Those Were The Days 2 - a Memory of Barking.
It didn't change until the sixties when the station was rebuilt and opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1961.
I watched the whole building project from start to finish from the comfort of my bedroom window. When it was all done we had a new glass steel and concrete bright and airy modernistic station complete with Hedges newsagents between the two new entrances a travel information center and the Wimpey Bar moved from across the street to the Station a new parade of shops was built going down to Cambridge Road and a huge new Wallis supermarket replacing the Brick wall.
Anyway on the corner was Lloyds Bank they had a chiropodists upstairs and a lawyers as well. Most of the shops in Barking had upper floors for storage and some were flats most were at least 3 floors high. So we'll turn right and head down Station Parade towards St Margaret's.
Just past the bank was Alex Wheels toy shop I spent many a happy Saturday in there looking to spend my half crown pocket money, so many amazing choices Bikes and prams, scooters and wagons hanging from the ceiling, the walls and every nook and cranny was filled to over flowing with a mixture of old fashioned and new fangled toy's, and games and all sorts of cheep junk for kids. And the tin soldiers. Well alright lead soldiers; handfuls of em and we put them in our mouths while we played and got sweaty hands from gripping them tightly. Poisoning what? It was a treasure cave to us and kids were allowed to explore and be noisy what a great place to let the imagination run riot, till your mum smacked you up side your 'ead to bring you back to reality! And next to that was Keyes Newsagents what a great shop that was, cigarettes, pipes, tobacco and cigars along with magazines, papers and of course my favorite the comics it was run by Mr. Keyes, a very nice and friendly chap always had time for chat and so were his lovely assistants. It also had that great aroma. And Dad would send us to the shop to get his fags (Capstan Full Strength) Underage didn't mean the same back then as it does today.
I remember a funeral parlor being along there and of course Rumbelows Appliance shop which occupied the entire corner. Where all manor of new and used electronic appliances were on display. I would gaze in there for hours looking at all the cool new stuff. I bought my first transistor radio there and spent hours under my blankets with a little ear piece listening to the wacky illegal world of pirate radio at 2 in the morning. School? What about it?
OK so let's cross over the road and go down Ripple Road. Barclays Bank is on the corner. Then there was an alley way next to a little cafe. I remember getting ice creams and doughnuts along with sandwiches tea and coffee there. It was all black, white and chrome from what I remember. Next to that was the covered Market entrance to Wallis's Supermarket. Various small shops lined both sides leading to it.
A memory shared byon Mar 15th, 2010.
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