Barking and District Historical Society

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Our Borough's Rich Past Revealed


Our Borough’s Rich Past Revealed

John Blake

The following article appeared on page 9 of the second issue of Barking and Dagenham Council’s Community Newspaper
The News which was published on 13 June 2009. The article was penned by our Chairman, John Blake.

Barking and District Historical Society celebrates its 75 anniversary this year. It was established as the Barking and District Archaeological Society three years after Barking achieved charter status. Many of the founders were involved with the historical pageant and industrial exhibition that formed part of the charter celebrations.

It was rather a grand body in those days with the Marquess of Salisbury, a local landowner, as its first president, and four bishops, one peer and four knights as vice-presidents!

To mark the society’s diamond jubilee in 1994, local historian Bert Lockwood, published an excellent booklet,
A Happy Thought: the Story of Barking and District Historical Society 1934-1994. To mark the society’s 75 anniversary, it is launching a reference collection of books, photographs and memorabilia in Bert’s memory. His widow, Dorothy, is one of the society’s five current vice-presidents.

The society now has about 50 members. It works with other groups to promote the study of local history as well as organising talks and outings such as this month’s ghost walk in the City of London conducted by current vice-chair Pat Manley.

The society meets at Harp House, 16 Helmore Road, Barking at 7.45pm on the first Monday of the month except in January, July and August. New members are always welcome. For more details, call 020 8597 7210 or email The society’s website is at

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