26 February 2013

New paving in Locksmeade Road

One of the things that I am trying to do with this blog is capture the changes that are being made all the time to Ham that either go unnoticed or become familiar very quickly and we soon forget that things used to be different. This is one of those little changes.

The paving in front of Locksmeade Road used to be a dull grey tarmac and now it has been replaced with coloured brick. At the moment it is so fresh that the colours are a little shocking but I expect that the weather will soon but an end to that.

23 February 2013

They used to build aircraft here

Royal Park Gate has been here for sixteen years now. Before that it had a long and proud history making things for the aviation industry. Now, at last, that history has been recognised with the erection of two plaques on the brick pillar on the junction of Richmond Road and Dukes Avenue.

The plaque on the Richmond Road side shows the factory with its impressive frontage which is much missed. I still deeply regret that it was not retained as part of the new development.

The other plaque, on the Dukes Avenue side, remembers what was built in the factory.

The loss of the factory was a tremendous blow to Ham and to Kingston, it was a major local landmark and provided employment for thousands of skilled workers many of whom lived locally and more of whom spent some of their money in local shops.

19 February 2013

Dusk on Petersham Avenue

The last sunset picture (for a while at least) is looking west along Petersham Avenue as it runs past the Ham Polo field. The hidden sun brings strange colours to the sky and drains colour from the ground. Even so, the path is still far brighter than it should be and is a painful reminder that things are not as natural as they should be.

17 February 2013

Sunset over The Copse

This was taken from the path that runs from Meadlands Drive towards the German School. Another school, Strathmore, was behind me. The sun has all but disappeared leaving the grassland in deep shadow while silhouetting the bare branches of the taller trees.

16 February 2013

Sudbrook Lodge in evening sun

Sudbrook Lodge is one of the reasons that I started this blog six years ago. I was looking for pictures of this, and other local landmarks, on-line and failing to find anything I decided to take some myself. Sudbrook Lodge has featured regularly ever since.

The excuse for including it this time is that the late evening sun has endowed the lodge with an orange hue when in normal light the brick is traditional red.

14 February 2013

Out of bounds

A large part of Ham is occupied by Richmond Gold Club and that is barred to me (by choice, I hasten to add) so the only pictures that I can take of it are from the outside looking in. These tress are on the western edge of the course and I am on the other side of the Petersham Road.

I've had to show just the upper parts of the trees as below that is a high solid fence, to keep stray gold balls in, and in front of the fence are the cars that I hate so much.

12 February 2013

Shade falls on Ham Common

It is always tempting to take pictures of Ham Common as I think of it as the heart of Ham, from which the main arteries Ham Street, Lock Road and Petersham Road flow, and it takes the smallest excuse for me to do so.

This time I liked the contrast between the darkness of the grass for which the sun had already set and the bare Winter trees that making the most of it while they still could.

This was taken from opposite Cassel Hospital looking north toward the (obscured) New Inn. Upper Ham Road is responsible for the ugly traffic on the right.

10 February 2013

Lamp on Riverside Drive

I feel that most of the work on the pavements on Riverside Drive are not justified due to the fact that very few people walk along there, especially on the Ham Lands side. However, I can almost forgive the works for bringing us some interesting new lights.

I managed to catch this one on a dusky evening just after it switched on so the sky still looks blue and the lamp has not yet reached full brilliance.

7 February 2013

Neat house in Sudbrook Gardens

Sudbrook Gardens is one of those roads that goes nowhere, thanks to the detestable locked gate that prevents you from getting to Ham Gate Avenue, but that's another story. Because of this it is only the terminally curious people like myself who have a habit of looking in there. Which is a shame because some of it, like this house, is rather nice.

It is also the only places that I have been confronted by a resident in six years of recording Ham in this blog. Well, there was another case but I was on private land at that time so it was fair game. That incident was resolved amicably and I had a long chat with the confronter and still got to take my photo. In Sudbrook Gardens I waited for the lady to go and get her camera so that she could retaliate by taking a picture of me, which I was happy for her to do.

6 February 2013

Queueing for the park

Ham Gate Avenue starts off prettily enough as it leave the Richmond road and heads for Richmond Park. There are some tidy cottages, Ormeley Lodge and Ham Common Woods is close to the road on both sides.

The blight starts as you get close to Ham Gate as half the road is then occupied by cars abandoned while their owners walk in the park. This queue is depressingly ugly and makes the junction with Church Road less safe for all users, including pedestrians.

The solution is obvious. Ham Gate Avenue should be a single-track road in one direction only and with no parking allowed. The rest of the road can then be given to cyclists, leaving the path to pedestrians.

4 February 2013

Working on the pond

I am still not sure what the works on the pond by Ham Gate entail, apart from tearing out some of the old scrub and small trees that used to hide it, as after an initial flurry of work back in October I have not seen any noticeable change.

I am still suspicious of what is being done and fear that it may be more interference where none is needed. The pond was something of a secret before and I hope that with new planting it will be again.

2 February 2013

In to Ham Common Woods

There are many ways in to Ham Common Woods and the main ones, like this one, have unhelpful signs telling you what you already knew. This is the entrance next to the junction of Church Road and Latchmere Lane and so is the main entrance for those living in North Kingston.