1949 1966

A Memory of Barking

I was born at 16 Roding Avene, the prefabs right next to the River Roding. Across the main London Road was Delayneys, also the Masters Match factory with its tall chimmney. I remember seeing the chimney being knocked down, the man at the top looked like an ant. I have many memories of Barking.

I went to St Margarets C of E School [played the recorder in Mr Gray's Orchestra] then Park Modern Secondary. I danced at the Town Hall in aid of cystic fybrosis with The Joyce Williams School of Dance. Joyce lived in Bradfield Drive, next door lived Susan Bigwood who later went into the Black & White Minstrels by the name of Sue Lyn [Lyn I believe was Joyce's daughter who passed away with CF]. Susan's mum made our show costumes for ballet, tap & acrobat performances. I believe the Barking Advertiser took photos of our shows.

My cousin Elaine's grandfather Alex looked after the boats at Barking Park Lake. My Aunt Pat worked in Jimmy's Chemist, Victor Values, then later owned a florist shop at the Harrow. I started work in the office at Eastlight Files, then Impalco Foils. My mum & dad worked at Calaroes in the 1940s and my mum at "Laws", Abbey Road, in the 1950-60s. Dad worked at Fords and Denver Chemicals [River Road]. My parents Miriam & George are 87 & 88. Siblings Barry, Derek and Denise all went to the same schools as me.

I have been in Barking Carnival, the last time with Impalco's dressed in a western scene with bales of hay, dresses, etc all made of foil. The carnival always started and finished at Barking Park when the fair came. More photos that were taken by the Barking Advertiser

My grandparents Pearce/Tilbury lived in Vincent Road & Lavine Gardens, Dagenham. One near the Chequers the other near the Thames. Aunts in Bevan Avenue, Chelmer Crescrent, Thames View, and Webber House, North Street then Lambs Lane, Rainham.

I taught myself to swim at Barking Lido with cousin Elaine and also use to go swimming at the indoor pool, many times at 7am on Sundays. I too remember the cafe with bar stools at the back of Woolworths and used to buy a Horlicks, all frothy in a large cup, there. At one time I would go to Saturday morning pictures at the Odeon, 6d downstairs, 9d up. Friends I stayed in touch with were Norma Sayer who was born in the prefabs and went to the same schools, Linda Poskitt [nee Graham] who went to Northbury then Park Modern school. Two ladies who worked in the canteen at the Lido also lived in the prefabs, their names were Mckenzie and Ellis. At Easter they used to get all the children in Roding Avenue out skipping in the road with a long rope. I believe Easter eggs were given as prizes. I remember the Queen's Coronation party there when Doreen Wheatly won 1st prize for being the Queen of Hearts, June 53 [I was Little Bo Peep]. Families living In Roding Avenue were: Rawlings, Bull, Eaton, Sayer, Morton, Colwell, Peters, Crelin, Dowsett, Baker, Jackson, Berry, Slater, McKenzie, Ellis, Guy, Norris, Sinclair, De Frone, Early, Graham, Green, Tilbury, Wheatley and probably many more wonderful characters I can't recall off the top of my head.

Nanny Early [as I called her], a neighbour from the prefabs, moved in with her sister in law over the furniture store near the clinic. It had a lovely large balcony and you could watch Barking footbal team playing from there as it overlooked the pitch.

Brian Poole and the Tremelos played at my school leaving do. The school also took us on a coach trip to the airport to greet the boys home from doing well abroad.

I bought shadow shoes [winkle pickers] from the shop almost opposite Woolworths where they had photos of stars on the wall, Essex Brothers etc. The new toy shop Sumix was near the Fish & Chip shop where a 1 shilling's worth of chips did for the whole family. Tom the sweet shop was near there, then later moved [to North Street?]. He always reminded me of the man in the picture on his tins of Hacks. Another news/sweet shop where I use to catch a bus to school was where I shook hands with Brian Epstien before his demise [another story]. Just having a quick read through has brought back many happy memories. Oh! My Mum losing me in the Market and always knowing where to find me: watching the eels being chopped up and still seeing the pieces wriggling. Happy Days...

A memory shared by Yvonne Tilbury , on Jun 18th, 2011.

Comments & feedback

Fri Dec 11th 2015, at 2:50 pm

johneandrews commented:

Dear Yvonne

I was reading your blog as I am researching National Shopping Week and the carnivals that used to surround it for a piece I am writing. I then noticed that you said your grandfather had worked at Barking Park Lake. By complete chance I have an original photograph of the boathouse at Barking taken in 1908 which I think may feature your Grandfather. I bought it earlier this year at Spitalfields Antiques Market where I specialise in Vintage Fishing Tackle. If you would like to see a copy or even buy the original (I would only want what I paid for it which was about £15) please contact via: johneandrews@btinternet.com.

Many thanks - I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards

John Andrews

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