31 December 2013

New home for Ham and Petersham Cricket Club

The new home for Ham and Petersham Cricket Club on Upper Ham Road is a much more impressive building that the flat-roofed shack that it replaced. Now it has a pitched roof like its two neighbours which it somewhat puts to shame with its newness.

30 December 2013

Broken window

Ivy House and Cottage are an odd couple in Winter as the different ivies respond differently to the changing weather. Now a broken window further breaks the symmetry.

29 December 2013

Closing Cassel Hospital

The "To Let" sign on the Cassel Hospital marks the end of an era. The building has had many uses in its history and now its days as a hospital appear to be over. I am not sure who will take the building on in its current configuration but I suspect that its ultimate destiny will be as part of a major housing development.

Whatever happens next the end of the hospital means the end of the little features that mark it as thus. Features like this notice.

27 December 2013

Opening up Oak Lodge

Oak Lodge has appeared in this blog a few times over the years, often with a complaint that it is partially obscured by cars etc. For a while at least, all that has changed.

On the Ham Farm Road new trees have been planted that are the same height as the wall. I presume that they will be allowed to grow and to hide some of the house but until then there is a good view of the building.

Bigger changes are happening on the Upper Ham Road side. The wall has been replaced and the new one looks as though it will have railings in to and that will really open up that side of the house.

There is extensive work going on in the garden too and I shall make a point of walking past there regularly until all the work is complete.

26 December 2013

Painting to impress

I quite like this house in Ham Farm Road and have included pictures of it before but I am not sure that it is worth the £3.6m that is currently being asked for it. Obviously other people think so too and it has been on the market for quite a while. In what I take as a renewed effort to impress a potential buyer, the garden wall and garage have been treated to a new coat of paint.

To my mind that just highlights a problem with the house, the poor standard of the original finish. Painting part of the property merely makes the paintwork on the main house look even worse, and the house is but a few years old.

Dance Active's nutcracker soldiers

Dance Active has been on Ham Parade for three and a half years now and is firmly established. They have started a tradition of decorating their shop, and hence the Parade, with a pair of nutcracker soldiers at Christmas and this is a tradition that I fully support.

They are clearly Christmassy but are pleasingly different from the normal Christmas decorations and they are a lot more prominent than the line of little trees above the shops.

23 December 2013

Polite notice

I have walked past this sign, where Parkleys becomes Ham Farm Road, many times and have always intended to record it for posterity but the vegetation had always been against me before. Even here the ivy does its best to obscure it.

21 December 2013

Shoring up the towpath

I like the towpath when the tide is coming in and have been deliberately trapped on benches a few times. The regular rush of water over the path damages it and it has to be patched up from time to time, especially in the area near to Douglas Footpath.

The latest repairs included building up the bank to the ditch on the land side of the towpath, presumable to encourage the path to stay where it is rather than fall in to the ditch.

20 December 2013

Walking past Ham House

I go to Ham House a few times a year and I walk past it a lot more, mostly along this path on the East side of the house as it is on my usual route to/from Richmond.

This is one of the connected paths that make up Ham Avenues which run from Sandy Lane (by Grey Court School) to the river and on past Ham Polo and the German School to Petersham.

17 December 2013

Shabby shed

This shabby but utterly charming shed is part of the Ham House estate and is normally hidden behind gates. Finding gates like this open on a walk is always a joy.

The scene appealed to me in the same way that abstract art does, through the combination of shapes and colours. It is the little things like the green watering can that I like.

15 December 2013

The cafe spreads at Petersham Nurseries

One of the purposes of this blog is to note the changes that are being made in Ham (and Petersham) as these sometimes sneak up on us and then we suddenly realise that all the little changes that we missed have combined to become something significant. Nowhere is this more true than at Petersham Nurseries.

The cafe and restaurants areas have been spreading relentlessly over the last few years displacing plants and pots as they do so. Now the tables and chairs have reached the far end and the plants are fighting a rear-guard action in the North-West corner.

13 December 2013

Bright lights

Perhaps they have always been like this and I have not noticed before but walking down Riverside Drive I was struck at how bright the lights in the block of flats in Hardwicke Road were.

2 December 2013

Storm damage

The recent storm caused some damage but probably not as much as some feared. Along the section of the towpath between Teddington Lock and Ham House a few trees were uprooted and fell across the path. These were all growing on the river side of the path and so had less firm foundations than the other trees.

Walkers quickly made new routes around the fallen trees though passage must have been a lot harder for cyclists. The trees were cleared in a few days and everything was soon back to normal.