Barking & Dagenham Local History
                                                                                                           Where History is in the Past

Where History Is In The Past

Above: The Becontree Estate: copyright of Ian Vickers, using Open Street Map



Information About This Site

****** 200 photos of Barking & Dagenham in the gallery pages******

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All 'links' to other sites have been restored. If you notice a broken link not working please contact me.


Just to make readers' aware that I have noticed some of the pictures I have taken myself appearing on other websites and internet pages. Please note that I do not mind them being used, but an acknowledgement of this website should be be accredited underneath the photograph stating that it has been lifted from here., i.e.,

Contact the site

If you have any items, stories or memories or indeed photographs of the Borough, please email them in for inclusion [to].  Please remember though, that as Editor I do have to edit sometimes, even if it is just to allow these to fit within the confines of the pages here!

Web Site History

The web site in its first year from 2006-07 received over 5,000 hits. Its second year has proved even more successful, as in November 2008 the count was well in excess of 20,000. This was far more than I ever envisaged, when I came up with the idea.  I thank all the people who have utilised these pages in the past, also who are in the present and the future. Hope you have found or will find them useful.

All the items shown have been prepared by myself for the site, and although many are my copyright, particularly a lot of the photographs, I do not mind other's utilising details from them for personal usage only. If you use any of this data for other sites, works or thesis please acknowledge the site and myself. If you are using them for monetary gain or other uses please contact me. 

I think one of the successes of this site was chiefly due to constant updating of the pages and adding new features. I shall not be updating as much as I used too, but I am always open to receive articles for consideration on the pages. One such person-- Mervyn Gould-- who is sadly no longer with us, provided me with an excellent compilation on the Cinemas of the borough. I am gradually adding pictures to this.

Barking & Dagenham and Brexit

In spite of the December General Election result for the Borough, where the Labour Party won both the seats of Barking and that of Dagenham & Rainham, the UK has appeared to honour the People's referendum after all, and we will take the first steps to leaving the European Union on the 31st January 2020. Labour in particular had cooked its goose, let only the Christmas turkey! Voters, particularly in the north of the country had temporarily switched their allegiance to Boris Johnson's Tory party. Enough was enough they said! 

The reason both Barking & Dagenham did not vote Conservative is that they had both been Labour since time and immemorial. The voters here have changed drastically with a vast influx of people from overseas, but they will vote for the Labour Party. You can put a red rose on a cat here and many will vote for it. Many though feel Labour have wrecked the Borough.

The prelude to Brexit was that originally, the UK was supposed to have left the European Union on the 29th March 2019. However, it did not transpire. The opposition to Brexit said they needed more time, which was unbelievable after 2.75 years. Whether you supported Brexit or not, the whole thing was shambles. The issue here was clearly about upholding the democracy of the referendum, and not one of leave or remain.

Both Barking & Dagenham had voted to leave in the referendum of 2016. Barking was 162nd in the country with a leave vote of 60%: while Dagenham & Rainham was 19th in the country to leave with 70.3%.

An eight option vote had taken place on Wednesday 27th March 2019: As for the MP's for the borough: Dame Margaret Hodge voted remarkably Against no deal, and For revoking article 50: while MP for Dagenham & Rainham, Jon Cruddas voted Against no deal, and Against revoking article 50,  Their full voting records on this 8 option vote were found here: - 

You had to ask yourself at the time, were they standing up for the interests of the people in their own constituencies, who had voted to leave or their own?


Barking & Dagenham is not a place I venture often today. I do not like the area for what it has become. The Met Police data displays a grim picture with 2,185 crimes in the borough for June 2019 in a population of about 210,000 or roughly 1 for every 96 people. 

The region around Barking town centre, Abbey Ward, is the number one hot spot and the worst for lawbreaking. The May 2019 figures showed that there were 17 crimes per 1000 people. You have a 1 in every 58 chance of something happening.

Thames Ward comes in second, Becontree Ward third, Whalebone Ward fourth; while Heath Ward in Dagenham, which covers the Heathway and Beacontree Heath comes in fifth on the list, with 10 crimes per every 1000 []. 

