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.

16 November 2021

37 Lauderdale Drive

At times I almost resent walking the Lauderdale / Arlington / Ashley loop from Sandy Lane and back again, which I do fairly regularly just to see if anything has changed. I do not think that the front garden at 37 Lauderdale Drive has changed, certainly not significantly, but the tidy arrangement of objects around the front door caused me to pause and take this photo.

I also appreciated the arts and crafts feel to that section of the house and even the traditional wooden gate. It is all rather lovely.

15 November 2021

More mowing

This section of Ham Common Woods, looking from Upper Ham Road towards St Andrew's Church, is looking even less woody than usual after its heavy autumn mow.

14 November 2021

End of terrace

There was some controversy when an end of terrace house was demolished in Sandpits Road and work started on rebuilding it as the original house was a building of townscape merit, or something like that, and so should have had some protection. I'll let the planning officials worry about that but now that the new house can be seen clearly it looks like a reasonable addition to the terrace to me.

I accept that the different coloured bricks mean that it stands out a little as a newcomer but its style is very much in keeping with the rest of the street and so you hardly notice that as you walk past.

A closer look also shows you that the harmony of the terrace had already been lost with, for example, the addition of a bay window to the house next to it and the lack of Georgian style windows upstairs in the house beyond that.

13 November 2021

Bland statement

There was a really opportunity for this new house in Sandy Lane to make a dramatic impact on the view along Arlington Road but it an opportunity that it missed by some distance. Sandy Lane is full of interesting and unique properties and it is a shame that they have been joined by this.

The one hope is that after calling another major project the ugliest house in the area the new owners did a lot of little things to transform it into something decent and that could happen here too.

12 November 2021

Pavement post

I've chosen one specific example to make a general point. There are several regular annoyances when walking as much as I do, the most annoying is cars and the second is street furniture which is often badly placed, as in this example.

If this sign is necessary, and I am not sure that it is as it is on the wrong side of the road for cyclists to be able to read it, then it could easily be placed just off the pavement to the right. Where it is it is a serious obstruction to anyone pushing a buggy, in a wheelchair, walking with children or just carrying shopping.

11 November 2021

Leasehold's on sale again

The sage of The Ham Brewery Tap in Ham Street continues with the arrival of a very prominent For Sale sign. The good news is that it is just the lease that is for sale and so there is still some hope that it will be a pub once again one day, and Ham really needs another pub given the loss of several in the area and the unattractive situation at Hand and Flower.

10 November 2021

Something bigger

I keep walking along this track behind Dukes Avenue to check on progress at 163 and the dilapidated shed that was there five months ago is now being replaced by a much bigger and substantial building. I included the garage next door as a comparison. 

9 November 2021

Low wall

What was a line of rubble sacks a month ago has been transformed into a dainty low wall.

I was going to compare it with what was there before, as I often do, and went to Google Street View, as I often do, to find a before picture only to find that the stretch of Ham Gate Avenue around Ormeley Lodge has been removed.

8 November 2021

New cladding

One of the most distinctive houses in the area has had a minor face-lift, so small that I almost missed it. The wooden cladding at the back of the house was dark brown fading to grey and now it is the shade of a conker.

7 November 2021

Going green

I do not know if the new branding is just for Ham Parade or if it has been introduced across Richmond but people have been busy this weekend painting anything that does not move on Ham Parade a period shade of green.

6 November 2021

Another new bench

Once again Kingston Council has raised its game in the battle of the benches against Richmond with another heritage bench installed along the towpath close to Border Stone. 

5 November 2021

Six months on

Progress on the two houses being modified at the east end of Ham Farm Road has been slow and largely unobserved due to the large hoardings surrounding both site. It was by chance that the gate was open when I walked past this time, it had been shut on the dozens of previous hopeful walks that way.

4 November 2021

Replacement trees in Garthside

It is not that long ago that when walking along Church Road I saw men working on the trees at the entrance to Garthside and I was concerned about the removal of some of them. On this walk I saw them being replaced. I was glad to have the opportunity to voice my approval to the people doing the work.

3 November 2021

Autumn mow

The autumn mow always makes a big difference to the appearance of Ham Lands and, for a lot of people, this is most obvious when walking along the towpath. I could have chose any one of a number of places to show as an example and I selected the approach to the five-a-side football pitch jus because I walk that way often,

2 November 2021

Oak Cottage

I do not like many of the current local trends, such as grey windows and garden consuming extensions, but I most certainly approve of many of the new house signs like this one for Oak Cottage in Ham Street which is both functional and attractive. 

1 November 2021

Unusual windows

The brickwork tells you that is one of the many former council houses in the area and that also tells you that these decorative windows are unusual for their setting. The windows are not to my taste but that is not the point, my objection is that they break the style of the road.