I was born in 1936 so I am probably one of the oldest people with fond memories of Barking. I first went to Gascoigne School and can remember having to practise wearing a gas mask during the war- horrible smelly rubbery things. I am not sure what was worse being gassed by Hitler or wearing the gas mask. We had school clothing coupons and I used to stretch my big toe over the line to get extra coupons; hence I have great big toes. I played in the church grounds which was bombed collecting marble squares so we could play 'gobs'. The church was opposite the pie and mash shop in Ripple Road. We had fairs at the big park and loved the fair ground also had a beauty contest at which Stewart Granger crowned the carnival Queen. Cor! he was so handsome. I too went to the 'bug hole' as we called it and my mum worked at the Capitol. I had my wedding reception at the Odeon. I lived in St Johns Road off Movers Lane when I was 13 and then went to Eastbury School for Girls and we were told not to run for the bus because we were ladies. The buses I missed because the teachers were also waiting for the bus. Went dancing at East Ham Town Hall. We had trolley buses before the more modern ones and one of the grocers sons got caught under the rails, I think he got out but can't remember. Remember Pescis fish and chip shop and the two Italian sons used to flirt with us. Went back to Barking recently, saw the fish and chip shop but had to laugh as it was closing due to retirement. Oh... sob, sob, why did they get old - broke my bubble! Then I got married at 21 and went to live in Walthamstow. Now live in the country which is very slow to London life. Buses 1 every hour. I think the buses used to be the 106 and 23c. I still have very fond memories of Barking although it has altered so much. You can take the girl out of Barking but you cant take Barking out of the girl. My maiden name was Alexander.
A memory shared byon Dec 19th, 2013.
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