30 December 2014

Cleared site at 57 Ham Street

There is now no sign of the house that used to be 57 Ham Street or of its garden. The site has been cleared ready for the new house that is going to be built there and its size can now be appreciated and it is a lot bigger than it looked to me before.

The one sign of the old house that remains, for the moment, is the number 57 attached to a fence post in the front-right corner of the plot.

28 December 2014

Remembering the Water Gipsies

The Water Gipsies is one of the pubs that have disappeared since I moved to Ham. There are four altogether, or five if you include The Dysart which is now a restaurant that reluctantly serves drinks sometimes. It used to be on the corner of Ashburnham Road and Croft Way. I only went there once and all I recall of it is the red leatherette benches that used to be familiar in pubs.

Bizarrely I found this memory of it in a front garden in Maguire Drive. I say bizarrely because I had spotted the Crooked Billet sign in the side garden of a house there some years ago but had never walked past the front of the house where this sign sits proudly.

I do not normally retouch photos posted here as I want to show Ham as it is, but I did this time to make the most of the faded colours.

27 December 2014

Empty milk bottles

The little row of cottages next to Ormeley Lodge are pretty enough with their neat brickwork, trim windows and smart gardens but I liked the way that this row of milk bottles stood proudly on one of the doorsteps. I was not certain if they were genuine and I hope that they were not and that they were placed there just for their aesthetic merit.

26 December 2014


I had been meaning to go out for a walk all day but other things got in the way and I was not able to until late afternoon. As it turned out that was the best time to go as the sunset was magnificent. I started taking photos as I walked down Dukes Avenue and this one was taken near the junction with Craig Road.

I headed for the section of Ham Lands next to the Locksmeade Road development as there were no buildings in site there. By then, even though it was just a few minutes later, the sun had almost disappeared and was leaving a final red flourish as it did so.

19 December 2014

Managing the trees on Ham Gate Avenue

One of my regular short walks takes me all around the main section of Ham Common Woods. For reasons unknown, I almost always do this counter-clockwise which means that I have the long straight walk along Ham Gate Avenue towards the end of the walk. The straightness I do not like but the overhanging trees I do.

I am always careful when walking under the branches and it is reassuring to know that the trees are being managed to keep them safe. On this walk I noticed that several branches had been cropped, one tree had been cropped so that only the trunk remained and another tree looked marked for replacement.

The branchless tree had an impressive display of fungi and that may be why it has escaped replacement. Ham Common Woods is a natural area and while it needs some management that should be to protect its natural habitats, not to protect the ordered view. Nature has its own beauty.

14 December 2014

Christmas dogs at Ormeley Lodge

I have never noticed the Christmas decorations at Ormeley Lodge before but I presume that was more for my lack of looking than anything else. When I walked along Ham Gate Avenue today it was the large Christmas Wreath that I noticed first and it was only as I approached the front gate that I noticed the dogs.

13 December 2014

AK05 FFC blocks the road

The short stretch of road between the garage on Ham Cross and Ham Parade is a popular place for bad parking despite being one of the most dangerous and awkward places to do so as this is where the two lanes of north-bound traffic fight to become one.

I wish Richmond Council had the good sense to point a camera at this point, and at the section of double-yellow lines outside Wendy's Workshop. There is little point in having parking restrictions if you are not going to police them sufficiently.

12 December 2014

A new house off Petersham Road

It would be easy enough to miss this new house as it is hidden behind others on Petersham Road and the main clue that it is there is that the lane approaching it has been resurfaced.The old surface was good enough for the other residents but the new house is on the market for £5m and so the approach has to impress to.

This block, almost a gate house, is an annex that I guess is intended to be for servants as if I was a granny I would want to be in the big house. Part of the main house can just be glimpsed on the right but it is mostly hidden behind a tall wall and solid gate.

24 November 2014

Cottages in Wiggins Lane

Wiggins Lane tries to keep itself private by hiding behind Ham Street and by not going anywhere but the attractive cottages there mean that I walk along there quite often.

Pointers Cottages is the row of cottages along side that footpath that  continues on to Stretton Road while the road turns towards Woodville Road. The sign that announces them is clearly visible and, judging by the square font, quite old.

The  cottages themselves are always pretty with their white walls, colourful woodwork and thick foliage.

Wiggins Cottages are toward the Ham Street end of the road and are set slightly further back. Their sign is a lot harder to find and looks a lot newer.

20 November 2014

Bright paving on Petersham Road

I am sure that it will weather to a darker hue but while it is young the new paving along Petersham Road is strikingly bright.

15 November 2014

Something is wrong in Petersham Road

One by one it seems that all of the Mock-Tudor house that lie in the stretch of Petersham Road south of Sandy Lane are being modernised. In most cases the garages were included in to the house some years ago and the current spate of enhancements are enlarging the houses even further. Often this means going upwards.

In every case but one the remodelling of the roof has kept the original style (above) with thick terracotta tiles and jagged ridges.

