31 January 2021

Lines in the grass

This is meant to be a "before" photo but of what I do not know.

On a patch of grass on Horsley Drive in Royal Park Gate there are a couple of wooden pegs and some yellow lines faded by the recently departed snow. I presume that they are the heralds for something and probably something planted because one of the lines touches one of the trees.

More obvious in this light is a separate yellow square nearby. A place to plant another tree maybe?

30 January 2021

New street lights on Ham Common

This started as a simple recording of works taking place, just as I did when the lights along Upper Ham Road were replaced in 2019, but while those lights were replaced without a fuss, this time there has been something of a commotion.

The problem that some people see is that the old lights looked older than they were and they wanted that fake old look retained.

Replacing the chunky green street light is this thin black one. You have to make a point of standing somewhere like this to even notice it but angry words are being spoken about the desecration of the conservation area. I have no problem with them at all.

The argument has forced me to take a detailed look at the lights around the Common and it is surprising just how many variations of poles and lamps there still are even after the latest round of replacements.

28 January 2021

Snow Day - Sunday 24 January 2020

It does not snow in Ham very often and it settles even less so when it does I like to record the event here. I started on Ham Common where I was not the only person busy taking photographs. 

Melancholy Walk tries to live up to its name but the snow wont let it.

Ham House provides a rare spot of almost colour.

Looking through the side gate into Ham House shows a few footprints from eager visitors. Apparently it was sold out that day and the were not allowing walk-ins despite the obvious lack of people in the garden.

In the field in front of Ham House a row of low stumps reveals where the road to the house used to be.

26 January 2021

The Cottage awaits its fate

I had not noticed The Cottage in Sudbrook Lane before, either it was hidden behind a hedge or it was too dull to attract attention, but now it is impossible to mis as it stands there naked in a naked garden.

The Cottage is clearly ready for redevelopment and is of limited architectural interest but it is also within the Petersham Conservation Area so the options for change are limited. I suspect that this site is going to keep me interested for the rest of 2021, if not longer.

25 January 2021

AO53 HMA parks fully on the pavement

Usually when I complain about a car parked on the pavement they only have two wheels on but AO53 HMA has chosen to park all of the car on the pavement and in a very awkward spot.

Gort Cottage

Gort Cottage in Petersham Road is the little brother to Gort House next door. The proliferation of pointed roofs, protruding windows and half-timbered facade give it something of a haunted house look while the neat new fence tries to give it an air of normality. 

24 January 2021

Planting behind Manor House

Almost the only view of the extensive grounds behind Manor House in Ham Street is from Cut Throat Alley and I always use the opportunity to peer in when walking that way. I took a photo of the grounds quite a while ago and I had seen nothing of note there since then, until now.

The north-west corner, nearest Ham Street, is being filled with holly bushes which, in turn, are being hidden behind more decorative rhododendrons. 

I heartily approve of more planting in the grounds but am a little confused as to why it is being done as I have never seen anyone out in the grounds who could benefit from the prettier view. I suspect, and it is just my theory, that the area is being planted precisely because it is one of the few places that you can see in.

23 January 2021

RIJ 38 gets a ticket

Bishops Close is a quiet dead-end off Ham Common but that is no excuse for parking on the pavement, as RIJ 38 has found to its cost.

Pink flamingo

The last time that I saw some graffiti by the entrance to Petersham Nurseries, in 2011, it was one of several identical images created for a campaign (I think I saw one of those recently but cannot remember where) but I have no idea what the context of this one is.

22 January 2021

2 Sandpits Road

I have featured a few house numbers here and when they are as pretty as this one I hope that it is obvious why.

21 January 2021

Church Road closed

A section of Church Road has had to be closed fo a while to allow work on the utilities to the former manse to St Andrew's Church. 

Despite notices like these at the Upper Ham Road end, in the time it took me to walk up there three vehicles went past me only to quickly turn around and go back again.


The trench extended into the road explaining why it had to be closed.

20 January 2021

Pond Cottage

On a recent walk around Ham Common the sheet whiteness of the front of Pond Cottage struck me and I took a picture of it to compare with previous ones, only to fail to find one. That alone justifies posting this one. There is one of the neighbouring Boxall Cottages.

