31 March 2009

Whites in Lock Road

I like the way that even when treading familiar paths new things can catch your eye and this happened to me as I was walking along Lock Road towards the Common when the profusion of whites suddenly hit me.

On the left behind the fence is The Old Malt House (1 Lock Road) and behind that are the obvious features of St Thomas Acquinas. 

29 March 2009

Pigeon loft

Keeping pigeons is normally considered (at least by me) to be an activity that happens "up north", like eating black pudding, keeping ferrets and wearing t-shirts in deepest Winter, but if you look carefully in Lock Road you can see some there too.

28 March 2009

Solar powered box

This curiosity has recently appeared just off the track from Ashburnham Road to Teddington Lock. It is clearly solar powered but I have no idea what it does with that power other than it's location suggests that it has something to do with water.

27 March 2009

A burst of white blossom

The skies may be dark and cloudy at the moment but the blossom manages to lift the spirits. These trees add a welcoming display to the section of Ham Lands by Royal Park Gate.

25 March 2009

Green house in Ham Farm Road

I took a picture of this house earlier, but from a less attractive angle, so it was good to find it on another day with the gate open and no cars on the drive (cars are the bane of my life as they ruin the foreground), allowing me to take a better picture that does the house more justice.

24 March 2009

Montrose House at night

Montrose House (on the sharp bend on the main road through Petersham) is impressive during the day but at night the uplighting makes it majestic.

23 March 2009


I like the way that Royal Park is laid out eschewing the straight lines and uniform buildings that blight many areas. This is Camel Grove with, from front to back, a large house with garage, four townhouses in three steps, and a block of flats.

22 March 2009

Ham Institute in New Road

The discrete Ham Institute in New Road quietly announces itself to the world through this arty plaque high up where the telephone wires live.

21 March 2009

Spring has sprung

The bright sunshine and warm weather over the last week have brought splashes of colour to brighten the mood. Here a clutch of wild daffodils stare at the river with some flats in Royal Park Gate behind staring at them.

20 March 2009

Cat at the window

The cat looks very attentive and it's very patient too, it has been sitting on this window ledge in New Road for many years.

18 March 2009

Happy place

While there is far too much construction of paths and cutting of trees going on for my liking, it is important to remember that a lot of Ham Lands retains its unspoilt natural beauty and so it is easy to find happy places like this.

17 March 2009

Gravel repairs

I could see the argument for using gravel to resurface one section of Douglas Footpath but I am rather surprised to see it being used to repair the tow path from River Lane to just beyond the new bridge to Douglas Footpath. The reason that the tow path needs repairing here is because it floods regularly and gravel is a poor defence against that.

16 March 2009

Long view to Ham House

One of the reasons for using Douglas Footpath is that it gives you this rural view toward Ham House, which is around 600m away. The white object in the middle of the picture is the scoreboard at Ham Polo.

15 March 2009

New surface for Douglas Footpath

Douglas Footpath has now been resurfaced between the tow path and the junction with the track to the Sea Scouts.

This is the same harsh orange surface that has been used in Richmond Park and Church Road and, as there, it destroys the natural beauty. What used to be a jungle exploration (for kids of all ages) has had all the mystery and excitement taken away.

14 March 2009

Look-out tower

These buildings are in the Douglas House complex that now forms part of the German School. It was the white tower that attracted me at first but I also like the side-on view of the roof in the foreground and the wild trees behind.

13 March 2009

More tarmac

I really did not expect the tarmac that was laid between the tow path and the Sea Scouts to be continued along Douglas Footpath to its junction with Douglas Road (my preferred name for which, bizarrely seems to be part of Petersham Road). What was once a path fit for country rambles is now a road designed for trucks.

12 March 2009

German roof

The stunning "new" part of the German School has a hi-tech but subtle roof. The building is on the edge of Ham Lands, there is a stable next to it and one of the Ham Avenues crosses in front of it, but somehow the newness still works.

11 March 2009

New surface for Petersham Avenue

There is far far too much resurfacing of the paths in Ham Lands but the recent work in Petersham Avenue is the least worst. The surface is hard and so easy to walk on but it is too bright and too straight and so it helps to push the countryside away rather than bringing it in closer.

