31 May 2020

54 Sandy Lane rises tall

54 Sandy Lane has been one of the more secretive projects locally but now it has risen well above the hoardings and cannot hide all of its secrets any longer.

The most obvious feature is its sheer bulk. Its height is taken from a chimney nearby, as is its position towards the front of the plot, and that allows the new house to dominate its smaller neighbour to the left.

30 May 2020

Loft conversion in Buckingham Road

The LOFTY sign tells us what is happening here in Buckingham Road and that explains why the roof has gone.

As is often the case, it is the work in progress view that I like with the scaffolding and sheeting turning the house, temporarily, into something industrial.

28 May 2020

Glorious garden in Tideway Close

While we are suffering from the impacts of covid-19 it is good to be able to go outside and enjoy some of the great gardens in the area and this one at the end of Tideway Close is one of the very best. I liked it way back in 2008 and it is even better now.

This angle does it more justice too as it shows how the garden bleeds nicely into Ham Lands.

26 May 2020

More resurfacing and a health risk

Having made a mess of the path at one end of Ham Gate Avenue it looks as though the process is being repeated at the other end, next to Ham Gate, again for reasons that are not at all obvious.

To make matters worse they have created a segregated path in the road which makes maintaining a social distance difficult in this busy area - too many people lack the common sense to check which way other people are walking in that area before choosing whether to use it or the road. Without the second set of barriers pedestrians would have more space in which to avoid each other.

24 May 2020

Churchods has "moved"

The sign on the door says that Churchds has "moved to bustling Kingston" but whether it is a move or a closure the fact remains that this is another large empty shop on Ham Parade. This is next door but one to William Hill which also closed recently.

23 May 2020

Ham Lands North

The character of Ham Lands North is different to Ham Lands South with a lot more woods and a few fields, notably next to Ham Street. This field is in the heart of the area and has a certain reputation and it took me a while to find a view I could capture that did not have men in it.

I got there from Ham Street via this path which has some history. It was brutally cut out of Ham Lands North to create the aspirational Great River Avenue and I moaned about that at the time. Luckily time and nature have done some much needed repairs and while there is still a break in the woods it's a lot smaller now.

21 May 2020


Bunting, posters and flags have been on display both to show support for the NHS and also to remember VE Day which had its 75th anniversary on 8th May. Residents along Petersham Road made a particular effort in this regard and Newark Lodge was the most prominent.

19 May 2020

Dark grey window frames

Almost as soon as I commented that work on these two new houses had been paused they started work there again and have put the window frames in. They are a contemporary dark grey, which is fine as there are no immediate properties to set another standard.

Two things I am looking out for are the finish that will be applied to the gap between the windows on the ground and first floors and also the finish to the part of the first floors that are not brick. 

17 May 2020

New 20 MPH speed limit in force

This modest sign on Dukes Avenue is to warn motorists that a 20 mph speed limit has been introduced. In my experience it has made no difference to the way that people drive but it is a good idea and I hope that, with some effort to enforce the new rule, motorists can be persuaded to slow down across Ham.

16 May 2020

What we need you to do

Social Distancing is difficult along the towpath because it is so busy and a significant minority ignore the 2m guidelines making no effort to maintain a safe distance as they go past. Therefore it is good to see that Richmond Council are making some effort to address this with a bright yellow banner at Teddington Lock.

Unfortunately it is situated away from the busiest section and is parallel to the path at a place where there are several other signs so it is easy to walk past and not notice it.

14 May 2020

Walking in the Woods

I have been walking through Ham Common Woods more than usual later as it is the ideal place for some moderate exercise during the covid-19 lockdown. Places like the towpath are too busy and the continuous effort to avoid people there makes the walk unpleasant. There are other people in the Woods but not that many and there is always space at the side of the path to get out of their way.

One of the joys of the Woods is the maze of paths which provide many routes through it. The paths twist, meet and divide making it difficult to maintain a direct route, but who would want to?

12 May 2020

Secured by VPS

The Fox and Duck in Petersham is also facing an uncertain future and is boarded up while its fate is decided.

I hope that it survives as a some sort of pub as there are now none others nearby and I liked to drop in there while walking through Petersham. I also liked to be there for the live music on Saturday night and I would love to see that some back too.

10 May 2020

Guardians Living On-site

Another Ham pub has fallen on uncertain times. The last landlord of The Ham Brewery Tap was due to leave in April and the future of the pub was uncertain then and now the situation has been further complicated by the covid-19 shutdown.

With Hand and Flower and Royal Oak/Ham Institute also closed I really need The Tap to come back.

9 May 2020

LA19 GXK on the pavement

With everyone trying to keep a safe distance away from everyone else it is more important than ever that pavements be kept clear so it is even more annoying than usual that LA19 GXK has chosen to park on the pavement.

This photograph is courtesy of walking class hero.

Things in the clearing

Ham Common Woods, like Gaul, is divided into three parts, the divisions being created by Church Road and Ham Gate Avenue. This clearing is in the southern section between Parkleys and Church Road was created in recent times as part of a substantial management scheme that thinned out large parts of the Woods.

Things are appearing in the clearing including a teepee style construction and a decorated log.

The decorated log is definitely worth a close look.

7 May 2020

Newman House

Newman House is in the north-west corner of Ham Close, adjoining Woodville Road, and is one of several such blocks in the development.

Ham Close is a notable part of Ham, not least because the main shops are nearby and the 371 passes it, and so it is only right that it should be recorded here.

5 May 2020

A pond for toads

Several ponds have been created in the heart of Ham Common Woods to encourage toads to spawn there rather than crossing the ridiculously busy Church Road to get to Richmond Park. I hope that works and, if nothing else, the ponds provide a useful wet habitat for other wildlife and something else nice for walkers to enjoy while passing through.

3 May 2020

New Road supports the NHS

New Road looked like a young children's play area with games and drawings chalked all along it. I tried some long shots to show the range of things there but the chalk could not compete against the cars and so I had to settle for this close-up of just two of the drawings, chosen for their bold colours.

2 May 2020

Emmanuel Church

The Ham Christian Centre in Lock Road has had a minor rebranding and now calls itself Emmanuel Church, which sounds more traditional, though the old name is still there on the sign.