Anyway, let’s forget about Brexit and crime.... we can drift away safely by reading about the history of the Borough. Let’s remember when things were better here, and life was so much simpler. 

I hope these pages enable people to reminisce or learn more about a town, which was once where William the Conqueror stayed, and boasted the third wealthiest Abbey for nuns in the country. You'd never believe it!

Website News

The Barking & Dagenham Local History website commenced in 2006, but within 4 years had reached its potential on Freewebs, which later changed its name to Webs, with this change the price of increasing content to my site also rose. I had now also reached the limit for storage on a free basis. Another factor was cost. I did not have the funds to continue in this format, which had served me well for these years.

This sought me to look for a new service provider, and brought me into contact with This worked well for a number of years, but they altered their system, and trying to transfer the site to a fresh provider was almost impossible, as they utilised different formatting than the others.  

This in real terms meant that it was no longer viable for me to update the site, without removing content from it first, which I felt would detract from the excellent content and layout! 

I had no alternative but to take the site down, and it remained so for well over a year, since 2016. After trying to work my way round this, I thought about migration to a new provider, but this involves even more expense, and is extremely costly. For a while the site was in limbo, while I sought alternatives. On 1st August 2017 I decided to return to as this is most suited to my needs, although costly for myself. The sight is up and running again, but I shall continue to look for better alternatives in the future.

General News

Newspaper articles for the year 2009 were the last additions to the site index, I shall not be adding any news cuttings and stories after this date. The Barking & Dagenham Post has an archive of their E-editions, dating back to this around this time.


A lot of labour has gone into the Newspaper items. This reflects the amount of time taken to research and compile them, and all the hard work that has gone into the initial project. The formation of these indexes has run incredibly into a year or two. 

Those seeking early newspapers will find 1,234 issues (4,936pp) of The Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park & Dagenham Gazette available from 1889-1912 for a moderate fee from the British Newspaper Archives [].

The 2019 Barking Shop Survey did not take place last year, principally due to one of safety, walking around the streets with pen and camera.

However, the Barking Shop Survey, 2004 is still available and contains a wealth of information. The 'Newspaper Indexes’ too are ready for download immediately as E-Books, at a modest fee. More serious users can purchase a 'Print on demand' paperback. If you wish to know more please do not hesitate to contact me on the e-mail address below.

Also available for download or paperbacks are: "A Roam Through Chadwell Heath" and "Health & Sanitation in Barking Town in the 1800s".  More information can be found on all these works on the Books & E-Books section.

Transport History

The 'History of the 179 bus that I wrote was employed in the London Bus Magazine, No., 152 “The Passing of the 179”. The editor seemed very enthusiastic over this piece, which was of a topical nature. The photographs here are now replaced in this article. 

The item on route 87 has also been replaced, but the pictures here are not currently accessible. There is an updated version of this in the London Bus Magazine, No., 138, entitled, “Barking and Romford will never be the same again; a history of Route 87”, which includes the 287 & 387.

Chadwell Heath, High Road

The Chadwell Heath Power Point display was reinstated.  This required a lot of hard work to restore. For those interested this captured the High Road in Chadwell Heath, the section lying in Barking & Dagenham. I compiled this display between March and May in 2009. The study proved very interesting, but to get many of the pictures without too many vehicles meant an early morning start prior to the traffic building up on the busy road.

Many of the buildings are from late Victorian times, being original and still surviving today. Although these are just over a hundred years age-wise, they form the oldest series of buildings and structures within one roadway in the whole of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Unfortunately, we have lost some more of these today, including: the blacksmiths and the old pump near the boundary with Havering.

Readers' Forum

Many 'readers' have accessed this site but few have left their comments. Some of this is probably due to the fact that they have to register their details. This in effect stops a lot of people registering, but also stops those which would write loose comments. Any abuses will be removed. So, feel free to write and share your memories here, and to send pictures of the Barking, Chadwell Heath and Dagenham regions or indeed those nearby. I reiterate that any stories or pictures can be sent to me direct. 

If you have any photographs that you wish to share on the district, I am always happy and grateful to do so. Please scan them over to me at my e-mail address. My email address is at the bottom of this page.

