31 July 2019

Building in Back Lane

You don't know what you've got until it's gone, and this is an example of that. Something has been demolished in Back Lane but I cannot remember what. I presume that it was a nondescript garage of some sort and that whatever is coming is better.

30 July 2019

New block at Orford Place

I quite like what they are doing at Orford Place (on Ham Common), at least from what I have been able to see of it so far. Part of that is to add a new block between one of the previous extensions and the new terrace houses that run along Martingales Road.

The brick colour is quite different (for reasons that escape me) but the new block is similar in scale and design so that it fits in neatly with its much older neighbour.

29 July 2019

Pallet of bricks

This project in Upper Ham Road is one of those that is usually hidden behind tall solid boards so it was good to find the gate open and the plot exposed. There is not a great deal to see at the moment, though a pallet of bricks is always good and the extent of the garden clearance suggests that this is a large project.

28 July 2019

Fake birds

This is the end of Croft Way, where it joins Riverside Drive, where the end flat has installed some bird kites on the roof. The flight of the one on the right was quite convincing and it was a shame that the two on the left had flown into each other and got entwined. 

27 July 2019

Ginnels House

Ginnels House, on the spur of Sandpits Road, is one of the most hidden houses in Ham so I was pleased to find the gates open and the house revealed.

I had been in the garden before, for Petersham Open Gardens, and some changes had been made since then. The house, which had already been extended several times in several directions (you can see the change in the roofs) has gained a new extension on the right. There is also a new drive, a new gate, a new fence and probably a few things that I have not noticed.

26 July 2019

Through The Copse

The main paths through The Copse go along the edges of it so I took great pleasure in taking one of the paths that run through the middle as I went from the back of Ham House towards Meadlands Drive.

It is places like The Copse that make Ham special and walking through it is always rewarding.

25 July 2019

Cherry Garden at Ham House

To be honest, the Cherry Garden at Ham House is probably my least favourite part of the garden but when the lavender is as full as this then it looks spectacular.

The management of the lavender means that it gets cut right back periodically and the garden can look a little thin for a while but once it has grown to its full height and is in full bloom then the garden is a sea of colour. Then the lone statue in the centre of it all stops being the main feature and has to give way to the lavender.

24 July 2019

Kitchen Garden at Ham House

The Kitchen Garden at Ham House is one of my favourite parts of the diverse gardens and on this day it looked in prime condition.

23 July 2019

Wiggins works

Even the pretty white cottages in Wiggins Lane are not immune to the fashion of refurbishment. This is the one before the Stretton Road end, the one at the end (on the left) succumbed to both expansion and refurbishment some years ago.

22 July 2019

10 Woodville Road

This is another refurbishment project in Woodville Road and this one is a little bolder than most in choosing to go for a typical contemporary colour for the door and windows and the now mandatory long pole for the handle on the front door.

21 July 2019

Turkish Barber coming

This unit in Ashburnham Road has been empty since Backhaus left so it is good to see it being brought back into life. However, it is a little surprising to see it become another barber, especially as Neville Barbers opened at the other end of Ashburnham Road (by the Library) only a few years ago. I hope that there is room for them both.

20 July 2019

54 Sandy Lane has gone

Earlier this year I said that 54 Sandy Lane was ripe for redevelopment and that has quickly proven to be true. The house has gone, leaving only a roughly painter number behind as a reminder of its existence

19 July 2019


The large stone is the new Border Stone making the boundary between Kingston and Richmond. The older stone is hidden in the long grass behind the new stone, and that is the point of this picture; Kingston has mown the grass on their side but Richmond has let their grass grow for a little longer. I prefer Richmond's approach.

18 July 2019

Replacement windows

That is Ormeley Lodge on the left but I do not think that the windows are for the main house as it is, rightly, heavily listed and the new windows do not look anything like Georgian. There are several other buildings in the grounds that they could be destined for and I will be looking to see where they went when the gardens are next open to the public (June 2020!).

17 July 2019

Fairy Ring

To be honest, I had not heard of the term "Fairy Ring" until somebody posted a picture of this ring of dark grass on Twitter and said that is what it is called. Research since then tells me that the grass is darker because of the increased nutrition provided by fungi. Whether this is a Fairy Ring or not is largely irrelevant as the ring is worth photographing whatever caused it.

