30 April 2020


The Spring sunshine has brought the bluebells out in force across Ham Common Woods brightening up my daily walk. The best place to see them is along the path into the north section of the woods close to Ormeley Lodge.

28 April 2020

I can see Croft Way

This is the main path across Ham Lands from Teddington Lock towards Croft Way, which you can see just right of centre. This is a new view as the path used to be severely constricted by brambles at one point, so much so that I once took some secateurs with me on a walk just to cut them back from the path.

The extent of the clearance is obvious once at the point where the construction used to be. All of the semi-bare earth was brambles that have been cleared to improve the grasslands for wildlife.

26 April 2020


Walking down River Lane I was surprised to come across these birds brightening the recently flooded road. Their colours are amazing!

25 April 2020

Then and now: St Richard's church

This is another photo taken by Kenneth Kirchen in 1967. Obviously this is St Richard's church in Ashburnham Road.

The church has not changed much but the grounds have.

As before, I had problems trying to recreate the picture today and this time the problem was trees and not cars. The small stick in the top picture has grown to a full-sized tree which blocks the view of the church from the original point so I took this one with that tree behind me.

23 April 2020

Work paused

Work has paused on the new houses between Dukes Avenue and Maguire Drive and with the site tidied up it was a good time to peer through the gate to check on progress.

I like the look of the houses and am intrigued by their layouts. I will just have to wait a bit longer to find out what the finished look will be.

21 April 2020

Resurfaced, for some reason

The footpath along Ham Gate Avenue from its junction with Upper Ham Road has been resurfaced, for some reason. I walk along there most days and I cannot understand why the old surface was replaced as it was not that old anyway and I cannot recall any problems with it.

There has been no work done there for a couple of weeks so I assume that this is the finished look, which is bit of a mess.

As with the recently resurfaced towpath, the new surface is very different from the old and the join between them is ugly.

19 April 2020

18 April 2020

Parkgate House

The new entrance to the house next to The Dysart on Petersham Road now has a door and the name of the house, Parkgate House, carved in stone.

I am pretty certain that the name is Parkgate House because I have looked at the sign closely but an internet search also gives me Park Gate House and Park Gate. The Post Office takes the diplomatic route and has no name for 137 Petersham Road.

16 April 2020

Gables added

The last time that I looked at these new houses being built off Clifford Road I admired the roof timbers and now they are hidden behind brick gables.

The roofline is interesting with a flat lip on either side of the standard A-frame. I am not a fan of flat roofs as they are more prone to leaking and this layout also reduces any loft space so I presume that there are good arguments in favour of this approach that I am unaware of.

14 April 2020

William Hill closes

It is no great surprise that William Hill has closed as all high street bookies have been hit by the (sensible) decision to cut he maximum permitted stake on fixed-odds betting terminals £100 to £2 and by the steady increase in online betting. This is a big unit to fill and I suspect that it will be empty for some time, as was the Village supermarket Site.

How quickly will Coral follow?

12 April 2020

New hut for Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts

I have known for some time that Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts were planning to replace their old and heavily used hut and this view from their towpath entrance shows that work is in progress.

Zooming in from the same spot shows the Southern Demolition sign and so announces that this is the first stage of the work.

11 April 2020

The hoardings are down

I waited a year for the hoardings around this extension in Lock Road to come down and what has finally been revealed is very disappointing and somewhat confusing. There is nothing to like in the grey paint and I am confused by both the false window and the unfinished section on the ground floor, especially now that we can see that the garden paving extends right up to the walls there.

I will keep revisiting Lock Road and I am still interested to see how it all turns out but I must admit to not being very hopeful.

9 April 2020

Not the ugliest anymore

Two years ago I called this house in Cedar Heights "the ugliest in the area", and I was right. But, credit where credit is due, the new (first) owners have transformed its appearance with extensive planting, a porch and a new front door.

It is still not very pretty but it is much better than it was and I doubt that it is the ugliest in the area anymore. I will have to go and look for some new contenders.

7 April 2020

Craig Road completed

Craig Road has been on my list of places to visit for many months as I have watched two houses replace some garages in an underused plot of land.

The new house sits comfortably between two different phases of construction in Craig Road and while it is clearly much newer it is consistent in style. In particular, the small porches over the front and side doors are very common across several sections of Ham.

The sign to the left of the building proclaims this as flats 27a to 27d.

5 April 2020

Red bridge

I have been trying to take a picture of this bridge for many years but had been thwarted many times by railings and vegetation, until this day.

The bridge is at the far end of the garden at the far end of Cedar Heights and I first discovered it many years ago when it was included in Petersham Open Gardens and I was able to walk over it. That garden is no longer included in the Open Gardens so I have had to admire the bridge from the distant pavement.

4 April 2020

A crack in the wall

I have looked at this wall behind Beaufort House and Cottage in Ham Street many many times but I have never noticed this large crack before. It may be new or it is just as likely that I had missed it.

2 April 2020

Mind your head

There are two paths that run from Parkleys to Church Road; the one further East is wide and open whereas the other one, nearer the church, is narrow and enclosed. That smaller path now has a natural height restriction too thanks to a small tree falling over.

I was able to get through the gap but I must confess that I brushed my head on the way through.