31 December 2016

Baubles in the hedge

There have been lots of Christmas decorations on show this year and rather than swamp this blog with lots of illuminated Santas and snowmen I have chosen just a few things that are a little out of the ordinary and that includes this hedge in Ham Farm Road which has been decorated with Christmas Baubles.

30 December 2016

Merry Christmas snowmen

I was not planning to cover Christmas decorations this year partially because I already have a backlog of unpublished photos and partially because there are a lot more decorations and lights now than there were a few years ago and I did not want to start a theme that could dominate the blog for weeks.

Then I saw these snowmen and my resolve weakened.

29 December 2016

Trees hiding in the mist

Sometimes photos just demand to be taken and this was just such a time. I was walking past Ham Common, as I do very often, when the way that the mist was trying to hide the trees made a picture that had to be taken. So I took it.

28 December 2016

Entrance to Bench House

The entrance to Bench House in Ham Street had always impressed me because of the solid arch and the bold way that the house name is announced to the world. Somehow the repair to the gate makes it look even better, like a flick of grey in the hair of a middle-aged man or a splash of unusual colour in an abstract painting.

27 December 2016

Sails at Ham House

One of things that has happened to the gardens at Ham House, as more of them have been opened up on the right side of the house, is that the plot behind the Orangery (not a place many people go) has gained a little boat with two sails.

It's to find things like this that I walk to places that not many other people go to.

26 December 2016

The Ham Village Centre comes to Ham Street

What was the Royal Oak on Ham Street is now being refashioned, after several years of being left empty, into The Ham Village Centre. I used to go to the pub and I miss it and it is good to see the building finally being brought back into use.

25 December 2016

28 New Road is now for sale

The remodelling of the former Ham Institute in New Road has finished (apart from the kerb needed to give a car access) and it is on the market at a challenging price of almost £2m. For what it offers in terms of useable space I think that it compares badly to other properties of a similar price in the area but, as every seller knows, it only needs one person to like it at that price to sell.

24 December 2016

LD58 EFJ deliberately avoids the empty parking spaces

There were several empty parking spaces on Ham Parade when I took this photo, including the one behind where LD58 EFJ chose to park, preferring instead to use the double-yellow lines and to obstruct the dropped kerb. And Christmas is meant to be the time of year to think more about other people, not to put your own selfish interests first.

23 December 2016

Pretty Teddington Lock

I am a frequent visitor to Teddington Lock these days (other players of a popular smartphone game will know why) and I enjoy every visit because the lock is both pretty and interesting.

The gardens next to the bridge are the prettiest part and the first two pictures show why. The top picture is looking back towards the bridge with the main lock off to the left and the one immediately above is on the other side of the garden and looking in the other direction.

There are other pretty things on the island to enjoy such as this plot stuffed with flowers that is nicely highlighted by the white paint behind it.

21 December 2016

Ham Lands

There is no particular reason for posting another picture of Ham Lands it is just that I love the area a lot and I like to post occasional reminders of why. For me, Ham Lands is one of the defining features of the area and one of the main reasons that Ham is such a great place to live.

19 December 2016

AL16 EJC is very selfish

The heavy mist this morning does nothing to hide this piece of horrible parking by AL16 EJC. Not only is the parking selfishly blocking the dropped kerb (that is why the double-yellow lines are there) it is technically bad too with the front wheel on the pavement and the rear sticking out into the road.

17 December 2016

Winter sun on Ham Pond

I walk passed and around Ham Pond a lot, several times a week, and while it is undeniably interesting it is not always that attractive with areas of muddy grass and other areas where the vegetation is a little sparse for my liking. I had no such reservations this Winter evening as I caught the pond basking in the clear sunlight that, when it appears, makes this time of year so pleasing.

15 December 2016

Progress in Cedar Heights

Cedar Heights is a little off my beaten track as it is on the boundary of the area I cover in Ham Photos and there is little purpose in walking down the road as it goes nowhere. Since early in 2016 I have made more of an effort to get there because of the new house that is going up and after a slow start it is now taking shape.

From the inner shell the house looks very traditional, boring even, which I think is a shame as there are some interesting modern houses in the road. Perhaps it will look better when the skin is added. I will be going back to see.

13 December 2016

Parakeets feeding

I was walking from Teddington Lock towards Riverside Drive when I heard parakeets making a commotion. I looked around to see what all the fuss was about and it was only when I got to Riverside Drive that I saw that they were enjoying themselves with a bird feeder.

This was a good time of day to see them, around 3pm, as the sun while low was still bright and it shone almost directly along the path to hit the block of flats full on.

11 December 2016

Dragon through the trees

I have walked along Ham Common and past Forbes House countless times and still I was surprised to see this dragon today. It is on the outhouse to the right of the main house.

