23 December 2015

Neat house in Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane seems to be in a continual state of flux, and more so than any other road locally, with more than one house being worked on every time that I walk along there. Somewhere in this turmoil this house, number 14, acquired a fresh coat of cream paint, some tidy grey windows and some well shaped trees to set them off. The combination works.

20 December 2015

24 Sandy Lane is being renovated

Sandy Lane had a diverse range of house and these are gradually being extended and enhanced in diverse ways, further adding to the variety of housing in the road. I do not know the full extent of what is happening to 24 but the hole dug at the back shows the extent to which it is being extended in that direction.

I quite like the recent renovations in Sandy Lane and I look forward to seeing how this one turns out.

19 December 2015

Greggs goes grey

In a recent refresh, not serious enough to be called a make-over, Greggs went grey; it had been yellow.

I was surprised to see that I had not taken a picture of the shop before (other than in a general picture of the parade) despite it being there for some years. I suspect that was mostly because the shop is usually very untidy with signs and bags of rubbish on the pavement outside and this view obscured by vehicles parked on the double-yellow lines.

14 December 2015

Christmas lights in Craig Road

In looking through this blog I was surprised at how few pictures there were of Christmas lights so I might try to do something about that this year, starting with this jolly collection in Craig Road. The two reindeer pulling the sleigh are lovely and the setting is made all the better by the background lights from the house next door.

12 December 2015

Ham Avenues

The paths and avenues that wind throughout Ham are one of the things that I like most about the area as they make it easy to get around on foot and to do so in pretty places untroubled by cars.

Great South Avenue, which runs from Ham Common to Sandy Lane, is a little bit too straight and ordered for my tastes but it is still far better than walking along a road.

As straight, but far more natural and with the benefit of a brick wall on one side, is that path that leads past Ham House to the river. It's a path I walk often, it is on my usual route to Richmond, and it still lifts me every time.

6 December 2015

Curved window in Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane has more variety in its houses than any other road locally (probably) which means that it is worth looking at all of them carefully when walking along there.

Number 30 looks unexceptional on a quick glance and could be easily overlooked but that would be a shame as the window is lovely. Not only does it curve around the corner of the house but it is also set off nicely by the red tiles beneath the glass.

5 December 2015

Getting ready for the Huf House to arrive

I spent most of the morning looking at Huf Häuser in Ulswater Close in Kingston Vale so I thought that I would check up on the one that is coming to Ham Street. The works are pretty well screened but there was just enough to be seen through a couple of gaps for me to know that it would be worth sticking my camera over the top to get a full view of the site.

Some of the features of the house can now be seen. There is a gap/trench between the external walls of the basement and the steel supports of the large hole that has been dug and this will allow some daylight into the rooms in the basement. The hole in the middle of the bed of concrete is for the stairs down to the basement.

The house is due to arrive in January and I am looking forward to seeing that.

29 November 2015

Period tiling at Cranmer Court

Unless you live there, there is little point in going down the access road that runs off Ham Parade between Wendy's Workshop and M & J Hardware which is a shame as a look up reveals this nice tiling on one of the walls to Cranmer Court.

28 November 2015

Beales Bros on Ham Parade

The long-time resident butcher R. Tucker closed this year on the death of the proprietor and works are now in place to convert it, I believe to yet another estate agents but I hope that is not true.

The one  bit of good news in all this is that a previous shop name, Beales Bros, has been revealed. It will be covered up again soon so I am glad that I was able to capture it before it went.

21 November 2015

Escaped horse

One of the points of this blog is to capture the changes in Ham that often go unnoticed and so I make a point of revisiting as many roads as possible as often as possible so that I can spot anything that has changed since the last time. Rarely are these changes as delightful as this one.

I presume that this horse was once on a carousel but now it has found a happy retirement in a garden in Church Road.

14 November 2015

Little House is lovely

Little House is one of my favourite houses locally and I ope that this picture shows why. It is not as grand as some of its neighbours but it more than makes up for that with its character which partially comes from the way that it has been extended to create different sections that work very well together. The planing on and around it helps too.

The final thing I like is the location. It sits prominently on the corner of Ham Common and New Road so we can, unusually, see two sides of it.

