27 March 2013

Road closed for migrating toads

It is that time of year again when the hibernating toads in Ham Common Woods head to Richmond Park oblivious to the traffic on Church Road. Luckily for them we are not oblivious to their plight and until 1 April that section of the road is closed to traffic.

23 March 2013

Clearing the wall

The more visible works on the walls around the Ham House estate on the Ham Street side are continuing on the other side where the scrub is being cleared from the wall to reveal more of its beauty. This section of the wall looks to be in good condition so I'll be interested to see if they do anything to it.

17 March 2013

Water in Ham Lands

Ham Lands is a natural flood plain and its main function is to absorb the excess water that comes with extreme tides or rain fuelled swells. Most of the towpath remains dry (there are some notable exceptions) and the river forces its way under it to get the waiting lands.

As a result the flood water is most obvious next to the towpath. This can be clearly seen where the two main paths join the towpath. In both places wooden bridges rise above the water so that walkers can watch the river rise and spread without getting wet themselves.

The patch of water here has been trapped between the solid raised barriers formed by the towpath and Ham Street. Beyond the water is a recreation ground. This is an informal play space and just behind the line of trees is St George's Field that is properly maintained to support a range of sports.

15 March 2013

Keeping an eye on Thames Young Mariners

It is a few years now since the grounds at Thames Young Mariners were stripped of their trees and anything else that dared to grow on the land. Every time I walk along the towpath I have a good look at the land to see how well it is recovering. Progress is being made but it will be many a year before there are mature trees there again, and that assumes that they are allowed to do so.

10 March 2013

Ham Parade (south-east spur)

There is a little spur to Ham Parade that leads off the south-east corner towards Tudor Drive. It has escaped my attention for so long because this is a busy junction and it is hard to find it without cars spoiling the view. This day I was lucky.

There have been some changes to the shops since I moved to Ham seventeen years ago. William Hill has come and taken two units and Taylor's is new too. Gone are an Italian restaurant, Pepino's, and Marianne's, a women's clothes shop.

7 March 2013

New Club House

The Ham and Petersham Cricket Club are getting a new club house, at least I hope they are. The shed next to the Hand and Flower is being completely rebuilt and the light wooden skeleton makes quite a dramatic statement.

6 March 2013

A final look at Pond House

I have been following the works being done on Pond House for almost exactly two years and now it all seems to be finished. More surprisingly it looks not that different from what it did beforehand as the photo I took in 2007 shows.

4 March 2013

Refreshed wall

I have posted several photos of the brick wall in Ham Street by the junction with Riverside Drive showing first its state of disrepair and then, more recently, the work being done to repair it. This section of the wall shows what it looks like once those works have been completed.

3 March 2013

Working on the wall

Major work is underway on part of the wall around the Ham House estate that runs along Ham Street. There are some general repairs being done and the top is being completely rebuilt. The mixed brickwork is in keeping with the rest of the wall though it will be interesting to see how long the new bricks look new. Not too long I hope.

1 March 2013

Pipe laying in the Wates Estate

The Wates Estate is a significant and distinctive part of Ham and so I like to feature it here regularly. The excuse to do so this time came from the National Grid who are carving a path through the estate to carry some of their pipes or wires. Neither are evident so I cannot tell which one it is.