Barking and District Historical Society

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Barking and District Historical Society:
A Brief Chronology
John Blake


Founded as the Barking and District Archaeological Society. The initial meeting took place on 10th November with Robert Hewett in the chair. Lord Salisbury agreed to become its first president. There were 47 members in the first year. The society met in the Council Chamber of Barking Town Hall.


First volume of Transactions published under the editorship of J.E. Oxley. He edited them until 1958.

1935 April

The Society demanded that the Royal College of Surgeons return two Roman skulls to Barking which were unearthed during building work in the town.

1938 May

Society members paid a visit to Valence House at the invitation of J.G. O'Leary.

1939 January

James Oxley became chairman

1939 May

Committee decided to abandon its programme of excursions due to the international situation

1939 December

Death of Fred Brand, first vice-chairman and later chairman. He was the Society’s first Life Member.

1940 January

The AGM decided that the existing officers and committee be re-elected for the duration of the war (World War II)

1940 February

Meetings of the Society moved from Eastbury House to Barking Town Hall because the bus service “cannot be guaranteed in the blackout”.

1942 January

AGM held at Barclays Bank Chambers, East Street, Barking.

1947 April

Death of James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury and first President of the Society died.

1952 July

Death of Robert Hewett, 2nd president.


J.G. O'Leary elected chairman of the Society


Colonel Ernest Loftus elected 3rd president.


J.G. O'Leary elected a vice-president of the Society


Kenneth Glenny elected 4th president.


January Name of Society officially changed to Barking Historical


The Society was represented at a meeting in Chigwell, hosted by founder member and Dagenham Borough Librarian J.G. O’Leary, which established the Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress.

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