Dagenham (//) is a district and suburban town in East London, England. In the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, it is 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross. Historically a parish in the county of Essex, it was an agrarian village and remained mostly undeveloped until 1921, when the London County Council began construction of the large Becontree estate. The population of the area significantly increased in the 20th century, with the parish of Dagenham becoming an urban district in 1926 and a municipal borough in 1938. It has formed part of Greater London since 1965 and is a predominantly residential area, with some areas of declining industrial activity, including the Ford Dagenham plant. The southern part of Dagenham, adjacent to the River Thames, forms part of the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area. Dagenham is part of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
The church of St Peter and St Paul formed the heart of the former village
|Population||11,267 (2011 Census. Goresbrook Ward)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Charing Cross||11.5 mi (18.5 km) W|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|# no census was held due to war|
|source: UK census|
Dagenham first appeared in a document (as Dæccanhaam) in a charter of Barking Abbey dating from 666 AD. The name almost certainly originated with a small farmstead, the "ham" or farm of a man called Daecca, as Dæccan hamm in Old English means home of a man called Dæcca.
Like most Essex Thames-side parishes, Dagenham was laid out on a N-S axis to give it a share of the marshes by the river, the agricultural land in the centre and the woods and commons on the poorer soils on the high ground in the north. Dagenham included a significant part of the now mostly lost Hainault Forest.
Dagenham was protected from the Thames by defences built in the 17th century by Dutch engineers. In 1704 an exceptionally high tide swept away fourteen feet on embankment and flooded nearly 5,000 acres of land. The breach widened over time to a width of 400 feet, allowing the Thames to strip the top layer of marsh clay from the flood plain and deposited it as a mud bank in the Thames where it became a danger to shipping.
The gap in the wall was replaced by 1714 in a celebrated act of civil engineering. The closure of the gap left behind a large lake, known as Dagenham Breach, which became a popular spot for anglers. The lake is still there, but much has silted up or been filled in, and it is now surrounded by industry.
Dagenham was formerly home to the famous annual whitebait feast. The custom appears to have been started by the King’s Commissioner of Works to celebrate the closure of the breach in the seawall around 1714-20, and was held every subsequent spring, on or around Trinity Sunday.
Many years later, Sir Robert Preston MP, invited his friend George Rose the Secretary of the Treasury and others to celebrate the feast, and on another occasion Rose invited the Prime Minister, William Pitt. Thereafter it became an obligatory ritual of government for the entire cabinet to come to Dagenham and celebrate the security of the Thames and over time this simple but hearty meal based on Whitebait and local Essex Ale grew more lavish, including turtle, grouse, champagne and a range of other luxury food and drink. Eventually the cabinet tired of the long trip to Dagenham and moved the event to Greenwich.
In 1931 the Ford Motor Company relocated from Trafford Park in Manchester, to a plant in Dagenham, which was already the location of supplier Briggs Motorway Bodies. A 500-acre (2 km²) riverside site was developed to become Europe's largest car plant, a vast vertically integrated site with its own blast furnaces and power station, importing iron ore and exporting finished vehicles. By the 1950s Ford had taken over Briggs at Dagenham and its other sites at Doncaster, Southampton, Croydon and Romford. At its peak the Dagenham plant had 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 m2) of floor space and employed over 40,000 people, although this number gradually fell during the final three decades of the 20th century as production methods advanced and Ford invested in other European factories as well.
On 20 February 2002, full production was discontinued due to overcapacity in Europe and the relative difficulty of upgrading the 60-year-old site compared with other European sites such as Almussafes (Valencia, Spain) and Cologne. Other factors leading to the closure of the Auto-assembly line were the need of the site for the new Diesel Centre of Excellence, which produces half of Ford's Diesel Engines worldwide, and the UK employment laws when compared to Spanish, German and Belgian laws. In 2005 Cummins went into a joint venture and offered $15 million (US) to reinstate the factory. Ford and Cummins offered a good redundancy package, billed as one of the best in UK manufacturing. It is the location of the Dagenham wind turbines. Some 4,000 people now work at the Ford plant. The movie Made in Dagenham (2010) is a dramatisation of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike at the plant, when female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination and unequal pay.