Pond Cottage is at the end of a small row of very old cottages that have managed to keep their charm despite some significant changes and expansions over the years. These cottages add greatly to the character of Ham Common and it is a shame that the view of them if often blocked by parked cars. 

19 January 2021

Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts' hut nears completion

The new hut, or huts, for Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts looks to be almost complete from the outside and it is now possible to assess its appearance. I think it looks good. The traditional shed shapes are comforting, the green shades do their best to hide the building and the three sections break up the bulk effectively. It all looks very simple and obvious, and that is what good design does.

17 January 2021

Cycling to school

Once upon a time the side entrance into Grey Court School via Great South Avenue was literally a gap in the fence. Then, when the new fence was constructed (about twelve years ago), a proper gate was installed and this is used by lots of pupils who walk across the Common from one of the bus stops or North Kingston.


The area just inside the gate is being transformed to better cope with this traffic with a proper path and cycle storage.

16 January 2021

Too much road, not enough pavement

The change in lifestyles forced by the covid-19 restrictions means more people spending more time outside and that, in turn, is prompting various organisations to look at ways of making life easier for pedestrians and cyclists and I am trying to push a couple of the organisations that I belong to locally to pick up the cause.

One of the areas where I think that we need to make improvements is around Ham Common. This is our main communal space yet it is ringed by busy roads and only has one formal pedestrian crossing,

An example of the problem is where the road Ham Common forks and is also joined by Martingales Close, creating a large expanse of roads and leaving pedestrians unsure of how best to cross them. This is particularly true of people leaving the footpath across Ham Common that terminates at this junction (just to the left of the picture).

It is a mess and I hope that we can fix it.

14 January 2021

193 Petersham Road

I walk at all times of the day to catch things in different lights and that enables me to find things like this house number in Petersham Road which only stands out when the light is on behind it.

As with several other house numbers that I have posted, it is the typeface that I find most attractive with, in this case, the long sweep down on the "9" and the thick bar at the top of the "3" being the best features.

12 January 2021

Yellow barrier

I had noticed the large concrete footings at Teddington Lock and I wondered what they were for, and now I know. The section of the lock facing the access road is getting sturdy and very bright yellow barriers, in marked contrast to the subtle black or grey railings used elsewhere.

It is difficult to guess how much they will detract from the mellowness of the area once the work is all completed as, at the moment, the red plastic barriers are even more obvious, and I hope that they will not be too distracting.

10 January 2021

Cassel Hospital railings

I love railings, which is why I have a tag for them on this blog, and these railings running decoratively across the front of Cassel Hospital where they are at risk of being overshadowed by the grandeur of the building.

Both the building and the railings are in need of much TLC and there is still hope that they will get it one day while the building remains in use.

9 January 2021

Garages, lots of garages

Wates Estate has several clutches of garages hidden away inside it and this must be the largest group. The distinctive block behind them gives the location away, that is Meadowview and the garages are at the end of Rushmead.

The number of garages and the generosity of space between them suggests that this area might be developed into more housing one day.

7 January 2021

The Legless Frog remembered

It is just over ten years since The Legless Frog reverted to The Hand and Flower and still the name lingers on thanks to this sign on the road opposite. It is useful information, assuming it is still true, so it is a shame that it is almost hidden high up on a pole with nothing on it to attract attention.

5 January 2021

More bricks

The new house in Sandpits Road is taking impressive shape thanks to the bountiful use of good bricks. There are still unanswered questions regarding the finishing touches, doors and windows etc., and how well it fits in with its adjoining neighbours and these will be answered in due course.

3 January 2021

More grey in Sandy Lane

It was the new roof that first attracted me to this rebuild in Sandy Lane and I might have left it there if not for open gate, my favourite discovery when walking. This reveals that the new door and windows are grey, just like they are in almost every house in Sandy Lane. They do look neat but I would like somebody to try something a little different sometime.

2 January 2021

More windows

One of the several building projects I keep revisiting at the moment is this one next to the church in Church Road. The frame of the building is unaltered, as you would expect in a Conservation Area, but the visible work includes both replacement windows and some new windows in the roof. 

The attic space does not look sufficient to put rooms in, due to the shallow slope of the roof, so I will be interested to look at the floorplan if it ever gets posted to rightmove.