Barking... So Very Different Now - a Memory of Barking.
We moved to Hertford Road in 1971, I was 3 years old. I remember playing in our overgrown garden which backed on to the Burges road playing fields soon after we moved in. There used to be a horrendous smell from the paint/chemical factory which was situated near the bridge over the Roding, near where Tesco's is now. The smell was terrible and I can still smell it now, all these years later.
We lived in Barking until Hertford Road, with all its perfectly good early 1900's houses was knocked down to make way for the A406 flyover in 1985.
I had a happy time growing up in Barking in the 70's and 80's it was a very pleasant town with some great shops like Hills of Barking which faced the green by the Abbey and sold all kinds of models and train sets and Rodney's almost opposite the Odeon just over the station, which sold all kinds of unusual toys and second hand comics. There was also the large Simons record shop near the bull pub where you could buy any album under the sun and the tiny narrow car spares shop, next to the car park entrance where the little old chap in there would climb the racks and shelves and always find what you were looking for. There was the discount book shop near Woolworths and I remember there was a jewellers with a clock in the floor at the entrance, near by, did it become Macdonalds?
As a young teenager I spent many evening playing tag and hide and seek over the Abbey, but we never did any damage. I remember spending weeks over the graveyard looking for the grave of Captain Cook, as my dad told me he was buried there, I never found his grave, as many years later I found out he was actually only married there, not buried!! I got my first job at Wigham Poland in Wakering road and bought my first pub drink in the Brewery Tap!
I am in my mid 40's now and have long since moved to Essex, but remembering what a great town Barking was then, it really breaks my heart seeing how it has changed and what it has become, and how it has changed so very quickly. With all the comical building block flats and council buildings in appalling colours contrasting with the classic and imposing old town hall building. Just as well that we have our memories of Barking and what a great town it used to be.
A memory shared byon Jan 4th, 2015.
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