Sterling who were famous for manufacturing British Army weapons and Jaguar car parts were also based in Dagenham until they went bankrupt in 1988. Other industrial names once known worldwide were Ever Ready, whose batteries could be found in shops throughout the Commonwealth, Bergers Paint and the chemical firm of May & Baker who in 1935 revolutionized the production of antibiotics with their synthetic sulfa-drug known as M&B 693. The May & Baker plant, owned and run by Sanofi-Aventis, occupied a 108-acre site in Rainham Road South, near Dagenham East Underground station. It was abandoned in 2013 when the company closed it. The council has decided how to use the vacant site. They will redevelop it with a new shopping centre: stores announced so far are a Sainsbury's supermarket and a pub restaurant. More stores will be announced in the future.
Dagenham was an ancient, and later civil, parish in the Becontree hundred of Essex. The Metropolitan Police District was extended in 1840 to include Dagenham. The parish formed part of the Romford Rural District from 1894. Dagenham Parish Council offices were located on Bull Street.
The expansion of the Greater London conurbation into the area caused the review of local government structures, and it was suggested in 1920 that the Dagenham parish should be abolished and its area divided between Ilford Urban District and Barking Town Urban District. Separately, the London County Council proposed that its area of responsibility should be expanded beyond the County of London to cover the area. Instead, in 1926 the Dagenham parish was removed from the Romford Rural District and designated as an urban district. In 1938, in further recognition of its development, Dagenham became a municipal borough. In 1965 the Municipal Borough of Dagenham was abolished and its former area became part of the London Borough of Barking, which was renamed Barking and Dagenham in 1980.
Market gardens to suburban estateEdit
In 1205 Dagenham was large enough to have a chaplain, and the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul was probably built at around that time. In 1854, the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway was built through the south of Dagenham, near the River Thames. In 1885 a new direct route from Barking to Pitsea, via Upminster, was built with Dagenham station opened just north of the village. Dagenham Dock station opened on the original southern route in 1908. Dagenham was still an undeveloped village, when building of the vast Becontree estate by the London County Council began in the early 1920s. The building of the enormous council estate, which also spread into the neighbouring parishes of Ilford and Barking, caused a rapid increase in population. In 1932 the electrified District line of the London Underground was extended to Upminster through Dagenham with stations opened as Dagenham and Heathway and today called Dagenham East and Dagenham Heathway. Dagenham East was the location of the Dagenham East rail crash in 1958. Services on the London Tilbury & Southend line at Dagenham East were withdrawn in 1962.
The wards of Eastbrook, Heath, River, Village and Whalebone are in the Dagenham and Rainham Parliamentary Constituency. The wards of Alibon, Mayesbrook, Parsloes, Thames and Valence are in the Barking Parliamentary Constituency. Each ward elects three councillors to Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council. The whole area is within the City and East London Assembly Constituency.
Dagenham is located approximately 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross in Central London. A large part of Dagenham is within the Becontree estate; however, the area also includes Becontree Heath, part of Rush Green, Old Dagenham village, and the southern section around Dagenham Dock and adjacent to the River Thames. This southern section, which includes Ford Dagenham, is part of the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The Dagenham post town includes the whole of the Becontree estate, including those sections that were constructed in Barking and Ilford.
Dagenham is a working class area. During the 2000s there has also been a large influx of migrants, in particular Africans. It is difficult to approximate the population of Dagenham alone since it was merged with Barking as part of the formation of Greater London in 1965. In addition there are numerous different wards that cover the Dagenham district.
At the time of the 2011 census, the Alibon ward (north of Heathway station) was 61% White British and 15% Black African. Goresbrook ward (southwest from Heathway) was 57% White British and 17% Black African. River ward (south of Heathway) was 51% White British and 19% Black African. Village ward (east from Heathway) was 58% White British and 19% Black African. Eastbrook ward (around Eastbrookend Country) was 69% White British and 11% Black African. Heath ward (north of Heathway) was 60% White British and 17% Black African.
Dagenham is more ethnically homogeneous compared to the other town of the borough, Barking, where the indigenous population is in the minority.
Dagenham is connected to the London Underground services from three stations, Becontree, Dagenham East and Dagenham Heathway, all on the District line. c2c, currently operated by Trenitalia, part of National Rail, run a service from Dagenham Dock. TfL Rail services also operate from nearby Chadwell Heath.
A proposed, and as yet unfunded Docklands Light Railway extension from Gallions Reach to Dagenham Dock. It was anticipated that the project could be completed and open for use by 2017. However the public inquiry has been postponed due to concerns about funding.
