30 May 2022

Bug Hotel

Some one has done a good job of creating this Bug Hotel on the boundary between the houses in Locksmeade and Ham Lands.

29 May 2022

Unexpected barrier

There seem to be several Forest Schools operating in Ham Common Woods, or one operating in several parts of it, and one of them has built this little enclave at the east end towards Latchmere Lane. I do not mind the trunk benches but the barrier looks both unnecessary and ugly.

28 May 2022

Minor works at Orford Place

Orford Place on Ham Common was completed less than two years ago and some minor repairs have already been necessary. I did not catch anyone working there so I do not know what the work was but the scaffolding was not there very long so it must have been relatively minor work.

27 May 2022

Painted planter

The people behind Ham Parade Market have adopted the previous neglected triangle of land between the Parade and Tudor Drive and their latest improvement is the painting of this large planter.

The painting on the right side is a contemporary view of Ham Parade and so it includes the closed shop that will become The Cutfather.

26 May 2022

No Mow May in Wates

Propelled by the wish to increase biodiversity and to reduce spending, No Mow May has grown significantly in recent years and I am very glad to see it do so.

It is a change that not everybody welcomes (yet) and I hear some complaints about verges not being mown and see where some people have decided to mow public spaces but it is a trend that is gaining momentum and I am sure that the no mowers will win through.

25 May 2022

This way to Ham House and Garden

I love this sign because it is both attractive and functional. In a few words and symbols it tells you the way to Ham House and Garden and that once there you will find a house, a garden, a cafe and a shop.

24 May 2022

Lots and lots of pigeons

This is one of the willow trees by Ham Pond and the hordes of pigeons are attracted by the food brought by people for the ducks and other waterfowl. This excessive and inappropriate feeding changes the character of the area and is not welcome.

23 May 2022

Fixing the gates

The hoardings suggest that something significant is happening to the gates at The Manor House in Ham Street but they also hide what that is. The absence of the far pillar may mean that it is just the wall that is being worked on and the old gates may yet return.

22 May 2022

Mind goes blue

The most obvious feature of the refurbished Mind shop on Ham Parade is that it has changed from green to blue. It is a colour change that several shops on Ham Parade have made over the years including this one when it was Threshers.

21 May 2022

The New Inn changes colour

I was surprised to see that it is seven years since The New Inn last had a makeover and one of the reasons that I do this blog is to keep track of changes like this. The latest makeover, deliberately caught here mid-stream, is a significant change of colour with the white paintwork being replaced with a murky green.

20 May 2022

The Cutfather is opening soon

What was Ham Barbers and, before that, Murray's is about to become The Cutfather. It is good to see that there will still be a barber shop on Ham Parade as that is where I usually go to get my hair cut.

19 May 2022


Friends of Ham Lands does a fantastic job working with Richmond Council and other organisation to manage Ham Lands for biodiversity but sometimes things still go wrong. This field in Ham Lands North was meant to be mown to a height to 15cm but the contractors made a mistake and it was mown down to the ground.

The second photograph was taken from the same spot but in the other direction, facing north-east. This unmown section is rich in flowers and grasses.

18 May 2022

Garden boat

This garden boat at TYM looks much neglected, which is a shame as the one at the bottom of Richmond Hill shows just how effective using a boat as a planter can be.

17 May 2022


An event organised by HUG as part of their Good Gardens for Everyone project gave me access to the gardeners' area that lies beyond the Kitchen Garden. It was full of sheds, plants, equipment and the best feature was the line of compost heaps. This one, at the left end of the line, is where all the new stuff gets added at the start of its journey back into the garden.

16 May 2022


This is the section of TYM that lies immediately next to the towpath, you can see several people on the path immediately above the lock just to the right of the centre of the photo.

15 May 2022

EA55 UXH on double-yellow lines and the pavement

If you drive up on the pavement towards me to park then it is certain that I am going to post a picture of the incident. 

New windows for Parkleys

One of the things that has put me off buying a flat in Parkleys is the constraints applied by the Conservation Area with regard to its windows and doors, many people have told me about problems with condensation etc. The windows are being replaced now and, I both presume and hope, that they are more thermally efficient than the previous ones.

