30 March 2016

Disturbing things at Ham House

I paid a visit to Ham House over the Easter weekend and was disturbed by some of the things that I saw there.

The Easter Egg hunt was obviously expected to be a big draw, and it was, and so they had arranged for the field opposite to be used as a car park and, as the photo above shows, it was full.

While I appreciate the money that number of visitors represented to the National Trust I do not like to see open spaces used for cars and worry that the temptation will be there to do it more often or even to make it a permanent feature.

A few days earlier I had take a picture of the resurfacing of the approach to Ham House and this was my first chance to walk along there. I found the small posts somewhat distracted my attention from the avenue of trees but my real concern was over the speed tables.

The speed tables covered the full width of the path so there was no easy route for cycles, buggies, wheelchairs or scooters (every child seems to have a scooter these days). The bricks were deliberately set unevenly to slow traffic down (though I would never have thought of speeding traffic as a problem here), which made them very difficult for anything with smaller wheels to cross over them. I saw several buggies struggling and one boy almost fell over as his scooter came to a sudden stop.

28 March 2016

Easter Bonnet

The Scottish rugby ball on Ham Village Green has been given a pretty Easter Bonnet. It is all a little bit weird but it is also jolly and so I approve.

26 March 2016

Resurfacing the approach to Ham House

The track running from Ham Street to Ham House seemed to be in reasonable condition to me but somebody thought that it was not up to scratch and so it has been resurfaced. At the moment it looks a little harsh and a little dark, black rather than grey, so I hoping that it will settle down with age.

24 March 2016

Replacing a house in Cedar Heights

Cedar Heights is not exactly on one of my regular walking routes despite having several interesting houses in it because it is a dead-end (or rather it has two dead ends being "Y" shaped) and is at the edge of the area I cover in this blog.

However, I do make a point of walking down there a couple of times a year just in case there is something new to see and this time there was. Most of one of the houses on the east side has been demolished revealing Richmond Park behind it. It will be interesting to see what replaces it so I guess that Cedar Heights will feature in my walks more often in the next few months.

22 March 2016

New wall and gate

The newness of this wall makes it especially bright and I hope that it tones down a little with age and weather as, at the moment, the freshness and the brightness contrasts wildly with the red brick house behind.

20 March 2016

Lion on guard

The back garden at Sudbrook Cottage is (justifiably) famous and the little front garden is not bad either. It has recently undergone some minor modifications and now has this proud lion to guard it.

16 March 2016

Major works at The Old Vicarage in Petersham

I have been following the major works at The Old Vicarage in Petersham for some time but all I have been able to see is the roof and lots of scaffolding as the house has always been well hidden behind its front wall. Until this time.

The wall has gone but the brick pillars for the gate suggest that it will be coming back. I certainly hope so as it was a lovely wall and if I lived there I would most definitely want to keep it. 

14 March 2016

Langton House in Upper Ham Road

Langton House is set back from Upper Ham Road but this trim new sign shows you were it is. Deceptively simple with a plain font and just two colours I think the sign is fresh, modern and does what it needs to do very effectively.

13 March 2016

DY58 WLK ignores dropped kerb and double yellows

One sure way of getting featured for your selfish parking is to block a pedestrian crossing point just as I am about to use it. 

12 March 2016

Resurfacing the towpath

The towpath gets a lot of wear from walkers, runners, cyclists and high tides so it makes sense to do some repairs from time to time. The stretch running East from Ham Street has been substantially rebuilt and still looks a little new and shocking. A few more people and a few more tides will quickly change that.

The towpath looked better an hour or so later as I walked back from Richmond and caught the sunset over the river.

11 March 2016

Misty morning

I not generally feature weather in this blog but occasionally it does enough to transform the look of the area that I think it is worth recording. Usually it is snow that brings the change, and if we ever get some more then I'll take photos of it, until then I will have to settle for mist.

This is Melancholy Walk. I had just emerged from Cut Throat Alley and this is looking towards Sandy Lane.

The wall and railings are the clue that this is Ham House though the mist does a fine job in hiding it.

10 March 2016

Stately boat

I know that the boats moored by Teddington Lock are not liked by some people but I make no apologies for loving them. I think that they bring character and life to the river, which they have done for centuries.

I particularly like this one because of its ruggedness, its colour and its stateliness. I also like the table and chairs on the deck which give it added charm.

8 March 2016

Ugly addition to Grey Court School

This new building is part of the Grey Court School complex on Ham Street and has been hidden behind constructors' barriers until recently. I wish it had stayed hidden because it is ugly.

I dare say that its design owes something to a special purpose that it has been built for but I still think that there is no excuse for it being as drab and featureless as this.

6 March 2016

Gibson Lane arrives on Ham Parade

The shop that was once R. Tucker butchers is now Gibson Lane estate agents, which is bad news all round. Not only have we have lost the only butcher in Ham it has been replaced by yet another estate agent, the fourth on the parade.

There simply are not enough properties for sale locally to justify anything like that number of estate agents, especially as Ham is well served by estate agents' offices in both Kingston and Richmond.

The situation is even worse at night as the illuminated display boards shine intrusively over the parade, as they do from the other estate agents.

1 March 2016

Rebuilding the Russell School

Both my boys went to the Russell School in Petersham and I liked the way that the school was spread across three buildings (they did not go to the Nursery) with lots of space between and around them but now that is all changing.

Precisely what those changes are is hard to see as most of the work is being done behind the existing buildings when looking at the school from Meadlands Drive or Petersham Road. The best place to see what is going on is from the track behind the school that leads to Ham Polo and even from there the view of not that good because of the bushes.