9 December 2017

Lavender Garden at Ham House

The gardens at Ham House are worth a visit at any time of the year and as a National Trust member I go throughout the year, even if just for a quick walk. This time I went clockwise so the first place that I came to was the what the National Trust calls the Cherry Garden, because that is what it once was, and I call the Lavender Garden because that is what it now is.

8 December 2017

Construction in Ashfield Close

This has been a good year for construction-in-progress pictures and this one if from Ashfield Close which, for some reason, is the name given to one of the spurs off Cedar Heights. I think that it would be easier if it was all named Cedar Heights.

7 December 2017

Coffee Brew House

What was Empire Foods has quickly morphed into a a new cafe called Coffee Brew House. I am not sure why the change happened but the new cafe still has a temporary feel to it as the garish yellow is at least one coat short of what was required.

6 December 2017

A copy-cat extension

This extension is on Horsley Drive as it meets Manston Grove and is almost an exact copy of the one across the road from it in Manston Grove, the only obvious difference is that the ground floor extension does not run the full length of the house because of the shape of the plot.

I took the picture partially as a record of the change but mostly because I love bricks, scaffolding and sunshine.

5 December 2017

A pleasant corner

The sunlight can do some lovely things at this time of the year and it certainly brightened up this little travelled corner.

This is the back of Ham House taken from the main path, Melancholy Walk. This short section is little travelled as most people take the diagonal short-cut that runs just off to the left of the picture. I love little travelled paths.

4 December 2017

The wrong path

When this path was being constructed I was pleased to see the edging bricks being used as they continued the existing design but I was then somewhat horrified to see that the body of the path was paved. It does not match the brickwork at either end and so it simply looks wrong.

2 December 2017

Decorative bricks

Cassel Hospital has a mixed frontage, part of which is a high yellow brick wall which is made interesting and decorative by an unusual bond at the top which has two rows protruding, one of them at an angle. Little things like that are easy to do and make such a difference.

30 November 2017


I remember seeing lots of cormorants by the weir at Teddington but not recently so it was good to see this one perching on one of the rocks exposed by November's low tide.

28 November 2017

Arched gate

This lovely arched gate lives on the junction of Vancouver Road and Maguire Drive. It is to be admired not just for its shape but also its colour.

26 November 2017

New gates at South Corner

This will probably be my last photograph of the rebuilding of South Corner now that the work seems to be completed. One of the last jobs was to instal the simple and very appropriate gates. The way that, when closed, the gates form a heart shape is a nice touch.

24 November 2017

Little used car

This car has been so little used that the hedge has been allowed to grow around it creating a striking combination of deep green and fiery red.

22 November 2017

Low tide at Teddington Lock

A few days ago I published a couple of pictures of the weir exposed by November's low tide and this time I am looking the other way, downstream to the lock.

The view of the island from the Teddington side of the footbridge shows an extended beach.

Moving on to Teddington Lock the water level in the barge lock was exceedingly low.

20 November 2017

Black and white house

I had had many fruitless walks down Cedar Heights, a no through road, before I was able to take this picture. Normally the view was ruined by a car outside and sometimes it was the light that spoiled the shot but this time there were no problems and my patience was rewarded.

I love the look of the house because there is a lot going on but the overall effect is consistent and not fussy.

18 November 2017

Low tide at the weir

I love the way the the Thames is allowed to rise and fall to its full extent every November as it looks very different when it is almost drained of water. Then a lot of the river bed is exposed and it looks possible to walk across in places like at the end of River Lane.

The Weir looks very different too with all the constructed parts exposed.

16 November 2017

The end of Empire Foods

Empire Foods, on the corner of Ham Common, looked reasonably busy most of the times that I walked past there over the Summer but now it has closed. The top end of the Parade has struggled to find visitors (two shops on the other side of the road are being replaced by houses) so it is possible that it will remain empty for a while.

14 November 2017

Now you see it, now you don't

The plot between Ham Library and the new Huf Haus in Ham Street is being redeveloped and that means clearing the site first. I took this picture on 29 October when most of the ground had been cleared but most of the house was still standing,

Then on 10 November the house had gone too. With nothing left on the site it is easier to appreciate just how big it is. There looks to be plenty of room for the two houses that I believe are coming.

13 November 2017

A feast of parakeets (or starlings)

I was walking across Ham Village Green when I was struck at how so many parakeets had clustered in one tree.

I took this photo without any zoom to show the tree in context and because I liked the sky behind them.

12 November 2017

Rebuilding a mid-terrace house

I knew that the rebuilding of this modest property in Upper Ham Road was going to be a big job but I did not expect it to be this big. The old house has gone completely, even the front wall that I presumed would be kept.

Peering through the letter box shows that none of the former house remains. It also shows that a basement is being carved out at the back.

I do not understand the economics of doing so much to such a small sight and I am looking forward to seeing what sort of building rises to fill the space.

Update: I have been told that this property, which is in a Conservation Area and is listed as a building of Townscape Merit, has been demolished without permission. I've had a look at the LBRuT website and all I can see is an application to convert the property, nothing about demolishing it. If it has been demolished without permission then somebody should go to jail for it.

11 November 2017

Mrs Leir Head Teacher

While the Russell School is being substantially remodelled there are temporary arrangements in place for staff parking.

10 November 2017

Makeover completed in New Road

After months of extensive work it looks as though this substantial makeover (and small extension) in New Road has been completed. It looks rather neat but I think that if I was doing that much work to it then I would have built a larger extension.

