Chairman's Reports - Barking and District Historical Society

Barking and District Historical Society
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Yet another successful and busy year for the Society!

Membership currently stands at 60 which include members in USA and New Zealand.

The Society was awarded a lottery grant to purchase digital projectors, screen and sound system.

I was sorry to hear of the death in April of Bill Law, one of the Society’s former stalwarts; Bill was a member for many years until ill health prevented him from attending our meetings.

Our President Bill George has created a new website following the loss of images from the previous one and has also created a facebook page for the Society.  He has also continued to represent the Society in numerous ways including the provision of support to the East Street Regeneration project. Bill also produces our much-admired Annual Digest.

Our Vice-Presidents Dorothy Lockwood and Joy Lines continue to provide valuable support to the Society in a variety of ways.

I must also thank Eric Feasey for accepting my invitation to represent the Society on the Layers of London Mapping Project.

The Society had stalls at the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (July 2016), (when Richard and I diced with death on the East India Dock Road, but that is another story!), Valence History Fair (August 2016), Eastbury House Local History Day (October 2016) and the Chadwell Heath History Fair (April 2017). We also co-hosted the Barking History Fair at St. Margaret’s Church. The Society donated £50 to the St. Margaret’s Flower Festival in June 2016.

I attended the final meeting of Essex Congress at Colchester Castle in June 2016. The organisation, of which Barking was a founder member, was formally wound up. Assets and some of the Congress activities have been transferred to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History. Barking has now joined ESAH.

The Society also fielded teams for two quizzes in aid of the Mayor’s Charity at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.

I also represented the Society at the following events:

800th anniversary service of St. Margaret’s, Barking (June 2016).
The funeral of Pipe Major Peggy Iris of the Dagenham Girl Pipers at Corbets Tey (July 2016) (Richard also attended).
The Dagenham Girl Pipers’ reunion at the Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club (October 2016).
The CVS AGM at the Ripple Hall (November 2016).
The LAMAS Conference (November 2016)
The 100th anniversary commemoration of the Silvertown Disaster in Canning Town (January 2017).
Company Drinks open day at the Bowls Pavilion in Barking Park (April 2017)

We have continued to work closely with the Archives and Local Studies Centre at Valence House and, in particular, I must thank Linda Rhodes and Teresa Trowers for their invaluable help with the numerous enquiries the Society receives.

Richard Chapman has continued to organise the hugely popular coach trips and we visited the Royal Pavilion and Brighton in May 2016, the Essex Country Show at Barleylands in September 2016 and the Ipswich Christmas Market in December 2016. Our sincere thanks go to Richard for devoting so much time and energy to provide us with some very interesting days out. Richard, as Treasurer, keeps our accounts in good order and, during the year took on the role of acting membership secretary following the illness of Nigel Harcombe. In addition, Richard undertakes numerous other tasks including help at the external events.

Pat Manley and Tom Cromwell kindly provided us with a tour of St. Margaret’s and the abbey ruins in June 2016.

As usual I would like to thank all other members of the committee for their hard work undertaken during the year especially our tea team (currently June Johnson and member Iris Jameson) and Irene Flitcroft for selling raffle tickets at the monthly meetings.

Above all, I would like to thank our membership for its continuing support.

John Blake

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