Ham Manor through a tree

The Manor House on Ham Street likes to keep itself hidden and even in Winter it manages to persuade the trees to block most of it from view.

10 March 2009

Low hedge

This hedge shelters the rural arcadia of Ham Lands from the urbanity of Meadlands Drive but that shelter has been damaged, weakened, battered and shorn, which is an attack on Ham Lands itself.

Interesting corner

The far corner of the graveyard at St. Peter's church has an interesting assortment of walls, roofs, angles, greys and browns. The Dysart Arms is behind the large grey wall.

9 March 2009

Welcome to Wendy's Workshop

Wendy's Workshop is a welcome addition to Ham Parade. The outside looks bright and jolly, the inside looks fresh and fun, and it is good to see something with an active use rather than something dead like a bank. I wish it well.

8 March 2009

Golden weathervane on St. Peter's church

My exploration of the weathervanes in Ham (and Petersham) brings me to St. Peter's church where the fairly simple design, appropriate for a church, has been given a golden touch that makes it worth viewing for a few moments.

7 March 2009

Night tree

Walking along Upper Ham Road late at night I was struck by the combination of the light from the street lights illuminating the tree, the light from the moon providing a focus and the lights from the houses on Ham Common giving depth to the scene.

6 March 2009

George Vancouver

I am embarrassed to admit that I only became aware of George Vancouver's connection with the area through an announcement made on a flight back from the city that carries his name.

His grave, in St. Peter's church, used to be as old and weathered as all the rest and so it was quite a challenge to find it but the fresh light stone makes it stand out now.

5 March 2009

Huf Haus entrance

The presence of a tradesman at work meant that I was lucky to find the gates open when walking past the new Huf Haus on the Petersham Road.

The gravelled drive with some plants by the house are very much in keeping with the modern look of the house and the overall appearance makes a striking entrance. I hope that the owners can be persuaded to take part in the next Petersham Open Gardens!

Rippling roof

These roof tiles look as though they have been hung incorrectly, that is going across the roof (left to right) rather than down the roof (top to bottom), but the end result is distinctive and attractive.

4 March 2009


Bramlings sounds like a character out of Beatrix Potter but it is also the name of the house that sits a little on its own between Sudbrook Cottages and Ormeley Lodge in Ham Gate Avenue. It changed hands at the end of 2008 and the new owners are replacing the small conservatory at the back with a much larger single-story extension.

A quiet walk in Ham Common Woods

All of Ham Common Woods is quiet but the triangular section between Ham Gate Avenue, Richmond Park and Richmond Golf Course is quieter still due to the simple fact that it is hemmed in on two sides and so you cannot walk through it to get anywhere. But the fact that it is very quiet makes it attractive to those of us who like to forget that we live in the middle of a very large urban sprawl and are happy to just walk among trees; it is the journey that matters, not the destination.

3 March 2009

Latchmere House (front)

Latchmere House in Church Road has had a mixed history and has been owned by the Prison Service since 1948, which is why I took this photograph from some distance while taking care to try and look like a serious photographer and not at all like somebody up to mischief.

Footpath to Richmond

This sign explains that the footpath from River Lane towards Petersham Nurseries leads you to Richmond but you have to look at it quite carefully to determine that. A new sign would be useful!

2 March 2009

More cut trees

Richmond Council's chainsaws have moved along from the path between Sandy Lane and Meadlands Drive and are now ruthlessly removing mature trees from the border between Melancholy Walk and Ham Manor.

Navigator's House

The Navigator's House in River Lane has scrumptious dark brick, pretty white windows and tidy roofs. The unusual shape of the small side window is revealed by it being open, as if it is trying to show off to passers by.

1 March 2009

Manor Farm Stables

Manor Farm Stables, next to Ham Polo, reinforces the feeling that you are in the country and lets you get up close to some horses free, for the moment, from their human masters.

Douglas House

Douglas House looks comforted by the bright Winter sunlight, mature trees and white fence.