28 February 2019

All Are Welcome

Another recent change at St Peter's Church in Petersham is the arrival of this decorate screen for the door to the hall extension. It says, "All Are Welcome", which is a nice turn of phrase.

It is visually pleasing too, especially (I think) when open like this. The typeface looks, to me anyway, like something from the Arts and Crafts period and that is meant to be a strong compliment.

27 February 2019

Commonwealth War Graves at St Peter's

St Peter's Church in Petersham has had some minor, but impressive alterations. The large entrance to the graveyard has a smart gate and a new sign on one of the gateposts announces the presence of some Commonwealth War Graves. It is all very neat and is entirely appropriate for a memorial.

26 February 2019

An even closer look at Toad of Toad Hall

I use the weathervane of Toad of Toad Hall in Ham Farm Road to test the zoom of any new camera I get. I last did this with my Canon Powershot 230HS in January 2012 and this picture was taken with my new Canon Powershot 620HS.

It is still a point-and-press camera with very few buttons and an easy size and weight for jacket pockets yet the zoom packs a powerful punch. The image stabilisation is brilliant too and I took this without any form of support to steady the camera.

25 February 2019

New path to health

For reasons I will not bore you with, I have been spending more time in Petersham recently and that includes using the muddy path that leaves Petersham Road close to the Dysart bus stop and runs around St Peter's Church. I scrambled along there one day and noticed nothing then a day, or maybe two, later there was a gate and a path where there had not been one before.

The new path leads to the health club behind Dysart and I presume that the aim is to keep visitors to the club away from the restaurant and its car park.

24 February 2019

Lots going on at Orford Place

Some building projects, such as Richmond Chase, seem to progress at a snail's pace whereas Orford Place is rising quickly with work going on across the site.

This view, from Martingales Close, shows something of the history of the main building that grew in large leaps from the original block in the centre of the picture.

This is the far end of the short row of townhouses on the Martingales Close side and beyond them is the carbon copy row in what was the middle of the garden.

23 February 2019

Trees removed from Ham Common

The corner of Ham Common by Martingales Close is looking a little shabby with the removal of three of the four mature trees there.

22 February 2019

A poor imitation

The new semis in Ham Street have been rising slowly and while I have walked past them many times there had been nothing to report until something of their final appearance started to emerge. Now it has and it is a little disappointing.

The blandness is even more striking when you consider that there is a beautiful Huf Haus next door. These semis try to copy some of the style of their neighbour but have copied none of the flair.

21 February 2019

LJ06 VOC blocks a dropped kerb

The textured paving is there to guide the partially sighted towards a crossing place, a fact that LJ06 VOC has selfishly ignored.

New project in Upper Ham Road

Yet another building project has started in Upper Ham Road. This house used to be obscured by tall and bushy conifers but now a site entrance has been created through them.

The builder's sign gives little clue as to what the work is though I hope that this will soon become apparent. I shall be walking past most days to see how things are going.

I note, with some surprise, that the builders do not have their own email address and are using one from yahoo.com instead (remember them?).

20 February 2019

DN58 PBV blocks a dropped-kerb

Parts of Wates Estate are awkward to walk around because the paths avoid following the road and the last thing pedestrians need is somebody needlessly blocking the way by parking their car across a dropped kerb.

(Very) minor repairs

Walking along the towpath from Royal Park Gate towards the Lock recently I saw that a few, just a few, of the potholes had been marked for repairs. It seemed a odd decision as there are many more holes than this and many of them are more serious, so much so that I walk around them rather than marching through them as I did with these.

A few days later the repairs were done. As expected, not a great deal of care seems to have been taken on the work and no attempt had been made to match the original colour or texture.

I am struggling to understand why so little work was done and why it was done in this way.

19 February 2019

TaylorMade van on double-yellows

TaylorMade has not been in Upper Ham Road for long and having made something of an impact with  a garish building we can now add the regular site of one of their vans parked on double-yellow lines in Ham Common close to the junction.

Missing gate

One of the more prominent pretty things at Montrose House is the front gate, only it has gone missing. I do not know whether its removal was accidental or deliberate but it has been missing for a while.

18 February 2019

Solid door

The obvious place to look when using the lane past St Peter's Church in Petersham is at the church so it is easy to miss this solid and purposeful door in the wall opposite.

17 February 2019

The Ham Barbers

Murray's on Ham Parade has a new name, a new look and, presumably, a new owner. The new look is  fair enough, there is not much that you can do with a barbers shop, though I would have liked to see a little more spacing between the words.

I would also have dropped the word "the", but that is just a foible of mine. 

16 February 2019

Snow in the Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden at Ham House combines a useful function with a pleasing appearance and so is a delightful place to sit and have a mid-morning coffee, expect when there is snow on the ground when we all chose to go indoors instead.

15 February 2019


What was once one of the two Backhaus shops has become Ronny's. It is still a German bakery with an assortment of other German foods only now it also does coffees and snacks with seating inside and out.

It has become a regular destination for me (coffee and cake) and I almost always bump into people that I know there.

14 February 2019

Tree felled in Riverside Drive

I understand that street trees need to be managed and that means that sometimes they need to be removed but it is still sad to see it happen. I hope that at least one tree will be planted to replace this one; this strip of land between Wates Estate and Riverside Drive is featureless and it needs a few trees to perk it up.

13 February 2019

212 and 216 Petersham Road

There is a story here that explains why 212 and 216 Petersham Road have the same colour gates and why 214 is missing but I will leave that to other people to tell, my interest is in the striking colour chosen for the gates.

10 February 2019

Cleared corner

The dramatic cutting back of vegetation in Royal Park Gate continues. I am not sure who is doing it (I presume it is the Council but it could be guerrilla gardeners), why they are doing it now after all these years or why it is being done in a piecemeal way but I broadly welcome the changes.

This corner of Northweald Lane and the shared-used path has been problematic for a while and I have done my own bit of guerrilla gardening there to keep the entrance to the path open. That was just some minor trimming whereas the recent works have cut the bushes right down in height as well as back from the path.

This is the view the other way, taken a few days later.

 My only gripe is that I do not see why they also had cut back so harshly the vegetarian growing away from the path, i.e. close to the railings on the left.

7 February 2019

Townhouses at Orford Place

The large development at Orford Place is a mix of refurbishment and rebuild, including a row of townhouses backing on to Martingales Close. I hope that they do justice to the old wall behind them.

6 February 2019

Frosty morning

I walk along the towpath most mornings, either to go to work or just for fun, and it always looks good. Sometimes it looks exceptional.

5 February 2019

287 Petersham Road

I am intrigued by the name Half Penny House but I am more interested in the sign. Most house signs locally are rustic so a metal one stands out as being unusual. The font is crisp and the house number is very clear so the sign does everything that it should do and looks good at the same time.

4 February 2019

Clearing the ground

The section of Ham Common Woods that lies between Upper Ham Road and the church used to be quite wild and was lovely because of that. Then, a few years ago, some of the trees and scrub were removed and now there has been more clearance in the north-east corner.

The clearance is more obvious from the church end from where it is now possible to see through the barren foreground to the road beyond. 

3 February 2019

Some snow

On Friday 1 February we woke up to a thin covering of snow. This quickly disappeared from the roads and busy pavements and it was only in the quiet places, like Teddington Lock, where it lingered for a while.

2 February 2019

Random post

This house sign and post box in Sudbrook Lane are a nice combination. The box, despite its battered and faded look, is a new arrival.

1 February 2019


I am struggling to understand why anyone would want to have such a garish building on the edge of Ham Common or why they were allowed to.