26 January 2016

War Memorial at St Andrew's Church

It has been eight years since I last took a picture of the War Memorial in the grounds of St Andrew's Church in Church Road so I thought that it was time for another one. The Memorial is some way from the church so while one is bathed in light the other is in the shadow of the trees.

25 January 2016

New house signs at Gordon House

Soon after I posted pictures of two other house signs on Ham Common the new ones at Gordon House appeared and they are quite different from the old ones. The grey colour is much the same but the new font is a bit more delicate and fancy, and the new sign is positioned above the porch rather than on it.

It is a personal opinion but I do not think that they work. The signs look to me as though they belong to a small cottage rather than a grand house. I would have preferred a simpler and bolder font.

22 January 2016

59 Ham Street under threat

59 Ham Street is a three bed bungalow completed c.1952, designed and lived in by the Royal Designer for Industry and early partner of Cubit & Partners, Stefan Buzas. Buzas was an influential architect and designer of interiors, commercial and exhibitions in post-war Britain.

Buzas lived in Ham, teaching at Kingston and being involved in the groups of houses built by Cubit & Partners architects (including Buzas himself) along Ham Farm Road and Church Road, Ham., including  New House in Church Road.

This work - in what was open land - attracted the interest of Eric Lyons, who developed the first SPAN estate at Parkleys (1954-6, Grade II Listed), adjacent. This work in turn interested a private developer who engaged James Stirling (later joined by Gowan) to complete Langham House Close (1956-8).
57 Ham Street was also by Buzas, a similar bungalow to 59, which friends of his lived in. This was partially damaged by fire so it was hard to justify listing it and it was demolished recently and is being replaced by a Huf Haus.

Now there are plans (15/4780) to demolish 59 Ham Street and to replace it with four large Victorian style houses. I have objected to the application and have commented that I think that it should be listed to preserve it as a record of its important place in the development of architecture in port-war Britain.

My thanks to Mark Brand for providing the history of the house.

16 January 2016

The new sheltered housing off Lock Road has been completed

This surprisingly long story started almost exactly a year ago when I took my first picture of the construction works in this lane off Lock Road that leads past a doctors' surgery and on to a pumping station. The block is now all but finished, there were still some workmen there this morning putting some finishes touches to somethings, and I think it looks rather neat thanks to the line of darker bricks and the metal balconies.

A pleasant surprise with the development is that it has opened up another path through to Mead Road, mirroring the one that runs from the lane next to Lock Road Surgery and twists a couple of times before also emerging into Mead Road.

15 January 2016

Ham Common on a misty morning

I was rushing to work, which meant seeing how far I could get towards Petersham before catching the next 65 bus, when the mist hanging on Ham Common forced me to stop and take this picture. I had no time to compose the photo properly, or to wait for things to move, and so I was quite pleased to catch the couple walking a white dog looking as though they had just emerged from the cloud.

2 January 2016

House signs on Ham Common

I have walked past these house signs hundreds of times and they have become so familiar that I almost fail to notice them now. Almost.

St. Michael's Convent is on the move so this sign's days are somewhat numbered; all the more reason for recording it here. I will miss it for both its quirky font and unusual colour.

The Avenue Lodge sign is more traditional and is showing signs of its age. It is placed in the wall facing onto Ham Common, which is nowhere near the entrance. Perhaps there is a story in that as I would have expected an entrance to be there.

1 January 2016

Christmas penguins

It has been an unusually warm Winter so far but there penguins do not seem to mind that as they stand quietly by the front door to one of the cottages on the north side of Ham Common.