31 July 2022

A walk in dappled shade

With the relentlessly dry and sometimes unpleasantly hot summer we have ben having it is fantastic to have Ham Common Woods on the doorstep to escape into.

30 July 2022

Flower field

I always like an excuse to take a photo of Ham Lands and a recent walk through Ham Lands North brought me to this delightful field of flowers. That was a couple of weeks ago (it usually takes around that long for a photo to go from camera to blog) and with no rain since then I suspect it is not as healthy now.

29 July 2022

Shrunken Brook

The casualties of the long hot dry summer are all around us, particularly in the crisp yellow grass, and Latchmere Brook is one of these, so much so that it is hardly visible in this picture having shrunk massively.

28 July 2022

Glasshouses at Orford Place

The Ham United Group (HUG) Architecture Walk around Orford Place included the substantial gardens and they were a big disappointment as they are no longer maintained to the same standard and some of the objects the sisters had to aid contemplation etc. had been removed.

The one saving grace is that the glasshouses in the kitchen garden have been retained and they showed healthy signs of use too.

The other disapointment is that it took a HUG event to get to see the gardens again when I understood that part of the conditions for the giving planning approval for Orford Place was allowing some public access. When it was St Michaels Convert they took part in Ham Open Gardens but the new owners did not do that. 

27 July 2022

Orford Place

Thanks to a recent Ham United Group (HUG) Architecture Walk I was able to get into the grounds of Orford Place and to take this picture of the main building with the assistance of good sunlight and without the restriction of the front wall.

Also thanks to that walk, and out guide Richard Woolf, I learned a lot about the architecture of the site including how the older sash windows, those on the main building, are flush with the wall but the later ones, like those on the building on the right, are recessed. 

It was through clues like that that Richard was able to explain the history of the buildings though the evidence was not always clear and he pointed out a few examples where the sequence of the building was uncertain.

26 July 2022

Damaged wall

This is the wall between Ham Common Woods and Richmond Golf Club close to Ormeley Lodge. The damage looks quite extensive without any obvious cause, though a fallen tree seems likely.

25 July 2022

Construction in Lock Road

This construction project is in the short stub of Lock Road that includes the surgery. I always like projects like this where walls have been taken down allowing you to see through the building.

24 July 2022

Improved Majestic Way

I do not normally walk along this path from Ham Street by Ham House past Ham and Petersham Rifle & Pistol Club as I prefer to walk through the field on the other side of the hedge on the right and I was surprised to see it in such good condition with evidence of recent mowing.

This path is the section of Majestic Way constructed from an existing path and is easy to use, the further section was cut through the woods and is uneven and often muddy.

23 July 2022

Tidying up

There has been a lot of work going on at The Hand and Flower since the new owners took over but not much of it has been visible until now when the front area got a serious tidy-up which included the removal of some of the rubbish.

Of course there is still a great deal left to do but this is welcome progress.

22 July 2022

Beware of the cats!

Anyone who walks through Royal Park Gate regularly knows which cats these are.

21 July 2022

Keeping paths clear

Almost a year ago, I said that I had reported this path between Riverside Drive and Hardwicke Road as it was blocked by vegetation and I expected it to be cleared soon, and now it has!

It will be interesting to see how long it remains clear enough for the cycle lane on the right to be useable  and if the brambles there have not been dug out then they will grow back.

Elsewhere in Ham there are other paths that need some attention. The Council and residents do work to keep some clear but a more comprehensive approach is required,

20 July 2022

Great South Avenue at its best

I took a similar picture of Great South Avenue (between Ham Common and Sandy Lane) last year but this one is angled differently so that you can see the healthy grown on both sides of the path. As last year, I took the photo because this is Great South Avenue at its best and I am always saddened when it gets mown back.

19 July 2022

More Locksmeade building works

There has been a lot of building work done across the Locksmeade development in recent years and there are two new projects in this photo of Thamesgate Close.


The work at number 6 looks more substantial and, for me, makes for a more interesting picture. The scaffolding was enough for me to take a photograph and I like the contrast of the almost yellow wood and insulation.

