Andrew John Beedham (1951 - 2015) was an active member of the community.
In March 2021, volunteers from Ham United Group, the Ham and Petersham Association and the community planted two dozen apple trees on Riverside Drive near the allotments and the children’s playground. These trees are a unique combination of historic varieties of apple grown locally in Ham, such as May Beauty and Glebe Gold, grafted onto dwarf root stock so they will remain small and manageable.
This project was all carried out with support from the tree officer and local experts, namely Kath Rosen from The Orchard Project and Jean Loveland, who has made a tremendous contribution to many of your projects. Jean oversaw the project from the original grafts to planting the saplings into the ground. Geoff Bond, Chair of Ham and Petersham Association, obtained permission from the Council and liaised with local residents.
At the end of the Victorian era when Ham and Petersham consisted of little more than Ham Street, Ham Common and Petersham Road, there were at least five sizable orchards on the estate and farms linked to Ham House. For part of the year the area would have been largely self-sufficient in fruit with surpluses being used in Richmond or transported further into London. Orchards reached their peak around this time with hundreds of new varieties being introduced. However, these orchards suffered the same fate as many others and disappeared over the course of the last century. Planting this orchard is small step in reversing this trend.
Apple tree varieties in the orchard