26 December 2018

Pretty tree

With all the building work that has been going on in the last couple of years Ham Photos has been rather swamped with pictures of construction sites so I thought that I would address the balance a little with a picture of a nice tree. The garden may be a little ragged for some tastes but I like it.

25 December 2018

Paths across Ham Village Green

Minot changes are being made to Ham Village Green with some regularity and, so far, I think that they have all been for the better. The Green is gradually becoming more interesting, more pleasant and more a place to loiter than to rush through.

The latest enhancements are decorative motifs at the ends of the paths that cross the Green. The apples and pears denote the shared start of the two paths that cross from Woodville Road to Ham Street and Ashburnham Road.

Cherries welcome walkers at the Ashburnham Road end.

24 December 2018

Christmas lights at Bramlings

I was not intending to cover Christmas lights this year but the extensive display at Bramlings is so far over the top and so unexpected that I just had to share it.

22 December 2018

Ham House at its best

I have posted a few pictures of the back of Ham House over the years as that is my favourite view. This one is slightly different to the others as I usually take them from the left-side.

Ham House faces South and a little East (SSE) so is in full sunlight a little before midday and that is a good enough excuse to go there early.

15 December 2018

New windows

Work on 1 Upper Ham Road had paused for a while, perhaps they were still busy inside, and then the windows arrived. They have gone for two different designs to help to separate the one building into two houses and also to match the different windows in the adjacent buildings.

While I can understand the thinking I would much rather that they had used just one style to maintain the integrity of the building it is replacing. It is meant to merge in with the very old cottages to the left, not to the new building on the right.

14 December 2018

Sprucing up The Old Malt House

The works on The Old Malt House are proving to be substantial and, so far, it looks as though they are being done sympathetically and are going to make the house even better than it was. It sits in a prominent position and deserves to look special.

12 December 2018

Pretty pot

One of the things I like to do is to discover pretty little things and when I do I like to share them. This  pot is not very large, as you can tell from the bricks behind it, so it has to work hard to get noticed and the large pink flower does the trick nicely.

10 December 2018

Approaching Ham House

On a lovely Autumn day I made my way to Ham House and was struck by this beauty before I got there. The crispness in the air was echoed in the crispness of the trees.

9 December 2018

A tale of two pavements

The repairing of pavements in Ham continues in Woodville Road. At the Ashburnham Road end new paving stones are replacing old ones.

It is another story at the other end of the road, where social housing sets the tone for the area, black tarmac is deemed to be sufficient.

8 December 2018

Patterning the Plats

The gardens at Ham House are always being worked on and there are changes from year to year and season to season.

Previously, the Plats, the eight lawn squares at the back of the house, had escaped attention and now their time is coming. Designs have been etched into the grass that suggest that flower beds, or something else decorative, will soon be coming.

This is good news. The Plats were built to show off wealth when lawns were expensive and unusual but times change and everybody has a lawn and this large expanse was easily the least interesting part of the garden.

7 December 2018

Poppies, pebbles and posters

The remembrance season in early November brought a sea of poppies, pebbles and posters to the little garden in the shopping parade at the river-end of Ashburnham Road.

6 December 2018

Demolition in Ham Farm Road

I like the diversity and individuality of the houses in Ham Farm Road so I am watching the demolition and replacement of one of them with interest. The old house certainly deserved its place in the road and I hope that its replacement does too. This is too nice a road for a bland house.

5 December 2018

Unidentical twins

I have forgotten where this is and the GPS on my camera has let me down, which is a shame as I would like to go back and see how these works have turned out.

No doubt I will pass there by accident eventually and this house will be easy to spot as it is so different from it's neighbours. It shares the slate roof and red brick of it co-joined twin but replacing the roof and the mortar has emphasised the differences between the them.

4 December 2018

Major thinning out

A few days after the initial shock of seeing the major works along the towpath besides Burnell Avenue I was back and it was lovely and bright for photographs.

The extent of the thinning out was clear once all the debris had been removed and it was major. All of the ground cover vegetation had been removed leaving just the trees. I do not approve because the houses in Burnell Avenue now intrude on the natural idyll and I am sure that the wildlife does not approve either.

A closer look at the works shows that not only was the scrub cleared but the trees took bit of a hammering too.

3 December 2018

59 Ham Street rises more

I have seen the plans for 59 Ham Street so have some idea what the finished buildings will look like but the plans never tell the whole story so it is interesting to watch them take shape. At the moment most of that shape is hidden by scaffolding and it is hard work for the slim bricks on the lower level to get themselves seen.

