30 December 2009


Another mature tree along the tow path has been felled in its prime and the dead body has been laid out as a warning for us all to see.

29 December 2009

Ashburn Furniture

This shop on Ashburnham Road has changed hands again and the short-lived Ham Greengrocer has now given way to Ashburn Furniture.

28 December 2009

Icy path

The recent cold spell covered Ham with ice and snow but most of it cleared quickly when the warmer weather galloped in to the rescue. However, some ice managed to hang on doggedly to the fairly recently laid surfaces in Melancholy Walk and Great South Avenue making these paths dangerous for normal walkers and fun for young children of all ages.

25 December 2009

Corner refuge from the ice

The sky may be bright and sunny but do not let that fool you, it has been freezing cold recently and Ham Pond is mostly frozen over with just the far corner providing a watery refuge for the many birds who live there.

24 December 2009

Revisiting the Palm Centre

The Palm Centre in Ham Street is an exotic green oasis in a world of ancient dark brick that surrounds, hides and protects it. Stepping through the gates and walking along the drive is to slowly and seamlessly drift between worlds.

In the far corner tribes of ferns battle for light and seem determined to breach the wall to escape to Ham Lands beyond.

More sedate and delicate plants sit quietly in rows in long greenhouses that are cages masked as providers of light and shelter.

23 December 2009

Christmas cheer in Lammas Road

I've taken pictures of these Christmas decorations in Lammas Road in previous years but this is the first time that I have done so at night when the illuminated decorations show off exuberantly.

21 December 2009

South Lodge on Ham Common

The walk around the edge of Ham Common is always enjoyable as it reveals many interesting buildings from small neat cottages to grand lodges like South Lodge.This sits neatly on the short north side of the Common and keeps itself a little distant from the road behind a small garden.

20 December 2009

More black birds

This delicious and unexpected example of street art is hidden between Riverside Drive and Murray Road and is certainly worth making the effort to find.

19 December 2009

Black birds

Trees always look good against a bright blue Winter sky but this willow by Ham Pond is made more magical by the collection of black birds spread throughout it.

17 December 2009

Repairing St Thomas Aquinas

The repair works to St Thomas Aquinas on Ham Common have given me a welcome excuse to take another photograph of this lovely building where the crisp white walls and the smart grey roof combine beautifully. The imposing steeple is again occupied by a seagull and I like to think that it is the same one that I saw there back in February.

14 December 2009

Views across Petersham Nurseries

The final look at Petersham Nurseries for the moment is of two views across it. I've taken them at this time of year to avoid people who have the annoying habits of standing in front of pretty things, moving at the wrong moment and wearing garish clothing!

The first view is along the length of the end wall, a part of the nurseries that is quiet even in Summer. The impressive house that draws our attention is Rosebank.

This is the main section of the nurseries, the shop and restaurant are behind us and the tea room is in front in the greenhouse. Between the two buildings is a selection of plants (not that many here because of the time of year) which reminds us that this is a nursery.

12 December 2009


A closer look at the BMX track created by the locals down by Teddington Lock shows just how tall and steep some of the ramps are. They also make an architecturally interesting landscape.

11 December 2009

Towards KISH and other places

Douglas Footpath's mixed collection of signs includes this smart new one on the wall of the German School. It tells you of two of the lesser destinations that the path leads you to but, oddly, it says nothing of the Thames, which is the only reason that I go this way.

10 December 2009

Closing down

The bankruptcy of First Quench Retailing has had an immediate impact on Ham with both of the local off licences now closing down.

Wine Rack on Ham Parade was upgraded from the previous tatty Thresher less that two years ago.

Its red cousin, Thresher, in Ashburnham Road is also closing. Both parades of shops have no empty units at the moment and I hope that new owners are found for these before too long.

8 December 2009

Ham Youth Centre

The new exotic designs at the Ham Youth Centre have now spread to the font where the new name sits grandly above the clutter below where one of the too many signs names the building the Ham & Petersham Youth Club. I much prefer the new name as it is simpler and more modern; besides, it is most definitely in Ham.

The only bad thing about the new sign is that it is so high up and set back from the entrance so it is hard to get a good look at it - luckily my camera has a good zoom!

7 December 2009

A corner of Petersham Nurseries

The far corner of Petersham Nurseries is my favourite part, possibly because so few other people explore that far, preferring to linger around the cafe and shop. They are missing out.

This gate leads to Petersham Manor but is only unlocked on the rare days that the garden there is open to the public. Most of the time we have to be satisfied with stolen views of the vegetable garden. In front of the gate is one of the nurseries' signature benches.

Moving slightly along towards the corner is this something or other. Water flows into the brick tank through the two pipes and leaves in ways unseen. I have no idea why it is there but it is fun. Placed elsewhere it could be in the running for the Turner Prize.

6 December 2009

Winter woods

Petersham Lodge Woods is worth a rummage at any time of the year, even when it is cold and wet like it is now. It is part of the East boundary of Ham Lands that follows the river all the way from North Kingston and provides a wide natural barrier between the river and the buildings of Ham.

5 December 2009

The worst parking ever by X 685 YAH?!

I have eased off the bad parking photos in recent months because almost all of the examples that I have seen, and I've seen many, have been in the usual places and so I have not felt them worthy of a special mention here. This case is different.

X 685 YAH is double parked within the zig-zag zone by the Zebra Crossing on Ham Parade. If you look carefully you can see that the car is empty and the hazard lights are on.

The zig-zag zone is there to prevent overtaking in the region around the busy pedestrian crossing but with a car parked stupidly and selfishly there this means that all vehicles have to move around it. The obstacle dangerously obscures the view of the crossing and manoeuvring around it distracts drivers from the crossing too. Such stupidity should not go unpunished, I just wish that there was more that I could do than name-and-shame the culprit here.

4 December 2009

Heading for Ham

Douglas Footpath squeezes past Petersham Lodge and Glen Cottage as it escapes the small cluster of buildings in River Lane and heads towards the wild open spaces of Ham.

2 December 2009

Exotic wall

The wall around the Ham House estate is one of the local delights for fans of brick, like myself, and this section in Ham Street is made that little bit special by the exotic plants in the Palm Centre peeking over the top.

1 December 2009

Artifacts at Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries is, these days, most popular for its restaurant and tea rooms but it is still a nursery and in addition to the usual plants and tools it also sells some unusual artifacts to go in unusual gardens.

This religious figure adorns the wall at the furthest end of the nursery and the attractive wall behind it appeared here recently viewed from the other side in Rutland Lodge.

Petersham used to boast a pot shop which used to excel in the quirky but that has gone now and we are stuck with the rather limited choice from the nursery where this large angled pot stands out from its fellows.