The one exception is this work-in-progress. The colour is more or less in keeping with its neighbours but the thin slates produce a very different pattern and the ridges have no pattern at all.

As a result the house shouts out its difference as you walk past and that section of the road looks slightly less grand than it did.

3 November 2014

Exotic plants in Woodville Road

I have admired this garden in Woodville Road for some time and it has taken me far too long to finally get around to taking a photo of it. It belongs to one of the few houses in Woodville Road at the west end of the road that are part of the Wates Estate and it gives me a boost every time that I walk past it.

29 October 2014

More bold art by Ham Village Green

Ham Village Green is gradually being surrounded by bold colourful art, and I like it.

First there was the mural on the Ashburnham Road end of the shops, then the Ham Youth Centre joined in and now the other end of the parade of shops has been brightened up with the addition of a tree, some flowers, a butterfly, a bird and a few bees.

25 October 2014

Wild garden in Burnell Avenue

I walk in the area around Teddington Lock regularly and usually this means going along the tow path as that is the prettiest route but I also like to explore all the highways and byways in Ham and so I also walk along Burnell Avenue from time to time.

I find it something of an odd road as almost every house has been extended or changed differently and so it lacks coherence and with house on only one side of the road it lacks something of a sense of place too.

Among the jumble of houses is this one where the front garden has been allowed to grow even more wild than mine.

23 October 2014

Vintage Wedding Dresses has arrived

The lone shop at the top end of Ham Parade has now been taken over by Vintage Wedding Dresses. In an attempt to improve its visibility the shop has gone for an unusual split pink/grey colour scheme with the two colours clashing down the centre of the door. I like it and I hope that it works for them.

22 October 2014

Autumn brings reds to Ham

I might as well give up on giving up on taking Autumnal pictures as every year I end up taking several despite my best intentions not too. This year though I have managed to temper my picture taking a little and selected just three taken during a short walk to sum up the mood and the colour of the season.

Langham House gets featured, not for the first time, because of its wonderful ivy.

Venturing along Ham Street these reds and greens demanded my attention because of the way that they were presented against a plain mottled background.

Further along the road and then off to the side to walk behind Beaufort House, I found a wall of leaves that were each choosing their own time to change producing a mix of colours from light green to dark red.

7 October 2014

Princess Alice Hospice shop on Ham Parade

This was Giftbox for almost forever and then was empty for a while and now it is a Princess Alice Hospice shop.

I have mixed feelings about this. Almost any shop is better than an empty space but I miss Giftbox and we already have one charity shop just  few doors up the Parade. This is not  shop that I expect to visit, whereas Giftbox was, so it is dead-zone to me, as are the estate agents and bookies. These places bring some colour to the Parade but not much life.

5 October 2014

Green space by Burnell Avenue

There is much to like about Ham and high on my list is the amount of green space that there is. A lot of this comes under the broad heading of Ham Lands, that ribbon of open space that borders the river all the way round the large curve from Lower Ham Road to River Lane.

Ham Lands has various characters from the untamed to the domesticated and this section is one of the tamer ones and is often used for games and picnics. There was something happening on the day that I took that and almost hidden by the trees in the centre of a picture is a marquee and  small gathering of people around it.

4 October 2014

Cottages in Wiggins Lane

The little row of neat white cottages in Wiggins Lane is one of Ham's nice surprises.There are some other similar looking cottages in the area, especially in Ham Street, but these have the advantage of being hidden away from casual visitors and of not being blighted by cars on a busy road.

27 September 2014

24a Dysart Avenue by Eric Lyons

I was well aware of the existence of the new house at 24a Dysart Avenue but it was only recently that I discovered that it was designed (in 1948) by Eric Lyons before he became famous with his Span company for developments like Parkleys.

21 September 2014

Open door to a hidden garden

One of my favourite things (I lead a simple life) is to find a door unexpectedly open as I walk past. This one on Ham Common Avenue let me see into a small courtyard garden and hinted at a larger garden beyond that. The wheelbarrow made the view even more interesting.

14 September 2014

Ham Common Library

As the former Giftbox becomes another charity shop on Ham Parade it reveals something of its past. Behind the old Giftbox sign are the remnants of an even older sign for Ham Common Library.

13 September 2014

Clearing the way

This bungalow in Ham Street has intrigued me for years but it has spent most of that time all but hidden behind its mature garden. Suddenly the garden has been cleared and the bungalow has nowhere to hide.

11 September 2014

Late Summer flowers on Ham Village Green

It is well into September and the wild flowers on Ham Village Green are still putting on a jolly display. They certainly brightened up my walk across the Green to Ham Street.

Wild flowers are very popular at the moment, and it with displays like this it is easy to see why, so I am pleased that Richmond Council is gradually spreading them across the area. They can now be seen from the Dysart to Dukes Avenue and I hope that there are more to come.

7 September 2014

The New n

I have not been paying as much attention to the signs on The New Inn as I should have done.