2 November 2015

The Old Bakery in Ham Street

The Old Bakery, as it is now called, in Ham Street has gone through a lot of changes in recent years and it looks as though all the major jobs have now finished.

The first big change was the addition of a bay window on the left. The old bricks were used to build the bay and the spaces created were filled in with bricks that are somewhat lighter than the old ones. The front porch is new too, as is the front wall and railings.

It looks neat enough but I cannot help feeling that it has rather overreached itself and has perhaps become a little bit pretentious.

31 October 2015

Neat extension in Arlington Road

I rarely go into the roads leading south off Sandy Lane as there is no way out except to go back to Sandy Lane and there is a not a great deal to see anyway. Of course the only way that I can be sure that there is still not a great deal to see is to go in to there from time to time to look for things.

On a recent walk through there I noticed this neat extension to a period house typical of the area, sitting on the corner of Arlington Road and Ashley Gardens. It is unforgiving modern and I love it for that.

25 October 2015

Major works to Ensleigh Lodge on Ham Common

One of the several major developments that I am watching at the moment is at Ensleigh Lodge on Ham Common, close to the junction with Lock Road.

The number of workmen involved, the time they have taken and the amount of noise that they have generated all suggest that major works are being done but, unlike its near-neigbour Gordon House, there is not much sign of those works from outside.

24 October 2015

Autumn colours (2015)

Every year patches of Ham turn red and yellow and while I tell myself that I am not going to take many pictures of Autumn colours I always do. The three photos I've selected were taken on a straight walk along Ham Street and Ham Common.

The first one is of one of the outbuildings at Ham House. The ivy there is always particularly noticeable because there are no other buildings next to it and it faces south-west so catches the sun (when there is some), whereas the other two are on the other side of the road and so see no direct sunlight.

This wonderful example is on one of the short terrace of houses opposite the Ham Brewery Tap. I like the way that the red/yellow ivy is starting to colonise the house to the left of it and the way that it contrasts with the still green ivy to the right of it.

The final example comes from Langham House. The house looked lovely when the ivy was in full leaf but most of it had gone when I took this. One of the remaining fragments to red formed a ring around a window and that was enough to get me reaching for my camera.

18 October 2015

A bright entrance to Milton Court

All of the Parkleys development is beautifully landscaped but somebody has made the entrance to Milton Court particularly bright and welcoming.

Milton Court sits on the bend in Parkleys road as it turns sharply right (from the Ham Parade direction) while Ham Farm Road joins at and leads off to the left. This means that the entrance is visible for some distance for anybody approaching it from Ham Parade, as I do several times a week.

I presume the flowers are maintained by residents in Milton Court and I am sure that many locals, including myself, are delighted that they do this.

16 October 2015

Walking some less trodden paths

As I am sure that I have said many times before, one of my very favourite things about Ham is the way that the network of footpaths let you flow through the area rather than having to follow the rigid routes of the roads. This is called permeability and I love it.

The footpaths that I was exploring this day were around Stretton Road. I had explored them several times before but, even so, I  think I found a path that I had not walked before.

The rewards for this exploration were dark mysterious passages, like the one above, and the opportunity to see things that few people ever see, like the shabby garden at the top.

15 October 2015

The hole in Ham Street gets bigger and deeper

It appears that the new house that is coming to Ham Street is going to have much more of a basement than I originally thought as the work to dig it out has been going on for some time. The space being dug seems to be the full footprint of the new building as defined by the steel walls.

8 October 2015

Some welcome flowers in Dukes Avenue

These flowers on the corner of Dukes Avenue and Craig Road have been brightening my walks recently as the weather had turned decidedly grey and autumnal. The flowers make the most of their modest patch though their varied shapes and colours.

This is what a wild flower garden should look like and I would like to see many more of them across Ham. The only other patch that I can think of is next to the Dysart Arms in Petersham.

4 October 2015

Autumn ivy on Langham House (2015)

I know that I have posted pictures of the red ivy on Langham House before but it is such a distinctive landmark on Ham Common each Autumn that it is worth showing it again.

Previously I have taken pictures from the Common side of the road so I thought I would do something different this year and take one from the same side of the road as Langham House looking up at it.

