30 September 2011

Disappearing garage

I have featured a few garage doors here over the years for one simple reason; I love them. They are industrial architecture on a small scale supplemented by a splash of colour that can vary from bland to idiosyncratic.

What makes these doors special is the creeper that seems determined to devour the door and is making a rather good job of it. I wish it luck.

29 September 2011

Metal dragon

This startling dragon is exactly the sort of thing that you would really like to find in a garden one day but, equally, it is just the sort of thing that you do not expect to find.

28 September 2011

Tall flowers

The nicest thing about these flowers is that they are so tall that they burst well above the walls and fences that divide and hide the gardens in Broughton Avenue.

This is a rewarding road to walk slowly down as the lack of (hated) vehicular cross-overs means that all the houses have front gardens and many of them, like this one, deserve a little attention as you pass.

26 September 2011

A different view of Ham Pond

As a rule the photos that I post here are taken with my Canon IXUS 80 IS and are not modified in any way. This photo breaks both rules. It was taken with my iPhone4 and I used the Instagram app to apply one of its pre-set special effects.

25 September 2011

Solar power

The purpose of some of the Summer building works at Meadlands Schools is now clear with the pitched roof above the main entrance boasting two sets of solar panels.

This short roof points south-west so will only get sunlight late in the day and then only for part of the year. The longer roof is at right-angles to this and so faces south-east and so seems better placed to capture the sun but a few trees get in the way and it would be perverse to cut down trees to enable solar power.

24 September 2011

Wates willow

This typical view of the Wates Estate shows why it is so popular. The houses and flats are nice enough but what makes the Wates Estate is the generous spaces between them.

These spaces are nicely irregular in shape, often raised (as here) and are always well planted with flowers, bushes and trees. Sometimes there is even enough space for a large willow to stretch its limbs.

23 September 2011

Behind the manor

Behind the Manor House in Ham Street is a large open space that morally is part of Ham Lands but we are kept from away from it by a stern metal fence. At least we can peer through it at the neat grass and well kept trees and dream of being able to frolic among them one day.

22 September 2011

Where horses play

Ham Lands creeps South down from the river all the way to Sandy Lane where the tarmac forms a hard brutal barrier before the greenery continues with the playing fields of Grey Court School running either side of Great South Avenue. Melancholy Walk forms the border on the West but to the East lies The Copse and Ham Lands makes it all the way to Strathmore School.

Between the path and the woods is a small field where horses trot in circles alone apart from the occasional dog owner who dares to stray from the more usual routes.

21 September 2011

Entrance to Ham Lands

There are many ways to enter and leave Ham Lands but the busiest route is probably along the stretch of Riverside Drive between Croft Way and Thames Young Mariners.

This is a long border with lots of houses on one side of the road and only a little ditch and a little bank on the other side to keep the people out. Towards the road to Teddington Lock the bank is bigger and is a more effective barrier.

The first taste of Ham Lands here is of wide-open spaces with only a few ill-looking trees for company. A few long strides are needed to take you in among the thick trees and bushes that hide the houses of Riverside Drive so recently left behind.

19 September 2011


I've shown some pictures of Bramlings before but never a naked full-frontal like this.

Bramlings sits next to Ormeley Lodge but has only recently come under the Goldsmith influence and was Zac's official address at the last election.

As part of that influence, and very much in-line with Zac's stated beliefs (I'll not comment on those other than to say that I did not vote for him), the roof has gained some solar panels but, that apart, it looks much as it has done for many years.

There have been big changes to the house but these are at the back and you'll have to look up the planning application to see the details.

16 September 2011

Early Autumn colour

August has only just slept quietly away and brash September is already colouring the landscape with reds, oranges and browns.

This colourful abundance is in Parkleys. There is a clue to this in the exotic grasses at the front but you can also see one of the blocks of flats if you peer through the red leaves.

13 September 2011

Mead by the river

Others may argue with me but as far as I am concerned the souther border of Ham Lands in the copse by Royal Park Gate. Next to this, heading West and a little North, is a popular field that separates Burnell Avenue from the River Thames.

The wide open space edged by trees is typical of Ham Lands and it is this that makes the area so special. It is only the glimpse of the weir at Teddington that reminds you that you are deep within the M25.

10 September 2011

Red door in a white frame

I went back to Cardinal Newman's former house in Ham Street to see how the building works were getting on but the bright sunlight demanded that I pay attention to the front door and windows instead.

7 September 2011

Changes at The Royal Oak

Changes in my habits mean that I've gone from being fairly regular at The Royal Oak (regular enough for them to remember what I drink) to being just an occasional visitor but I do not think that its change in fortune has anything to do with me.

I have heard worrying tales from other regulars recently and so I see it as a positive move that the pub is back on the market and looking for a new loving owner. Ham has lost too many pubs to loose this one too.

4 September 2011

52 Sandy Lane

No. 52 Sandy Lane is another house that has made great effort to cast-off its bland heritage and to try and be more distinctive and attractive. And I must say that it does so with rather more aplomb and success than its near neighbour Sundial House that I featured yesterday.

There is lots to like here including the large plain windows, the warm grey colour, the first floor veranda with its architectural plants, and, settling it all off nicely, the splashes of orange announcing the house number. This is a house with courage and confidence.

3 September 2011

Sundial House

I do not feature Sandy Lane (or the similar roads off it) very often as, frankly, I find it boring with nothing noteworthy enough to be included. The road itself is dull too with the tall hedges on either side merely serving to emphasis the greyness of the road.

Lightening the gloom just a little are a few modern make-overs that are turning some of the blandness in to something more eye-catching and distinctive. One of these is Sundial House.

While I approve of the visual aspects of the changes I do not think that the either the size of the house or the location justify a price tag in excess of £2m.

1 September 2011


This scarecrow looks overwhelmed by the job it has been given to do. The front garden of this house on Petersham Road is stuffed full to tall sunflowers that dwarf the rest of the garden and the scarecrow sent there to protect it. The scarecrow hopes that somebody notices how sad it is as finds it a more comfortable place to stand guard.