31 December 2021


Studio 432 has carried on the tradition started by Wendy's Workshop of decorating their shop window to celebrate festivals and symbolic dates. They are almost always charming but I am selective and it takes a display as striking as this one to make the cut and be featured here.

30 December 2021


Either this house in Sudbrook Gardens has a military-grade trampoline in the back garden or the net is there to stop stray golf balls from the course next to it.

29 December 2021

Path cleared

This is one of the two paths from Mead Road to the Lock Road spur behind Meadlands School and the plant clippings on the ground tell you that encroaching vegetation has been cut back making the path freely passable.

28 December 2021

Three Buddhas

These three Buddhas give me another opportunity to extol the virtue of walking down no-through-roads just to see what is there. On this walk I went along Craig Road and explored all three roads off it and these are at the end of one of them, my memory fails to recall which one!

27 December 2021

Meadlands mapped out

The shape and the scale of the new build at Meadlands School is suggested by the scaffolding frame and I think it will be a while before there are any further clues as to its final appearance.

26 December 2021

YK18 OAJ breaks the rules

The double-yellow lines and dropped kerb very obviously says that this is not a place to park but the driver of YK18 OAJ chose to break the rules.

Pavement repairs around Ham Common

The current programme of pavement repairs includes a large section along the north side of Ham Common; this is the segment between Martingales Close and Bishop Close.

The surprising thing is that the pavement here is tarmac rather than paving stones is being used despite this being within Ham Common Conservation Area 7.


The use of tarmac looks even more odd when you see that paving stones are used in Bishop Close.

25 December 2021

The Click Studios

I am happy to confess when I am wrong and this is one of those times. Earlier in the year I speculated that The Click Studio had closed but it now appears that the work being done then was not clearance, only refurbishment. The end result is very much like the original, so much the so that I cannot spot any differences.

24 December 2021

White track

The view of the cute new hut for Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts as seen from the towpath has been swamped by the large and very white track leading up to it. I dare say that there are good reasons for building the track this way but at the moment the appearance is rather brutal, particularly given its woodland setting.

23 December 2021


It was not a difficult forecast to make that ground by the health centre in Ashburnham Road was being prepared for a Portakabin (I know that's a brand name but, like Hoover, it has come to represent the item not the maker) but, even so, it is nice when one of my forecasts comes true.

The surprising thing here, which I did not predict, is the amount of ramp used for a very shallow incline.

22 December 2021


This white star in a front garden in Maguire Drive looks as if it might be a seasonal decoration but it also has a look of permanence about it. We will see.

21 December 2021

Mullion and scaffolding

Mullion, in Sudbrook Lane, and scaffolding are two of my favourite things so when the two come together you can be certain that I am going to post a picture of them.

20 December 2021

Beauty Lounge has closed

The turnover of shops in Ashburnham Road continues with the closure of Beauty Lounge, just as the former barbers in a neighbouring unit has reopened as Mr Panda.

Being able to maintain a vibrant range of shops at both ends of Ashburnham Road is one possible up-side of the redevelopment of Ham Close but it will be some years before there is a noticeable increase in residents on that site and some shops will continue to struggle in the meantime.

19 December 2021

Green puddings

Christmas decorations have to be a little bit special to be featured here and these certainly are.

18 December 2021

DY66 VEU blocking the pavement - again

Whenever I post a picture of bad parking I check to see if I have posted the same car before and I never had until I caught DY66 VEU parked blocking the pavement along Ham Parade twice in five days.

Black horses

Anyone who has been anywhere near Ham Village Green in the last few days will have noticed the filming going on and the black horses that are the key actors.

They will also have noticed the billowing smoke that is being used to soften, but not hide, the backdrop, That means that the location should be obvious when the advertisement eventually gets aired. You might also recognise Burgess Park, their previous location.

The area was fenced off to stop the horses from wandering away but they always looked very well behaved and I suspect that they are used to the actors' life by now.

16 December 2021

Concrete garden

It is depressing that while HUG is running a Good Gardens for Everyone project that the message has not got through to some people and this house in Dukes Avenue is getting a new solid concrete front garden which will offer no respite for wildlife or rainwater.

14 December 2021

More damage in Royal Park Gate

The ground clearance in Royal Park Gate that I reported about a month ago was bad enough and now it has got even worse with the small trees being hacked right back and some removed, as in the middle of the picture above.