3 October 2015

Leaving Ham to go to Richmond

My self imposed border for this blog follows the towpath north and west as far a River Lane and then follows that road south to the main road and that is why I have never covered Petersham Meadow, or its cows. After eight years I have broken my own rule.

This is the towpath immediately to the west of River Lane and I was prompted to take the picture by the unconscious shock that the path had been resurfaced. I do not recall that being done in the twenty years that I have lived here and the wear and tear of the many years had made the path very uneven and a haven for puddles.

One of the causes for the wear and tear is the tide that sometimes climbs up the bank to cover the path. It will be interesting to see how long the path looks as good as this and how long it takes to get repaired again when the potholes return.

30 September 2015

A wooden curiosity among traditional bricks

One of the most prominent features on Ham Street is the line of pristine white cottages towards the Ham Common end of the road and because they grab so much attention it is easy to miss what happens when they end.

On the east side, heading north towards Evelyn Road, the cottages revert to the more common plain brick that dominates large areas of Ham, especially around Ham House. but before they do a little wood construction fills a gap. I presume that it is part of one of the houses either side of it but I do not know which one.

19 September 2015

Ham House at peace in its setting

Here Ham House looks ready for a sleep after a busy day entertaining visitors. Those visitors normally spoil this view, in my opinion, so I was pleased to take this picture through the front gates after the house had closed for the day.

The complexity of the house is nicely balanced by the simplicity of the approach to it with the stone path flowing around the lawn and both sides flanked by a lightly decorated wall and geometric hedges. The gravel paths that lead away on both sides hint at the life behind the walls.

18 September 2015

A closer look at Ham House

I much prefer the clean back of Ham House to its cluttered front but that does not mean that the front is without merit. I was passing the front recently on an evening walk when the sunlight drew my attention to the house and to the roofline in particular.

This picture is all about light and angles, and that is why I took it.

12 September 2015

Experimental classroom at Meadlands Primary School

The experimental classroom at Grey Court School is obvious because is at the front of the school as it faces Ham Street but the similar building at Meadlands Primary School is hidden behind the school. To see it, you have to do what I did and walk down the lane off Lock Road that leads to the pumping station.

I was walking down there to see the progress on the housing being built there and could not resist the temptation to look over the wall. The school grounds look massive and the white pod makes quite an impact even when surrounded by that much grass.

Zooming in reveals more detail on the pod and also gives a better impression of its size.

I have no idea what it is like inside, or how effective it is as a classroom, but I do like the way that it looks. It is striking without being outrageous.

6 September 2015

Works at Latch House are finished

I have been following four major construction projects over the last few months and one of them has just completed. The is Latch House off Ham Farm Road.

The approach to the house, and its neighbour, was a tired looking tarmac path that has now been repaired, had new edging added and then covered with fine gravel. It looks very attractive and far more welcoming than what was there before.

The new entrance to the house is attractive too and confirms that it is called Latch House.

The large pillars had solid wooden gate are somewhat less welcoming and successfully hide the ground floor of the house while the small upper floor windows reveal nothing of the house's character. It is now a very large house but its grandeur, or lack of it, is a mystery.

5 September 2015

Drilling big holes in Ham Street

I have been watching this plot in Ham Street for some months waiting for the new building to appear and it has been interesting to see the ground being prepared for this. The most recent development brought this most impressive machine to the site.

Clearly it is a drill and it is creating the deep holes required to keep the new building steady on its feet. I do not know the geology of the site but the gravel pits were close by so it is likely that the ground is not very solid. The previous house there was only a bungalow, like its neighbour, possibly for that reason.

31 August 2015

Watching the new Ham Glebe rise

One of my regular walks deliberately takes me past Ham Glebe on Church Road so that I can watch the new house taking shape. Works had something of a pause after the foundations were laid in June and then the bright red steel arrived and the house started to take shape.

With the second floor added it is clear how close to the trees that the house will be. A squirrel had certainly noticed that and was noisily throwing nuts on to the first floor as I passed.

30 August 2015

Extensions in Burnell Avenue

Burnell Avenue has collected more extensions and refurbishments than most roads and while there are some common themes, such as incorporating the garage and building on top of it, the end result is that all the houses now look different and what was once a row of similar brick houses is now a jumble of shapes and finishes. It is verging on being a mess but I think it has not quite got there yet.

