29 March 2015

New Mandarin makes way for fish and chips

It is now clear why New Mandarin had let its sign fall into some disrepair recently, it has now closed and is about to be replaced by a chippie.

I stopped using the New Mandarin regularly a few years ago when they inexplicable dropped their vegetarian curry from their take-away menu leaving me with just the spicy tofu as a sensible option but it (and the people who worked there) were a fixture on Ham Parade and it was nice to have a choice of decent restaurants locally.

A chippie will be quite different as there will be more of a focus on the take-away trade and it will tend to be busy earlier in the evening than the restaurant was. It is hard to see that as an improvement but I am prepared to give it a chance to prove me wrong.

28 March 2015

LY51 CLN up on the pavement

I appreciate that if you are driving a Chelsea Tractor then you may not notice little things like pavements but you should be able to tell that your car is not in-line with the others parked there and so not left yours obstructing the pavement outside of Rowleys when it is busy with Saturday shoppers.

22 March 2015

Where have all the trees gone?

The desecration of Ham Common Woods is still very painful for me but there is a limit to what can be said about the work that has been done and so I'll end my coverage of the clearance with this photograph which shows just how bare some of the areas worked on now are.

The local newspaper has said a lot about what has been done across Richmond, particularly in Sheen Common, and I hope that the Council will listen and will amend, if not stop, their five year plans for their woods.

If the works continue and we see more clearances next year, and the three years after that, then I will be there to record it.

21 March 2015

Ham Glebe has gone

Ham Glebe was on an edge of the Ham Common Conservation Area but it was deemed insufficiently special to warrant protection and was allowed to be demolished. I have no views on the subject as the house was set well back from Church Road and was well screened by trees on all sides.

19 March 2015

A new path by Ham Common Woods

The recent butchery of Ham Common Woods has not been limited to clearing out parts of the centre, the edges have had a severe trim too.

In all the years that I have walked along Ham Gate Avenue it has never previously been possible to do so on the south side of the road and I have always used the made up path on the north side. Now the trees and bushes have been cut right back on the south side making a wide and easy path, and to prove the point I walked all the way along it.

It is only a small loss of wilderness but it is a loss and I hope that the bushes sneak back before too long and certainly well before a path gets established on that side.

16 March 2015

Stuart Road joins Murray Road

I have no idea why Stuart Road changes in to Murray Road but it does so beautifully with a sign marking the exact point of the division. It shows quite a few marks of age but it more than makes up for that with a crisp font that has exaggerated serifs, especially on the "A"s. The arrows beneath the street names are a nice touch too.

15 March 2015

Penalty £5

I am glad that the people managing the Parkleys development have left this sign alone to grow old gracefully. It can be found at the north-east corner of Ham Parade at the end of the row of shops that form part of Parkleys.

It is in the stairwell next to the statue and this keeps it both protected from the worst of the weather and also out of sight from most people just passing by.

13 March 2015

Tinkering with South Lodge

Bishops Close is another of those annoying roads that does not actually lead anywhere but at least it offers different perspectives of South Lodge, the front aspect of which stares across Ham Common. Walking up there recently I noticed a few changes.

The side entrance had been significantly neatened and given a fresh modern look. It was somewhat at odds with the front of the lodge but as it looked in a different direction that was fine. The new works were sympathetic to the old bricks and that was all that mattered.

Bishops Close kinks around the back of South Lodge and offers views into the rear courtyard. This had also been considerably neatened and improved with crisp paving, tidy railing and some large pots.

4 March 2015

Back in Black

Last October I complimented Vintage Wedding Dresses on their unusual grey and pink colouring, now it has changed. Not only has the two-tone woodwork gone but the white brickwork on the ground floor has gone too.

The new colour scheme is less quirky than the old one and is probably more in keeping with the traditional nature of the shop.

1 March 2015

Dairy Cottage

Dairy Cottage on Petersham Road gets everything about its entrance right. The Dairy Cottage sign alone would be enough to justify its inclusion here and its setting is made all the better by the consistent use of colour (cerulean?) and the cow's head knocker on the door.