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.

5 October 2016

Fixing the path to Ham House

When I first reported on the resurfaced path to Ham House in March I complained that the cobbled sections were a significant problem for things like bikes, buggies and children's scooters (which every child seems to have these days) and now I am pleased to say that this problem has been recognised and fixed.

The centre of each cobbled section has been filled-in to create a comfortable passage way for those who need it while still forcing cars to go over the cobbles which encourages them to go slowly.

3 October 2016

Remodelling the former Ham Institute

One of the several projects that I am keeping an eye on at the moment is the remodelling of the former Ham Institute in New Road and at the moment I do not like what I see. The Mock Tudor wood is still there but is no longer black which just looks wrong to me. Also wrong in my book is rendering over the brick facing on the ground floor.

What is left is almost relentlessly grey with almost all of the detail that made the building look interesting before lost under the render. This is particularly true around the door and windows where the patterned bricks have been covered for reasons that I do not understand.

I like the idea of echoing the decoration above the windows in the front wall but that is too little to rescue the appearance. Perhaps there is more work to be done and the finished result will look better. I hope so.

1 October 2016

Three empty shops on Ham Parade

One of the reasons that I started this blog in 2007 was to capture the changes being made locally that usually went unremarked. A shop on Ham Parade would change and quickly the new shop became part of the scene and the old one was quickly forgotten.

In that time we have lost many shops including Barclays, Giftbox, New Mandarin, Beauty by Honey, Expertravel, Chic O'Pick, R. Tucker, Carpet Library, HSBC, Wine Rack and Mia Wood.

The first empty shop is at the far end of the Parade, close to the Common. This has changed hands more often than any other on the Parade, probably because of its separation from the main shops and the board advertising it says that permission has been granted to turn it into cottages. That may be for the best.

The second shop was an antique, or bric-a-brac, shop and because of that I only ever went to it once and then I did not buy anything. It was never a shop that looked busy and I was surprised that it survived so long. That said, I had nothing against Glencorse and I would much rather have an unusual shop like that on the parade than, for example, another estate agents or betting shop.

The final shop to close, Ham Fruiterers, is the one that I already miss the most. I went there on average once a day and it was my most important shop on the Parade. I got on well with all the people there too.

Ham Parade has been through a lot of change in recent years with the promise of more to come. When the new shops come, and I hope they come quickly, I will be there to record them.