its colours.

Melancholy Walk to Ham House

Melancholy Walk (no idea why it is called that) goes from Sandy Lane toward Ham House, following straight on from the bridle path from Ham Common. Here you can see that the Richmond Council eco-vandals have been at the verges.

Bridle path from Ham Common toward Ham House

The bridal path from Ham Common (on the north-west side) leads past Grey Court school directly toward Ham House. When in full leaf it looks like a country lane. At the moment the verges look nice and wild but Richmond Council has a nasty tendency to cut them right back.

Georgian house on Ham Common

This picture of one of the Georgian houses on Ham Common (south-west side) is taken looking south over Ham Pond.

Ham Pond on a July morning

This picture of Ham Pond is taken from almost the centre of Ham Common looking south-west which means that the early morning sun is shining directly on it.