30 March 2021

More trees gone

I posted a picture of this small plot of land in Royal Park Gate back in January when some lines of the grass suggested that something was going to happen, and now it has. Unfortunately it is bad news.

The trees shown in my previous photo have gone leaving scars in the grass to show their passing. I have simply no idea why this was done or even who did it. I presume that the land is managed by Kingston Council but that does not mean that they did the damage.

Update: I'll leave the original text above as it stands as a historical record but I now more about this patch of land. Despite being designated as Open Space by Kingston Council It is actually owned by 39 Wittering Close, which is behind the vegetation strewn wall on the left. It changed hands a couple of years ago and since then the new owner has made several land grabs to get this patch included in their garden which, so far, Kingston Council have managed to rebut, and long may they do so. It is the new owner who earlier marked out lines here, for a proposed wall, and who removed the trees.

29 March 2021

Crash barriers

The new people barriers at Teddington Lock have been joined by some very obvious yellow crash barriers along the section where the lane to the lock joins the towpath.

Despite their necessary brightness they are not as alarming to this familiar view as I feared that they might be. Overall the new barriers are a job well done.

28 March 2021

Odd windows

Once upon a time, behind where the skip is was a garage with a sloped roof above it, the remains of which can just be seen in the bricks. A while ago, as with most of the similar properties in Northweald Lane, an extension was added above the garage leaving a slight kink in the roofline as a reminder.

Now the garage has gone and the space added to the house. Again this is far from unusual but it irks me that the two new windows are nothing like the others, there are no mullions and the transforms are not in the middle.

27 March 2021

Managing trees at St Richards

A year ago I posted some photos of St Richard's church and commented on how much the trees had grown around the church since it was first built and now there have been some big changes, the most significant being the removal of two trees whose remains can still be seen.

The remaining trees have been pollarded which I understand is a standard part of tree management but I was a little surprised to see it being done in mid-March when at least some of the trees were starting to bud.

I will watch how they grow this year with interest.

I could not resist this picture of the work in progress because of the solitary splash of colour.

26 March 2021

Another extension in Locksmeade

The small Locksmeade estate is experiencing something of a rash of extensions at the moment, including this one at the end of Tideway Close, which is nestled against Ham Lands.

It is hard to see what they are doing from this photo and from the submitted plans but there is work being done on both sides of the house so it is clearly a big job.

It is perhaps understandable that with Ham Lands literally on the doorstep that some owners have decided to sacrifice large parts of their gardens to get more house but the risk is, as with all extensions, that the character of the estate is lost through the addition of new shapes, styles and materials.

25 March 2021

New gate in Meadow Close

I has alerted to this new gate in Meadow Close by an article in the Ham and Petersham newsletter, which said: "A wall in Petersham, that was originally the boundary wall to the early 19th century Bute Estate, has had a hole cut into it to allow a house on Cedar Heights access to Meadow Close. We have pursued this with the Council as we feel this has harmed the conservation area.".

Concerned that the conservation area had been harmed, I went and had a look and all I found was this perfectly decent gap in the wall that already looked as though it had been there for ever.

The new gate is just a little distance from this other gate, to Bute Cottage, which has also done nothing to harm the conservation area.

Incidentally, and just for the record, the houses on the other side of this section of the wall are in Ashfield Close, not Cedar Heights as claimed by Ham and Petersham.

24 March 2021


One of the things that I try to do in this blog is to capture changes and so I thought that I had better post this before it goes. And it is likely to go because this is a Conservation Area and Mario is a copyrighted by Nintendo who are likely to take a dim view of their property being used in this way.

23 March 2021


Sandy Lane is an eclectic mix of houses that seem to be in a constant state of refurbishment and rebuilding and number 27 is the latest to get the treatment. Looking through any of the spaces where the doors and windows used to be shows that the interior has been gutted.

22 March 2021

A first close look at 23A/B/C Clifford Road

xxxxxI have been waiting to get close to the new houses in Clifford Road for a long time and, finally, the barriers have come down and I have been able to walk in and get a good look at them. Previously all I could see was the roofs.

The first thing to note is that they are similar but different, which is a good thing. The two outer houses have large windows to their kitchens whereas the middle house has a font door.


An even closer look shows off the detail and the styling. They look good.

21 March 2021

Grey windows

I just do not understand this. Somehow, somebody has looked at the white windows in the rest of the terrace and across the whole of Royal Park Gate and has gone for grey ones instead. They are a different design too. Being different is one thing, and can be applauded, but being the odd man out is another matter.

