31 December 2019


There is something dated about this house number sign in the font, border and colour that I like.

30 December 2019

Fake grass

Fortunately there are very few examples of artificial grass in Ham, such as this one in Mornington Walk. Grass should look worn and muddy in Winter, not pristine like a golf fairway in Summer.

29 December 2019

Petersham-style porch

Many of the old cottages along Petersham Road and nearby have wooden porches like this one but this is the only one (as far as I know) in the adjacent roads of more recent brick built houses. You can find it in Clifford Road opposite the junction with Buckingham Road.

28 December 2019

Different roofs

This is one of the two buildings being constructed on the passage between Dukes Avenue and Maguire Drive. The view from Maguire Drive is side-on which gives a good view of how the roofs are being constructed.

27 December 2019

Mixed housing

As the work on these semis in Maguire Drive draws to a close it is becoming clearer what they will look like when finished. The symmetry of the windows proves that they are a pair while the different colours and different doors try to suggest otherwise.

Most of what has been done makes some kind of sense but I am struggling to understand why there are blocks around the door on the left. A few grey bricks, as used on the house on the left, would have provided some contrast without being so brutal.

26 December 2019

Vandalism in Royal Park Gate

It took twenty years but the vegetation either side of the path through Royal Park Gate grew in wild joy and almost completely masked the houses. The wildlife liked this too as it provided habitats, food and cover from predators.

Now one resident has decided to undo two decades of work and to clear the vegetation near his property which means, amongst other things, that Manston Grove is revealed. The vegetation looked a lot better.

A side view shows that this is more than just cutting back vegetation that had encroached through the railings and a dead zone of about 1 metre has been created.

Kingston Council have intervened but it is too late to undo the damage already done.

25 December 2019

Under water

It has rained a great deal in the last couple of months so it was no surprise to find Petersham Lodge Woods flooded.

This stretch of water is hiding the path through the woods and forced me to take another route.

24 December 2019

Empty path

The towpath is always a great place to walk, which is why so many people do just that. This day was fresh and bright and perfect for walking. I took advantage of a brief moment without people in the way to take this picture as I headed towards Richmond.

23 December 2019

Two benches

Normally when walk in the Ham House area I go to the gardens there but this time I deviated and walked along the towpath as it passes in front of the house. The verge is much wider there, by the car park, and two benches have taken advantage of the extra space to rest and enjoy the view across the river.

22 December 2019

Somewhere in Wates Estate

I love to ramble through Wates Estate and I do so in random directions just enjoying the spaces between the buildings. Spaces like this one.

21 December 2019

LD65 XRU blocks the way

This is obviously a crossing point for pedestrians but this driver selfishly thinks his parking is more important that other people's ability to cross the road easily and safely.

20 December 2019

A pretty way in

There is lots to like about Wates Estate and one of them is the discrete entrances. This one is off Riverside Drive and is well guarded by mature trees.

19 December 2019

Maintaining Wates Estate

Open gates are one of my favourite things as they reveal things that are often hidden and sometimes these are things that I did not even suspect that they were there, and this is what happened here.

The layout of Wates Estate creates interesting spaces between the building, most of which are planted, and in this one there is a private area used by the maintenance team.

18 December 2019

Straw Doll

I am not convinced that this is made out of straw but that does not matter, it looks like a straw doll and that is good enough for me. It is a very attractive addition to the door and makes you believe the sign beneath it.

17 December 2019

Battered box

I was walking down Sandy Lane fairly briskly when something abut the battered box made me stop and admire it.

16 December 2019

A year later

I have been following this project in Ham Farm Road for a whole year now, starting with this post in December 2018. Finally the scaffolding and the skip have gone and it possible to see what the finished house looks like.

15 December 2019

Mock Tudor no more

One of the aims of the blog is to capture changes and this is a good example of that. Earlier this year I posted a picture of this house in Maguire Drive because of its unusual Mock Tudor facade and now that has gone as the house undergoes a major refit.

14 December 2019

10 Maguire Drive

Another pretty house number, this time in Maguire Drive. I particularly like the third title which is there just for decoration, which is always a good enough reason.

13 December 2019

Something is happening in Back Road

I am always on the look out for new construction projects and I found this one in Back Road. The new fencing shows that this is part of a programme of improvement works though it is to early to say what this is going to become.

12 December 2019

Putting the roof on

The roofs are going on the two new buildings between Dukes Avenue and Maguire Drive and they are interesting roofs too. On both buildings a traditional A-Frame roof is being constructed but only on half of the building. I am interested to see what they do with the other halves.

11 December 2019

Yellow leaves

Obviously these leaves did not fall very far from the tree in Maguire Drive at all and in their timidity they have created a thick yellow carpet that merges the pavement with the garden.

10 December 2019

New roof

This house at the end of Randle Road (off Craig Road) has a new roof that shouts at you from some distance. It will fade with time.

I moved into my house when it was brand new and then it was possible to spot the development, and hence my house, when flying back into Heathrow but the colour gradually subdued and eventually the development merged into the rest of Ham and North Kingston.

9 December 2019

Bridging bricks

Now that the new homes in Craig Road have risen above the hoardings it is possible to start to judge how they will look when finished, and the initial view is promising. The new building at the front of the site matches its neighbours in style and construction (brick).

What cannot be seen clearly from this picture (I have posted others) is that the houses in Craig Road are different on the two sides of this new one and they are made from different coloured bricks; yellower to the right and redder to the left. By going for a muted brown brick here the new house bridges that gap nicely.

8 December 2019


House numbers feature here fairly regularly because they can be as pretty as this. I suspect that this one is in Craig Road though I may be wrong as I took it a few weeks ago now (I am always working with a backlog as I take several photos during a walk but only post one a day).

7 December 2019

Typical Wates

While places like this in Wates Estate are far from hidden they are easily overlooked and can be taken for granted. This happens to be Broughton Avenue looking south.

6 December 2019

Ham Village Green information board

I am a fan of the various improvements that have been made to Ham Village Green and this information board is another one. It tells the interesting story of the area in words, photos and maps. 

5 December 2019

Managing trees

The area between the Thames and Royal Park Gate is a jumble of trees and shrubs, a welcome splash of wilderness before entering the built up area. This area has been left more or less untouched since the demise of British Aerospace until now when Kingston Council have done some substantial clearing and pruning.

This is the view from the top of the small ridge by YMCA looking towards the path that runs through Royal Park Gate and it shows the extend of the clearance.

The work continued the n the other side of the path but it is not all clearance and (at least) one new tree has been planted.

4 December 2019

Making a path

When Royal Park Gate was first built the short-cut from the towpath past the playground to the main path through the development was almost hidden, it became more visible through increased usage and now it has been firmly defined by the placing of wood chippings.

These chippings have come from nearby works and there will be more on that later.

3 December 2019

Gate work

One of the Winter projects at Ham House concerns the gate on the north-east wall.

2 December 2019

Wall works

I am used to sections of the Wilderness at Ham House being closed in Winter to allow the grass to recover from months of abuse from children playing hide-and-seek and part of it is closed this year but for another reason. As the sign says, the area has been roped off because work is being done to the walls.

1 December 2019

Working on the Orangery

There are several improvement projects underway at Ham House, as there often are in the quieter months, and the largest of these is at the Orangery Cafe. The nature of the work is hidden but I suspect that the cafe will look much the same as it did before. The good news is that the cafe is still open during these works and it remains a good place to rest a while with a coffee and a slice of cake.