31 January 2009

New surface for Douglas Footpath

The resurfacing of Douglas Footpath is now under way, almost a year after the path was first closed off for this purpose. At the moment it looks unnecessarily clean and formal (as I feared) and I can only hope that it quickly weathers back to its original state.

30 January 2009

The Manor House

It is impossible not to love The Manor House in Ham Street with its gorgeous, and almost random, mix of brick walls, tiled roofs and white windows, made the more mysterious by the stern wall that surrounds it.

29 January 2009

Old Stables in New Road

I do not know if there ever were stables on this site in New Road but that is not the point, all that matters is that the gate looks grand, but not too grand, and is shown off wonderfully by the bright white wall behind it.

28 January 2009

Sea scouts

The club house (or whatever they call it) of the Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts is a rather pleasing hut that is both firmly secured and freshly painted. The path to it stretches from the tow path to Douglas Footpath and, in keeping with most paths locally, is being rebuilt to motorway standards.

27 January 2009

Ball finial

South Lodge on Ham Common almost seems embarrassed by its earlier grandeur as it tries to hide the ball finial on the rear gate in a tangle of branches.

26 January 2009


A more-or-less random walk through some passageways near Ham Street took me past this sudden splash of green on white, topped by terracotta. The shapes and colours were a glorious contrast against the otherwise dark and grimy passageway.

25 January 2009

Petersham Avenue closed

The incessant drive to "improve" paths that do not need improvement has now reached Petersham Avenue which runs between Ham Polo and Petersham Road, passing the German School as it does so. I only hope that the new surface is not as brash and structured as some other new paths have been, we need country paths not urban pavements.

24 January 2009

Wendy's Workshop

This sign, with familiar Microsoft clip art, heralds the arrival of Wendy's Workshop to Ham Parade in the site previously occupied by the Carpet Library and, before that, the Woodsmith of Ham. It is good to see one of the three empty shops on the parade being brought back in to use.

21 January 2009

The Manor House

The Manor House occupies a large part of the core of Ham with Ham Street and Sandy Lane forming one corner and Melancholy Walk and Cut Throat Alley forming the other. The house is normally well protected from prying eyes by tall brick walls and taller trees, but in Winter the trees lose some of their protective powers exposing this view of the back of the house from Melancholy Walk.

20 January 2009

Lake at Thames Young Mariners

This is an unusual view of the lake at Thames Young Mariners looking along the length of the lake towards the boathouses by the Thames. I suspect that the gap in the fence that I used to get here was created by locals keen on fishing but curious photographers find it useful too.

19 January 2009

Tall grass

Part of Ham Lands, facing on to Riverside Drive, looks more like something out of Kew Gardens where there is a corner with several different grasses looking just like these.

Most of the Kew grasses come from exotic places such as South America so I guess that these are not indigenous but they do add a interesting contrast to the rest of Ham Lands that is overwhelming green (in a nice way).

18 January 2009

Teddington ice

I am grateful to a reader of this blog for letting me know that the Thames was partially frozen by Teddington Lock during the recent cold spell. The locks do not open much at this time of year and it just trickles through the closed locks so it is still enough to be captured by Jack Frost when he calls.

17 January 2009

St Peter's church

St Peter's church in Petersham is a simple brick built building but has a few architectural features, like the cute tower, to lift it a little above the ordinary.

16 January 2009

Purple haze

A splash of Winter colour to brighten up a walk through Ham Lands on a cold grey day.

15 January 2009

Cedar Lodge

Cedar Lodge is hidden among the trees off Church Road and finding it is not made much easier by this brilliant red sign that is enmeshed by luscious green foliage.

14 January 2009

Yellow tree

It is worth walking in Ham Lands at any time of the year but in Winter the absence of foliage reveals new shapes and colours, such as this tree turned yellow by the lichen growing on it.

13 January 2009

Frosty path

The path along Church Road (looking here from the church towards Ham Common) is usually coloured a bright ugly orange but now the frost has mellowed it so much that the thought of using it becomes appealing.

12 January 2009

Broken fence

There is something rather wonderful about this broken fence on the road approaching Petersham Nurseries.

11 January 2009

Ham Glebe

Ham Glebe on Church Road is normally well hidden in Ham Common Woods but in Winter it can be glimpsed through the thinned-out trees as you walk behind it along Ham Farm Road.

Petersham Nurseries

The entrance to Petersham Nurseries is heralded by this cart festooned with plants. And what a glorious welcome that is.

10 January 2009

Gate at Montrose House

Montrose House is an impressive building that dominates the main road through Petersham but its gate is even more magnificent.

9 January 2009

School gate

The Russell School lies between Petersham Road and Sandpits Road but is too far from either to take a decent photograph, not that it is particularly worth photographing. However, the front gate has a certain industrial charm.

W 281 OLF double parked darkly

This picture does not do this awful parking full justice, W 281 OLF (a black car) is double parked at night, with its lights off, on Ham Parade next to the pedestrian crossing.

8 January 2009


Rosebank is hidden in the corner of the plot now mostly occupied by Petersham Nurseries. It is accessed a narrow footpath off River Lane where it is announced by this weathered sign.

Huf Haus gates

It looks as though the building works associated with the new Huf Haus on Petersham Road have been completed and there is just some landscaping to do.

The good news is that the front fence and gate match the house and are a subtle colour; the bad news is that they hide the lovely house when the gates are closed.

6 January 2009

Frosty roof

I like the messy composition here with the brick wall, exotic tree, painted house and frosty roof all fighting each other for attention.

Wooden boxing

Wood is a prominent material in the construction of the old buildings in Petersham, such as this cottage in Petersham Road, where it adds considerably to the the charm and character.

I am grateful to the previous owner of this cottage who explained that he built the strange wooden box to house water tanks. (May 2009)

5 January 2009

New flat coming in Clifford Road

This house is one end of an L-shaped terrace in Clifford Road and so has space at the side to build a separate one bedroom flat.

Bald trees

A ramble through Ham Lands brought me to this cluster of trees shorn of their leaves and with their nudity cruelly exposed by the clear bright light.

4 January 2009

No games in Petersham Close

I like this sign for its looks, but not for what it says. It seems harsh to ban all games from the little area of grass in Petersham Close.

Lake at Thames Young Mariners

This is view from the tow path of the north-west corner of the lake at Thames Young Mariners where a shallow bank attracts birds.

3 January 2009

Frozen pond

A spell of cold weather has frozen most of Ham Pond leaving the ducks, geese and swans one small corner to swim in.

Narrow path

After the recent gloom surrounding the desecration of Ham Common Woods it was good to return to the wilds of Ham Lands and get somewhat lost exploring paths like this one.

2 January 2009


At low tide the embankment is exposed by Thames Young Mariners and the clear Winter sun sharpens the colours that the water and the years have conjured from the metal.

New buildings in Petersham Meadows

Petersham Meadows lies between the bend in Petersham Road and the river and is normally just outside of the scope of my wanderings through Ham but this new building is so obtrusive that it deserves recording here.

1 January 2009

Cairn Cottage and The Stables

There are two houses hidden behind the Legless Frog (formerly the Hand and Flower) and this sign on Upper Ham Road alerts you to their presence.

New track

The entrance to Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts from the tow path used to be a dirt track but now it is getting a tarmac finish. I hope that is not a further example of the urbanisation of the Ham Lands.