31 October 2011


Here choices have to be made. The path ahead leads to Petersham, passing Ham Polo and the German School as it does so. The path crossing it offers Ham House and the river to the left while a right turn takes you on to Melancholy Walk and then away from Ham Lands and the harsh urban reality of Sandy Lane.

29 October 2011

A gathering of trees

Ham Common has a secret and it keeps it well. While it proudly flaunts the avenues of trees and the pond it is more discrete about the clutch of trees that it keeps away from the crowds in the middle of the north side.

25 October 2011

Stafford Cottages in October

Stafford Cottages has featured here a few times simply because both the cottage and front garden are very pretty. Even in October, when the trees across the road on Ham Common are rushing to lose their leaves before the serious cold comes to steal their life.

23 October 2011

Pink house

This is another one of those pictures that I've been meaning to take for some time but have been thwarted until now. Sometimes I have been put off by the poor light but more often it was a car on the drive that has ruined the composition. So I've kept walking past the house waiting for the moment to be right.

The fresh bold pink is the point of the picture but look past that and you can also see the cute garage doors, the pretty front door with neat side windows and the lines of flowers in the front garden.

21 October 2011

A house in Petersham

The houses in Petersham seem to have been added randomly over the years so that many of them now sit in unusual settings. This beauty managed to find a little space along the main road between Petersham House and the narrow lane heading towards the church and nurseries.

16 October 2011

Beat Box

The artistic endeavours at Ham Youth Centre have taken another joyous leap forward with the addition of Beat Box. Clearly this was once a humble shipping container but it is now a music studio and to celebrate this ascension it has acquires a colourful coat that proudly proclaims its new role.

13 October 2011

Boarded up

The unfortunate story of the Royal Oak, on the corner of Ham Street and Sandy Lane, has taken another sad step and it is now firmly closed and boarded up. We have lost too many local pubs in recent years, including another one in Ham Street, and I hope that this is just a temporary set-back and that it will be flourishing again soon. I'll certainly make a point of visiting when it reopens.

11 October 2011

A new welcome for bikes

I live about 1.5 km from Ham House and while I usually walk there I often go by bike and have had to put up with leaving it leant against a wall with a pile of others. Not now.

A number of sturdy posts have arrived at the far end of the car park ready to accept the challenge of looking after bikes while their owners explore the house and gardens.

Not only is this an excellent idea for meeting a clear need but they look good too.

9 October 2011

Secret field in Ham Lands

Stepping away from the towpath that follows the river as it flows East towards Ham House plunges you in to the secret world of Ham Lands with its mixture of woods, fields and confusing paths.

The towpath lies just past the trees on the right and there walkers, joggers and cyclists fight over a narrow rocky path unaware that a short distance away there is wide open space and peace.

7 October 2011

New steps

This is where I am going to fall out with some of my fellow members of Friends of Ham Lands as I really hate these new steps that have been inserted in to the middle of Ham Lands, and I hate the path that they lead to even more.

It used to be pure joy to leave one of the fields in Ham Lands by scrambling up a short muddy bank and then trying to follow an equally muddy path winding through bushes towards Ham Street. Then you could easily forget that other people also take that route occasionally but now the steps and the brutal wound above them (which some would like to call Majestic Way) quickly and depressingly remind you that you are in a residential area after all.

6 October 2011

Enticing path

This is exactly what I like most about Ham Lands, a narrow muddy path that disappears in to the trees to an unknown destination.

This particular path leads away from Ham Street between two lines of trees. To the left is the lane to the Ham and Petersham Rifle and Pistol Club and to the right is a field that sits quietly next to the river.

5 October 2011

Red ivy

I've used the title "red ivy" before, and it was for the same ivy three years ago. Then I showed the ivy sweeping along the wall and up the side of the house to expose its size and shape, now it's a close-up to reveal the detail of the leaves and their colour.

There is a lag between when I take photos and when they get posted here and this varied from a few hours to a few days so it is hard to make a direct comparison on dates but the photo from three years ago was taken two or three weeks after this one and this year the ivy has already died back considerably, its red swansong ended for another year.

4 October 2011

A corner of King George's Field

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that this picture is closely related to the previous one except this time the allotments that were the purpose of the picture have here drifted in to the background. This is the end of King George's Field furthest away from its main entrance on Ham Street.

Behind me is the lane leading up to the Ham and Petersham Rifle and Pistol Club. This is well protected by a sturdy metal fence that not that long ago replaced the old chicken wire one. I liked the old one because there were gaps in it that meant that you could continue on towards the river, but I guess that is why they replaced it.

Now, having arrived via the footpath past the allotments, the only other way out is via Ham Street.

2 October 2011


The allotments that fill the corner between Riverside Drive and Ham Street can be seen from either of those roads but, for the more adventurous, there is this view from the footpath that leads along the eastern edge.

The view on the other side of the path is much less interesting and even the presence of horses does little to inspire a flat brown field. Looking back to the allotments there is almost too much to look at and its the overall jumble that makes an impact.

1 October 2011

Red and yellow flowers

Teddington Locks fascinates me. It's the combination of solid purposeful brick surrounded by quiet waters on which colourful boats slip between Kingston and Richmond.

On the largest of the man-made islands that make up the collection of locks is a small but very pretty garden that the staff there maintain all year round so that even in late September there are bold colours to surprise and delight.