Barking Station 1960 1966

A Memory of Barking

As a school-boy I had a job working for W.H.Smith at Barking Station. I started when I was twelve on a paper round, but after a short while the shop manager, Albert Hedges, decided I could work one of the platform sub-stalls. This was really quite exciting for a youngster, as the station was one of the busiest in the UK - with the District Line tube, and Fenchurch Street traffic up and down to Southend and Tilbury, as well as a constant flow of goods trains.
In 1960, most of the engines were steam, but were being replaced by diesels for the goods trains, and the passenger lines were being changed to overhead electric.
A favourite time was Sunday mornings. This got me out of Church and paid overtime! Platform 4 was packed out as East Enders [ the real ones! ] would come down by tube from London and cross the platform to go to Southend for the day.
The trains were not scheduled if it was a sunny day - they just sent one in after another until the rush died off around midday.
I can remember the most expensive paper was The Sunday Times at 6d, and the News of The World & The People were 4d.
Best selling magazine on those mornings was "Beatles Monthly" at 1/- a pop.
Wish I'd saved a few of those now...
The old station was a traditional wooden design, so the new concrete version with a high roof, ground to ceiling glass front and sides was a spectacular change.
Another part of the excitement was the delivery of the Saturday Pink'un with the classified football. Everyone did the pools and wanted the results. Two teams raced to get the Evening News or Evening Standard off the train and out onto the streets and into the shops first.
I remember one Saturday afternoon the boys were fooling with the big four wheeler trolley that they loaded the papers on and it fell on the rails in front of an on-coming through express - they ran for it as it was smashed into matchsticks!

A memory shared by Joss Ollett , on Jul 2nd, 2014.

Comments & feedback

Sun Aug 3rd 2014, at 5:14 pm

booki18 commented:

You brought many memories back to me I had to laugh when you said not only did you get out of going to church but you got paid overtime,what a bonus!We used to get the train to Chalkwall on Sunday and meet my aunt,uncle and cousins for the day on the beach(I can still taste the gritty sandwiches where the wind would blow the sand about)we used to stop at the cockle sheds

Sun Aug 3rd 2014, at 5:41 pm

booki18 commented:

On the way home.My brother used to sell papers on a Saturday he came home right late.l know what you mean about real East Enders.I haven't been to the town at Barking for years but I have happy memories I lived in Barking park and I've never heard anyone who grew up there say anything bad about it we had so much we could do there.I think the high light for me was the fair and the carnival and the day always ended with a spectacular fireworks display!happy days.Carole Jordan Lloyd.

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