The one big drama we had at the end of the 70s was the Petersham Hole. The sewer collapsed right in the middle of Petersham where there is no alternative route between Richmond and Kingston apart from Richmond Park and it was patched up in the Spring of 1978 and almost immediately collapsed again and the Council engineers and the transport people decided they had to replace both foul water and rainwater sewers, I found out a lot more about sewers than I had ever realised I wanted to know because of all this. For instance there is a brick […]
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 […]
I think that it was the bus companies. There was a company based in Richmond called Mears. They were based near to what was the old Richmond Police station where the bus garage is today in Wakefield Road. There was a coach station there called Mears and they did coach outings. Our holidays were no more than the odd day trip to Brighton or Bognor; so go down on the coach, we didn’t have money for lunches and things. It would be a pack of sandwiches. We’d sit in the beach and in those days, get covered in tar on […]
The only bus that went anywhere near the Wates Estate was the 71, which started in Leatherhead and finished at Old Oak Common and there could be intervals of an hour or so between buses. The only other way was to walk to Ham Common and get the 65, which was a reasonable service, but tended to be infrequent, with long intervals where it was held up at the various road junctions. Well, the bus service has been a complete change from the time we first came to live here. We’re in a situation now where I don’t have a […]
Ah well, it was the 71 bus but it had many and varied routes, sometimes it came one way sometimes it came another way and it was rather few and far between in its appearances and people really got quite frustrated waiting for this 71 which sometimes seemed to come and sometimes not. It had a very long route, I think it came from Chessington and went all the way oh I don’t know way beyond Hounslow perhaps. It was a very long route which we always thought perhaps made it rather unreliable, but you know it was the nearest […]
I used to get the 71 bus to work, but mostly walked home, because mostly the bus was full when it got to Park Road and also there were two friends from Ham who worked there and we all used to walk home together.
I don’t think the 371 was actually here when we came. It was just the 65. There was a wonderful Greenline bus going down the main road. It went all the way to Oxford St so about twice a year when my mother and Kenneth were there I could go up to Oxford St twice a year and I’d get the Greenline bus from the end of the road all the way up to Marble Arch, down one side of the road, back up the other and get the bus back. It was wonderful.
We don’t actually need huge improvement in public transport because the fact that we don’t have any rail or tube in walking distance of Ham and Petersham means it’s a more cohesive, less built up, more settled community actually, so to a degree limited public transport can be an advantage.
I had a bus pass, but we used to cheat sometimes because Mortlake Boys School had no actual sports ground as such our games period had to be taken on places like Palewell Park, Sheen Common or even just inside Sheen Gate, which was a long walk from the school. When you was at the actual school and you never had to go to games you’d just come up the road to Chiswick Bridge and get your bus there and right the way back to Ham to come home, but when you went to games and you were right out […]
I used to walk up to the New Inn at the bus stop, the original bus stop isn’t there now but yes, used to walk up to the New Inn and get the 65, get off at the station and walk down the alley to the school. I used to be able to cycle nearly all the way up Star Hill. You know the little slip road at the top – I could get as far as that – could never ever manage that last bit and in the winter when it was thick with smog you used to walk, […]