The damage is massive. The green corridor from the river lands is broken and habitats have been lost.

I have lived in Royal Park Gate since it was built and remember the early sterile days before the vegetation grew to attract birds and their songs. Some people seem to want to take us back to those dreary days.

13 December 2021

DY66 VEU on double-yellow lines

There are double-yellow lines and a dropped kerb but the driver of DY66 VEU thinks their convenience is more important than everyone else's ability to more around Ham Parade.

12 December 2021

Paving repairs in Maguie Drive

I have noticed a spate of pavement repairs across Ham in the last week or so and this work is the most surprising. Maguire Drive does not get much footfall and I was not aware of any particular issues with the pavement from my regular walking there.

Of course it is good to see pavements being repaired, especially when they are using new paving stones rather than tarmac, but there are many busier places where the pavements are in a worse condition that I would have given priority to. 

11 December 2021

New fence at Ham Pond

The clean cuts of the stakes reveal that this is a new structure at Ham Pond. The intention, I believe, is for this to become a living hedge, that is one that is trained to create a more natural barrier than a traditional fence, like the one in front of it.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and I hope it does better than the one created in Great South Avenue by Grey Court School some years ago.

9 December 2021

Creeping on to the pavement

I love Ham Food Centre, mostly for its range of fruit and vegetables, and I love pavements too so it is with mixed feelings that I note how the display has encroached further into the pedestrian area. The reason is that there is now a narrow area behind the pavement boxes that lets you get to the items on the racks without stretching uncomfortably.

8 December 2021

Parkleys Parade is smarter

It was not difficult to see that work was being done on Parkleys Parade, the scaffolding made that obvious, but the changes are harder to spot and I have zoomed in on both the before and after photos to find them.

The white fascia is no longer peeling and the window frames and balconies are a slightly darker colour, like different types of chocolate.

7 December 2021

Clearing the area around Latchmere Brook

Earlier this year the area around Latchmere Brook had become so overgrown it was hard to tell that the brook was there and so a lot of clearance work was necessary.

I can see the point in exposing the brook to people walking along Ham Gate Avenue but am not convinced about the need to open the area up to the right of it so I am pleased to see that the path that was there, as in this photo from 2014, has not been reinstated.

6 December 2021

Meditating dog

There is always a gap of several days, or more, between me taking a photo and getting around to posting them here and that is my excuse for forgetting where this meditating dog lives. All I know for certain is that I took the picture on Friday 3 December and that morning I walked around Ham for a couple of hours so it could have been almost anywhere.

5 December 2021

The destruction begins

The lanscaping of Royal Park Gate is one of its most attractive features and so it is sad to see that Kingston Planners are allowing another green patch to be lost. The footings are for pillars in a brick wall that will take the green space away from the public and add it to a private garden.

This is bad enough and subsequent developments there will make it even worse.

4 December 2021

Preparing for demolition

A Planning Application to demolish and rebuild The Cottage in Sudbrook Lane was submitted several months ago and now it looks as though the work is about to start with the arrival of a fence around the site.

There is a certain charm about the building but I will not be sorry to see it go.

3 December 2021

Trimming in Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane stands apart in Ham for several reasons, one of which is the line of bushes that separate the pavement from the road. Like all bushes these need some maintenance from time to time and I was walking past just as they were being trimmed.

2 December 2021

Pointing the wrong way

I am pretty certain that the last time that I looked at this sign at the meeting point of Sandpits Road and Meadlands Drive it faced the correct way but ut has been turned 180 degrees and points in the opposite direction. That is only moderately confusing as there is no path that way to be confused by.

I have informed Richmond Council that their sign has been tampered with.

1 December 2021

Removing a fence, adding a car

This is a story in two parts.

I mainly wanted to capture the removal of (most of) the fence between the two former show homes in Royal Park Gate. One panel has been left, presumably to screen the bins, but it looks rather odd standing on its own and I hope that this is a temporary solution.

I also captured AV55 XMJ parking on the pavement.

30 November 2021


I took a picture of 23A/B/C Clifford Road when they were completed in March and I would like to use their subsequent occupation as an excuse to post another picture of them though the actual reason is that the light was much kinder on this visit.

29 November 2021

Preparing the ground

The ground next to the medical services block on Ashburnham Road is being prepared for something. My guess would be a portakabin of some sort but I will have to wait and see to be certain.

