31 July 2021

New steps on Majestic Way

I complained nine years ago when some small steps were created on this ridge along what has come to be called Majestic Way, the path that runs across the front of Ham House and ends in the middle of the bend in the river, more or less opposite Radnor Gardens. My arguments then were that the path is pointless and the steps are a built thing in a natural environment.

Those arguments apply even more so to the substantially larger new steps. I really do not like them.

30 July 2021

View under threat

The proposal to surround all of the Ham Polo site with a 2m high metal fence may have gone away, at least for now, but another proposed fence puts this view from the path alongside Ham House under threat. The plan is to significantly extend the existing sand area (just to the left of this picture) used for practicing and to surround that with a 1.8m high solid fence to stop balls escaping. 

29 July 2021

Fallen trees

Falling trees is a regular event along the towpath from Teddington Lock to Ham House, which is understandable given how wet the ground often is. However, Richmond Council has again done a good job in clearing the path quickly.

28 July 2021

Awkward window

I had been expecting the large gap in the massively extending house in Tideway Close to be a large window with views over Ham Lands but I had not expected it to look as awkward as this, particularly when the other views of the modified house are so good.

27 July 2021

Pointless path reclaimed

A path was created here, alongside Latchmere Brook, in 2014 and I described it at the time as "pointless". The proof of that is there to see as the complete lack of use of the pointless path has let the vegetation reclaim it completely, so much so that you cannot tell that there used to be a path there at all.

The view of the pond has also changed, for the better, with the substantial growth around it.

26 July 2021

A history in brick

I was lucky to attend The Buildings of Ham Common. An architectural tour of Facades, Styles and Conservation by local architect Richard Woolf and arranged by Ham United Group. Most, if not all, of the 18 buildings he talked about have been covered here, often more that once, though not necessarily from the same perspective.

Normally when I mention Stafford Cottages, next to New Inn on Ham Common, it is for the very impressive garden but Richard took us into Bishops Close to look at the side wall. Here the different shades of brick and the straight lines show how this side of the building has grown over the years.

The different chimney pots also tell a tale but you'll have to go on the walk to find out what that is, providing we can convince Richard to do this again one day.

25 July 2021


Bramlings in Ham Gate Avenue has featured here a few times over the years because it is a charming and well-presented building. The excuse this time is a cute elephant waiting to be let in at the front door.

24 July 2021

Working on Langham House Close

Langham House Close is one of the most important development in Ham and it has its own Wikipedia page to prove it. The extensive scaffolding shows that some changes are being made but its Grade II* listing will ensure that these are in keeping with it history.

23 July 2021

Spared railings at South Lodge

South Lodge is one of the very best buildings on Ham Common so it is a shame that it is largely hidden behind vegetation and cars. However, these decorative railings on the Bishops Close side are easy to see. The railings used to be above all of the low wall but all the rest were removed when iron was collected for the war effort. Their lucky escape then gives us pleasure today.

22 July 2021

Wall repairs

The area around Ham House is defined by its brick walls that run along Ham Street from the river to Sandy Lane and beyond, and the wall around The Manor House is a significant part of this. All of the walls show signs of many repairs over many years and now it is the turn of The Manor House's wall to get some Tender Loving Care.

21 July 2021

Inside the Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts hut

I like busy places like building sites and so I was not going to let slip the chance to peek into the new Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts hut. My peek was from the towpath using a lot of zoom on my little camera, even so I think there is enough detail here to see just how charmingly busy the hut is, as it should be.

20 July 2021

Bench dedications

I had cause to do a survey of the benches in Ham Lands and along the towpath recently and it was a surprisingly interesting thing to do. The benches come with and without backs, arms and dedications.

The series of benches between Ham House and River Lane have their dedications carved into their backs. Age is gradually erasing them and one is already illegible.

19 July 2021

Grey garden

I quite like what they have done to this house in Dysart Avenue with the clear finish to the house and the dark grey of the porch and fences. The sea of light grey gravel is less successful and draws attention to the unglamorous drain cover.

All that is left of the proper garden is a thin line on the far side, and that hides a treat.


Hidden in the border are two moving metal sculptures which work well as works of art and may also be turbines for the garden lights close to them.

18 July 2021

153 Dukes Avenue

I have often admired the gate to 153 Dukes Avenue when walking past and only resisted taking a picture of it before because it was closed and had the less interesting path behind it. Today it was open and so had the pretty garden behind it and I had the opportunity to capture both.

17 July 2021


I am not sure what the purpose of the small ditch between the road and the path in Ham Gate Avenue is but I presume it can do that better now that it has been dug out again. 