It may be that the metal structure that it is on has some practicable purpose and the dragon is there to add decoration but this is not clear as there are flaws with both options, the structure has no obvious purpose and whimsical design is out of keeping with the rest of the fairly austere house.

This view is only available at this time of the year when the many trees around it are devoid of leaves.

I walked a little along the road to get a view without the trees in the way and the only one is this from almost dead in front which is very different as it hides the majesty of the wings.

5 December 2016

New trees at St Richard's with St Andrew's Primary School

St Richard's with St Andrew's CE Primary School has got some new trees; lots of them. At the moment they are quite small and are dwarfed by the bamboo canes used to support them but in years to come they will turn this stretch of their grounds, alongside (appropriately) Woodville Road, into something of a forest.

30 November 2016

Lost garden

I was both interested and worried when I saw that the front garden of this house in Petersham Road had been completely removed. Change is always interesting but I was worried that there would be little actual garden in the new design.

I was right to be worried. The garden has gone almost completely, there is only one narrow border to remind you that the front of houses used to be for gardens and not exclusively for vehicles. This is now (possibly) the most boring garden in the area.

28 November 2016

Odd windows

These replacement windows just do not work for me. The colour is not helpful, it is neither bold nor subtle, but it is the construction that irks. The lack of any horizontal crossbars (transoms) seems odd to me.

24 November 2016

NY53 GBO makes no effort

NY53 GBO made it on to my bad parking list simply for making absolutely no effort to keep off the pavement. There are no cars behind or in front of it yet it is still well over the pavement and has been left there despite the driver knowing this and having the space to do something about it. Not being able to park is one thing, leaving a car so badly parked is another.

22 November 2016

A final look at the new flats in Cave Road

I have deliberately kept this view of the new flats in Cave Road until the end as it is the best.

This is the main facade of the block with the large windows and balconies facing south to get as much light as possible.

I am really impressed by this block. The shape and style fits comfortably in its surroundings, there is plenty of brick and the grey touches set the whole thing off nicely. This is a stunning example of what new buildings can look like when a little bit of thought is put into them.

The only negative, and I am agreeing with one of the comments made on an earlier post, is the little fence in front. It serves absolutely no purpose, the blocks next to this one just to the right have no fences, and visually it mars the clean lines of the block. 

20 November 2016

A final look at Ham Glebe

Another chapter of watching house building has ended with the completion of Ham Glebe in Church Road. It is close to the footpath that links Church Road to Ham Farm Road and it was by walking through the trees from that path that I was able to get this view of the side of the house and the carport beyond.

The house faces south into the trees, as it should, which means that approaching from Church Road it is the back of house that is seen first. That almost works, and the few plant pots certainly help, but I think that the effect is spoiled slightly by having the utility room prominent in the near corner. I find the solid white just a little bit too much and the pipe sticking out from it just too distracting. I'd put another plant pot there.

18 November 2016

Behind Ham House

I have said many times (possibly too many times) that I much prefer the garden side of Ham House to the river side which I find too cluttered and messy. In these two pictures I will try to show why.

The beauty of the back of the house is in its symmetry and proportions. It is an impressive array of large windows carefully placed to admire the garden from combined with just enough bricks to keep them in place.

The terrace across the back of the house matches its simplicity and grandeur. It is a lovely place to walk especially when the sun is shining as it was on this day.

16 November 2016

New bench at Teddington Lock

Despite there being only one way on and off the artificial island at Teddington Lock, or perhaps it is because of that, it is a popular destination because of the views it gives of the river and the locks and the attractive gardens.

To encourage people to linger a while there are a number of benches spread across the island and I like this new one because of its traditional look and subtle decoration.

The centrepiece of the decoration is the Environment Agency logo in the frame of the seat. A nice touch.

7 November 2016

Langham House gets a refresh

Langham House has had a bit of a refresh over the Summer and was covered with scaffolding for several weeks. Most of the work was on the roof but the whole house was seen to and the most obvious thing was the repainting of everything white at the front of the house.

Langham House has long been one of my favourites and this refresh has ensured that it will stay that way for a few more years yet.

5 November 2016

Walking through Ham Lands

Possibly the best thing about my new job is that it gives me the excuse to walk across Ham Lands most mornings on the way to work. I usually cut across from Croft Way to Teddington Lock, a well trod path, which takes me through a mix of environments from grasslands to woodlands.

I do not know very much about the plants that I pass other than I like the way that they look and the way that they exist alongside an urban area. With Riverside Drive behind me it is soon easy to lose sight of anything man-made.

Ham Lands looks wild in a way that Richmond Park never does, mostly because there are far fewer people there and those that go to Richmond Park leave obvious marks.

