28 February 2010

Keeping the wall upright

There are lots of things to like about Ham and two of these are the paths the wind through the area making it an explorer's delight and the old brick walls that surround the many grand estates, lodges and manors. So when you get a path between two walls it is an opportunity to see Ham at its best. The late evening sun reveals that this wall to Douglas Footpath needs some assistance to stay upright.

27 February 2010

Rutland Lodge and neighbour

A closer look at Rutland Lodge (on the outside of the tight bend as the main road carves a narrow route through Petersham) reveals both the sumptuous decoration and the mismatched bricks of the unimaginatively named The House stuck ignobly on the side.

26 February 2010

Farm Lodge

It has been a little while since Farm Lodge has lived up to its name but it is a gorgeous sign with the Royal Blue contrasting nicely with the chunky white lettering and the neat yellow/brown bricks.

23 February 2010

The Friends of Ham Lands

We need your support!

Ham Lands is a local nature reserve as well as being a beautiful area for walking, cycling, riding and relaxing. The area has been neglected for some years and now requires sensitive management. A new group, the “Friends of Ham Lands" (FoHL) is being formed to help liaise with all interested parties and users of the Lands.

If you wish to have a say about the future of the Lands,
please come along to the inaugural meeting

Date: Thursday Thursday 11 March 2010 7.30pm
Venue: St Thomas Aquinas Church Hall, Ham Street, Ham, TW10 7HT

You will have a chance to meet with representatives from Richmond Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Thames Young Mariners.

If you are unable to attend but are interested to learn more
please e-mail claire @fifields .co .uk

21 February 2010

Petersham garden

I like some of the individual houses in Petersham but for the most part I feel that it lacks character as an area. The notably exception to this is the stretch of cottages arranged unevenly along Petersham Road so this is an area I often walk to on my regular walks. The cottages face the main road with its fierce traffic but there is a quiet path that goes behind them, splitting their rear gardens in the process. Here we can see what can be done with a split garden as this one makes the most of the late winter sun.

20 February 2010

Extending the hedge

The pointless low hedge in Great South Avenue was established at the eastern end of the path last year and is now starting to spread west towards the common. It serves no practical purpose, due to the large fence close behind it, and I don't think it is very attractive either.

19 February 2010

New bell

One of the reasons that I started this blog three years ago was to record the many changes that happen in Ham. Some of these are very obvious, such as the new houses and the comings and goings of the shops, but others are quite subtle and often pass unnoticed.

One of these little changes is the new bell at Rutland Lodge that has replaced the similar one that I photographed just over a year ago. The new one is crisp and fresh and does its best to mimic the one it has unceremoniously replaced but the old one had the charm of age that this one will take a long time to earn.

18 February 2010

Post box

There is something special about a post box built into a wall that takes you back to the time when maps of the world were mostly coloured pink and Britain claimed the title Great with pride and some justification.

17 February 2010


It may be a little premature to celebrate the end of the snow and the cold harsh winds we have had of late by across Ham early flowers are boldly announcing the start of the new growing season. These croci look like little flecks of yellow and white paint spilled by an unthinking white-van-man as he sped over the humps along Petersham Road.

16 February 2010

Silver birches

Ham Lands is a magical place to explore with its confusing paths leading through dense woods and open fields. If you wander around enough then you will come across this clutch of silver birches that have claimed a little corner of the wilderness for themselves.

13 February 2010

Fat heron

Keeping a watchful eye on the fish swimming in the lake at Thames Young Mariners is a statuesque heron who needs feeding, like we all do, to fight the deep chill of this winter.

11 February 2010

Blue plastic roof

It looks as though Morgans (on the corner of Ham Common and Upper Ham Road), which opened almost exactly two years ago, is having a few teething problems and the fake Georgian look is now blighted by the bright blue plastic protecting the sheds. The older, grander and wiser Cassel Hospital looks on bemused.

7 February 2010


Despite its relatively small size, Ham has several iconoclastic views, such as across Ham Common towards the pond and the approach to Ham House from the river. Another famous view is this one of the Thames as it curls past the weir at Teddington towards Kingston.

6 February 2010

Battered boat

The number of boats moored upstream of Teddington Lock seems to be growing steadily, though many seem to be avoiding the new official moorings just by the locks. This one is at the southern end of Ham and looks to have come here to die peacefully.

5 February 2010

Sprawling tree

The sunlight, when it can be bothered to come out to play, is often dramatic at this time of the year as it hangs low but bright in the sky like a shy girl at a party who cannot hide her beauty. The light has pulled and stretched this tree in all directions until it fills the sky.

3 February 2010

Lock Jumps Club

I've been a fan of the increasingly brutal BMX course by Teddington Lock for years (you can look up the earlier posts yourself) and have watched its growth with interest. The latest development is this bold sign proudly claiming the course for the Lock Jumps Club.

2 February 2010

Under the bridge

The recentish additions to Teddington Footbridge try to blend in with the nearby trees in Ham Lands but the rustic look is somewhat spoilt by the crude nature of the construction which is exposed as you walk underneath it. The bridge is functional but with little beauty, like most film music.