23 July 2018

Towpath improvements

The warning signs that something was happening to the towpath north of Teddington Lock interested me but it took several weeks before I could go and look for myself. I made one effort that I had to abort not long after passing the Lock  due to it being very muddy and me having the wrong footwear to face that.

Eventually I managed to make the journey to Ham House. At first I was disappointed that nothing had changed, the sign may have suggested that the works would stretch all the way to the Lock but they only travel as far as Thames Young Mariners.

When I did find the path I was impressed. This stretch of the path was notoriously uneven before and this is a real improvement. I hope it stays like this for quite a few years and the new path makes it down to the Lock before too long.

22 July 2018

The Hand and Flower expands

The Hand and Flower has undergone a lot of changes under its new ownership. Inside it is smart but outside it is becoming something of a mess and it sits uneasily in its location which is part of the Ham Common Conservation Area.

The latest edition is the covered area to the left of the pub. To be fair, this area was already a mess and the seating there is definitely an improvement.

My main gripe with the changes is the abundance of fairly cheap looking signage. The main sign on the front of the building is reasonable but the lights around it, the menu below it and the poster on the side of the building all detract from the overall appearance.

Things got a little worse after I took this picture with the arrival of yet another sign, the pub's name, on the board above the entrance.

21 July 2018

Building walls at 59 Ham Street

Progress on 59 Ham Street has been steady if unspectacular but it has been noticeable. On this day when I was walking past the foundations were complete and work had just started on the walls. It seems to be a greyer brick that is usual in the area.

20 July 2018

36 Ham Street

There have been a few changes at 36 Ham Street and perhaps the finishing touch is the appearance of the house number on the brick wall next to the new gate. It is lovely.

19 July 2018

Divided woods

It is a little unfortunate that Ham Common Woods is divided by two roads, Ham Gate Avenue and Church Road which split the woods into separate sections each battling with traffic. This is the south-west section with Church Road to the north (left) and Ham Farm Road to the south (right).

It is pretty enough but is something of a beleaguered peninsular with Upper Ham Road forming the third boundary to the west.

18 July 2018

White door

This white door is made all the more striking by the well-worn path leading to it and the vegetation that has been held back to keep the path clear.

17 July 2018

Orange grass

While Ham Pond has turned green, Ham Common around it has turned orange as the heat wave and drought dominate the Summer.

16 July 2018

Green pond

The duck weed has hit Ham Pond with a vengeance. At first only this end of the pond was covered and the birds swam at the far end. Now the pond is covered and the birds are nowhere to be seen.

15 July 2018

Clearing the path

After some years of me complaining that the trimming along the shared path through Royal Park Gate was insufficient, the Council (presumably) came back and hacked it a lot more.

As a result the vegetation is clear of the path and it is possible to walk or cycle past without being molested.