31 December 2020

The Fox and Duck

It hurts every time that I walk past The Fox and Duck that I cannot pop in for a quick drink and the best that I can do is console myself with appreciating the striking simplicity of its sign.

As a general rule I hate the use of "&" symbols and I have spent many hours doing repetitive edits on corporate documents to change them all to "and"s, but, short of rotating the pub sign to make it landscape,  I cannot see what else they could easily do here. I would have dropped the "The" though; it is a largely unnecessary word and is commonly overused.

29 December 2020

Christmas cheer

I thought that I was done with Christmas decorations for this year until I wandered down Ham Gate Avenue. It was the large baubles in the tree overhanging over the path that demanded my attention and then having paused to take in the scene I then notice the two soldiers over the front door and the sparkle in the sundial.

28 December 2020

Ignoring double-yellow lines

I was sceptical when Richmond Council painted double-yellow lines along Ham Gate Avenue and I have quickly been proved right, as EA69 UVU demonstrates.

The lines are there to provide passing spaces for motorists and cyclists on this busy narrow road but selfish motorists, like the owner of HV67 RXR think that their wish to park close to Richmond Park is more important than other people's' ability to use the road safely.

FP66 UMO also has no qualms about finding the rules inconvenient.

LX10 UVS is the final one in this selection. I could have included more from this visit and even more from my next.

27 December 2020

CE13 WEO creates danger

This section of Church Road is hard enough to walk along at the best of times and CE13 WEO has made things even worse by inventing a dangerous parking space on the narrow bend. 

Blocked paths

One of the things that I love most about Ham is its permeability, the network of roads and paths which mean that I can walk in almost any direction at any time and two of my biggest gripes are that you cannot walk through from Sheridan Road to Cleves Road or Lock Road and that you cannot walk through Martingales Close or Bishops Close to anywhere. I really hate dead-ends!

Wates Estate is (mostly) a great pleasure to walk through as there are little paths running all over the place, some more obvious that others. However there are some paths that have clearly been closed off and others that I suspect have been, like these two running from Ferrymoor towards, but not reaching, Riverside Drive.

The style of the paving is that used for public paths and clearly there is no point building a path that leads nowhere so I can only presume that they used to give access to Riverside Drive but, some time ago, a hedge was planted to block the way.

I can understand the thinking that blocking paths improves security but the data shows otherwise, burglars know they are less likely to be spotted on paths that are not used, and I would like to see all of the blocked paths in Wates Estate opened up again.

26 December 2020

Extra seating

The pandemic is forcing us all to do more things outside and that includes my regular coffee breaks. The Swiss bakery has some outside seating which could be used when we were in Tier 2 but moving up to Tier 3 then 4 means take-away only with some customers choosing to sit on the wall opposite. That has become a more comfortable proposition with the addition of wooden seating and a couple of tables.

Sadly they are too popular and I have not yet been able to use them yet!

24 December 2020

Resurfacing Ham Street

The pandemic is meant to be an opportunity for us all to rediscover the joy and convenience of travelling by foot or by bike but Richmond Council continues to put all its effort into making life easier for motorists, including the pointless resurfacing of Ham Street.

This is one of the busiest roads for pedestrians in the area due to the schools, shops, Common and (one day!) pubs but the pavements are both ridiculously narrow and often uneven. This was a great opportunity to reduce the road space and make the pavements wider and smoother but it is an opportunity that Richmond Council has missed and the car has won yet again.

23 December 2020

Modest changes at Eyecare Opticians

The redesigned Eyecare Opticians on Ham Parade uses the same colours as before, and that is my excuse for not noticing the change immediately despite walking past it several times a day.

The main differences are changing the balance of the two colours so that the light blue dominates the white, and the addition of the spectacles symbol. Perhaps the intention was to make the purpose of the shop more obvious to people who are not familiar with the word "opticians".

