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How Good Barking Was In The 1950s

A Memory of Barking

I was born in Shirley Gardens in 1935, right opposite Barking Park where I spent most of my childhood at Barking open air lido. What a magnificent place that was! My father was a policeman in Barking so we always knew what was going on! In winter we would go swimming at Barking indoor pool and always have Pesci's chips when we came out. How exciting to go to Barking football on a Saturday down the alley between the library and post office. When I was eighteen I grew up and became carnival queen princess and Barking football queen and the queen was crowned by Jimmy Young, but we met many film stars who came to the town. We all used to go dancing at the Princes Hall on a Sunday and Ilford Palais on a Saturday. The Roundhouse at Dagenham was another popular dancing hall where a lot of big bands used to play. I was married at Barking in 1955 and went to church with a police escort! There were many good shops in town, Sherrifs was a clothes shop, fFshers shoes, Bulleys jewellers (very good to us at carnival time), owned by Mr Feld. I am still in Barking but it is not the same place, all my children have gone to better places!

A memory shared by Shirley Bates , on Jan 23rd, 2011.

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