2 December 2018

More cutting back along the towpath

It was a foggy day in October when taking my usual walk to work that I was struck by the cutting back of the trees and bushes along the towpath opposite Burnell Avenue. There had been cutbacks along there before but not to this extent.

The Border Stone stands exposed when only a few weeks earlier I was standing next to it sheltering from the rain under a tree.

I can see the argument for exposing the river but I preferred it when coming across the weir was always a surprise and the first warning that it was there came from the noise it makes.

Work was in progress on the other side of the towpath too and the debris on the ground shows just how much of the vegetation was being removed.

While I can see an argument for exposing the river surely there is no sensible reason for making the ramshackle houses on Burnell Avenue more visible.

28 November 2018

Working on Latchmere House

I have been watching the construction of Richmond Chase for just over two years now and I think that I will be watching it for some time yet. On previous visits work had started on gutting Latchmere House and I was pleased on this visit to see it clad in scaffolding. I like scaffolding.

27 November 2018

Bland house completed

It has taken a few months but the new bland house in Latchmere Close is now finished. Since I last took a photo of it, back in January, the gate and the windows have turned black which has done nothing to improve its appearance. The main problems are there is too much feature-less brick and the equally feature-less windows.

25 November 2018

Orford Place in miniature

Orford Place is the most interesting development locally (Richmond Chase is the largest) and I was an early visitor to the sales centre when I took this picture of a model of the development.

Ham Common is at the top of the picture and the original house is the lighter coloured building in the centre. The buildings on the left are existing ones but the two blocks on the bottom-right are new.

Obviously the specifications of these will be different to the refurbished units and that probably explains why five of the six units there have been reserved already. The one remaining unit, number 22, is described ad a two-bedroom house with sun room, balcony, terrace and garden, and is currently priced at £1,075,000. 

24 November 2018

Almost completed

There are several building projects that I am watching closely and this one, at the start of Upper Ham Road, is the one closest to home and so is the one that I pass the most frequently.

The shell of the building has been complete for a few weeks and there is currently little sign of activity. I presume that there is plenty going on and that it is all inside.

23 November 2018

Rear gates to Cassel Hospital

I posted a similar photo of the rear gates to Cassel Hospital a few months ago (February) and I justify adding another one because the entrance is even clearer and it links to the previous photo of the new plants at Physio Extra via the pot on the right.

22 November 2018

More flowers on Parade

The blooming of Ham took several forms and Physio Extra gained a row of flower boxes along that front and a collection of pots along the back. 

21 November 2018

An expected addition

I was expecting this house to gain an extension, and it has. For some time I enjoyed the wildness of the abandoned front garden until new owners came and tidied everything up.

Having reclaimed the house and garden they are now adding what is a fairly standard extension for Burnell Avenue with the house growing on one side and to the front. What matters is the facing that they put on the blocks and I will be looking out for that.

20 November 2018

59 Ham Street rises

The two new houses next to the library in Ham Street are growing quite rapidly now and this picture is somewhat out of date but is still valid as the snapshot in time that all the photos here are meant to be.

As is often the case, it's the business of the scene and the industrial feel to it that I like. I am more likely to share a photo of a chocolate box cottage being demolished than one resplendent with roses.

19 November 2018

Langham House in red

Every Autumn Langham House turns red for a brief moment. It is only a brief moment but it is well worth catching.

18 November 2018

A new look for Great Fish and Chips

Great Fish and Chips has only been on Ham Parade for a few years (since May 2015) so it was something of a surprise to see it go for a new image. Gone is the brash blue and in is a more subtle brown. It is definitely an improvement.

17 November 2018

Richmond Chase progresses

The building of Richmond Chase continues southward.

On the east side some large Victorian style houses are being build behind a temporary fence. There are no Victorian houses in the area; this is Tudor not Canbury.

On the west side is a mix of town houses broken up by more Victorian Style houses. There are no other town houses in the area either.

At least for the moment these inappropriate houses are hidden behind a delightful forest of scaffolding.

16 November 2018

New bench for Ham Parade Market

The plaque on this bench says that it celebrates the arrival of Ham Parade Market in October 2017 so it is a little odd that it faces away from the market and towards the traffic. Apparently the organisers wanted it to face the other way but Richmond Council insisted that it should be placed like this.

The bench gets used a lot, not just when the market is there on the first Saturday of each month. If you see a small group of people around it you can be fairly certain that they are playing Pokemon Go as there is a gym there.