22 December 2020

The Petersham Advent Calendar Trail

The Petersham Advent Calendar Trail is, in their words, "A dash of Christmas cheer in spite of Coronavirus and national lockdown. Petersham will see the night-by-night opening of a free ‘advent calendar’ walking trail from December 1st to 24th this year."

And in my words it is a brilliant idea and I have really enjoyed walking around the route. It is not all there yet so I will be going out a couple of times more to see the rest of it.

I also love that they are using what3words to give the location of the next window; number 11 is at prop.jazz.fall. It's an app everyone who ever goes into somewhere like Richmond Park should have on their phone in case they need to give their location in an emergency. 

21 December 2020

Lots of changes at Teddington Lock

The new railings along the towpath are the most visible changes being made at Teddington Lock but other things are happening too.

The section of the island nearest the weir has got new safety railings too. These are the same design as the other new ones but are grey, not black. They also have mesh inserts to stop small things, like children, falling through the gaps. 

Also on the island there is a well-worn route down to the beach that is uncovered every low tide. This is now easier to access, and more importantly get away from, thanks to a new set of steps.

The entrance to the lock has got a new gate too. The previous gate was the height of the railings and was not much of a deterrent. This one is still fairly easy to walk around but the message to keep away is more clear.

20 December 2020

Wear your mask

Christmas will almost certainly see another rise in covid-19 infections as people mix more and so it is important that we all keep following the simple hands-face-space rules, even wooden animals.

19 December 2020

Herrick Court has its name back

The board across the entrance area again proclaims that this is Herrick Court, the name having been missing for a while.

The new sign looks very much like the old one, which I guess you would expect in a listed development.

18 December 2020


Sudbrook Lane is one of the grandest roads locally and so I walk down there regularly, even if it is a longer route than following the main road. On a recent walk there I noticed the clipped trees and thought that this would make an interesting "after" photograph.

The only problem is there is not a proper "before" photograph to compare it with. For years I had assumed that I had a decent photo of the house but all I had was this partial image from ten years ago.

This is a partial image too and that was dictated by the evening sun shining from behind the left end of the house. To take a decent photo at all I had to hide in the shadow of a tall tree. One day I might just get to Petersham in the morning and will take a better picture of Mullion with the sun placed more favourably.

17 December 2020

RE18 XCC blocks the way

The dropped-kerb is there for pedestrians and the double-yellow lines are there to keep the path clear and the sight-lines open but the owner of RE18 XCC thinks that their shopping is more important than other people's safety.

More railings at Teddington Lock

The long row of red barriers and the series of holes dug behind them herald the extension of the new railings from the lock to the footbridge.

Previously this section had a low wooden fence that was much more a visual barrier than a physical one, as this photo from 2014 shows.

16 December 2020

Waiting for windows

I was expecting to post an update on the rebuilding of 54 Sandy Lane by now but nothing very much seems to have happened for some months with the house clearly waiting for windows.

Further along the road new windows are also part of the plan. Clearly other things are happening too and I will be back to see how things turn out.

This was also one of the very rare cases where the owner of the property walked past while I was taking the photo. He was not remotely phased by my photography and he reassured me that the orange was temporary. Respectful residents are always appreciated!

15 December 2020

Distinctly modern houses

Frustratingly the main route from Dukes Avenue to Maguire Drive is still closed while work associated with the two news houses continues so it was bit of a chore to trudge round to get this view from the Maguire Drive end of the development.

The houses look fresh and interesting with the grey box sections making a bold and confident statement. They are a worth addition to the area.

14 December 2020

New gates at Orford Place

The town houses in Orford Place that back onto Martingales Close now have some neat gates letting them get out of the development without having to walk all the way round the main house to the front entrance.

Amazingly the nimbys in Martingales Close objected to the new gates and Richmond Council agreed with them. Luckily the planning inspector had more sense and they were allowed on appeal. 

13 December 2020

Something is happening in Riverside Drive

The front garden tells you that a significant amount of work is being done on this house in Riverside Drive and there are further clues from the new roof and the removal of the porch.