3 November 2016

Another visit to Ham House

I go to Ham House fairly regularly because there is plenty to enjoy there and as a member of the National Trust it costs me nothing on the day. I usually pop-in as part of a longer walk and just walk around the gardens for a few minutes then continue on my way.

I think that in all my visits this was the first time that I succumbed to the all too obvious temptation to take a picture of the lavender garden through the hedge that surrounds it.

On the other hand I had taken many pictures of the cute summer houses in The Wilderness but that did not stop me from taking another one.

The Wilderness is my favourite part of the garden as it is the wildest section and the wildest parts of it are the few uncultivated segments made by the geometrically arranged hedges.

One of the other wilderness areas was next to the house but this was being tamed too. There were just a few pots and a mown path there on that visit, plus the promise of more to come.

I am not a fan of the entrance to the house and it took some effort to conjure something that I felt was interesting. I think that it was worth that effort though.

1 November 2016

Preparing the entrance to the Huf House

To be honest, I thought that I would have stopped featuring work on the new Huf House in Ham Street by now as I was expecting it to have finished but it is still in progress, I still walk past it regularly and I still take photos of it.

My main motive for taking this one was because I liked all the clutter associated with the construction, such as the mixer and the skip, and even the portable loos. They all add interest and colour to the scene, much as in Tracey Emin's famous work My Bed.

What I liked less was the black tarmac drive which is featureless. I was expecting patterned brick. Perhaps there is more to come. I'll wait and see.

30 October 2016

Neville Barbers

I had been trying to take a decent photo of Neville Barbers for some time (by decent I mean one with no cars in the way) and finally I managed it. Walking down Ham Street every morning on the way to work helped.

It is always good to see an empty shop come back to life and Neville Barbers has done more than that with a decidedly smart looking frontage and what you can see of the interior looks smart too.

21 October 2016

Cave Road flats almost completed

This is the face that the new flats in Cave Road present to Riverside Drive and is the view that many people will see as they come along the path from Teddington Lock. It is not a particularly exciting view but it not that bad either. On the whole I approve.

The flats are designed to face almost due south, which is towards the right, and I'll take a shot from that angle once the work there has finished.

19 October 2016

Gascoigne-Pees has closed

Only a few months after another estate agent moved into Ham Parade, making it four altogether, Gascoigne-Peas has called it a day. It's a start. Whatever replaces it will be better.

17 October 2016

A sign for Strathmore School

With the rebuilding works going on at its former site (next to the Russell School), Strathmore School has a new location, ground sharing with Grey Court School in Ham Street. It has announced this with a rather jolly sign that I heartily approve of.

15 October 2016

New extension in Ham Street

I plan many of my walks through Ham to monitor progress on the various building walks and the Huf Haus has taken me down Ham Street many times, and now I also go there to watch this extension being built. It is on the corner of Lock Road and looks to be an extension of The Old Malt House, though it could also be a separate dwelling.

The first sign was when the garage doors, under the white lintel, were filled with breeze blocks which were then given a brick covering. The work continued with the brick wall which was being extended when I took this picture with space being left at the right for a door.

13 October 2016

A history in brick

This house next to the church in Church Road reveals some of its history in its exterior brickwork. The inverted "V" leading down from the front-side window is the most obvious sign and a closer look shows that there used to be a door in that wall, the arch above it remains and the brick used to fill the gap is slightly redder than the rest.

11 October 2016

Concrete strips in King George's Field

This is a quarter of King George's Field that I do not normally go to and I suspect that not many other people go there either. This is the along the north edge just beyond the tennis courts and it is looking south with the allotments on the left and the Rifle and Pistol Club on the right. Between the two is a narrow path leading to Riverside Drive, which is how I got there.

The field is interesting enough, and another reminder of just how much green space there is in Ham, but the reason that I took this picture was because of the three concrete strips. I presume that these ate former cricket nets but am happy to be proved wrong if anybody knows anything better.

9 October 2016

Work has started at Richmond Chase

The redevelopment of the former Latchmere Prison site has started under the friendlier name of Richmond Chase, though it remains to be seen whether it will live up to that name. I am not optimistic.

The boards went up a while ago and now there are railings too. These cordon off most of the green that lies between Latchmere Close and Latchmere House, which can be seen at the left of the picture.

Moving along Latchmere Close a little towards Tudor Drive shows more of the scaffolding that starts to indicate what the footprint of the development will be.

The Richmond Chase story is going to run for a couple of years so my walking pattern is going to change so that I can watch it unfold and record the significant moments.

7 October 2016

Extended roof in Ham Farm Road

Back in August I caught this extension while it was being constructed and now the work is finished. The fresh colour reveals that it is a new extension but a little bit of weather will soon change that and it will fit in with the other half of the roof even better than it already does.