The location, which I am sure all locals will have recognised, is the raised patch of greenery on Ham Street opposite the junction with Riverside Drive.

16 July 2019

Changing Wates Estate

A recent spate of "improvements" in Wates Estate is slowly changing the character of the place as original designs and colours (predominantly white) are replaced.

It is, of course, a matter of personal preference and the owners have made these changes knowingly but I think that the changes are to be regretted. Individually the properties look fine and it is only when you look at them in the context of their unamended neighbours that the problem becomes apparent.

If there ever was a battle to protect the character of the buildings in Wates Estate then it has been lost. I hope that the landscaping remains safe.

15 July 2019

172 Dukes Avenue

172 Dukes Avenue is easy to find because it has two prominent house numbers.

14 July 2019

New porch

Several of the Mock Tudor houses in Dukes Avenue / Broughton Avenue have added porches and this house is joining them. The brick is a reasonable match and because of that I almost missed the works as I walked past.

The interesting part of the project is how the new porch connects with the existing bay window. I am sure that they have thought that through and have convinced themselves that the extra space is worth losing some of the external view.

13 July 2019

Recovering trees

These trees, on Dukes Avenue, were heavily pollarded earlier in the year and I was worried about the timing and the severity of the work so I am pleased to see that the trees have sprouted some leaves. Currently the leaf to branch ratio looks wrong but I hope that this will improve in subsequent years. And then they will need to be pollarded again.

12 July 2019

Site levelled

My vantage point into the redevelopment of the garages between Maguire Drive and Dukes Avenue is though the site gates where a hole has sufficient space for both a the lock and my camera. From there I can see the full length of the site.

I hope that this vantage point remains throughout the construction period so that I can record the growth of the new homes.

11 July 2019

Works at Ham Christian Centre

Ham Christian Centre in Lock Road is having something done to it and as I like to record things being done I took a picture of it. It looks like a relatively small job so I am not expecting it to look very different when it is finished but I will be back to look just in case.

10 July 2019

White cottages

Almost directly opposite the new construction site on Craig Road is this pair of slightly worn looking cottages. I had walked past them many times without photographing them but approaching from the alleyway opposite and with the sun almost directly on them this time a picture just had to be taken.

9 July 2019

A new building emerges

The small construction site on Craig Road is heavily screened and the only decent gap I could find was along the side of the site, so this is looking south and with Craig Road on the left and Randle Road in the top-right corner.

The site is long and thin and from this position I could only see the emergence of one of the new buildings, the other is off to the left.

8 July 2019

New lampposts

Good excuses are always being invented to disrupt the traffic on the main road to Richmond and on this occasion it was the replacing of lampposts.

7 July 2019

Pretty corner

I have shared a couple of pictures of this section of Petersham Road before and it is easy to see why; the houses are neat and tidy, as is the paving, and together they make a great setting for the plants.

4 July 2019


I think this is a statue of Buddha despite it being not in the traditional sitting position because a quick google search found similar smiling statues that do claim to be of him. Not that it really matters, I like the statue for how it looks and not for what it may represent.

I deliberately chose not to zoom in on the statue both to give the scale of it and also to include the nice plant and neat doorstep.

3 July 2019

Beside The Copse

I think that the name, if it has one, of the open spaces between the back of Ham House and Sandy Lane is an unsolved mystery so I will continue to call it Horse Field. I usually cross it using the main path, Melancholy Walk, but this time I chose to take the smaller path that follow the edge of The Copse, which is on the left.

It is easy to see why that route attracted me.

Having got to the far corner, by Meadlands Drive, I turned around and took this picture of the route I had taken.

As with most of Ham Lands, there is no evidence of buildings or cars and the only sign that there might be some people around is the well-worn path through the grass. Lovely.

2 July 2019

A path through Wates Estate

It was an obviously damp day (remember them?) when I took this and the plants were clearly relishing the water. The burst of exotic greenery on a car-free path made the walk through Wates Estate a simple delight.

1 July 2019

Pretty garden

As part of my ongoing exploration of Ham I sometimes approach Burnell Avenue from the river and on this occasion my reward was this display of flowers. I like the way that the colour is spread across the garden, and the window box, so that there is something pretty to look at in every direction.