31 May 2014

Ham Fair is on Saturday 14 June 2014

This publicity is rolling out for this year's Ham Fair and the most prominent piece is the banner above the Gate House Garden on the south-east corner of Ham Common.

Further details are given on the noticeboard at the front of the garden. The leaflet on the left advertises the photography competition that is being run as part of the fair which, as the leaflet explains, I have been asked to judge because I run this blog.

The disappointing thing is that the community board that Richmond Council installed on Ham Parade says nothing about Ham Fair or, for that matter, Petersham Open Gardens. Last year HUG were forced to stick posters on the outside of the glass on the community board. What is the point of community boards if the community cannot use them?

28 May 2014

No Through Road Here

The most controversial part of the proposed schemes for the redevelopment of the former HM Latchmere House site is the additional access road included in the larger of the two schemes. The current site is accessed via Church Road and both proposals retain this but the larger scheme adds access via Latchmere Lane.

Clearly residents are opposed to the idea.

The reason for opposing a new junction on Latchmere Lane is because this is a tricky section of road with bends, other junctions and traffic calming measures. The road is a "rat-run" to Richmond Park and so draws a lot of traffic.

The white strip in the centre of the picture is the back of the banner and shows where the new road would go.

Just beyond where the new road is planned (the Latchmere House site is on the left) an other traffic calming measure reduces Latchmere Lane to a single lane road with priority given to oncoming traffic.

I think that the road is so controversial that it will never be built but that is no excuse for complacency and I am glad that residents are taking such a public stand against it.

27 May 2014

Orange and grey roofs

One of my favourite detours is along the footpath that runs behind Petersham Road from its junction with Sandy Lane up to Meadlands Drive. Passing along there recently a bright orange sheet alerted me to some extensive works being done on one of the cottages on Petersham Road.

That orange sheet alone would have been enough to make me reach for my camera and the picture was made even more interesting (for me) by the contrast with the grey sheet next to it and by the temporary boarding along the back of the house that held the promise of more changes to come.

24 May 2014

Pointless path completed

The pointless path next to the small pond by Ham Gate (the start of Latchmere Brook) has now been completed. It is pointless because it suggests that it goes somewhere as it slides around the pond but it ends abruptly just beyond where it disappears out of sight in this picture.

My objection to these (and other) paths is that they have removed the mystery of exploration. Inquisitive explorers do not follow man-made paths. The people behind this silly scheme seem to have forgotten what it means to be young.

21 May 2014

Construction signs

Grey Court School is being extended and the entrance to the construction site on Ham Street delights in its use of colourful warning signs.

13 May 2014

Wild zone at Cassel Hospital

The north section of the Cassel Hospital plot is a wild zone hidden behind a wooden fence. It is not a very tall fence so it is easy to look over it to see what is going on.

Normally that is nothing but it looks less wild than it did as some work has been done on it. And that could be a problem as badgers live here and their habitats are protected by law. Obviously there is a suspicion that this is being done to clear the area ready for houses when the large and prominent Cassel Hospital site is sold. This is just a suspicion and local organisations are monitoring the situation.

11 May 2014

More changes on Ham Parade

 Ham Parade is a vibrant place and that means that it is changing all the time with some of the changes being larger than others.

The launderette on the west side is now promoting itself as a laptop and mobile repair centre. It is also selling some related equipment, such as computer mice, and these are in the two new white cabinets in the front window.

 Three doors south of the launderette is the site of the former Giftbox which closed some time ago. In recent weeks the shop has been stripped back to basics and various things seem to have been done to the utilities services. Now it is on the market looking for a new owner.

5 May 2014

Two sides of Ormeley Lodge

Ormeley Lodge always rewards a walk along Ham Gate Avenue and is often my reason for going that way rather than through the woods. The view from this side shows clearly how the original houses has been extended over the years.

 The view from the other side changed recently when two large trees fell victim to the Winter winds and wets. The wounds they left can be seen in the grass.

3 May 2014

Rebuilding in Ham Street

One of the houses in Ham Street is having a substantial amount of work done to it and I'll be keeping an eye on progress in the coming weeks. Looking through the front door it is clear that the house is being completely changed inside and the little patch of remaining white render at the top of the house shows that the outside is being changed too.