The two signs used to read, left to right, "The New Inn" and "Ham Common" but the sign on the right is far more visible to passers by that it made sense to swap them around and put "The New Inn" in the more prominent position.

Now other changes are being made, though I do not know what yet. On the night this was taken (I had just popped in there for a drink) the "Inn" had been reduced to "n" and a day later the sign was completely letter-less.

Watch this space to see what happened next.

6 September 2014

LC61 EJV on double-yellows

When I retire I am going to offer to work part-time for Richmond Council taking photos, like this one, of people breaking the parking regulations on Ham Parade. If I could get just a small share of the fines collected then I would be well paid. Until then all I can do is name-and-shame a few of them.

I had the bonus this time of being seen by the returning driver so he knows that his crime has been recorded and, just possibly, the shame of that may make him think a little next time.

4 September 2014

A fresh look at Oak Lodge

I took a few pictures of Oak Lodge during the extensive works to the grounds and I thought that I would end this story with a picture of the house as now seen from Ham Common.At the moment it looks very white and very stark, and I like it like that, but the new trees will grow all too quickly to obscure the house once again.

31 August 2014

Forlorn garages in Cave Road

I don't think that I have ever walked along Cave Rod and as it is a short no-through-road I think that I am unlikely too, but I do walk along Riverside Drive regularly and can see along Cave Road from the point where they almost meet.

That end of Cave Road is lined with garages. They look rather sad and unloved as they wait for something to happen to them.

27 August 2014

Ham Pond (Summer 2014)

I have taken lots of photos of Ham Pond over the years but a couple more will not hurt as it is a little different each time I pass by and it is always pretty.

This time the area around the pond was looking especially green and healthy. It had not been a particularly wet Summer but it had not been that dry either and the vegetarian had done well in those conditions.

23 August 2014

BenForrest has arrived

It was sad to see Mia Wood go but at least the shop was reoccupied quickly.

Mia Wood sold small expensive things and I used to shop their occasionally. I bought all my birthday cards there and a few birthday presents too. Obviously I and others did not do that often enough and now it has gone. And that's a shame.

Replacing it is another hairdressers, BenForrest, which joins Le Look Image, Headmasters Academy and Murray's. I understand that he is bringing most of his customers from his previous place in which case he should not harm the existing businesses and my even bring new people in to the other shops on the parade.

19 August 2014

Northweald Lake

I mentioned Northweald Lake in a recent post about the resurfacing of Dukes Avenue and a few days later it rained heavily to show what I mean.

The dark colour of the new road surface masks the water a little but the extended reflection on the bus' rear lights show how far the water stretches.

But there is nothing like a vehicle going through the water to show just how much there is.

18 August 2014

Ivy on Langham House

Langham House is featured here regularly because I walk past it frequently, it is a very attractive and it changes pleasingly with the seasons. That is three good reasons.

16 August 2014

Tree Close, Petersham

Tree Close is one of those little corners of Ham and Petersham that managed to escape my attention for some years. I knew where it was obviously (it is just off the entrance to the German School) but the entrance made clear that it was private and there was nothing obvious to make me ignore the sign.

When the opportunity did come to venture in I was rather disappointed even though the new house at the entrance was attractive enough.

The main body of the close consisted of dark brick bungalows with equally dark roofs. They looked reasonable of themselves but they did not look like Ham and the wide tarmacked access road rather spoilt things.

9 August 2014

Night working on Dukes Avenue

It does not seem that long ago since it was last done but apparently it was time for Dukes Avenue to be resurfaced again. The work was done over two nights to minimise the impact on residents but it still meant that I had to park on Ham Parade overnight.

The resurfacing did nothing to improve the drainage and Northweald Lake was quick to reappear in the next burst of heavy rain.

6 August 2014

Wild flowers on Dukes Avenue

The usual approach that Councils have taken to brightening up odd grassy areas has been to plant daffodils. This is reasonable but they are quite short lived and as every Council does this there is a splurge of yellow for a few weeks and then nothing for the rest of this year.

So it was a very pleasant surprise to find the Richmond Council had planted some wild flowers on the triangle of grass on the junction between Dukes Avenue and Craig Road.

The picture at the top is looking north-west towards Craig Road and the one above is looking the other way long Dukes Avenue. The grass is struggling a little in the warm dry Summer but the flowers look magnificent.

And they look even better when you get up-close to them.

5 August 2014

Swans on Ham Pond (2014)

I was not planning on posting any pictures of the swans this year as I have shown them many times before and many other people take photographs of them but I keep walking across Ham Common and that usually means that I go near the Pond and that means that I take some photos there and that means that there are swans in some of them.

The compromise that I have reached with myself is to post just a few photos from this year and to put them all together. The first of these photos was taken in May and the last in August. The cygnets grew a lot in that time.

One of the nice milestones each year is when the swans become confident enough to take their young brood on to the grass. There were still six cygnets in mid-June but there are now five.

In early August the cygnets are almost the same size as their parents, only their colour gives them away.