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.