30 April 2022

Matching windows

The two windows on the left are new but you would have to know what Lime Tree Cottage in Sandy Lane looked like before to know that.

29 April 2022

More grey windows

I sometimes wonder if you can only get windows in grey these days because it seems like everyone is installing them even if, as in this case, they are part of a semi or a terrace that has traditional white windows.

28 April 2022

35 LE on the pavement

I was concerned when this parking area was created and it did not take long for the selfish driver of 35 LE to prove me right. This is a busy pavement between Ham Common and Ham Parade and the last thing it needs is unnecessary obstructions like this.

Bow your head

This obstructed path is in the corner of Ham Lands between The Thames and Thames Young Mariners. It is not the main path, clearly, so I do not mind the fallen trees.

27 April 2022

Tulips in the Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden is always worth a visit, having a cafe there helps, and this is especially true when some flowers are out, such as these tulips in one of the beds.

There was another bold display of tulips along the wall between the kitchen and formal gardens. I love the density and vibrancy of the colours.

26 April 2022

MOO 3 MOO on the pavement

I cannot begin to understand the thought process that the driver went through here in choosing to park their car on the one narrow pavement rather than the quiet road.

Ham Open Gardens 22 May

This poster on Upper Ham Road announces that the next Ham Open Gardens will be on 22 May from 12 to 5pm. I suppose it could have mentioned that this is a Sunday.

25 April 2022

Upgraded gym on Ham Village Green

A year ago the Outdoor Gym on Ham Village Green was closed for maintenance so I was surprised to see it being replaced so soo after that.

A day or two later and the work was done.

I am not going to spend any time comparing the new with the old but there does seem to be more equipment and the pull-up bars on the left are certainly new.

24 April 2022


The mature and mixed vegetation that a resident ripped out of the Council owned and managed land running through Royal Park Gate has been replaced with holly. This fails on many counts; it is inappropriate next to a busy path, in a mono-culture and does not provide the coverage needed by wildlife.

23 April 2022

A New Leaf opening soon

What was the Dog and Groom is becoming a florist, called A New Leaf.

It is not that surprising to have a florist close to a church with a graveyard but what is now the garish plumbers next door was once Pick of the Bunch and that closed.

I await the choice of colour for the front door with interest!

22 April 2022

Vote for somebody

With local elections on 5 May the area is starting to be populated with boards promoting the parties. The usual pattern is for the Lib Dems to get lots of small signs up early and the Conservatives eventually get around to putting a few large signs up in prominent positions, notably along Petersham Road.

This time the Greens seem to be making more of an effort.


An unexpected feature is that several properties are showing support for two different parties.

21 April 2022

KN14 YJE on the pavement (again)

The tradesman driving this van seems to think that it is ok to park on the pavement giving people the choice of squeezing between the van and the holly bushes or to go into the road. They are wrong. Very wrong.

Garden open soon

Sudbrook Cottage has the best gardens in Ham (probably) so I am delighted to see that they will be open on Sunday 24 April from 2pm to 5pm. A visit is mandatory for anyone interested in gardens and I will definitely be there. They are raising money for charity too.

When I visited the gardens in 2012 I wrote a short piece about the garden and its history which will give you some idea of what to expect.

20 April 2022

FX66 FXL on the pavement

It is hard enough to walk down Ham Street at the best of times as the pavements on both sides are narrow and uneven and this challenge is made even harden when somebody parks inconsiderately on the pavement.

A new start for The Hand and Flower

No sooner had The Hand and Flower been boarded up than plans are being made to open it again. The people applying for a new licence are Ei Group (a.k.a. Enterprise Inns and Stonegate Pub Company) is the largest pub company in the UK with around 4,500 sites so they should know what they are doing.

I am a little surprised that Ei have chosen to go with The Hand and Flower when there are two other pubs up for sale locally in better condition. I guess that the large garden is the main attraction and the set-up at The Hand and Flower is not unlike The Fox in Twickenham which they also own.

19 April 2022

A sorry state

The Hand and Flower has been looking pretty ropey for some time, despite being open for business, and it looks even worse with metal screens in the windows. With the hanging sign, broken guttering and dilapidated paintwork it looks as though it has been derelict for years.

18 April 2022

Cairn Cottage

I quite liked the previous sign for Cairn Cottage, even though it wore the signs of age badly, in contrast the new one is easy to read and is very functional. On the other hand, it looks like a hospital sign and is somewhat out of character for the area.