Site Highlights

An abridged version of the Barking Ministers' Account for the Manor of Barking, dated 1540, was added on 28/10/06. A Place Name Index for this was added early in 2007. These show the principal entries in the manuscript, both names and places. A searchable version is available from myself.

On the 8th March 2007, an abridged version of The Rental for Barking Abbey, dated 1456, for the northern part of the town was included, which includes Ilford. This does not include the following information: the page number in the Translation, the original folio number in the manuscript (Mss), the total properties owned by the landowner/occupier, his trade where known, or indeed the full Mss property details, in addition the total rent for each person’s properties, although the unit rent is given here.

As before most of these further details are available directly from myself if required. Unfortunately, interest has not been sufficient for me to add the Rental for the southern part of the manor, which includes south Barking and Dagenham.

The 2004 Barking Town Shop Survey is available from, and a fully searchable version is obtainable on Microsoft Access. There are further surveys of Barking's shops which I took in 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2014. These are also available directly from me, as a paper copy. Due to the amount work involved a fee will be charged if anybody requires any of these. Sadly, the 2019 Shop Survey was not carried out due to potential safety problems in the town.

The Newspaper Index provides information chiefly for the Barking & Dagenham region. It includes articles from the years 1888 and now runs through to the end of 2009. They are available in two parts, but please be aware that some later years are not included. Further information on this is given in the Books & E-Books section. They are available in the books & e-books section.

Although these indexes are not exhaustive, they are still a useful tool and finding aid for those researching the Borough. They consist of historical items principally, or unusual news stories and transport snippets. I formulated the bulk of this between 1984-1986 spending long periods of time on the microfilm reader down in Valence Library Dagenham.  I'd come out of the old reading room there with cross-eyes! It too is available on Microsoft Access. The local libraries staff have also found this useful!

Also available is a Place Name Index of The Survey of the Manor of Barking in 1609 in Word format (although this does not appear here). The original of which was taken during the reign of James I.

A variety of photographs and documents are in my possession, and a 'Photographic Source & Document' Index was placed on the site during March 2008, but this has yet to be returned. This again is not exhaustive of my collection! 

Many of these photographs are taken by myself from 1986-2020, and show Barking & Dagenham in a state of flux. These include Barking Town, Dagenham Village, and other main regions; in addition, most major buildings of the region over the last 30 plus years. Many of these photographs are now shown on the website to give readers' a notion of what my collection entails.

A selection of historical photographs is also available on the Borough. A section of these has been added covering both Barking and Dagenham. Another selection of modern views has been placed on the site in the Summer (2007), and augmented following readers' comments. The Dagenham pictures section was updated, May 2008.

The History of Barking Reach has been added (October 2007), Barking in the 1890s and The Manor of Barking from 1500-1750 (January 2008). Mervyn Gould's details on cinema's was also added (Summer 2008), and has been updated in 2019 by myself from this original.

A large part of my collection comprises of Transport information for Barking & Dagenham. This includes: stagecoach, turnpike, tram, trolleybus, omnibus, bus & train timetables, maps, tickets, magazines and other ephemera. The latest addition was a selection of Transport Pictures from my ever-expanding collection (October 2007).

Other Information

Anyone with an interest in the 'Vickers' surname may also find this site interesting. Who knows we might be related, especially if you are from one of the flowing places:  Sudbury, Suffolk (1790-1850s): Halstead, Essex (1800s-1870s): West Ham, Essex (1860s-1960s): Rainham, Essex (1940s-1960s): Rainham, Havering (2000-2013): Barking & Dagenham, Essex & Greater London (1950s-2012). Contact me direct if you feel there is a connection. 

Import Information

The site itself, is intended to be of assistance to people interested in local history, throughout not only the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, but the whole country. The site is also accessed regularly by people all over the world, in particular the Australia, New Zealand & USA, where many old residents now live today! 

If any reader requires further information about these historical articles, you will have now have to become a member of the site, and then leave a comment on the appropriate page. I will do my best to provide the answer or point them in the right direction.

Please still e-mail me directly if you feel the need to do so: - website

                    Ian Vickers: Barking, November 2006: Last updated, JanFebruary 2022