Glimpse history through old images of Barking, in Greater London.
Barking Becomes a Borough 1931
Prince George, Duke of Kent offocially visited Barking in 1931 to formally present the Charter of Incorporation to the town Mayor.
A younger brother of King Edward VIII and King George VI, Prince George married his second cousin Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark in 1934, and together they had three children, Prince Edward (who became Duke of Kent), Princess Alexandra (The Hon. Lady Ogilvy), and Prince Michael of Kent, before he died in a plane crash at the age of 39.
Behind the scenes the party prince was known for his many affairs and an addiction to cocaine and morphine, but you would not have guessed it from his impeccable behaviour on royal duties.
It’s a lovely piece of filming not just for the event itself, but also to admire the crowds of local people and shots of Barking in the background.
Barking Becomes A Borough! (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube
Storm Damage 1937
A bad storm in 1937 left the main road in Barking covered in wooden blocks, and dips sunk between flood waters, much to the delight of local schoolboys.
One young girl, looking after at least one younger sibling, decides to push the pram and toddler through the floodwater.
The railway station is busy. It’s surprising how many people have bicycles, which they hoist up as they climb the steep stairs over the railway bridge.
It’s a nice cheerful film, despite the difficulties this storm caused.
Cloudburst In Barking (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube
Barking Lake 1947
In 1947, Barking Lake saw the launch of a new pleasure boat, called the Phoenix, driven on this occasion by the Mayor.
The stern wheeler was adapted from an assault craft used “in past campaigns”, probably the recently ended World War II.
Paddleboat launched in Barking (1947) – British Pathé on Youtube
Major Industrial Fire 1947
It was one of Britain’s worst fires since the Second World War.
A four acre Government dump at River Road in Barking held 8,000 tons of rubber, resin and wool, when a fore broke out.
The thick, black smoke was carried a great distance by a stiff breeze, which fanned the flames and made the blaze burn more fiercely.
Fifty fire brigades and two river boats battled a very dangerous situation, as the fire threatened to catch nearby stores containing petrol, paint and timber.
Firemen fight factory fire in Barking (1947) – British Pathé on Youtube