30 August 2020

Manor House gates

One of the things I try to do in this blog is to capture changes locally and the gates to The Manor House on Ham Street have changed surprisingly often. This is what they look like in August 2020.

And this is what they looked like in 2019, 2016 and 2009.

It seems as though there is an internal argument over whether the gates should be grey or brown and they settle this by alternating the colours every few years. I think the 2019 grey gates look best.

29 August 2020

Watch this space

Hopefully this is a chance for me to capture some "before" pictures instead of waiting for something to change and trying to work out what it looked like before. 

Ham United Group is looking for Forgotten Spaces in Ham that can be easily improved to the benefit of all and Friends of Ham Lands is considering this space which is on the riverside directly opposite one of the main paths across Ham Lands.

As the picture above shows, it is currently swamped by vegetation and the access to it is not easy.


A closer look shows the concrete slab which we hope may be suitable for a simple bench.

The litter, and there was quite a lot of it there, tells its own story that while the site is pretty well hidden some people have managed to find it.


The proposed bench would be angled to look down the river, which is why we are interested in this spot.

There is quite a bit of work to do and the first step is to assess the tree to ensure that it is safe both for anyone using the bench and also for the people working to get it there.

28 August 2020

KS54 VUG and NL17 JGY fill the pavement

It is hard enough to walk up Church Road from Latchmere Lane to Ham Gate without having cars blocking for what passes as the one pavement. KS54 VUG and NL17 JGY have no excuses.

27 August 2020

Three new houses

Somehow it has been four months since I posted a picture of these new houses in (or behind) Clifford Road and their appearance has finally been announced, with some cheers from me. I think they are a lovely fusion of traditional materials (brick) and shape (A-frame) with modern looking windows.

These three houses add to a welcome series of attractive in-fills that have been developed across Ham in recent years. Somebody somewhere knows what they are doing.

25 August 2020

The Fox and Duck is coming back

I had heard that The Fox and Duck had been sold as a going concern but I was not sure what impact covid-19 would have on those plans so I was pleased to see work going on there. 

The windows have been painted nicely and also I saw them doing something to the door, not that it looks that good when you get up close to it. There is something about the door that I find unwelcoming and I hope they do something about that. Some coloured glass perhaps?

23 August 2020

Roofs and chimneys

This is such a busy picture and I find it a fascinating mix of slate, brick, glass and other construction materials arranged for function and made attractive through accident.

These cottages are in the Petersham Conservation Area and this view of them is from the narrow path that parallels the much less welcoming Petersham Road.

22 August 2020

Ready for work

11 Sandpits Road disappeared unexpectedly in late 2019 and after long delays caused by Planning (you do need to ask before you knock a building down) and by covid-19 it looks as though work on replacing it is ready to start.

20 August 2020

New gates

The house on the north corner of Sudbrook Gardens and Petersham Road has always interested me because it never looks busy and it often looks empty yet, from time to time, something happens there to catch my attention. The work to add new gates on both roads certainly caught my attention.

The picture at the top is of the Petersham Road entrance and this is Sudbrook Gardens. The steel suggest something large and I hope that it is good looking too. We will find out soon.

18 August 2020

Narrow path

Douglas Footpath runs between the German School and Ham and Petersham Sea Scouts to connect the towpath with Petersham Avenue. It is a quiet path which is just as well as it is narrow most of the time.

The main section of the path has contrasting boundaries with a high open fence on the German School side and dense foliage on the Sea Scouts side.

16 August 2020

Mysterious letters

These colourful posters (?) are on the towpath facing boundary fence of Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts. They have letters on them but I am not sure if they are meant to be words or not, perhaps they are the artists' initials.

The other mystery is why are they there at all? They are very incongruous, which is why I like them!

15 August 2020


Once this pair of semi-detached houses in Maguire Drive were identical twins, now they look alike as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.

The one on the right is more like the rest of the street (as the glimpse of next door on the left shows) and also has the advantage of a porch which makes its appearance more interesting.

13 August 2020

Grey blocks

I am still watching the construction of two new houses between Dukes Avenue and Maguire Drive with some interest as the two houses are very unusual, as this view from Maguire Drive shows. The main area of interest is the grey flat roofed blocks that form half of each house is sharp contrast to the normal brick built v-shaped section.

It is also good to see that the angled roofs have got solar panels. All new homes should.

12 August 2020

Resurfacing Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive has a deserved reputation for being something of a race track and the surprising decision to resurface it is only likely to add to that problem.

Personally I would make the road a lot narrower by adding a cycle lane which would help to take bikes off the pavement.

11 August 2020

Along the towpath

Stretches of the towpath have been very busy during the covid-19 restrictions, particularly between kingston and Teddington Lock, so it has been good to walk a little further north and to take the long bend to Ham House where the path is a lot quieter.

With Ham Lands to the east this section is as rural as Ham gets and there is always something to see and enjoy on the long curving walk. Og course there is the river on the other side but that is much less interesting!

10 August 2020

GK16 COH shops at Greggs

Greggs' customers are the most frequent abusers of the double yellow lines on Ham Parade and GK16 COH is just one of several examples that I could have taken while waiting to go into Malcolm's for a watering can.

9 August 2020

New roof in Sandy Lane

One of the newer houses squeezed into Sandy Lane between Petersham Road and Clifford Road is treating itself to a new roof. As a work-in-progress it looks good and I hope that it still looks good once the timbers are covered.

8 August 2020

Oddly tall fence

Something strange has happened in Maguire Drive with one of the houses putting large fence panels at the front of the house when they really belong in the back garden.

The street view is bizarre, to say the least.

The tall panels are at the side of the plot too completely obscuring the front of the house. It looks more like a prison compound than a home.

6 August 2020

Unexpected trees

This blog welcomes the planting of new trees, and cries a little when old ones come down, and I was delighted to see these arrive at the southern end of Broughton Avenue.

The label explains that these are from a pack to 10 Betula pendula (silver birch) which is a pretty tree and should be a nice addition to the area. The size of the trees and the nature of their planting suggests that this might have been some guerrilla gardening, in which case I hope that Richmond Council supports it and keeps the heavy mowers well away.

4 August 2020


It is easy to miss this arch as it is in a path that is not very busy and is sufficiently narrow and uneven that you have to pay attention merely to get along it without walking into the sides. 

That path runs from River Lane to Petersham Nurseries and the arch is in the back wall of the small building at the Nurseries end of the path.

2 August 2020

Latchmere House from Latchmere Lane

One of the few things I have been looking forward to with the development of Richmond Chase has been this uninterrupted view of Latchmere House from Latchmere Lane. 

Things were rather different when this was a prison and then the house was partially hidden behind a wall. In time, it may be hidden again if that hedge is allowed to grow.

1 August 2020

Resurfacing Ferrymoor

Ferrymoor is hardly a busy road and I do not recall it being in a bad condition, not that I would have particularly noticed when crossing it on foot, but it has been resurfaced anyway.