The house is mid-terrace so there is a limit to what they can do to the frontage without it looking out of place. We will see.

12 December 2020

Parade's End Books

It is always good to see an empty unit on Ham Parade come back into life and even more so when it is with a business that is likely to draw people to the Parade, unlike another estate agent which this unit used to be.

It is very early days but the shops looks good inside and out and it has arrived just in time for Christmas 

11 December 2020

A striking fence

I have praised this garden in Dysart Avenue before and now it looks even better with the addition of a new, and very modern looking, fence.

10 December 2020

LG13 WEC drives on the pavement

Ham Common (the road) is constricted by parked cars but that is no excuse for LG13 WEC to drive up on to the pavement to get around a van coming the other way; the better options would have been to wait in the gap just behind him or to reverse back to that gap.

Veering onto the other side of the road and up onto the pavement was never a good idea and it was made much less so by the presence of pedestrians. 

New porch in Dukes Avenue

When work started on this porch in Dukes Avenue a couple of months ago I had some concerns and I am pleased to see that things worked out better than I feared, though it is not without issues.

While the new bricks are clearly redder than the originals they do merge together reasonably well. Similarly the problem of the original window on the right of the bay has been addressed by leaving it in place and extending the front of the bay straight across with identical windows.

I think they have done all they could with the extension but the end result does not look quite right. Perhaps it will grow on me as I get used to it.

9 December 2020

Cute reindeer

Christmas decorations are out in force across Ham and Petersham and I will keep to my usual plan of only featuring any here that I feel are exceptional, such as these reindeer above the front door of Malt House in Lock Road.

8 December 2020

Extensive extension in Tideway Close

The full extent of this extension in Tideway Close is apparent as it draws towards completion and claims most of the garden.

The gable in the middle of the new roof is something of a surprise and it looks a little incongruous to me.

7 December 2020

Busy garden

There is a lot going on in this garden in Riverside Drive and you need to zoom into the photo to see all the detail. My favourite thing is the row of three bells hanging in the tree that you can see just to the left of the front door.

The garden manages to have lots of little curiosities that catch the eye while also maintaining an impression of simplicity. I like it.

6 December 2020

Parked issue on Broughton Avenue

The drivers of these two vehicles are, technically, entitled to park where they are despite the proximity of the school no waiting zone and the bus stop but the white signpost shows that the road to the right is a busy route for pedestrians and cyclists heading to/from Teddington Footbridge and so this is an important crossing place which is made more dangerous by the parked vehicles obstructing the view.

Richmond Council should make it really obvious that parking is not allowed here by putting yellow lines around the junction.

5 December 2020

New sign for Ham and Petersham Cricket Club

The club house for Ham and Petersham Cricket Club on Upper Ham Road is a modest building (bottom right) which now has a sign to announce its presence.

The light blue is quite a contrast to the jumble of greys and browns that surround it. (The less said about the orange and dark blue monstrosity on the bottom-left the better.)


Designing signs is always an emotive topic (there is a brilliant TED Talk on flag design which covers the main issues) and in my humble opinion it seems odd in a sign with only six complete words to repeat "cricket club". It is effectively two signs on one board when one sign would have done.

4 December 2020

43A/B Maguire Drive

The numbering of the two new houses built between Maguire Drive and Dukes Avenue has been confirmed by two neat signs, one either side of the entrance on Maguire Drive.

I like the signs a lot, for their simplicity and clarity, and I am glad to see that these seem to be the new standard for Richmond Council as they have also been used for the infill on Riverside Drive.

3 December 2020

At the end of Locksmeade Road

I have been trying to take a photo of this little garden at the end of Locksmeade Road for a while but previous attempts were all thwarted by parked cars so I was pleased to catch it without that visual vandalism.

Despite being quite a small garden it effectively softens the impact of the development behind it and is a comforting bridge between that and Ham Lands.

