30 December 2017

9 Cedar Heights

Now that the the builder's debris has been cleared from the front of the house the full monstrosity of it has been revealed. This is a serious contender for the ugliest house in Ham and Petersham. Unfortunately it is in a prominent position, opposite the junction with Ashfield Close, and so its ugliness shouts out at me whenever I go in to explore that enclave.

29 December 2017

Please use the path.

I like this sign in Buckingham Road because it stands out, as signs should, it makes its point clearly and does so politely. 

28 December 2017

New wall in Ham Street

I have said many times that Ham is characterised by its extensive use of brick and I hope to be able to keep saying that as I love brick. One cause for optimism is that bricks walls continue to be added and/or repaired. This is the case here in Ham Street near to Evelyn Street, which you can see in the background.

I would have had no reason to take a picture of what was there before and without that record to remind me it is impossible to compare the old with the new. However, the new wall is lovely with its precise construction and nicely varied colours.

27 December 2017

Woodland Improvement Works?

I am deeply suspicious of works described as "improvement" because other improvement works in and around Ham Common Woods in recent years have meant the removal of lots of trees which, in my view, as made the area less attractive. I like dark cold places as that is where magic lives and mysteries are born so I see the bringing of more light and warmth to the area as a bad thing.

Nor am I reassured by the involvement of the Ham and Petersham Association as their views on where Ham is and what it should look like rarely coincide with mine.

At least it is only holly that is going this time so perhaps the damage will not be that bad. I will be back to look once the work has been done.

25 December 2017

Three farthings

These three farthings are part of a set that decorates a garden in Yeovilton Road. They are easy to spot as they are in the garden next to the start of the path through to Kestrel Close.

All of the farthings are dated 1956 which is probably significant, somebody's birth year perhaps.

23 December 2017

A gap in the fence

The newish fence that forms the boundary of the golf club as it passes Petersham Road has been opened to allow large vehicles into the site. That also allows the curious to see into one corner of the secretive grounds.

21 December 2017

No Ball Game

This sign is both unfriendly and unnecessary. It's unfriendly because all there is the other side of the wall is a garage at the end of Kingfisher Drive. It's unnecessary as there is only a small patch of grass between the wall and Riverside Drive, if anybody did want to play ball games there are lots of better places nearby,

I do like the font though and also the surprisingly large gap between the N and O.

19 December 2017

White wall

The gentle sprucing of the Cassel Hospital continued with the repair and repainting of the low front wall. You can see what state it was in before in these pictures I took earlier in the year when the work started with the removal of some trees.

All it needs now is for the railings to come back but I presume that is not going to happen.

17 December 2017

Greener Greens Organic at Ham Parade Market

Ham Parade Market has been going for a few months now and I've gone every time, mostly to buy the fresh fruit and vegetables that I cannot get on the Parade since Ham Fruiterers closed. There are plenty of other stalls and they attract many people. It certainly seems to be a great success and it is due to return on the first Saturday of each month (except January).

15 December 2017

Bee under the bench

I hope that these bees and flowers have not been hiding under this bench for very long as I have only just noticed them. The bench is on the diagonal path that cuts across Ham Village Green from the shops in Ham Street to Woodville Road.

The design continues the natural theme of the pictures on the nearby wall.

13 December 2017

Another sunny day

On days like this the walk to work is even more of a pleasure than usual. This is the path from Riverside Drive to Teddington Footbridge at around 8:30am. Not only was the sun helpful but so were all the usual travellers who managed to keep out of the way for a moment to allow me to take this picture.

11 December 2017

This building has a history ...

I do not know the full story but it looks as though 1 Upper Ham Road, a building of Townscape Merit in a Conservation Area, was demolished without permission. That may explain why work on the site has stopped and this apologetic notice has appeared.

9 December 2017

Lavender Garden at Ham House

The gardens at Ham House are worth a visit at any time of the year and as a National Trust member I go throughout the year, even if just for a quick walk. This time I went clockwise so the first place that I came to was the what the National Trust calls the Cherry Garden, because that is what it once was, and I call the Lavender Garden because that is what it now is.

8 December 2017

Construction in Ashfield Close

This has been a good year for construction-in-progress pictures and this one if from Ashfield Close which, for some reason, is the name given to one of the spurs off Cedar Heights. I think that it would be easier if it was all named Cedar Heights.

7 December 2017

Coffee Brew House

What was Empire Foods has quickly morphed into a a new cafe called Coffee Brew House. I am not sure why the change happened but the new cafe still has a temporary feel to it as the garish yellow is at least one coat short of what was required.

6 December 2017

A copy-cat extension

This extension is on Horsley Drive as it meets Manston Grove and is almost an exact copy of the one across the road from it in Manston Grove, the only obvious difference is that the ground floor extension does not run the full length of the house because of the shape of the plot.

I took the picture partially as a record of the change but mostly because I love bricks, scaffolding and sunshine.

5 December 2017

A pleasant corner

The sunlight can do some lovely things at this time of the year and it certainly brightened up this little travelled corner.

This is the back of Ham House taken from the main path, Melancholy Walk. This short section is little travelled as most people take the diagonal short-cut that runs just off to the left of the picture. I love little travelled paths.

4 December 2017

The wrong path

When this path was being constructed I was pleased to see the edging bricks being used as they continued the existing design but I was then somewhat horrified to see that the body of the path was paved. It does not match the brickwork at either end and so it simply looks wrong.

2 December 2017

Decorative bricks

Cassel Hospital has a mixed frontage, part of which is a high yellow brick wall which is made interesting and decorative by an unusual bond at the top which has two rows protruding, one of them at an angle. Little things like that are easy to do and make such a difference.

