26 April 2010

New trees on Ham Common

Fourteen of the new trees on Ham Common were vandalised, mostly with dogs, and so their replacements have been protected by deer fences that are more familiar in Richmond Park. It is a shame that such measures are necessary but I hope that they work and this generation of trees is allowed to grow-up to join their more elderly neighbours in forming a grand avenue across the common.

25 April 2010

Old lamp

While it was the old lamp with the new low-energy light bulb that caught my eye it was the jumble that made me take the picture with the pineapple in the foreground, the messy tree in the middle and the neat house behind.

24 April 2010

New furniture

A welcome addition to the Wilderness at Ham House is some new chairs and plant holders that sit in the middle where all the paths meet. Where better to sit and watch all the small children hiding from their parents?

21 April 2010

please do not park here

Another unmissable example of a funky sign on an old wall. This one is on Ham Street down by the Palm Centre. Here the long expanse of brick engulfs and comforts you like a Beethoven symphony played loudly. These walls are proud of what they are and want you to know it.

19 April 2010

Colourful horses

The Victorian Fair cavorted on to Ham Common recently with it's familiar cavalcade of colours and raucous tunes that summoned small children with an ease that would have impressed the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

18 April 2010


Mullion is just one of the several (almost) grand houses in Sudbrook Lane. It is best viewed before the Spring leaves emerge and try their best to hide the sumptuous white of the front of the house.

17 April 2010

A welcome sight

One of my many regular pleasures in wandering through Ham is walking past Ham House, away from the river and towards home. As I pass the end of the large wall that keeps the gardens of Ham House hidden from prying eyes the large wilderness that stretches from Petersham to Ham Street suddenly opens up before me.

Petersham Avenue crosses here to join Melancholy Walk but most of us choose to take the shorter route that runs straight ahead and cuts the corner.

13 April 2010

Newman's house

The house where the future Cardinal Newman once lived has a commanding position on Ham Street facing on to Ham Village Green. The tidy brickwork and the overall shape and proportions reassure you that this is one of Ham's treasures but it has fallen on hard times and, like many similar houses across the country, it now suffers the indignity of being part of a school.

11 April 2010

White blossom

I may have rather overdone the Spring photos last year so I am deliberately cutting back this. However, I could not ignore this large shock of white blossom that greets you as you walk along Petersham Avenue near the German School.

10 April 2010

Improving the pavements in Back Lane

Back Lane has come in for some unexpected attention recently and the little used pavements are being improved and the junctions are being built out to make it easier for the few pedestrians to avoid the few cars.

9 April 2010

Open air gym

Let's linger at Ham Village Green for a moment and have a look at the new fitness equipment that has recently been installed. It is good to see it there and even better to see how well in blends in to the area by avoiding brash colours and allowing the grass to grow through the safety matting.

It is proving to be popular and the only way I managed to get a clear shot was to go there when it was raining and even then I had to avoid photographing the children playing on some of the apparatus out of shot.

7 April 2010

The end of the daffodils

Ham Village Green has been improving gradually but significantly in recent months through the new play and fitness equipment but it is worth pausing to remember that it also has a lot of natural beauty. We can see that here as we look north over the dwindling daffodils towards the little clump of trees by Woodville Road.

5 April 2010

The Bench

If there is one thing that is guaranteed to make me reach for my camera it is a sign on a brick wall. Here the wall is the weak part of the combination, being far too new and regular to be interesting, but the (new) sign is crisp and jolly. The Bench, just in case you did not know, is a short path linking Back Lane to Ham Street.

4 April 2010

New trees in Dukes Avenue

The patches of grass did little to improve Dukes Avenue when they were introduced a few years ago but the addition of some trees may help to improve things. They are very small trees in the moment and it will be twenty years or so before they start to make a meaningful presence so let's hope they are worth the wait.

3 April 2010


For years these concrete pillars have protected the grass from the onslaught of German mothers taking their kids to school by car. In doing their duty the posts became part of the scene while they aged and weathered. Now they have been cruelly overturned and replaced by brash wooden posts that look completely out of place thanks to their unnatural shape and bright colour.

2 April 2010

Nice path, wrong place

The work to edge the path towards Teddington Footbridge has completed and we now have a pretty path that would look wonderful in the formal garden of a stately home but which is whole inappropriate in the middle of the wilderness of Ham Lands.