2 December 2020

A tale of two drives

I said some nice things about the work being done to this house a few months ago and while that continues to look reasonable, as evidenced by the front door and windows, the work done to the front garden is regrettable.

Like too many properties across Ham, they have chosen to sacrifice their front garden for parking and while they have added a little decoration there is no disguising the loss of vegetation and the domination of the car.


A little further down the road things are somewhat better.

This garden has also been mostly given over to parking but space has been left for vegetation, the decoration is imaginative and the fence is pretty.

1 December 2020

New roof in Tree Close

Anyone who has sat upstairs on a 65 going to/from Richmond recently (and was paying attention) will have noticed that the large roof of a building sitting between Tree Close and Petersham Road is being replaced with vibrant tiles. It was easier to take a photo standing on the ground by the entrance to Tree Close.

29 November 2020

From white to grey

When I first remarked on this narrow property in Ham Street, back in 2015, it was white, like one of its neighbours, and now it has transformed to a striking modern grey and stands proudly out from both of the buildings it is joined too. I think the grey works. The brown door less so, but that is forgivable.

28 November 2020

New Indian coming soon

The small parade of shops by Ham Library always looks as though it is struggling with a few of the units empty and others changing hands quickly so it is good to see one of the units coming back to life.

A day or so later there were large posters in the window announcing that this will be The Taste of Lahore, a Punjabi restaurant.

Of course there is a well established Indian just around the corner, Jaflong, and I hope that there is space for both of them. The menus should be different and I expect to be a customer of both. I go to Saqui on Ham Parade too.

26 November 2020

New frontage in New Road

Every walk down New Road is rewarding thanks to its pleasant mix of pleasant cottages and sometimes there is something new to see too. This time I caught the early days of a building project that looks to be making substantial changes to the front of the house.

24 November 2020

K139 CNC on the pavement

My only criticism of Wates Estate is that the pavements are not very wide and so it is even more of a problem when motorists choose to park on the pavement there, as K139 CNC has done.

Buckingham Road CPZ

There is a story behind this sign that I do not know.

This is a spur off Buckingham Road and I do not know why this section is a private road rather than a normal highway. I also do not know, but could have a reasonable guess, why the residents felt it advantageous to have their own Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). Parking issues generally have to be pretty bad before residents are prepared to pay for their own spaces. My reasonable guess is that parking is an issue in that area generally due to the presence of two schools nearby.

As the road is private so is the CPZ.

22 November 2020

Herrick Court

There is always work being done somewhere in Parkleys and one of the current projects is to replace the wooden structures across the fronts of some of the blocks, including Herrick Court.

You can tell that this is Herrick Court because the name is on the sign next to the entrance but it used to also be on the plank at the front, as shown in this photograph. I hope, and expect, that the name will reappear in due course but I wanted to capture the time when it was missing.

21 November 2020

New railings at Teddington Lock

I had to go back to 2012 to find a picture of the low fence that used to separate the lock from the towpath to put the new railings in context. Compared to what was there before the new railings are markedly different, being taller and more substantial, but compared to the other railings on the site the only difference is that these are black whereas the others are grey, as you can see on the other side of the barge lock.

I have no idea how the seemingly continuous works at Teddington Lock are justified but it must be said that they are making  good job of it all.

19 November 2020

Sandpits update

Progress on the rebuild in Sandpits Road is steady and while the front of the house is still hidden the side view remains promising.

Confusingly the bricks immediately behind the boards are not part of the house, they are just piled there waiting to be used. The front of the house is the yellow section between the stock pile and the doorway and this looks here to be a slightly different colour to the rest, which is redder. This may be deliberate and it may be effective, it is just something to look at again as the work continues.

17 November 2020

23A/B/C Clifford Road

I keep wandering up Clifford Road to check on the new houses being built there only to be frustrated by a barrier that has been installed at the entrance to the site. At least there was a new letter box to discover and, with it, confirmation of the new house numbers.