Barking and Dagenham have been sister communities on the Thames shore since Saxon times. In their earliest days communication with other parts was mainly by water since inland the area was a wilderness of marsh passable only with the greatest difficulty. We must assume that these early settlers chose these sites to give good security from attack. Modern Barking and Dagenham have only come into being because of the success of entrepreneurs like Samuel Williams who created such improvements in these Thameside areas that it was possible to promote them as sites for potential industrial development. Following the arrival of the Ford Motor Company and the rapid growth. The village of Dagenham was soon swamped by housing developments like the huge Becontree estate which accomodated the new workforce, and the modern community that we know today began to take shape. This collection of old photographs and memorabilia of Barking and Dagenham illustrates many of these changes and the book will appeal to all who live and work in this famous Thameside area.
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