27 January 2013

St Thomas Aquinas with snow

The brief appearance of snow gave me the chance to revisit St Thomas Aquinas Church, which I had been meaning to do for some time. Normally the dark roof contrasts with the lightly painted walls and windows. The snow changes all that capping the church in white and making the church look more at ease with itself.

25 January 2013

Snow on Ham Common

When the snow falls then I always head for Ham Common with my camera. The falling snow hides the houses, roads and cars leaving just a bench as a reminder that people live here.

23 January 2013

Snow on the towpath

Snow is such a rare event here that we never get used to how things look when covered in the stuff. This is the section of the towpath that runs opposite Royal Park Gate facing South towards Kingston.

22 January 2013


Parakeets are one of the more unusual local features and I have been hoping to take a half-decent picture of one for some time - hopes that have been dashed by their inability to stay still even for a moment. This one thought it was safe by staying high up and in among the needles of a tree in Parkleys but I was prepared for it and one of the several pictures that I took finally came out half-decent.

20 January 2013


Barclays is possibly the most boring building on Ham Parade and is definitely the one that does the most to hide its history with a completely new frontage, including an extension.

Now that it is the only bank on the parade (there were 3 of the fifteen years ago) the queue for the one ATM is often six deep and I had to go early on a Sunday morning to find it with only one person there.

15 January 2013

143A Petersham Road

I am not sure how new or old this sign is but I must have walked past it a few times without paying much attention to it and it was not until I went past on a bus that the crisp black script on an uneven white background leapt out at me and made me look at it.

A few days later I walked past it again to make sure that my eyes had not deceived me and took this picture as proof.

13 January 2013

Improvements at Glen Cottage

About a year ago I commented that Glen Cottage was looking tired and now I am pleased to say that it is starting to look better. The porch roof has been replaced and the front wall has been prepared for a fresh coat of paint.

12 January 2013

Clearing the woods

I was walking along the towpath towards Richmond thinking to myself that Petersham Lodge Woods, like the other local nature reserves managed by Richmond Council, never shows any signs of being managed only to find that a large area of it has been cleared to make way for a short brick tower.

This is the corner of the woods bounded by Petersham Lodge and River Lane. It is the least woody part of the woods so the clearance has done no lasting damage. It's probably an improvement over the nettles and brambles that were there before.

The strip of mud suggests that most of the work has been underground and any construction below means no trees above. Even so, I am sure that there is space to plant a few more and I would like to see the Council do this. It is meant to be a wood after all.

10 January 2013

Brown water

A concrete stub protrudes in to the river by the busy car park that makes a mess of the end of Ham Street. Walking just this little way in to the river changes the view dramatically - suddenly you are at the same level as the water and it surrounds you on three sides. Having Immersed you, the  river reveals its true colour, movement and power.

8 January 2013

Ensleigh Lodge on Ham Common

This is another picture that I have been trying to take for some years but it has never worked before (usually because of cars), and I am not that sure that it worked this time either but I it was a gap I had to fill.

This is Ensleigh Lodge and it lurks by the corner of Ham Common where it meets Lock Road. The house is not unimpressive but there are several bigger and grander houses nearby. What makes this worth paying attention is the two wings of the house with their arched windows and curved walls above.

It may also be worth mentioning that Nigel Dempster lived here until his death in 2007.

5 January 2013

Repairing the wall

The long wall along Ham Street by Ham House is being repaired, and not before time.

The main work is being done on the section by the Palm Centre where the wall pulls away from the road for a moment to make space for a small green. There has been a break in the wall here for a few years and now that is being fixed and the whole section is being repaired.

Unfortunately this involves a lot of ugly coloured plastic so I have not got a photo of it that is worth sharing. I hope to have something to show once it is finished.

Elsewhere along the wall there are signs of recent small repairs and others that are in progress. At the top two bricks have been found to fill a gap and are waiting to be fastened in place.Below a section of bricks has been prepared for repointing.

3 January 2013

Sutherland House

It is the whiteness and tidiness of Sutherland House that I like.

Sutherland House is at the upper end of Ham Street, approximately half way between Sandy Lane and Riverside Drive, opposite The Orangery. Walking towards Ham House and the river I was struck by the repeating pattern of the windows, the white panels, the brick columns and the silver birch fighting for attention.

2 January 2013

Christmas Penguins

I have not paid much attention to Christmas decorations this year because of the combination of almost constant rain and a bout of flu but these magnificent penguin could not go unnoticed or unreported.

Anyone walking along the south-side of Ham Common cannot have failed to see them standing proudly at the entrance to Forbes House.

1 January 2013

The changing face of Saqui

I was going to post some pictures of the new-look Saqui but before I could do so it changed again!

The two large windows replaced the four smaller ones that were lined up with the arches and the glass appears to be slightly lighter, that is you can see more of the inside of the restaurant as you walk past.

That was the change that I was going to report and then the windows got their makeover with the addition of some frosting and the decorative lettering. This is much prettier than what was there before and nicely breaks up the large expanse of glass.Also new is the yellow oval sign above the window.

It is all rather tasteful and a definite improvement.