28 April 2014

Vintage wedding dresses coming soon

This shop changes hands more often than any other on Ham Parade and while it is sad to see a shop go it is also heartening that another one is ready to take its place. Vintage wedding dresses looks like a good idea to me as they are high value, low turnover and so do not rely on passing trade to the same extent that a lot of shops do.

27 April 2014

BG10 MWK occupies the pavement

This is Northweald Lane in Royal Park Gate just where it crosses the wide path to the river and I usually take this route when walking in to Kingston as it is prettier than walking down the main road. This time I had to walk in to the road as BG10 MWK was parked across the pavement, blocking it completely.

The strange angle of the parking, with one wheel on the road, two on the pavement and one on the drive of the house it was visiting, suggested that this was a temporary stay, perhaps on some urgent mission, but it was still there when I returned a little over an hour later forcing me again to walk in to the road to get around it.

There were places to park close by in Northweald Lane and so there was simply no excuse for such inconsiderate parking.

26 April 2014

Walking around the gardens at Ham House

Being a member of the National Trust means that I can go to Ham House as often as I like and I like to go often. My favourite walks are in Ham Lands and that usually means walking past Ham House at some point and I prefer to walk around the garden than past it.

As a creature of habit, I almost always go around the garden counter-clockwise starting with the Kitchen Garden before moving on to my favourite section, The Wilderness at the far end of the rear garden.

The Wilderness has several small gardens separated by hedges and with wide paths between them. This is where all the children go to play hide-and-seek, as they should.

The Cherry Garden on the east side of Ham House is the last one that I go to. Here geometry reigns supreme.

21 April 2014

Gate House Garden off Ham Common

Gate House Garden sits on the south-east corner of Ham Common formed by Upper Ham Road and Ham Common (the confusingly named road). It is maintained by Ham Amenities Group who purchased this little plot of land for that purpose.

Behind it sits Morgans House and the Cassel Hospital. Morgans House is the block with the white rendering and the brick section next to it. To the right of that is Cassel Hospital with the railings over the windows.

The point of Gate House Garden is to provide a spot of tranquillity and beauty and there is seating to encourage people to pause for a while and to take it all in.

The garden is long and thin, stretching along Ham Common (the road). From one of the seats you can look over the garden and the road toward Ham Common (the common).

The planting is thick and varied, which compensates for its small size.There is a surprising amount to see and enjoy there and like to walk slowly through it at different times of the year to see what changes the new season has brought.

Gate House Garden is only small but its prominent position, precise design and careful maintenance make it a real asset to the area.

20 April 2014

Sudbrook Cottages

Sudbrook Cottage and its neighbours have gone through some bug changes over the years but through all that they have kept their charm and they still look like a pretty row of small cottages.

Some of them have been combined to make bigger dwellings and a closer look reveals where doors and windows used to be.

The semi-rural setting and the tidy front gardens help too. Putting all that together makes these one of the cutest rows of cottages locally. Others can be found on Ham Common (west side), Wiggins Lane (pointers Cottages) and Sandpits Road (Pooles Cottages).

13 April 2014

Sunset over Ham Common Woods

This blog is meant to be a pictorial record of Ham and how it is changing, a sort of slow-moving Domesday Book, but just occasionally I am tempted to slip in something (possibly) a little artistic.

I was walking along Ham Gate Avenue, passing Ormeley Lodge, when I looked across the road towards Ham Common Woods and saw the sun setting through it.

12 April 2014

Open spaces under threat at Latchmere House

The plans have been submitted for the HM Prison Latchmere House site and I do not like them. Of course the existing prison buildings are ugly, as is the tall wall that surrounds them, so anything that replaces them is likely to be better but the new development is planning to extend well beyond the existing walls in to the green spaces around them.

This is the view from just inside the entrance off Church Road looking towards the Latchmere House. The plans are to build a pair of houses on this part of the site.

The real problem is on the Latchmere Lane side. Currently there is a lot of open space between the road and the wall but almost all of what you can see here is due to go. Houses are planned for the far end and, with the wall gone, there will be hard paths, or even a road, across here into the new development.

It is the open spaces that make Ham what it is and to lose some like this would be very bad news.

11 April 2014

Refitting at Ham Library

The extension to Ham Library happened a few months ago and I have been there a couple of times for meetings of Ham United Group. It has taken me this long to post pictures of it because every time that I have been there it was wet and/or dark.

Some time ago a housing office was stuck on the side of Ham Library. The extension is very like the old building and only a slight difference in the colour of the brickwork gives the game away.

Now the office has been refashioned for community use with a good size meeting room and another room with some utility services (I've not been in there to check what they are).

The library and community space are nothing to look at, and that is a little disappointing, but they provide useful services so it's a welcome feature of the area.

10 April 2014

Still working on Teddington Lock

The works have been going on for several months now and that means that there has been something interesting to see whenever I have walked past. On this day the light was ideal to watch the men at work and their machinery.

6 April 2014

Fixing the alleyway behind Ham Parade

The last time that I featured the alleyway behind the west side of Ham Parade was to highlight the large puddles. Now the section by the car workshop has been repaired with a solid layer of concrete.

I presume that the bollards have been added to deter anybody who might of been thinking of using the improved road as a short-cut around the traffic lights, much as some use the filling-station forecourt.

3 April 2014

Ormeley Lodge at night

This will probably be my last night-time photo for a while as the clocks have changed and we have passed the Spring Solstice so it is now still light when I go out for a walk.

I like the way that Ormeley Lodge is lit as this highlights the original part of the house and hides the less attractive later additions.