Barking and District Historical Society

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I am happy to report that the membership is on the increase after a several years of dwindling numbers; it currently stands at 50.

Our President, Bill George, has continued to work very hard on our behalf in many ways especially updating the Society’s website and preparing publicity posters. Bill and I have paid several enjoyable visits to the Great Baddow home of Dorothy  Lockwood, one of our vice-presidents, to carry out research locally.

Richard Chapman organised four memorable coach trips during the season – Bletchley Park, Dickens World at Chatham,Bury St.Edmunds Christmas Fair and the Thriplow Daffodil Weekend; we hold raffles on each of these trips and the profits are ploughed  back into the Society. Our finances are also in a very healthy position thanks to Richard’s careful bookkeeping.

Sylvia Daly must also be thanked for organising trips by public transport and these are open to our members. Coach trips organised by the Barking Photographic Society are also open to members of our Society.

As chairman I represented the Society at Essex Congress meetings including the AGM at Loughton (May), and Local History Symposium in Chelmsford (March), the Dagenham Girl Pipers reunion in September, and various Marks Gate History Project meetings. I  was also invited to Eastbury House for meetings to discuss the formation of a friends’ group and applying for Heritage Lottery Fund grants.

In March the Society supplied a team for the charity quiz at St.Margaret’s Church, Barking – we did not win, but had great fun!

We have also had stalls at the following events/venues: Family and Local History Fair at Valence House (September) the Chadwell Heath History Fair (April), the Valentines May Fair (May), the Voluntary and Community Day at Vicarage Field ((April). We also  had a table at Eastbury House in May as part of their Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

As usual, I have a number of other people to thank for their help with the smooth running of the Society over the past year including the Vice-Presidents, Dorothy Lockwood and Joy Lines, who have continued to support the Society in a number of ways.  The Catering team led by June Johnson has provided us with welcome refreshments at the Christmas meeting and also hot drinks and biscuits at our monthly meetings. Nigel Harcombe continues his hard work as our welcoming Membership Secretary. Irene Flitcroft  does a great job selling raffle tickets at our talks and I must again thank all those members who have donated prizes. Tom White continues in his role as Publicity Officer ensuring that the local libraries display details of our events.

Next season we reach another historic landmark- our 80th anniversary! We will be arranging a number of special events and further details will be announced in due course.

                          John Blake, Chairman

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