16 July 2021

Another Locksmeade redevelopment

The house at the end of Tideway Close is undergoing major work and now the house next door is joining in the fun. This looks like a less ambitious project with the external changes limited to new a new window or too but inside the house has been gutted.

15 July 2021

Another new bench

In the top right corner you can just see the newly installed benches on the Richmond side of the Border Stone and now Kingston have responded with a new bench on their side. There are now several benches in this style between Border Stone and Hawker Centre.

14 July 2021

Weathervane in Dukes Avenue

Considering that I have made a point of recording weathervanes and that Dukes Avenue is on my doorstep, I was beyond surprised to find that I have not posted a picture of this one before. My lesser error may have been to have posted a picture and not tagged it correctly. Either way, previous errors are now corrected.

13 July 2021

Infestation of artificial grass

Frankly, I am almost lost for words here.

I went to Lawrence Road looking for a new garden pond, definitely a good thing, but just a few doors away I found this large expanse of horribly green artificial grass, most definitely a bad thing.

12 July 2021

Unexpected upgrade

I use this path between Parkleys and Church Road most days, often more than once, and was quite happy with it so I was surprised to find it closed for an upgrade. What was a perfectly acceptable earth path is now a bright orange sandy one.

The colour will fade a little over time as the earth spreads back but the sand will spread too leaving the bigger stones. I hope this path does not end up like the one nearby that became unusable until it was resurfaced recently.

11 July 2021


The work to repair the almost unusable path along the western end of Church Road and while the new surface is much much better it is something of a shame that it has been finished in standard black tarmac, unlike the path along Ham Gate Avenue, and that the opportunity was not taken to make it just a little bit wider.

10 July 2021

Busy garden in Cleves Road

A couple of days I mentioned exploring the path between Lovell Road and Cleves Road and one of the reasons that I like to do things like is that I can find myself in unexpected places looking at unexpected things. Things like this busy garden in Cleves Road which faced me as I exited from the path.


There is just so much going on in this garden that I had to take a closer look.

9 July 2021

New petrol pumps

From what I can tell looking through the plastic wrapping, the new petrol pumps look much like the old ones so I went for a picture of them before they were installed just to prove that they are new.

8 July 2021

Little used path

It is not news to any regular readers of this blog that I like the way that Ham is strewn with paths that make getting around both easy and an act of exploration. This unkempt path runs between Lovell Road and Cleves Road. Its condition suggests that it is little used which is unsurprising as there cannot be much demand to go between Lovell Road and Cleves Road.

7 July 2021


The recent spells of heavy rain have taken their toll on Ham Common Woods and even some of the major paths, like this one, have become almost impassible.

It is when the centre of the paths are unusable that the brambles creeping from the sides become even more of a problem so I have got into the habit of carrying secateurs with me to cut them back.

6 July 2021

Busy bee

This delightful busy bee is in a delightfully busy garden in Lock Road where it has several equally delightful friends. I tried to take a picture showing all of them but they are quite small and the detail was lost so to see them you will just have to take a walk along Lock Road, it will be worth it.

5 July 2021

Sinking houseboat

I was avoiding taking a picture of this sinking houseboat by Teddington Lock on the assumption that it would soon be removed but it is still there and has become something of a feature.

Update: No sooner had I posted this and a team was working to refloat it.

4 July 2021

D1 RKH on the pavement

This pavement on the north side of Ham Common is awkward enough to walk along at the best of times without having D1 RKH choosing to park there.

Gwynne Cottage

The entrance to Gwynne Cottage in Sudbrook Gardens has a lot to recommend it. Working from the top there is the brick arch, the house name sign, the gate with the view of the neat garden behind it and, finally, the sleeping dog.

3 July 2021

No Parking


One of the things I try to do in this blog is to see Ham as a tourist and when I see doors like these on holiday I photograph them. The two windows give the doors a distinctive character and I like the No Parking sign which you have to be almost standing next to to read it.

2 July 2021

Another pretty garden

I walk down Broughton Avenue regularly, probably most days, so it is nice to have gardens like this one to brighten the journey.

1 July 2021

Barriers at Ham Lands BMX Track

There had been concerns about how some users of the BMX track by Teddington Lock were taking extended run-ups which increased the risk of contact with walkers (and dogs) and also caused the path to spread into areas of rare plants. The end result is that Richmond Council have installed a line of barriers along the edge of the BMX track to try and stop this.

There is a long story here, and I do not know all of it, but I can at least record was has been done. I can also note that the barriers at the far end here are a long way from the path that they are meant to be protecting.


One positive is that they are a useful place to put your bike when not using it.