My gran lived in one of the Almshouses – by MG

One strong memory I have, I went there and she’d died and they had her in the coffin in the bedroom.  My aunt – that was cousin Valerie who I used to go to the pictures with – she was there and she said to me, “Oh, come on, come and see your Gran”, and she took me in.  I think I was about eleven, so really it was quite shocking, really.  [The Almshouses] I think it was quite austere accommodation, because some years ago they did modernise them all and they had a garden at the back, I think […]

Sandy Lane and the surrounding area – by VG

There would be some houses in Sandy Lane that people had just moved in, for instance our immediate neighbours at number 18 he was the Borough Treasurer and his wife and son and they’d moved in earlier that year, it was  September 1956 when we moved in, I think they’d moved in at the beginning of the year and were sort of well established and there were some other houses, a few other houses that were occupied  and, let me see, of those how many of the people are still there? I can only think of two other households now […]

Building a home in Ham – by VG

Then my husband had a friend who was the architect for the London County Council and he said why don’t you look for some land and have it built.  It won’t cost anymore and it would be appropriate and so my husband wrote to every London borough.  The only two replies he got were from Wandsworth where there was a bomb site, one small space in a terrace of houses that was £1000 and Richmond, it had the whole one side of a road, Sandy Lane, where the plots were £500 each.  So we thought it would be lovely to […]

Ham development held back by poor transport – by David Williams

Because it has poor transport it wasn’t developed very much in the 19th and early 20th century so it is like it is now not just like an over-built London suburb the contrast being the southern half of Ham which was transferred to Kingston in 1933 which is now the Tudor estate, completely covered by housing.  There is nowhere that was transferred to Kingston in 1933 apart from the Hawker and sports area which is still open space, nothing at all.  Possibly the Latchmere Lane recreation ground you can include in that but it was given to Kingston Corporation by […]

Moving into the Wates Estate in 1965 – by David Williams

When my job was moved to Gunnersbury, the office block over Gunnersbury Station, we decided it was time to try and buy a house and we finished up almost accidentally in Ham, we wanted a modern house, we didn’t have a lot of money and we didn’t like the 1930s or the older stuff.  Both us had grown up in 1930s houses and almost by accident we moved to the Wates Estate in Ham.  This was a relatively new development, we must have been one of the first second owners, the house we bought was only 18 months old and […]

Working in various houses in Ham – by GS

You mentioned an antique shop, was that the antique shop on the Parade?  On the Ham Parade yes, the chap who had it after him, that’s another house that’s just come to mind that I worked in what was his name, that shop has only just closed, Glencorse, yes that’s the one, he took that shop on when John Manussis packed up and he lived on Ham Common on Church Road and I worked on that house once or twice for the chap (I can’t remember his name).  Yes, that was the name of the business Glencorse, and there was […]

‘Mead Road’ short for meadow, housing memories by – GS

When Mead Road was first built, there was only five houses either side of the road in those days, and that would have been built in the early to mid-thirties and it was just meadow land apparently and hence the name “Mead Road” short for meadow.  After a while, my mother told me there were only five houses either side of the road but they then developed it a bit more, and it eventually became a cul-de-sac.  Then the houses down the far end of the cul-de-sac were obviously built at a later time. They obviously got married and they […]

The Richmond/Kingston boundary went through people’s flats – by MS

You see we’re a funny mixture, we’re basically in Richmond but part of the flats when we first came here were in Kingston but it took an arrangement in the end between Richmond and Kingston that Parkleys would be Richmond.  But the boundary actually went through people’s flats!  It was a bit awkward.  I think Ham Farm Road, the plots there got sold and settled before Parkleys, now I know when we were here they were still building so I’m not sure how it worked because there was a house at the corner of the main road, that’s an old […]

Filling the in the Pits and building the Wates Estate – by PP

I can’t think of anything else except the way the building went on over the Wates Estate.  They had great plastic bubble tents and they built underneath so they could carry on building through the winter. I reckon that’s why some of them are beginning to disintegrate underneath because you can’t mix concrete properly in frosty weather even if you have got a bubble. It started way over there, opposite Simpson Road. That’s where they put the first buildings and then they gradually crept this way.  Then the lake–that started virtually fifty yards from the end of the road–was filled […]

Developments from Rural Ham in 1953 – by PP

I came to Ham in 1953. We used to live in the little cottage next door to the Royal Oak, as it was then, and behind us, in what is now being redeveloped, the district nurse lived in what was the old stableman’s cottage with … she had her various instruments and things in the ground floor and the big house, Grey Court, was then a day nursery – which I think was started during the war but I’m not sure. It was quite a good place to live and it was very rural. We had the cows going up […]