15 November 2018

Roof garden

The little block of flats on Croft Way has always intrigued me because they look like nothing else in the area. That difference is accentuated by the roof garden at the east end of the block that makes unexpected shapes against the sky.

14 November 2018

Something unusual lands in Ham Parade

I have absolutely no idea what these things are but given the branding and the location, there used to be a telephone kiosk there, I guess that they are some sort of communications device. I could go and give it a closer look to work out what it does but I am not that interested and I've not seen anyone else go near it either so the feeling seems to be common.

13 November 2018

Ormeley Lodge with scoffolding

Any excuse to take a picture of Ormeley Lodge is a good excuse and this excuse was the presence of a scaffolding tower that tempted me to zoom in on the beautiful bricks and the detail along the roofline.

12 November 2018

Fixing things in Royal Park Gate

Royal Park Gate is no longer new, it is over twenty years old now, and it is starting to show some signs of ageing. This is the block nearest the river. I have no idea what all the scaffolding is for but it has been there for several weeks.

11 November 2018

Remodelling Latchmere House

On most of my visits to Richmond Chase the only signs of work has been on building the new houses and now I can also watch the remodelling of Latchmere House.

This is the view of the front of the house viewed from somewhere near the show house. The approach to Latchmere House used to be quite impressive as it could be seen almost as soon as you turned into Latchmere Close but now there is a wall of housing in the way with only a narrow gap to see through.

The longest view to Latchmere House will be this one, looking up the new road through the centre of the development. It is considerably less attractive and I presume that it will remain so after all the works are finished as the property's listing dictates that little can be done to it.

10 November 2018

Minor works in Arlington Road

There is a story to these two houses in Arlington Road and how they became one but that is a story for somebody else to write, I am just interested in what things look like today. The ending (so far) of that story is a very singular building that looks modern but is actually little different from its neighbours having the original houses hidden underneath the veneer.

The presence of some scaffolding to support some minor works adds more pleasing lines to an already linear building.

9 November 2018

A darker green

This house is on Ham Street, one of the snuggled next to Palm Centre. It's neighbour has distinctive light green woodwork, the shade of which one website suggests is "mint", and that makes the whole house really stand out. This one uses a more subtle green and that has let the neat ironwork grab some attention too.

8 November 2018

New drive at the Old Vicarage

The Old Vicarage in Petersham has had some substantial work done to in the last few years and, in that context, laying a new drive is pretty small beer. It does, however, bring with it a distinctive pile of sand and gravel.

7 November 2018

Waiting for things to start

Another development that I expected to spend some time watching was on the site of former garages in Craig Road, and I will, it is just that it is taking quite a while to get going. Watch this space!

6 November 2018

Ham Close

The future of Ham Close has been under discussion for a few years now and I am not sure how they will end but as the existing buildings may well be demolished I wanted to make sure that I had some decent pictures of it before it goes.

Personally I quite like the buildings as seen from the outside (I have not yet been inside one) and I think that they are made to look worse than they actually are by the bland (or absent) landscaping between them. Wates Estate shows how to do it right but Ham Close refuses to learn that lesson.

5 November 2018

Typical Wates Estate

A Ham Amenities Group talk on fifty years of Wates Estate prompted me to revisit the area and to take this picture of a fairly typical scene. The housing is attractive enough, if fairly modest in appearance, but what makes Wates Estate so attractive is the overall design that created lots of open spaces between the houses and paths to move around them.

4 November 2018

Early days at Orford Place

Orford Place on Ham Common is likely to feature here for some time to come because of the size and importance of the site. The first part of the site to be worked on was the building on the corner of Ham Common and Martingales Close.

3 November 2018

Back to Richmond Chase

I get drawn back to Richmond Chase every few weeks to check on progress and while there is usually little or no change between visits occasionally the work moves on and some more of the development is revealed. On this occasion the next phase of town houses were open for inspection.

The first phase, at the top of the picture, was already occupied and the frontages were stuffed with cars. Sadly this will be the fate of the whole development and the almost car-free views in the sales literature will be a distant memory.

The occupation of the frontages is happening in stages. First, and this is the good bit, a few plants and trees are planted between the houses. Then the bin stores (also missing from the sales literature) arrive and already the sweep of the road is gone. Finally the owners and their cars come and the narrow road just looks messy.

14 October 2018

Resurfacing Lock Road (and others)

There was a splurge of road resurfacing over the Summer and one of the beneficiaries of this was Lock Road which has also benefitted from new pavements recently. In both cases I felt that there were more deserving cases.