I composed the picture this way to show both the new windows on the top floor and the previous ones below. The new ones have thicker frames but I do not think that they change the appearance of the block.

13 May 2022

Lake at Thames Young Mariners

The whole point of TYM is that it has a lake and this is the view along it from the main slipway towards Riverside Drive. The greenery on the unused parts of the site, on the left and at the far end, is an important part of the continuity of Ham Lands and the lake itself is another precious habitat.

12 May 2022

Long path through The Wilderness

There is lots to like about the gardens at Ham House and The Wilderness is one of them. The way that the paths are cut through it creates lots of small interesting spaces and also some long vistas.

This vistas is looking particularly fine with the new greenery and, being early in the year, the grass has not yet been worn away by visitors.

11 May 2022


This is one of the first things you see when entering the Thames Young Mariners site. It is a simple building used for storage made something special by the dragon guarding it.

10 May 2022

Meadlands completed

When I took this photo they were finishing off the Meadlands School annex and it is now in use. It is a nice simple building that looks good and sits comfortably with its neighbours.

9 May 2022

Pavement blocked by builder's van

The pavement is quite wide in this section of Dukes Avenue so you need some exceptionally bad parking to block it completely but this builder has managed it.

Possibly to hide from possible retribution key parts of the company branding have been redacted.

Mind makeover

Mind has been on Ham Parade since 2010 so it is not unreasonable that it is getting a makeover now. To save you zooming in, the sign on the door reads "Shop Closed for Refurbishment, Reopening End of May".

The makeover has revealed some of the shop's past. Before it was mind it was Wine Rack (2008) and before that it was threshers.

8 May 2022

Platinum Queen

I am not remotely interested in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee but I am interested in this wall art that celebrates the occasion.

It is vastly more obvious than the Diamond Jubilee plaque on Ham Common.

7 May 2022


The recent consultation on a proposed development at TYM gave me the first opportunity to go into the site that I had had for many years and of course I took a few photos. 

These tents were not there the last time that I was in there either. They are in the south-west corner of the site and that is an adventure playground in the foreground on the left.

6 May 2022

C5 RMT on the pavement (twice)

I was annoyed to see C5 RMT parked across a dropped kerb, on double-yellow lines and on the pavement so I was relieved to see them pull out and drive away. Of course their bad parking had already been captured by then.

My relief was short-lived as they drove just a little further along the Parade and parked up on the pavement again.

X1 DRY on the pavement

The driver of X1 DRY did not care that the space was not big enough for their car.

Log benches

When I first saw this new seating area in the kitchen garden at Ham House it had a table and some chairs and now, just a few weeks later, it has large tree trunks cut into benches instead. This rustic look is far more fitting for this end of the garden and the table and chairs are back where they belong, back at the other end next to the cafe.

The planting of fruit trees around the seating areas has continued and there is more to do. In time this is going to be a very pleasant place to sit, relax and enjoy the garden.

5 May 2022

Iconic tree

Everyone who walks or cycles along Melancholy Walk, between Sandy Lane and the back gates of Ham House, will be familiar with this tree that dominates the space between the paths and The Copse.

I caught it here just as the leaves were emerging (it looks very different now!) with its architecture beautifully exposed.

4 May 2022

Black wood

The original house was something of a mess with its two garages stuck on the front but I really like what they have done with the multiple front and side extensions. The black wood gives the building a distinctive and unique look which I love, even though, or perhaps because, the middle section reminds me of beach huts.

The large windows are another bold move and the small panes also work really well.

The gate is a slight disappointment in its blandness but I think it is better than the more common solid wood which is most uninviting.

3 May 2022

New roofs in Tree Close

Tree Close is that small clutch of buildings just off Petersham Road on the way to the German School. It is pretty well hidden and so does not attract much attention but I am always going to be interested in new roofs and the whole development is being done.

A closer look shows that the new tiles are neat and tidy, they will fit into the area well.

2 May 2022

Busy Bees

One of the sections of The Wilderness at Ham House has been given over to bees with a fence and a polite sign to keep the curious away.

1 May 2022

Wider driveway

The entrance to South Lodge on Ham Common has been widened by a meter or so by replacing some of the lawn with stones. It is only a small change but it is another sacrifice of nature to satisfy the needs for people's lust for cars.