Saturday, 7 September 2013


It's off to Barking, in the east of London.

Barking is a busy station, served by C2C and London Overground mainline trains, and by the District and Hammersmith & City underground lines (which here are overground!). The current station building dates from 1961 in modernist concrete style (and is now Grade II listed), and has this appropriate minimalist clock:

The pub next door, by the way, is called The Barking Dog (well, it tickled me).

From concrete modernism to something a little more traditional. This is St Margaret's church in the Barking Abbey grounds. It is an oasis of green space and calm amongst the hustle and bustle of barking town centre and the mass of redevelopment going on around.

A stone plaque in the Curfew Tower gives some details of the church and its connection with Captain Cook.

The river industries connection is also reflected in the next building of interest, which is Town Quay Wharf in St Paul's Road. Barking was once an important fishing port for London, especially for live cod, and was also a shipbuilding centre.

The main attraction, clock-wise at least, in Barking is the Town Hall. Originally designed in the 1930's, most of the construction was delayed by the Second World War, and the building was not finally completed until 1958. But boy what a fantastic clock in ended up with.

And it was only when I looked at the photos afterwards that I realised that there are individual dashes for each minute and not just the large five minute marks.

Indoors now into the Vicarage Field shopping centre. I'm sure the vicar would be miffed to see this building rather than fields, but that's progress for you.

Despite my general dislike of shopping centres, the clock here has been done rather well.

Outside in the sunshine stands the Magistrates Court and its nice little clock tower (well judge for yourself - judge, magistrates court, get it? I can hear you groaning).

Nice clock, but shame that it is not working.

Next door is another building with a clock on, so they called it The Clock House. You can't say fairer than that.

Finally, a trip to a town centre wouldn't be complete without a visit to the slightly outside of the town centre branch of Tesco.

It is open 24 hours a day, and has a clock to prove it.

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