They had various things on the Common and there was the Ham Horticultural Show which was the highlight of the year. It had a huge, well it seemed huge to me, a huge great tent on Ham Common and it was a flower show, it was a cake show, all the .. and my mother was convinced that it was a fiddle .. cos she didn’t win! The one time she went in for it she didn’t win so she was convinced it was manipulated.
One of the first things I got involved with was Ham Pond which was in a pretty parlous state at that time and it wasn’t … it was just kind of rotting if you understand what I mean by that and so it was decided by the Leisure Services Committee whose auspices it came under to do what one other local authority had done by scraping out the whole of the pond and hopefully reinvigorating it. In fact it partially worked. The next refurbishment shall I say of the pond was even better and it wasn’t as drastic and that’s because I and some of my fellow councillors on the Leisure Services Committee had looked further into it and the thought of it being scraped out again and then revived was no longer the philosophy. It only made things worse but I can’t say the first refurbishment made it worse but it definitely didn’t improve it as it should have been and so we took further soundings and I talked to people and in the end we did the sensible thing and started planting water plants in there by this time unfortunately the water lilies had gone but we had quite a bit of expertise and also the guy in charge of Leisure Services Department had changed and this guy was far more open to suggestions and willing to talk to the councillors