17 April 2022

25 Ham Farm Road

A Planning Application has just been submitted to demolish 25 Ham Farm Road so here is a picture of it before it goes. It is fairy bland house with an ugly garage stuck on the front and so I, for one, shall not miss it, particularly as the proposed new bungalow looks modern and exciting.

16 April 2022

More new trees

The landscaping in Wates Estate is what gives it its delightful character and a lot of effort clearly goes into maintaining it all. Adding to that delight are some new trees planted on the corner of Broughton Avenue and Ashburnham Road and as I walk that way regularly when going to Swiss Bread I will be able to enjoy them often.

15 April 2022

A small and sympathetic extension

While the grey house partially visible on the right totally ignored the character of Lock Road, the side extension here does its very best to fit in.

14 April 2022

Trees lost and gained

It is always sad to see the demise of a street tree, even if that demise is entirely justified, which I assume  is (almost) always the case. On a recent walk I saw a couple of stumps wrapped in fresh tape, including this one in Duke's Avenue.


Further along Dukes Avenue there was better news with a few new trees planted and a few more waiting on a truck for their turn to be planted.

13 April 2022

Under New Management

One of the many fast-food places clustered eagerly around Grey Court School in Ham Street proclaims that it is under new management. 

12 April 2022


During one of the recent sunny spells, the shadows created by the light falling on the side of The Hand and Flower added to the already interesting collection of lines formed by the arch, wiring and bare hanging baskets.

11 April 2022

Progress on Hunter's Pond

The first picture I took of the Thames Landscape Strategy work on Hunter's Pond, by Ham House, was very much at the start of the work and while there is still a lot to do the shape of the project is starting to take shape.

Little barriers have been built to create places for plants to hang on to as the water flows in and out with the tide and the trees on the higher section have been cut right back to allow light into the area.

10 April 2022

Whiter than white

Stafford Cottages, next to The New Inn on Ham Common, is one of my favourite places is Ham and I suspect that is true for many people because the house and garden are both lovely. The cottage has just had a new coat of paint and it looks even brighter and better than usual.

9 April 2022


For many years Ham's most famous Toad has been on a weathervane in Ham Farm Road, and now it has a rival. This delightful carving is at the entrance to Ham Common Woods by Latchmere Lane and it is there to celebrate the many toads that live in the woods.

8 April 2022

Dysart seating

Once upon a time The Dysart Petersham was a pub called The Dysart Arms before it decided that it would rather have well-to-do diners than drinkers like me. Having chosen to address the upper end of the gastro market I was a little surprised to find this modest seating area at the far end of the site, beyond the car park.

7 April 2022

The Hand and Flower is closed

The Hand and Flower has had something of a colourful history in recent years and that looks to continue with its abrupt closure and the posting of legal notices on the door.

I can hope that this enforced change will bring in a new owner/manager who is serious about running a pub for locals but the Brewery Tap just down Ham Street has been empty for a long time so I am not confident.

6 April 2022

Rebranding Sainsbury's

The Sainsbury's on Ham Parade (confusingly called Kingston Upper Ham Road Local because it has a KT2 postcode) was closed for a day recently for some work to the shop, including new signage.

The new look has a rather uninteresting brown background and I much prefer the original mauve.

5 April 2022

Scaffolding at Ham House

A couple of weeks after posting a picture of the scaffolding at Ham House I was back there and took another photo from a closer position. I am sure it is all there for good reasons but there is a frightening amount of metal there.

4 April 2022

Broken pot

The entrance to Sudbrook Lane is iconic so it is a little sad that one of the pots there has been broken. Even broken it makes something of a dramatic statement.

3 April 2022


These unfriendly spikes are on the top of one of the walls on the footpath behind Tommy Steele Corner, from Reston Lodge to Meadow Close.

2 April 2022

MI55 UDS on the pavement

There are often cars here on Upper Ham Road but usually they are parked on the road, where they belong. There is no pavement on the other side of the road and this one is not that wide whereas there is plenty of space on the road for three cars, making this parking unforgivable.

Working on Petersham Lodge

Petersham Lodge is slightly hidden away in River Lane which I generally avoid as it's not the prettiest way to the river. I will have to amend my habits for a while to see what the scaffolding is up for.

1 April 2022

Meadlands addition revealed

This was my first look at the new building at Meadlands School and I am happy with it. It has made no attempt to match the rest of the school which some people may not like but I find refreshing.

The teal and grey colouring is very contemporary which is fine now but may look dated in ten years time.