9 November 2017

Another tree has gone

The sawdust is clear evidence that a tree used to live here in Meadlands Drive, close to its junction with Sandy Lane. I hope it is replaced soon.

8 November 2017

The first part of Richmond Chase is almost ready

Progress is slow but the first phase of Richmond Chase is almost ready and as it does so it is starting to look a little bit more interesting, or at least a little less bland.

The flatness of the frontage is broken up by the porches and the bleakness of the paved front gardens by the fences and little touches of planting.

The far end, furthest from Church Road, follows the same scheme but here the block is set back creating long uninteresting paved areas more suitable for parking buses than cars.

7 November 2017

R60 RTT and BP57 JSZ make things difficult

Double Yellow Lines are an obvious visual sign that you really should not park there, signs that R60 RTT has chosen to ignore. This is the entrance to Ham Common from Upper Ham Road which is an awkward junction in both directions. The yellow lines are there for a reason.

Making things worse BP57 JSZ has chosen to park on the Double Yellow Lines on the other side of the road and to do so with the back end sticking out.

6 November 2017

Rebuilding a garden

I had hoped that some of the heavily overgrown garden in Burnell Avenue would survive the necessary rebuilding of house and garden but it has been totally cleared. Now I hope that a lovely new garden will appear in its place.

3 November 2017

Another lost garden

Sadly, lost gardens is becoming something of a theme and here is another one. This one is in Ashburnham Road.

24 October 2017

Teddington Lock

Every now and then I like to return to some of Ham's landmarks just as a reminder that they are there as it is easy to take these things for granted. Teddington Lock is one of those landmarks and this view of it from the footbridge is one that inspires me most mornings as I walk to work.

23 October 2017

Taking shape

Now that the roof is being constructed the size and scale of the rebuild at the end of Sudbrook Gardens is becoming obvious, and it is big. But then it is in a road of big houses. 

22 October 2017

Ham Common Woods

Ham Common Woods is a lovely place to go for a walk, it's just a shame that there is not more of it to enjoy and that Ham Gate Avenue cuts through the middle of it.

At least there are plenty of twisting paths that mean that long and pleasant routes can be conjured from a small space.

19 October 2017

Stylish house in Ham Farm Road

Ham Farm Road has several stylish houses and I had been wanting to take a picture of this one for some time following its minor refresh but that refresh left a skip on the drive for a frustratingly long time. Finally the skip was taken away and I got my picture.

18 October 2017

No unauthorised parking across the driveway

I pass this spot several times a week on the walk to work and the van always annoys me. The sign on the garage door says "No unauthorised parking across the driveway" which is somewhat inconsistent given that the van is parked on the pavement.

17 October 2017

New door

The entrance to Physioextra was replaced some weeks ago and I had been waiting for them to paint it before posting a picture. They've gone for a look that says residential rather than commercial and it suits the old building because of that.

16 October 2017

Exploring paths around Lawrence Road

Ham is rich with pathways between roads and these vary from the paved and well maintained paths in Wates Estate to the grassy routes through the older developments. There are several of these in and around Lawrence Road.

This is the path from Dukes Avenue with Lawrence Road on the left. While this one looks used, and is certainly usable, that is only true part of the way, about where the white shed is. There the path turns left, that bit is passable, and also continues on ahead but that bit is completely overgrown. 

15 October 2017

Another lost garden

The white fence is nice and so is the low white wall in front of the house. I like the colour of the paving too but I do not like the way that it covers the whole of the front garden as it gives it a very stark look. This is particularly incongruous in this section of Ham Street where most of the cottages have pretty gardens.

14 October 2017

New doors at Linden House and Studio

I remarked recently that Linden House on Ham Street had been the happy recipient of a new coat of white paint and now it has got new front doors front and back too.

The front door is a stern black and has three locks.

At the back, on Wiggins Lane, is the entrance to Linden House Studio. The doors are teal and almost as stern looking as the front door due to the lack of decoration and the horizontal lines. I love the handles though.

13 October 2017

Shed by Ham House

I have always found this shed in Ham Street attractive and this time something about the scene made it even more so. The white pipes certainly helped.

12 October 2017

Crossing Ham Lands

Crossing Ham Lands on paths like this is one of the main attractions of living in Ham while working in Teddington. Actually,  walking along paths like this for the simple pleasure of doing so is one of the main attractions of living in Ham.

11 October 2017

Improving access to Ham Common Woods

The footpath into Ham Common Woods from Ham Gate Avenue used to consist of a steep step that was awkward for pedestrians and difficult for cyclists but that has now been fixed with ramps on either side of the new pavement.

10 October 2017

Garages in Kingfisher Drive

Ham is pleasingly littered with block of garages and they can be found in various developments of various ages across the area. These are at the end of Kingfisher Drive and so are on the boundary of Wates Estate.

The footpath to Teddington Footbridge from Hardwicke Road runs behind these garages but, sadly, there is no way through.

9 October 2017

High tide at Teddington Weir

I was walking back home from work and had just got on to Teddington Footbridge when I noticed that the tide was particularly high. The island in the centre is always a good marker of the river level as a beach is exposed at low tide.

To judge the height of the tide better I zoomed in on the weir to see how much of a drop there was between the two levels and there was not much of a drop at all. it looked to be little more than an inch. I was probably not there when the tide was at its highest either.

Looking across to the main sluices and the near parity between the two levels was even more obvious.