28 November 2021

Reroofing in Sheridan Road

This may be a programmer of work by RHP, something the residents have organised themselves or just coincidence but there is a lot of reroofing going on in Sheridan Road and a lot of scaffolding installed in the process.

27 November 2021

In to the Woods

The path through Ham Common Woods on the north side of Ham Gate Avenue is a gentle curve that returns you to the main road, which makes it something of a mysterious place, a path for exploration not for travelling.

That mystery is unnecessarily reduced by widening the entrance next to Ormeley Lodge. This makes the path look big, important and purposeful and encourages walkers to stride in confidently when the aim should be to make them approach with caution as to where the path might leave or even if it is a real path at all.

26 November 2021

Gate moved

One of the things that I try to do in this blog is capture changes in the area, especially those that can easily go unnoticed, and this is a good example of that. Only a month ago I heralded the arrival of a new gate in Ham Gate Avenue and it has now been moved!

On the brick pillar behind the gate to the left you can see the mark of where the frame used to be before the gate was moved to be alongside the pavement. That seems a more logical place for it but the interesting boundary to Ham Common may have dictated its earlier positioning and may force it to go back there.

25 November 2021

Early decorations

I am not going to show much in the way of seasonal decorations this year, at least that is the plan, and I have only shown these as they are the first that I have seen and so mark the beginning of the season.

There are two of these wreaths on the newish gates in Ham Gate Avenue. The gates are large and set well back from the road so need large decorations to make any sort of impact. These do.

24 November 2021

Ham Parade Market Garden Wheel

The new little garden in the south-east corner of Ham Parade has a cute little sign explaining that it was created by Ham Parade Market. The market is a welcome addition to the area and the garden is too.

23 November 2021

Ham Friends Club

All I know about Ham Friends Club (Google was no help) is that at some point someone decided they deserved this sign on Ashburnham Road.

22 November 2021

Losing a little bit more space

One of the attractive features of Royal Park Gate is the many small open areas, such as this one at the entrance to Biggin Hill Close. Most of these are attached to the neighbouring properties and there has been a steady series of works to enclose them. The overall effect is to make the area look more developed and less open, which is a bad thing.

Incidentally, Google Maps Street View refuses to show the roads in this part of Royal Park Gate, and has done so for some time, but Apple Maps reminds me that this area used to contain a tree and a large bush.


Not only is the vegetation gone and the garage growing but there is a few fence too making the open space a closed one and the area just a little bit uglier.


Looking over the fence and the extent of the new garage can be seen.

21 November 2021


The style of the window on the left tells you that this is somewhere in the Locksmeade development and the happy cat tells you the house number. I did not note which road this is and while the sign would be more functional with this additional information it is pretty enough without it.

20 November 2021

Mr Panda is coming to St Andrew's Square

This unit had been empty for a while in the aftermath of the demise of Backhaus and it is good to see somebody taking it on. I am intrigued to find out what is in a Bubble Tea and Kitchen and hope to find out soon.

As an aside, I take offence that they have written their telephone number as 0203 ... when it should be 020 3... I worked at British Telecoms for a couple of years and the importance of number formats (there were far more then) was drilled into me, for example if you are in an 020 area then you do not need to dial the 020 for another number in the area.

19 November 2021

Dewilding in Royal Park Gate

It took a few years for the green corridor from the river to be established (I have lived in Royal Park Gate since it was built in 1996) but it takes only a few moments to damage it.

For reasons that I simply do not understand, somebody has decided that the greenery by the junction of Northweald Lane and the foot/cycle path is not wanted and has removed it without consultation with neighbours or users (i walk that way several times every day).


The work is still in progress and I am hopeful that there will be some new planting but this will still leave the ground barren and hostile to wildlife.

I am more hopeful that this work is a once-off and that when the professional gardeners have gone nature will do her thing and reclaim the land, as it has where earlier attempts to dewild were made.

18 November 2021

New building at Meadlands School

I have been looking through the hole in the gate to the development at Meadlands School for some weeks only to be thwarted by vehicles parked just inside the gate, and I was pleased this time to find a clear view of the work in progress.

There is not a great deal to see at the moment other than the foundations and the start of a steel frame so I will be looking through that hole in the gate for a while yet.

17 November 2021

A golden autumn

It has been a good autumn this year with little rain and a good amount of sun which I have tried to make the most of in the timing of my walks so that I can get to enjoy settings like this.