29 November 2008

Empty flats

These flats in Croft Way were completed some months ago but there is still no sign of them being occupied or even being actively sold, note the lack of "for sale" signs.

26 November 2008

Rustic fence

Volunteers are building a new rustic fence along Great South Avenue at the Sandy Lane end. There is a tall metal fence not far behind it so I am not sure what the point is.

25 November 2008

Determined leaves

The high wall by the side of Ham House has protected the lower parts of the trees from the main savagery of the Autumn winds but the last few struggling leaves have already lost their fight for colour and are now too weak to resist even the smallest of winds and are falling to the ground to join the earlier victims.

24 November 2008

Bell-pull at Rutland Lodge

Rutland Lodge is opposite Montrose House on Tommy Steele Corner, Petersham. The house itself is rather grand, even though it has been converted into flats, but the old iron bell pull on the imposing front wall is a treasure.

23 November 2008

Trimmed tree in Ham Common Woods

This is one of the trees on Ham Common Woods that, while being allowed to live, has had all of its lower branches removed so that you can hardly see that there is a tree there.

21 November 2008

Too wide

The changes to Great South Avenue in the last year are remarkable, and bad. Just over a year ago it looked like a country lane but now it is wide, bland, soulless and uninviting. This is no longer a path that I look forward to walking down.

20 November 2008

Clearing the trees

In the foreground we have the section of Ham Common Woods that lies between Ham Farm Road and Church Road and beyond that we have the main section on the woods that lies between Church Road and Ham Gate Avenue.

Now that several trees have been removed from the first section it no longer looks like the rest of the woods and a little bit of Ham is less wild, less mysterious and less interesting.

19 November 2008

New look for "Tommy Steele Corner"

It is some years since Tommy Steele moved away from Montrose House in Petersham but most locals still refer to the sharp bend on the Petersham Road by his former house as Tommy Steele Corner. Until recently views of the rear garden were protected from the gaze of curious people on the upper deck of the 65 bus by a border of high trees but now they have all gone.

18 November 2008

New branch in an old tree

Once they have lost their leaves, the strange shapes that some trees make is exposed for all to see. Here a newer branch is growing straight up in defiance of the contorted route taken by its neighbours.

17 November 2008

Towards Church Road

I am taking quite a few pictures of Ham Common Woods at the moment so that I can remind myself of what it looked like after all the "restoration" work has been completed. It is the grass at the bottom of the picture that is being restored at the expense of trees and bushes.

16 November 2008

Purple fungus

Deep in the heart of Ham Common Woods is a small clearing that had some work done on it a few years ago that left a few logs on the ground, one of which has attracted a rather interesting purple fungus.

15 November 2008

Piles of logs

As trees are felled and trimmed in Ham Common Woods, just to "improve" the view of the church, these unnatural piles of logs are appearing as evidence of the destruction. Healthy trees do not rot very quickly so these reminders will be there to haunt us for many years to come.

14 November 2008


One of the hidden treasures in Ham Lands is Petersham Lodge Woods that occupies a small area next to River Lane. There are no paths through it so there is no reason to go in there unless, like me, you just like exploring places. And one of the ways out is via these steps.

13 November 2008

Doomed tree

This oak is one of the many trees that is being removed from the section of Ham Common Woods bounded by Upper Ham Road, Ham Farm Road, Church Road and St Andrew's Church, so that the grassland can be "restored".

Trees, fence and gate

The late autumn sun brings a sharp contrast to the trees, fence and gate by Douglas Footpath.

11 November 2008

Fast water

I watched the river reclaim the flood plain in front of Ham House for a fascinating 20 minutes or so and even with the sluice gates closed the water swept from the pipe at almost walking pace dragging fallen leaves along with it.

10 November 2008

Sluice gates

I am not a fan of the sluice gates by Ham House, as they prevent the normal flooding of that part of Ham Lands, but they do provide a brief joyous burst of motion and noise when the tide is high.

9 November 2008

Two ivies

Ivy House and Ivy Cottage, on the east side of Ham Common, are appropriately named but the difference between the two becomes clear at this time of the year as the two ivies prepare for winter.

8 November 2008

Ham Children's Centre opens

Ham Children's Centre, which provides a range of social, heath and education services to families with children, has just opened in Ashburnham Road, next to St Richards with St Andrews Primary School.

7 November 2008

Dry land

It is high tide by Ham House but, due to the new sluice gates, the water comes in slowly and does not flood this area to the extent that it used to. The water friendly plants that have made this corner their home are probably as happy about this as I am.

More cutting

I thought, and hoped, that the wanton destruction of Great South Avenue was over but sadly the woodsmen have been back and have found some more fine trees to butcher.

5 November 2008

Sunken house

This is another opportunist shot through a rarely open door. This shy house is half buried on the corner of Sudbrook Gardens and Petersham Road and is currently for sale for just over £1m.

Drifting leaves

The southerly wind is scooping up the recently dropped leaves on Ham Common and dropping them against the wall to South Lodge.

3 November 2008

New drives

The drives in the Locksmeade development by Teddington Lock looked all right to me but they are currently being replaced.

In the wilds

Ham is defined by its open spaces and this is especially true in the wilds of Ham Lands, such as here in one of the fields between Ham House and River Lane. It's just a wonderful place to walk with no specific purpose in mind.

2 November 2008

High tide by Douglas Footpath

This was a moderately high tide (around 4.4m) but it easily fills the area around the pipe by Douglas Footpath. The new bridge enables you to cross this but that is rather pointless as the tow path is also flooded and is impassable.

More of Avenue Lodge

I was a little slow in realising that the gates to Avenue Lodge were open but I managed to get this shot as they closed. It's enough to show the size and grandeur of the lodge but I live in hope of catching the gates fully open one day.

1 November 2008


This impressive willow is basking in the Autumn sun in the grounds of St Andrew's Church in Ashburnham Road.

Ham Pond in October

Ham Pond has just had a trim, including the tree on the island, and so looks a little barren.