30 November 2017


I remember seeing lots of cormorants by the weir at Teddington but not recently so it was good to see this one perching on one of the rocks exposed by November's low tide.

28 November 2017

Arched gate

This lovely arched gate lives on the junction of Vancouver Road and Maguire Drive. It is to be admired not just for its shape but also its colour.

26 November 2017

New gates at South Corner

This will probably be my last photograph of the rebuilding of South Corner now that the work seems to be completed. One of the last jobs was to instal the simple and very appropriate gates. The way that, when closed, the gates form a heart shape is a nice touch.

24 November 2017

Little used car

This car has been so little used that the hedge has been allowed to grow around it creating a striking combination of deep green and fiery red.

22 November 2017

Low tide at Teddington Lock

A few days ago I published a couple of pictures of the weir exposed by November's low tide and this time I am looking the other way, downstream to the lock.

The view of the island from the Teddington side of the footbridge shows an extended beach.

Moving on to Teddington Lock the water level in the barge lock was exceedingly low.

20 November 2017

Black and white house

I had had many fruitless walks down Cedar Heights, a no through road, before I was able to take this picture. Normally the view was ruined by a car outside and sometimes it was the light that spoiled the shot but this time there were no problems and my patience was rewarded.

I love the look of the house because there is a lot going on but the overall effect is consistent and not fussy.

18 November 2017

Low tide at the weir

I love the way the the Thames is allowed to rise and fall to its full extent every November as it looks very different when it is almost drained of water. Then a lot of the river bed is exposed and it looks possible to walk across in places like at the end of River Lane.

The Weir looks very different too with all the constructed parts exposed.

16 November 2017

The end of Empire Foods

Empire Foods, on the corner of Ham Common, looked reasonably busy most of the times that I walked past there over the Summer but now it has closed. The top end of the Parade has struggled to find visitors (two shops on the other side of the road are being replaced by houses) so it is possible that it will remain empty for a while.

14 November 2017

Now you see it, now you don't

The plot between Ham Library and the new Huf Haus in Ham Street is being redeveloped and that means clearing the site first. I took this picture on 29 October when most of the ground had been cleared but most of the house was still standing,

Then on 10 November the house had gone too. With nothing left on the site it is easier to appreciate just how big it is. There looks to be plenty of room for the two houses that I believe are coming.

13 November 2017

A feast of parakeets (or starlings)

I was walking across Ham Village Green when I was struck at how so many parakeets had clustered in one tree.

I took this photo without any zoom to show the tree in context and because I liked the sky behind them.

12 November 2017

Rebuilding a mid-terrace house

I knew that the rebuilding of this modest property in Upper Ham Road was going to be a big job but I did not expect it to be this big. The old house has gone completely, even the front wall that I presumed would be kept.

Peering through the letter box shows that none of the former house remains. It also shows that a basement is being carved out at the back.

I do not understand the economics of doing so much to such a small sight and I am looking forward to seeing what sort of building rises to fill the space.

Update: I have been told that this property, which is in a Conservation Area and is listed as a building of Townscape Merit, has been demolished without permission. I've had a look at the LBRuT website and all I can see is an application to convert the property, nothing about demolishing it. If it has been demolished without permission then somebody should go to jail for it.

11 November 2017

Mrs Leir Head Teacher

While the Russell School is being substantially remodelled there are temporary arrangements in place for staff parking.

10 November 2017

Makeover completed in New Road

After months of extensive work it looks as though this substantial makeover (and small extension) in New Road has been completed. It looks rather neat but I think that if I was doing that much work to it then I would have built a larger extension.

9 November 2017

Another tree has gone

The sawdust is clear evidence that a tree used to live here in Meadlands Drive, close to its junction with Sandy Lane. I hope it is replaced soon.

8 November 2017

The first part of Richmond Chase is almost ready

Progress is slow but the first phase of Richmond Chase is almost ready and as it does so it is starting to look a little bit more interesting, or at least a little less bland.

The flatness of the frontage is broken up by the porches and the bleakness of the paved front gardens by the fences and little touches of planting.

The far end, furthest from Church Road, follows the same scheme but here the block is set back creating long uninteresting paved areas more suitable for parking buses than cars.

7 November 2017

R60 RTT and BP57 JSZ make things difficult

Double Yellow Lines are an obvious visual sign that you really should not park there, signs that R60 RTT has chosen to ignore. This is the entrance to Ham Common from Upper Ham Road which is an awkward junction in both directions. The yellow lines are there for a reason.

Making things worse BP57 JSZ has chosen to park on the Double Yellow Lines on the other side of the road and to do so with the back end sticking out.

6 November 2017

Rebuilding a garden

I had hoped that some of the heavily overgrown garden in Burnell Avenue would survive the necessary rebuilding of house and garden but it has been totally cleared. Now I hope that a lovely new garden will appear in its place.

3 November 2017

Another lost garden

Sadly, lost gardens is becoming something of a theme and here is another one. This one is in Ashburnham Road.

24 October 2017

Teddington Lock

Every now and then I like to return to some of Ham's landmarks just as a reminder that they are there as it is easy to take these things for granted. Teddington Lock is one of those landmarks and this view of it from the footbridge is one that inspires me most mornings as I walk to work.

23 October 2017

Taking shape

Now that the roof is being constructed the size and scale of the rebuild at the end of Sudbrook Gardens is becoming obvious, and it is big. But then it is in a road of big houses. 

22 October 2017

Ham Common Woods

Ham Common Woods is a lovely place to go for a walk, it's just a shame that there is not more of it to enjoy and that Ham Gate Avenue cuts through the middle of it.

At least there are plenty of twisting paths that mean that long and pleasant routes can be conjured from a small space.