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Movers Lane Estate

Articles > Barking & Dagenham

The plaque below was spotted by eagle eyed Valence House volunteer, Roy Shoesmith, in Saxham Road Barking on the Movers Lane Estate. Local Studies staff found a report about the laying of this commemorative  stone in  a local paper.

6th   DECEMBER   1933    BY

East Ham & Ilford Advertiser,
Saturday 9th December 1933
Municipal Housing at Barking
Movers Lane Estate
Mayor lays first Brick and takes his pay!

The first brick on the Movers Lane Housing Estate, belonging to the Barking Town Council, was laid on Wednesday by the Mayor, Councillor A. Edwards, J.P., who is also  chairman of the Public Health and Housing Committees.

The Mayor, who wore his chain of office, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor A. Whiting, J.P., and members of the Council, with the Town Clerk, Mr. S.A. Jewers, and other officials, having assembled at a spot selected for the ceremony. Councillor A. Blake, late  chairman of the Public Health and Housing Committees, said he had been asked by the architects, Messrs. H.H. Dawson and H.W. Allardyce, to hand to the Mayor a trowel with which to lay the first brick on the Movers Lane Housing Estate. In doing so, he  wished to congratulate the Public Health Committee in having the Mayor as chairman, as that committee dealt with practically the most important aspect of the municipal work of Barking: he referred to the housing of the working classes. The estate which  was now being opened was intended to provide 265 houses for approximately 1,378 persons. That first section, which was for 114 houses, was intended to provide accommodation for the occupants of Back Lane, Church Path, Bridge Street, and part of Abbey  Road areas, and he hoped that the houses would be proceeded with rapidly, and that at an early date they would have the pleasure of transferring to the new houses tenants from the slum dwellings.

Councillor Blake then presented the trowel to the Mayor. It was of silver, with ivory handle, and bore the inscription:-

"With this trowel
"His Worship the Mayor of Barking, Councillor A. Edwards, J.P.,
laid the first brick on the Movers Lane Housing Estate.
December 6, 1933."

Number of the Brick

The Mayor expressed his thanks for the gift, and said that before proceeding to lay the brick he had one or two figures to give. That estate was for 114 houses and the  cost would be £35,706. He thought he would like to know which brick he was laying and get it numbered. He asked the Borough Engineer, Mr. R.A. Lay, to see how many bricks they were responsible for laying in connection with the municipal houses since  he came there. In 1899, he gave evidence of the first housing scheme. Between 1899 and 1908, the number of bricks was 4,044,275. Since 1908, when he became a member of the Council, and assisted in carrying on the good work, the number of bricks laid was  31,316,975, making a total of 35,361,250. The number of the brick he would lay was therefore 35,361,251. If they placed them end by end, and brick by brick, which was a pretty easy job, they would reach about 5,000 miles.

The Mayor then laid the brick, and pencilled it with the number he had mentioned, and, in reply to Councillor Blake, said he had his ticket!

Alderman J.W. Garland, O.B.E., J.P., proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for performing the ceremony, and amid considerable merriment handed him 1s. 7d [8p] for his hour’s work, with his time sheet.

The contractors for the work are Messrs. Thomas Bates and Son, Ltd., of Coventry, who were represented at the ceremony by Messrs. P.H. Bates and T.J. Bates. The whole estate, when complete, will contain 265 houses and flats. The first portion which is  now being commenced will contain 106 houses and eight flats, of various types.

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