28 February 2016

Colourful tiles in the garden at Ham Library

One of the rules I follow when taking photographs is to look up because what lies above the eye line is often interesting yet goes unnoticed. It pays to look down too.

The garden at Ham Library has some environmentally friendly structures supported by concrete bases  that have colourful tiles in them. Those tiles are inscribed with drawings that reinforce the message of  object so the water butt is surrounded with tiles that show things like a watering can, rain and a message calling for taps to be turned off.

Similarly the bird table has tiles that show birds and trees.

25 February 2016

Gordon House gets it right

Last month I was critical of the new house sign at Gordon House and it looks like the new owner felt the same way and the new new sign looks much like the old one, and the house number has gone too.

I heartily approve. The beauty and formality of the sign are just right for the house.

23 February 2016

The Huf Haus in Ham Street nears completion

I shall miss it when the Huf Haus is finally complete as I have been watching it arrive for many months and many of my walks have deliberately gone along Ham Street just to take another look at it.

That view took a big step forward with the removal of the large crane that had been on site for a few days to load the panels as they arrived on trucks. For the first time the scale and beauty of the new house started to be revealed.

The view from the back of the house was much the same and just as pretty.

I suspect that some people will object to such a modern building appearing in an area full of old ones but I think it is a vey worthy addition to the area. I even prefer it to the other local Huf Haus, Twyntre on Petersham Road, that I also love as this one is more bold, more prominent and more confident.

22 February 2016

Sainsbury's Local has arrived on Ham Parade

It has been a long time coming but Sainsbury's Local has finally arrived on Ham Parade, taking over the site that was occupied by Barclays Bank for many years.

The jury is out on whether this is a good thing or not, some shops see it as a direct threat while others hope that it will bring additional footfall to a parade of shops that has been in decline ever since the closure of the BAe factory. The rise of estate agents, charity shops and bookmakers is a sign of that.

I plan to remain loyal to the local shops and to use this Sainsbury's as little as possible and then only as an alternative to walking down to the much larger Sainsbury's in north Kingston.

21 February 2016

Felling trees along the towpath

I seem to be spending most of my time at the moment monitoring all the developments on and around Ham Common (there are four major schemes that I check up on several times a week) but I am still making time to walk around the rest of Ham to see what else is going on.

The towpath is a regular route of mine, especially the section running south from Teddington Lock and it was on one of those regular walks that I saw the cleansing of the towpath by the removal of several mature trees.

An excuse for this given on the little A4 notices was that the trees were unsafe though most looked healthy enough to me, not that I am an expert.

This cleansing comes soon after the clearance of much of the scruffy shrubbery in the same area so the walk along the towpath is now a little less interesting and the unnatural world infringes on it more. Not a disaster but not an improvement either.

20 February 2016

Scottish rugby comes to Ham Village Green

This is one of the 8ft fibreglass rugby balls that was built for last year's Rugby World Cup in Twickenham. There was one for each of the five home nations and they were placed in prominent parks across Richmond.

They have come back, but in different places, for this year's Six Nations tournament. The Scottish one has appeared in the corner of Ham Village Green at the junction of Ham Street and Wiggins Lane. I am not sure that it will do anything to encourage people to watch the rugby but it provides a bit of colour for the moment. 

13 February 2016

The Huf Haus rises in Ham Street

I have been watching progress at 57 Ham Street for months and finally the works are coming to a close and the new Huf Haus is being installed.

The prefabricated parts have been arriving this week and that part of Ham Street has been closed to traffic to allow the sections to be lifted on to the site by a very tall and very green crane.

The new house is particularly obvious from the back, in the appropriately named Back Lane. The previous building was only a bungalow with a flat roof and so was completely hidden by the high brick wall.

At this stage the most notable feature of the new house is the amount of glass in it. This side of the house faces south-west so the appeal of glass is obvious though it will be interesting to see how they keep the rooms private.

5 February 2016

Replacing the garages in Cave Road

It has taken quite a while to get started but work is now underway on the site that used to hold two rows of garages at the end of Cave Road, that's a little road off Hardwicke Road.

The other end of the site borders on to Riverside Drive where it is a lot more obvious that something is happening.

Part of the early work done once the site was cleared was to drill some deep holes. Understandably whatever is being built there is going to need good foundations because of the proximity to the river and the flood plain.