28 February 2015

Avenue of trees across Ham Common

This view along the avenue of trees crossing Ham Common is popular for obvious reasons and the replanting in recent years means that it will continue to look good for years to come. If they would ban cars from parking where the trees hit Ham Common road then the view would be even better.

27 February 2015

Who lives here?

There are few more welcoming signs than this welcome sign in Horsley Drive. It is very jolly too and brightened up my walk along the road which otherwise suffers a little from sameness.

24 February 2015

Unexpected house in the Cedar Heights area

Cedar Heights is another of those depressing no-thru-roads. It is depressing because there should be a way through to Butte Avenue but either they forgot to build it or it got filled in at some point. The lack of an alternative way out means that I do not go in there very often, which is something of a pity as there are some pretty houses in there trying to make the most of being next to Richmond Park.

And one of the prettiest houses is quite modern; brazenly so. I like it a lot.

You can also get glimpses of the house from Meadow Close (behind the Fox and Duck) where the top of it peeks over the high wall that helps to keep Cedar Heights bit of a secret.

23 February 2015

No pavement in Ham Street

While I approve of the work done recently to improve the accessibility of Cut Throat Alley, I think that the area has another problem for pedestrians - there is no pavement on this stretch of Ham Street. This is important as it is the main route to Ham House and the river and so many people walk this way. Unfortunately that also means that lots of cars go that way too.

I always walk in the road and pay close attention to the passing traffic. This is easy for me to do but some, such as the very young or the very old, are not as alert or nimble so this is a far from ideal route.

The grass area on the right has little merit or purpose and I see no problem in adding a pavement to that side of the road.

22 February 2015

Horses in Martingales Close

Martingales Close is one of those annoying no-thru-roads that give you little excuse for visiting unless, like me, you are an incurable explorer who does not mind having to retrace steps when there is no way forward. The point of making that effort is that sometimes I find something new and interesting, something like this garage pretending to be a stable.

The houses in Martingales Close were once very similar but over the years extensions and decorations have added some variety and that enables this house to fit in snuggly with its neighbours.

20 February 2015


This driveway on the east side of Upper Ham Road was lined with trees until recently. Men were working on them as I walked past recently and so I made a point to go back later to see what they had done.

What looked as though it might have been trimming proved to be complete removal, apart from the very obvious stumps. Perhaps there are plans to remove these too; I hope so.

19 February 2015

New House on Church Road

This is proving to be one of the more interesting houses in Ham. I learned recently that it was designed by Stefan Buzas who also designed two similar single-storey houses in Ham Street, one of which has been demolished recently to make way for a Huf Haus.

It is also an attractive building and deserves its place in a road full of large and distinctive houses.

12 February 2015

Ham House looking lovely (again)

Ham House is good at looking pretty which is why I keep featuring it here. On this day the Winter sunshine was especially kind to the back of the house, which is my favourite part.

The lavender in the side garden was looking good too. Having been replanted in 2011 it had grown back to its full glory filling in the spaces between the neatly clipped box hedges.

Of course the main feature at Ham House is Ham House itself so here is another picture of it.

7 February 2015

Between Melancholy Walk and The Copse

This pretty field lies between Melancholy Walk and is one entrance into Ham Lands, the unbroken area of grasslands and woods that runs along the river from River Lane in Petersham to Lower Ham Road in Kingston.

The field deserves a name to respect its location and characteristics but if it has one I have been unable to find out what it is. I'd like to call it Horse Field as horses often trot around here but that name has been taken by the field between Ham Polo and the river.

6 February 2015

More sunsets over Ham

These are not the sort of picture that I normally post here in a blog that focuses on streetscapes and landscapes but the sunsets were so striking that it seemed wrong not to.

The first was (i think) taken near the corner of Ham Common looking down Lock Road. The colours of the sky were the main attraction and I liked the way that they were punctured here with the black outlines of trees, chimneys and a street light.

A few minutes later I was by Royal Park Gate and the sky was slightly redder. Again I liked the intrusion of the physical objects into the ephemeral colours of the sky.

3 February 2015

Clearing up after filming

I missed the filming completely but I came across the aftermath when taking a brisk lunchtime walk and I went back again later in the day to take a longer look.

The first sign that anything unusual was happening was the large swathe of matting on the grassy area in front of the Locks Meade development that had been put there to protect the grass from heavy vehicles.

The most interesting part of the clearing-up that I saw was the removal of a set of lights from the island. This required the use of a crane mounted on the front of a boat.

The bridge has obviously, and understandably, used for filming and the remains of a platform were still there. The bridge was still open to pedestrians despite the equipment and the work going on to remove it.

I have no idea what was being filmed but perhaps later in the year I'll watch something on TV and be surprised to see bits of Ham in it, as I was with The Boy in the Dress on New Year's Day.

2 February 2015

Empire Foods comes to Ham Common

What was a branch of the florists Pick of the Bunch (their main shop is further down the road in Kingston) has reopened as Empire Foods Coffee and Sandwich Bar. The other cafes in the area always seem to be busy so there may be a market for another one though this one has the disadvantage of being away from Ham Parade and having no close parking.

It is still finding its feet a little and the A-board outside which is there to lure passing trade is currently handwritten and not very obvious. I'm also a little surprised that the sign emphasises "Empire Foods"  rather than "Coffee and Sandwich Bar", I would have thought it more important to know what the shop does rather than the name of the company that runs it.

I wish it well and I am pleased to see that the unit was not left empty for very long.