Barking & Dagenham, both large suburban areas of East London, have been closely connected for a very long time. Historically, Barking was a fishing and agrarian settlement in the county of Essex and formed an ancient parish. What followed was a major shift in economic activity towards industrial development, and Barking eventually became part of Greater London. Barking was William the Conqueror's home in the eleventh century, and is also home to Barking Abbey, an important centre of religion. For centuries, Barking's fishing port was one of Britain's most famous.
Like Barking, Dagenham was also a farming village and remained mostly undeveloped until the London County Council began construction of a large estate, and a major population rise soon took place. When the Ford Motor Company opened in 1931, Dagenham was recognised throughout the world. In this nostalgic look back at Barking & Dagenham, Sylvia Kent presents old photographs and postcards that are sure to evoke memories of the borough's past, with glimpses of some of the well-known personalities who have lived and worked within its boundaries.
Sylvia Kent has worked as a freelance columnist and author for many years, illustrating her work with her own photographs. Alongside this, she worked in Westminster Palace for Hansard for both Parliamentary Chambers from 1979-2005. Her historical features and photographs have been published in many national and regional magazines and local press. She is Archivist to the Society of Women Writers & Journalists', Vice-President of Brentwood Writers' Circle & trustee at the Cater Museum, Billericay.