30 April 2016

A clearer view of Montrose House

The temporary removal of the wall in front of Montrose House offers views of the building that are not normally available and that was not a chance that I was going to miss. This picture was taken just after the tree was removed and the work had yet to start on rebuilding the wall.

29 April 2016

Ensleigh Lodge, 25 Ham Common

Regular readers of this blog (there are some!) will know that I like to feature house signs. That is because they can be an attractive feature and I like to draw attention to them when I think that they are. The new sign at Ensleigh Lodge is certainly worth noting.

All of the works there in recent months have been done in sympathy with the listed building and I have had several conversations with the builders and new owner about this. That care and attention to detail covers all aspects of the work right down to one of the smallest features, the house sign.

I like that it is an unusual design with the stylish letters and numbers carved into stone and that the colour of the stone is both muted and complimentary to the other colours around it.

28 April 2016

Converting a house in Back Lane

I have been walking down Back Lane a lot recently to see the back of the Huf Haus that is being constructed in Ham Street and because of that I was able to capture some substantial changes being made to a house there.

This pair of houses had never caught my attention before and I cannot remember what the one on the right looked like before the work started though the heavy lintel suggests that there was a garage door there.

The slightly differently coloured bricks on the ground floor suggest that the house on the left was the same, which is hardly unsurprising.

Passing by a couple of days later and it looks as though the house on the right is doing its best to match the one on the left, which is good to see.

27 April 2016

A welcome surprise between Cowper Road and Beard Road

One of the things I like most about Ham is the public spaces between the buildings and that is a characteristic found across the area including in the south-east corner where this open space runs between Cowper Road and Beard Road. They both lead off Latchmere Lane which is to the right here with the back of Sopwith Close (in Kingston) to the left.

This is a good sized and well maintained area and I like the way that it has some mature trees and humps that break the space up. I also like the splash of colour on the fence on the left.

And this is what that splash of colour looks like close-up. It is very jolly and very welcome.

25 April 2016

Stained class in Riverside Drive

These lovely stained glass windows can be found on the upper level of one of the two blocks of flats in the triangle made by Riverside Drive, Hardwicke Road and Cave Road. The window looks out over Riverside Drive where it almost hidden by a large tree.

The stained glass is further hidden in the daytime and is almost invisible unless a light is shining through it from within the block, and that only happens once it starts to get dark. At night the stairwell light does what it is meant to do and illuminates the coloured panels, turning them into something with the geometric feel of a Mondrian painting.

The colouring is only on the top floor and only in the one block so I presume that it is something unofficial done by one of the residents, possibly using materials from the shop Peels of London in Ham Street opposite Grey Court.

23 April 2016

Flooding in Debden Close and smaller leaks elsewhere

Thames Water have been busy in the area this week, mostly near the junction of Upper Ham Road and Ham Gate Avenue, and they have a lot more work to do.

There are several small leaks around another junction, Ham Parade and Parkleys, where there have been small pools of standing water for as long as I can remember. It looks as those there are now being addressed as I noticed that the area around one of the small covers has been rebuilt.

There is a bigger leak further down Ham Parade, on the west side, that smells as though it is waste water.

The biggest leak (at the moment) is just off Debden Close in Royal Park Gate. Water is gushing out like two taps running on full power. The water is flowing down to the cycle path where is has spread out some way in both directions. 

22 April 2016

Stunning in grey

The new block on Riverside Drive and/or Cave Road is taking shape. The timber frame has been completed and a striking layer of grey sheeting has been wrapped around it.

Building the block from the inside out like this means that I have no idea how it will look eventually. I will keep walking past it to monitor progress and I hope that something attractive emerges at the end of the process.

21 April 2016

LF13 XJZ double parks dangerously on Ham Parade

I have only once before seen somebody stupid enough to double park on the north-bound side of Ham Parade and that was back in 2009, so I was somewhat shocked to see LF13 XJZ double parked there this week.

Anybody who knows Ham Parade, especially those who cross it regularly, will know that traffic rushes north as the traffic lights change and there is something of a contest as two lanes merge into one. This is a busy and dangerous place and to further restrict the width of the road by parking in it is beyond irresponsible.

20 April 2016

A new chapter for The Ham Pantry

The Ham Pantry has responded to the (unwelcome) arrival of Sainsbury's by changing its focus. The shelves of biscuits, cereals, pastas etc. etc., are still there but the chilled foods have largely given way to frozen foods in the Cook range, as is shown in the new frontage.

I like the new look, especially the top with the scripted shop name on horizontal wooden bars. The inside is neater too, and easier to move around, but I do not take pictures of interiors so you will have to go in and see for yourself.

18 April 2016

New vistas at Ham House

A forgotten corner of the grounds at Ham House has been opened up this year which means there are some new things to look at. One of these is the view over the fence of the stables next door. It is pretty, I love the blue doors as well as the trees, and also active so it is a view well worth having.

This No Entry sign is now pointless as the fence has long gone and the gate stands all by its self. It may be pointless but it is attractive which is why, I assume, it has been kept.

16 April 2016

Closed arch behind Beaufort House

The lovely wall at the back of the lovely Beaufort House once had a door in it that is revealed both by the different coloured brick used to fill it and the arch that has been left in place. Even so, it is a subtle change in a wall that shows a lot of history, such as the much newer bricks in the top-left corner, and the archway can go unnoticed with a casual look.

9 April 2016

Brutalised hedge by King Georges Field

This is the hedge that separates King Georges Field from Ham Street and while it may have been a bit wild and unkempt before I do not think that it warranted the harsh trim that it has just had. It now has significant gaps in it, some of which dog walkers squeeze through, and is no longer capable of providing a home to nesting birds.

8 April 2016

Gordon House in its finished glory

It feels as though Gordon House has been worked on for ever and I have made a point of walking past it several times a week for all that time to check on the progress of the work and to record the significant developments. Now the work is finished and Gordon House is looking good.

It was looking particularly good this morning while the sun was still able to claw onto the front of the house. 

6 April 2016

A clear view of Thames Young Mariners

I have taken several photos of Thames Young Mariners over the years but not one as clear as this before. Often the scrub in the foreground obstructs part of the view and moored boats some of the rest. While I like the boats it was nice to get a clear view of the pontoon for a change.

4 April 2016

Pollarding a tree at Hardwicke House

It seems to be the time of year to attend to large trees as there is a lot of it going on. I was lucky to catch work in progress on one of the trees at Hardwicke House (on the corner of Ham Common and Martingales Close) on one of my lunchtime walks (an advantage of working from home).

The timing was good as this was just a couple of days before Storm Katie blew through taking some branches with it.

2 April 2016

Major changes at Tommy Steele Corner

This week the Petersham Road has been reduced to single-file traffic, controlled by traffic lights, around Tommy Steele Corner during the day as major works have been done to a tree in the grounds of Montrose House and also to the boundary wall.

When I got there (lunchtime on Wednesday 30 March) the tree had been cut back to just a trunk and this was being cut down in sections. There were a few vehicles and a couple of skips so it was clearly a big job.

1 April 2016

Flooding in Petersham Lodge Woods

Petersham Lodge Woods often floods though I have not often seen it as flooded as this. Previous flooding had mostly been on the west side of the central path but this time the flooding was throughout the woods and the central path was impassable.

This is the view looking across the woods from River Lane. It was taken from the pavement and shows how far the waters had spread. It also shows how few trees there are in that quadrant of the woods.