RDP #55: Travel

Dagenham

Let’s go to Dagenham, the place to see if you ever visit London, and just half an hour away from the London City Airport, if you do not arrive at the rush hour when the roads are packed with traffic and busses. When is the rush hour? It is easier to ask when it is not rush hour so I would say some time at midnight until four in the morning. Do not worry because whilst you are sitting, locked in the stream of traffic, you have an opportunity to admire the local sites.

The shopping centre, Dagenham Heathway

Where is Dagenham? It is a little towards the left from London town, on the east side  and is/was in the county of Essex, but in the meanwhile London has taken over, so you are in a world city. Note the main road, Dagenham Heathway, a mixture of shops, road repairs and even traffic, what could be better. And let us not forget the international population from all countries of the British commonwealth, from the world even.

Café in Dagenham Heathway

There are even restuarants in Dagenham where you can enjoy the gastronomic delights of the area, such as the famous english jacket potatoes with various melted cheese sauces, even just plain butter and there is liver. Liver accompanied with beans in a tomato sauce, chips, sausage and bacon and of course a fried egg, served sunny side up if it does not have a burnt crust. It is all very reasonable in price and you do not have to leave a tip for the service personnel. Of course everything is served with a nice cup of tea. All modern amenities are available directly attached to the restaurant as can be seen by the door on the left where the ladies are each waiting for their turn.

Dad going to place his bet at Joe Corals

Entertainment is provided for in the way of horse racing. The thrill and excitement of a race course and the competing horses is captured at the local betting shop. The gentleman standing with the cap on his head is my dad, and he was an expert. He would regularly study the progress of the horses. He loved horses, although never rode one, his interest was more of a financial nature. Dagenham has everything, thanks to Joe Coral and his chain of betting shops.

Ford Motor Works, Dagenham

And of course there are the local sights to see. Just a walk to the bottom of the main road and you see the Ford Automobile factory. At least it was until it was closed about 40 years ago. It was the main employer in the region since Henry Ford decided to make his cars in England, and he chose Dagenham, or someone did. I should know, my dad worked there for many years until he retired. Had he not retired at the right time, he would have lost his job eventually when the factory was closed. It is now a collection of various buildings which belong to other companies. And there is a river running behind it. If you walk past the wind turbines  you are on the banks of the River Thames although  bathing is not really recommended.  Dagenham has everything.

Have I aroused your interest? Have you realised what you have missed on you trips to London. Yes, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London are nothing in comparison to Dagenham. Hotels? Not really, but there are a few pubs with rooms to let. Dagenham has not yet made it in the tourist trade, but they are getting there. This is a secret tip for only readers of my blog, so make the most of it, before the word gets around and visit Dagenham.

RDP #55: Travel

10 thoughts on “RDP #55: Travel

  1. I have been to London. I think I was there nearly a month. I could never figure out how to get from one place to another. Every road was one way in the wrong direction. But it was still a lot of fun and if I were to go back, I think I’d try to do everything via the underground!

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    • Most Londoners do it by underground, it is easier and also quicker. Being a Londoner and growing up in London I never had a great problem, but I never drove a car in London, far too dangerous.

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  2. My dad also worked at the Ford factory which was also the subject of the film “Made in Dagneham” about the campaign of the female workers to get equal pay. I enjoyed the film although I didn’t recognise anything only having visited Dagenham at four or five years of age. Had I remained in Romford I’d probably have gone to secondary school there.

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    • That was also around my dad‘s time there. He worked at Kelsey Hayes where they made the wheel hubs. I remember him traveling daily from Bethnal Green with the Tube to Dagenham Dock station. He would work two weeks day shift and two weeks night shift. The pay was more for the night work. It was the reason why my parents moved to Dagenham when they demolished our houses in Bethnal Green.

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      • My dad was there in the early sixties, not sure if he was there in the fifites when he and mum married but was there till the mid sixties. Not sure exactly what he did there but think he drove a forklift so may have been in the stores or something like that.

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