18 July 2022

New wall and paving

I like the colour and the styling of this new wall and paving in Craig Road but am disappointed that the paving takes almost all of the front garden.

17 July 2022

Tree decoration

This pretty wall decoration can get more appreciative looks than usual thanks to being placed on a garden fence. I love the simplicity of it and the three blue birds are a delightful final touch.

16 July 2022

New windows at Ensleigh Lodge

I was surprised to see replacement windows being put it at Ensleigh Lodge on Ham Common as the previous owner spent a small fortune doing the house up just after they bought it in 2015.

The house is listed and distinctive so, as with the previous work, I presume that the new look will be indistinguishable from the old one.

Incidentally, in researching this post I got caught in a Ensleigh v Endsleigh argument. The Richmond Council planning database says it is Endsleigh but the house sign says Ensleigh so I have gone with that and updated my previous posts accordingly.

15 July 2022

No parking at any time

Two very clear no parking signs have not deterred this driver. Sadly too many motorists think that parking and speeding rules do not apply to them.

14 July 2022

Hidden window

I love light rooms so I find it hard to understand people who deliberately obstruct windows like this. The road is pretty quiet and I would have thought that no screening was necessary, let alone both a hedge and a blind.

13 July 2022


Lots of strange and unusual objects can be found decorating front gardens and I like to feature the strangest and most unusual of these. A dinosaur certainly qualifies.

12 July 2022


I have just spent a bit of time reporting some leaks to Thames Water, neither are very large but all leaks are wasting water and need to be fix, which they can only do if they know about them.

This one in Northweald Lane is the most annoying as Thames Water think they have just finished fixing a leak here. Last week there was a hole surrounded by barriers here while a leak was fixed only for water to reappear once the hole had been filled in again.

This leak is on the junction of Richmond Road and Tudor Drive.

Signage at Redknap House

I have not specifically shown the signage at Redknap House in Cleves Road before though there were hints of the old design in 2008 and this new one in 2016.

The design looks modern but has problems; clearly there is not enough contrast between the "Welcome to" text and its background, the font suffers from comparison with the rightly hated MS Comic Sans and the graduated green background is overly fussy and also impedes readability. I can sympathise as these are all mistakes I have made myself in the past but that was quite some time in the past now and I would not make those mistakes today.


It looks as though a different colour graduation has been used for this sign with more emphasis on the lighter shdes, it is off-brand and harder to read.

11 July 2022

Changes at Sandy Lane Playground

There are changes being made to Sandy Lane Playground. It is many years since my children have played there so I am not familiar with the equipment enough to be sure on what has changed but I am pretty sure that the trampoline pit is new.

10 July 2022

A New Leaf is open

The new florist on Ham Common, A New Leaf, has opened and it doing its best to make a strong visual impact to let people know that it is there. And it does that in a way that is appealing, unlike its neighbour to the right.

The most distinctive feature of the shop is the decoration on the gable and that is worth a closer look.

9 July 2022

Brick footings

I have been waiting since January for the gap below this fence in Sandpits Road to be filled and now it has been. I am not completely convinced by the colour of the bricks and I am not completely against it either. It will do.

8 July 2022

Smaller stone

The grey thing in the top left of the picture is the back of the Border Stone (between Richmond and Kingston) on the towpath and you can see this smaller second stone when walking along the lower footpath.

Not for the first time, I have absolutely no idea what it is though the markings on the right could be the remains of a "K" which could mean that this is a previous border stone. There are two "could"s in that sentence!

7 July 2022

Maranda Court changes colour

Maranda Court always looked a little out of place in New Road and I was quite rude about it in 2007. It is still architecturally at odds with its neighbours but painting the orange brickwork a contemporary grey/green (Dulux calls it Tranquil Dawn) echos colours used elsewhere in the road and is a substantial improvement.

6 July 2022

Dry stone wall

Almost all of the front garden of this house in Dysart Avenue has been paved for parking so it is a relief that the front wall is lovely. A simple dry stone wall in this style would have been enough and making it into a planter for a hedge is even better.

Dysart Avenue is an absolute pig of a road to walk down because it is narrow, uneven and blocked at intervals by trees and street furniture, and it is finding things like this wall that make the walk bearable.