Dagenham Heathway is served by the following Transport for London contracted routes: London Buses routes 145,173,174,175,287]] and 364. Routes 5, 103, 128, 150, 173, 174, 175, 499, and N15 and East London Transit service EL2 operate from Becontree Heath or the nearby Dagenham Civic Centre. Route 128 and EL1 runs a 24-hour service, while the N15 runs through the night.
Valence House is in Becontree Avenue. It is the only surviving of the five manor houses of Dagenham. Dating back to the 13th century, it is sited in parkland and is partially surrounded by a moat. Valence House is the borough's local history museum, displaying an impressive collection of artifacts and archives that tell the story of the lives of the people of Barking and Dagenham. The collection also includes portraits, family papers and other mementoes of the Fanshawe family, who occupied Parsloes Manor, since demolished, from the sixteenth century. The Fanshawe collection is "one of the best collections of gentry portraits in the country and is of international importance", according to Valence House. Among members of the Fanshawe family was the diplomat Sir Richard Fanshawe, 1st Baronet, whose portrait is at Valence House. Nine successive members of the Fanshawe family served as Remembrancer to the Crown, following Henry Fanshawe's appointment to the position by Queen Elizabeth I in 1566. The appointment made possible the family's rise to prominence.
On the corner of Whalebone Lane and the Eastern Avenue, diagonally opposite the Moby-Dick public house, is the site of Marks Manor House, a large 15th-century moated building demolished in the early 19th century. During World War II the adjoining fields were used by the Royal Artillery for an anti-aircraft battery; later a prisoner-of-war camp for Germans was erected there. Further south down Whalebone Lane on the corner of the High Road is the Tollgate pub. This stands on the site of the milestone which marked the ten mile (16 km) limit from the City of London and the turnpike toll-gate.
The Roundhouse public house on the junction of Porters Avenue and Lodge Avenue became East London's premier rock-music venue between 1969 and 1975, incorporating the Village Blues Club. Notable performers at the pub included Jethro Tull, Supertramp, Queen, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Status Quo, and Led Zeppelin (on 5 April 1969). The Eastbrook is a Grade II* listed pub.
Dagenham & Redbridge F.C., based in Dagenham, are currently playing in the National League having been relegated in the 2015/16 season from the Football League Two, after being relegated from the Football League One in the 2010/11 season which they had reached having been promoted as playoff-winners of League two after beating Rotherham United F.C. 3–2. Prior to this, they were the Nationwide Conference champions in the 2006/7 season. They play at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium, on Victoria Road.
Motorcycle speedway was staged at the greyhound stadium in Ripple Road in the mid to late 1930s. The club run events focussed on training but a team called the Dagenham Daggers did take part in local competitions. It is possible that the venture was operational as early as 1931 a meeting at Caxton (Cambridgeshire) was advertised as Caxton Speedway v Dagenham Speedway.
Dagenham's leading cricket club Goresbrook Cricket Club are based at the May & Baker Sports Club in Rainham Road South, in 2011 the club won the Essex County Cricket League for the first time in its history.
Dagenham has a King George's Field in memorial to King George V. The park, which has been in existence for over a century, was renamed in 1953 by Queen Elizabeth II. Dagenham also has many other parks such as Valence and Parsloes. Dagenham Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, founded by John Johnson, were the first British Drum Corps and performed in America for the first time in 1983. They have recently reformed to perform for DCUK's 30th anniversary, and in 2010 are fielding a competitive corps for the first time in 22 years.
- Rev. Abraham Blackborne, one of the longest-serving vicars of Dagenham.
- England international footballer and World Cup-winning manager Alf Ramsey was born in Dagenham in 1920.
- St Peter and Paul's Church in Dagenham was once the Parish Church of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey.
- Musician and comedian Dudley Moore was brought up in Dagenham, which was the home of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's famous comic alter-egos Pete and Dud.
- Sandie Shaw, 1960s pop singer, who had a string of hit singles in the decade and won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967 with Puppet on a String
- Rap artist Devlin is from Dagenham.
- Actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer and author Nick Frost is from Dagenham.
- Depeche Mode member Martin Gore was born in Dagenham.
- Cage Warriors matchmaker Ian Dean is from Dagenham.
- Australian singer John Farnham was born in Dagenham before migrating.
- Former darts player Wayne Mardle was born in Dagenham before living in Romford.
- British singer, TV presenter, and personality Stacey Solomon is from Dagenham.
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Media related to Dagenham at Wikimedia Commons