29 January 2014

Dusk over Ham Common

I think of Ham Common as the heart of Ham,even though it is some way off the geographic centre, and so it is only natural that it appears here regularly. The obvious reason for taking this picture was the stark shapes made by the skeletal trees.

25 January 2014

Lion on guard in Lauderdale Drive

Ham has grown in clearly defined stages over the years. This has produced areas of markedly different architecture from the old cottage in and around Ham Street to the family houses in the Wates Estates. Two features that have generally been maintained in each expansion are the public spaces and the alleyways that keep the area connected.

The notable exception to these rules is the enclave created by Lauderdale Drive and Arlington Road. And it is because these roads do not go anywhere and there is nothing worth seeing there that I rarely use these roads. I do venture down them from time to time just in case something interesting has appeared but their lack of appearance in this blog over seven years shows just how fruitless those journeys have been.

The last time I was there I was determined to take at least one photo, if nothing else, to prove that this I do go there and the best that I could come up with was this lion.

It will be a long while before I go back again.

24 January 2014

Colourful windows at the German School

The German School, sitting quietly on Petersham Avenue, is one of the most interesting buildings locally thanks to its unashamedly modern look. It has become even more interesting with the addition of some colourful windows at the back. Luckily Douglas Footpath ventures behind the school allowing the windows to be seen be inquisitive walkers.

19 January 2014

Ham Pond in Winter

Ham Pond looks good in many different weather conditions and from many different angles so it is no surprise that it features here regularly. This time it was the stark trees and the threatening clouds that appealed to me just as much as the ruffled water.

18 January 2014

Chic O'Pick is closing down

This shop unit at the north-west end of Ham Parade has always struggled and it changes hands far more often than any of the others. Chic O'Pick has been there since October 2010 but now it too is going to close. It's a shame but I suspect that the location, lacking the regular footfall of the main part of the parade, will always be a problem.

16 January 2014

Pond House

I had intended the picture that I took in March to be my final word on the refurbishment of Pond House on but walking past it yet again I was tempted to take a picture that included the front garden. A lot of work was done  on the house and, I presume, a great deal of money was spent but the end result while pristine is massively unimpressive.

15 January 2014

Tollemache Almshouses

A new photo of the Tollemache Almshouses on Ham Street was long overdue and has finally arrived.

My original picture focused more on the ugly sign at the front than the houses themselves and this time I wanted to just show the nice things about the almshouses, which includes their front gardens and the railings between them.

14 January 2014

More things on Ham Village Green

Ham Village Green is changing gradually and each time I stop to look at it there seems to be more there. These new things are around the edges, in the corners created by the parade of shops, and so they do not intrude on the openness of the heart of the Green.

The latest additions are to the play area facing Ashburnham Road. The logs and stones have been there for a while but the two pieces of apparatus are new.

13 January 2014

Cleaning up Ham Avenues

I am not a member of the Ham and Petersham Association (mostly because they have a bizarre view of where Ham is) and I am not really sure what they do anyway so it was interesting to discover that they are planning to clean up Ham Avenues.

I have no objection to the clearing but I suspect that the pruning will upset me. I walk the Avenues regularly and cannot think of anywhere that needs pruning and I fear that more interference will make them even less natural looking and so less attractive to me.

10 January 2014

Transformation of Headmasters

Headmasters has been closed for a few weeks for a major refurbishment with people working in there at odd times. Hence this unusual combination of all the lights on but the windows occluded so that only the barest outlines of what lies inside can be seen.

6 January 2014

Pointless path

I am a keen advocate of more facilities for cyclists, being an occasional one myself and having a strong respect for their health and environment benefits, but it frustrates me that too often the extra lanes are put where they are not needed. This is a case in point.

The new shared cycle/pedestrian path along Riverside Drive is empty. As is the wide road next to it. And the pavement opposite. Cycling has never been difficult here and so the cycle path is a waste of space and money. Money that could have been spent on meaningful measures somewhere else.

3 January 2014

Looking upstream

I have probably taken this picture before (as have many other people) but this was another day and the peace of the scene and the quality of the light made me capture it again.

Teddington Lock is a local gem and I cannot walk past without first walking on to the little island to have another look around. The locks are always interesting, even when boats are not passing through, and the gardens are always attractive.

2 January 2014

Along the towpath

One of my favourite walks is along this stretch of the towpath heading north-west towards Teddington Lock; the weir can be seen in the top-left corner of the photo. Once at the Lock I have lots of choices on where to walk next from the long walk long the river to Ham House or right to Riverside Drive. In both cases there are further decisions to make before finally turning back towards home.

I took this photo for two reasons; the sunlight was doing its best to make the place look pretty and, very unusually, there were no other people around at the time. For some reason it was quiet despite the lovely weather. This was just before Christmas so I suspect everybody else was shopping. Their mistake.

1 January 2014

Giftbox may be on the way back

Giftbox was only open in its new guise, as a gift shop rather than a stationers, for a short while before it closed for refurbishment. That was some time ago and I was not sure that Giftbox was coming back. That is still not certain but something is being done inside now.