31 July 2011

Modifying Meadlands

Summer is the usual season for making major changes to schools and some of the local schools are making changes this year. One of them is Meadlands Primary School in Broughton Avenue. It will be interesting to see what has changed once the covers have come off.

29 July 2011

Secure fence

My previous pictures of Latchmere House have been of the actual house as that is the bit that is pretty but one of the purposes of the blog is to record changes in the area so here is a picture of the outer fence before it goes.

This is clearly a fence with just one purpose - security. It makes no attempt to blend in with its surroundings, though the symmetry in the posts and the mesh between them has a certain industrial charm.

25 July 2011

Latchmere House (side)

The pretty front of Latchmere House faces north-west which means that the slightly less pretty rear faces south-east. This is the much less pretty side that looks north-east towards Richmond Park.

The prisoners' quarters are beyond the fourth side so I'll not be taking any pictures of that until it stops being a prison. Perhaps it will become the school that North Kingston has been asking for for many years, in which case the ugly metal fence might remain.

22 July 2011

Approaching HMP Latchmere House

The Government's cost-cutting has led to the sudden announcement that HMP Latchmere House will close in September 2011 so I've been back to take a few pictures of it while it still is, and still looks like, a prison.

This is both the front of the old house and the entrance to the prison. The signs direct you clockwise to the limited parking at the front and to the car park behind. The pretty roundabout is unexpectedly welcoming for a penal institute.

19 July 2011

Straight path

There are several paths the lead to/from the footbridge by Teddington Lock. Some follow the river, others cut muddy swathes through Ham Lands but the most ugly one is the straight path that leads to Riverside.

I do not like it because it is just too straight and too urban; give me bends and unmade paths any day. In Summer it is rescued a little as the trees, bushes and grasses edge up close to the path and grow as tall as they can to hide as much of the path as possible.

17 July 2011

Purple flowers

It has been a little while since I've shown anything from Ham Lands and now it's time to redress the balance with a simple picture of purple flowers among the grasses in the lush area between the river and the Locksmeade Road development.

14 July 2011

Beaufort House with flowers

Beaufort House faces East on to Ham Street which makes the back of the house (towards Wiggins Lane) West facing and sunny. The roses clambering over the trellis are grateful for this and show their appreciation with bursts of blood-red.

10 July 2011

Back to Ham Common Woods

Ham Common Woods remains one of my favourite parts of Ham. It shares its natural beauty with Ham Lands but has the advantage that you can step straight in to it from the built up areas of Ham Farm Road and Church Road.

It also provides the shortest route from Ham Parade to Ham Gate but despite this convenience and its wildness Ham Common Woods is a quiet place and it is unusual for me to come across anybody else during one of my frequent walks through it.

7 July 2011

Ham Gate Avenue

The problem with Ham Gate Avenue is that it is long, too straight and with the twin grey lines of the road and the pavement it can look boring; a path to be walked through necessity rather than for enjoyment.

But it is transformed in Summer when the trees on the north side stretch their branches thick with new leaves over the pavement to form a fabulous, if little rustic, ceremonial archway most of the way to the park.

3 July 2011

Changes in the garden

The lavender parterres in the Cherry Garden of Ham House have come to the end of their natural life and are being replaced. They will look gorgeous again soon but, for the moment, they look bare and stark. The neatly clipped hedges still provide the criss-cross pattern of the garden but they look lonely and a little lost.