This recent extension and renovation has gone for a more modern look than any of its neighbours and while I generally approve of the design I am a little disappointed in the lack of imagination shown and I think that the blue doors are a colour too far.

Not far away another house is in the early stages of its transformation journey and I will be interested to see how it turns out. Hopefully it will be worth another photo.

29 August 2015

T 9 LDU on double-yellows

It would be easy to fill this blog with inconsiderate drivers parking on the double-yellow lines on Ham Parade so that they can shop in Greggs but then that is not really what this blog is about. So it is only when there is something exceptionally bad about the driving or the parking that I include the culprits here.

This time it was the driving. I was crossing the slip-road to get to the Village Supermarket and was still on the slip-road when the van darted into the road and passed unnecessarily close to me and at an unnecessary speed.

24 August 2015

Shelley Court after a refresh

Shelley Court in Parkleys was covered in scaffolding for quite a while for what seems to have been mostly a refresh. This was a thorough job which included a detail as small as the name of the block, the letters were replaced and repainted.

The finished result looks very attractive and welcoming. It is easy to see why Parkleys is still a popular place to live.

23 August 2015

Shops in Back Lane

I have always felt that the small collection of shops at the top of Back Lane was a little lost as they are separated from the other local shops, notably those on Ashburnham Road, and are on a minor road. They are not every-day shops and by specialising they have managed to keep going despite their odd location.

The road and pavement outside them have been done up in recent years and that helps the shops to look tidy and welcoming.

18 August 2015

More whites in Lock Road

I remarked on a cluster of white things in and around Lock Road a few years ago (2009 to be precise) and now they have been joined by a lot more white on the other side of the road. The street sign rather gives it away that this is the junction of Lock Road and Back Lane.

The extension has taken a lot of the garden and the wall continues to block what was the front of the house which used to be open to the street. The whole effect is to make the house untypically private for the area and slightly intimidating. Thanks to the lack of windows it looks more like a prison that a home.

15 August 2015

More bad parking on Ham Parade

I have eased off naming and shaming bad parkers but every so often a case comes along that particularly annoys me and I reach for my camera again. This Saturday there were two close together.

DL10 WAO had made no effort to park considerately. There was an empty parking space behind him that he could have reversed into but, instead, he chose to leave it up on the pavement and over the dropped kerb.

BX14 MYL had annoyed me just a few moments earlier by driving aggressively when I was trying to cross the road. I was not surprised at a Range Rover driving, or parking, inconsiderately but I was surprised to see the driver pop into Greggs. At least the driver above had the class to go to Rowley's.

8 August 2015

Getting ready for a new house in Ham Street

This building plot on Ham Street has been getting my attention for a few months and I walk past it regularly to check on progress. There has been little and many walks have been wasted in that respect. This time I was rewarded to see a lot of aggregate being delivered on the back of trucks while a machine on site spread their loads.

And this is what it all looked like once they had finished.

7 August 2015

A new look for The New Inn

For a quite a while The New Inn only had half a sign and that was in gold on a black background, now everything has changed.

The black bar across the middle of the pub is now white and the thick gold lettering is now slender and black. The theme continues with the other signs such as that by the front door and the one hanging on the right side of the building. It all looks fresh, modern and welcoming, which is just what it says above the door.

27 July 2015

A well cared for tractor

Vehicles do not appear that often in the blog as I prefer to feature the more permanent buildings and landscapes that define Ham and so it takes something special for one to be selected for inclusion here. I think this tractor is special. It is clearly well cared for and I like the way that it is painted an unusual colour.

25 July 2015

Maturing garden in Dickens Close

I have always found the houses in Dickens Close something of a disappointment as I have either walked past the grander houses in Sudbrook Lane or Holly Lane to get there but I have also always liked the row of small trees in one of the gardens. I have had my eye on them for some years and had been waiting for them to be large enough to photograph without spaces showing between them.

22 July 2015

The Ham Pond turtle is still there

I had been a little worries about the Ham Pond turtle. I had not seen it for a while and the last time that I took a photograph of it, in 2012, it was basking on a rock that had since been removed or submerged. So I was very pleased to see it on the little island again enjoying the sun.