20 March 2021

Lovely garden

It is always a great pleasure to discover a lovely garden when out walking and this one in Meadlands Drive is a case in point with its many early flowers.

19 March 2021

Artificial grass at Grey Court

Schools are always changing, as they should, and Grey Court has been making quite a few changes this year, such as the welcome cycle storage. Sadly it also includes the space just inside the Sandy Lane entrance which has been brutalised with artificial grass.

18 March 2021

From Maguire Drive to Dukes Avenue

It has been quite a wait and, at last, the main path between Maguire Drive and Dukes Avenue has reopened following the completion of the two new houses on the right.

16 March 2021


It is always interesting when the hoardings go down and a (almost) finished building project is revealed. This one is at the east end of Sandy Lane. I am not quite sure what to make of it.

The things wrong with it, like the pillbox on the far right, are relatively minor but while the house does not anger it does not delight either. It is something of a missed opportunity.

15 March 2021

Gym maintenance

The outdoor gym on Ham Village Green has been closed because of covid-19 (not sure why as others are open, but that's another story) and the opportunity is being taken to replace some of the equipment.

The gym has been there for over ten years so maintenance is clearly justified.

14 March 2021

New trees on Ham Common

Not making much of an impact yet, but hoping to in a few years time, a few new trees have arrived in the north corner of Ham Common. The aim, I understand, was to replace some lost trees, and you can see where two of them were, and to fill in some of the gaps in the avenues.

It is a welcome start but there is still much to do.

13 March 2021

Purple Plats

This is my favourite view of Ham House, one I have photographed many times, and to make it even better today some of the Plants were thick with purple croci.

12 March 2021

TaylorMade advertising

TaylorMade are not trying to make friends locally with their garish office and badly parked vans, and now we can add illicit advertising to the list.

11 March 2021

171 Dukes Avenue

I have two reasons for featuring 171 Dukes Avenue and was almost tempted to spread them over two posts.

The first is the house number on the front porch which looks old enough to be original, though I have not noticed any others (yet). It is just a shame that the white clip obscures part of it.

Close to the porch is a stylish heritage style street light, the sort that has been the subject of discussion recently in relation to conservation areas. The owner here has the right idea, if you like the lamps then get one for yourself and do not rely on the Council to get one for you.

10 March 2021

Lost post

Possibly the most rural walk through Ham Lands is between Ham House and Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts, between the river and Ham Polo, and the rustic stiles like this one enhance that rural feeling. 

But I went there to take a photo of the post leaning against it.


A closer look shows that this is a way post for three routes that run nowhere near here. The most obvious clue is the top one which is for Hogsmill Valley Walk and I hope that everyone knows that the Hogsmill flows through the centre of Kingston upon Thames.

I am indebted to Clare Wadd, Ramblers Inner London Chair, for spotting this one.

9 March 2021

Clean trees

These trees, in the grounds of St Richard's CE Primary School, have been neatly pruned ready for this year's growing season. This is basic good housekeeping to reduce the risk of branches falling off or the trees being blown over.

8 March 2021

A lot of white

The end house of this distinctive terrace in Lock Road is having a bit of work done and that includes a lot of white. The visually striking, perhaps too much so, white walls have the biggest impact closely followed by the front door now shorn of its porch. 

7 March 2021

March flowers

Troughs like this have been added across the area in recent years to boost Ham in various In Bloom competitions and they have played their part in Ham's success. It is early in the year, and some way from competition time, and some of the troughs are looking a little tired, however the one by Hazel Lane is exceptionally pretty. It was worth crossing the road to walk past it.

6 March 2021

Work starts at 189 Petersham Road

Somehow 189 Petersham Road acquired two garages protruding from the front of the house but now this is being rectified by a scheme which, so it appears from the plans, makes the house significantly bigger without changing its roadside appearance greatly. We will see.

4 March 2021

Freddie Mercury is safe

Seals make an appearance from time to time and they always create much interest in the local community. The staff at Teddington Lock (closed because of covid-19) are helpfully keeping visitors informed.

2 March 2021

Taking a different path

I have been checking on some of the small paths that run behind and between the houses in the areas of social housing and these two connect Sheridan Road to Murray Road and Mowbray Road to Lovell Road.

They are both in good condition and easy to pass along, i.e. no obstructions.


They both also turn at right angles once they have got between the houses so that you have to take a leap of faith that they then continue to the next road.

This is not a formality as two of the paths leading from Mowbray Road lead to dead-ends.

1 March 2021

51 Lauderdale Road

I love clear house number signs and the sign at 51 Lauderdale Road is certainly that. The arrow is nice additional touch and make s simple sign something worth noticing.