This is the fifth station on the District Line that I have visited as part of my 'Above the Underground' challenge. From the outside the station looked similar to the previous ones visited. Although this one has been painted in green and cream rather than the red of the others.
I was looking forward to seeing one of the few historical buildings left in the village but sadly it was shrouded in scaffolding.
(Photo from Wikipedia)
The graveyard has been in use for about 800 years with an estimated 11,000 burials taking place here.
Originally the churchyard covered one acre of land and was known as 'God's Acre'. During Victorian times it was extended to two acres. It closed to burials in the 1950s after which it was decided that the churchyard should become a nature reserve and since 1997 it has been maintained by the London Wildlife Trust. The area nearest the church is formally kept with the rest left to grow wild.
Walking through the churchyard I came across this memorial to a policeman.
His murderers were never brought to justice despite the investigations lasting for almost ten years.
Buildings dating from the 17th - 19th century were gradually demolished during the late 1960s and early 70s. The Borough needed new housing and it was decided that the cost of modernising the old village buildings would cost too much and the decision was taken to knock them down and build modern housing. By 1982 the Borough Council did not have the financial resources to buy the rest of the properties so they could be demolished. The plan to demolish buildings and pedestrianise the area around the church was put on hold. The old cottages alongside the Cross Keys had already been knocked down by then and a small green created by the church but the shops further along Church Street were saved.
Made in Dagenham (screenplay by William Ivory). The film was based on the true story of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968. The women made covers for car seats and the cause of the strike was unequal pay. Ford had reclassified their job as unskilled which meant they would be paid 15% less than that received by men in the same classification. The dispute led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970. I thought it would be a good idea to walk through the industrial area to the River Thames. So although it would be a long walk, I knew it was unlikely that I would visit this area again. With hindsight some research would have proved very useful.
Old Dagenham Park
I kept on walking towards the river. There was a large number of lorries carrying rubble rumbling past me leaving a lot of dust in their wake. It was then I realised this wasn't an industrial site but a demolition site.
A security man came out of the office to speak to me and told me I couldn't go any further down this road as it was private land with no public access. When I asked what they were doing he said this was the old Ford factory which was being developed into a housing estate. He advised me to go back to the main road and try the next road down.
All I had to do was follow the river to the Thames.
Once back at the tube station I turned left walking in the opposite direction to the river. A police station.
The next turn off took me to the Dagenham and Redbridge football club. A well known club that has had mixed fortunes from being in League 1 to relegation out of the football league.
I finished my visit with lunch at this pub 'The Pipers'. The name is a reference to the Dagenham Girl Pipers Band. This is an all female marching bagpipe band based not too far from here. The band was formed in 1930 and have performed throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Everyone in the pub was very friendly and I enjoyed a light lunch there. The station was just a five minute walk away so a perfect place to end my visit to Dagenham East.
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