News from the twin town – November 2022
Award for Valence House
Barking and Dagenham’s only surviving Manor House has won an award for the best presentation of local history. The National Tourism Organisation praised the creative way in which it tells the story of what has shaped people’s lives since the house was built in the 13th century.
The local history collection comprises 20,000 objects, many of them unique originals. Valence House is not alone in receiving the award, however. It has been awarded to a total of 97 institutions across the country.
Rough dealings with muckrakers
Under the title “Dirt and Punishment”, a campaign of the city administration has started again after a two-year break. Using videos and full names, fellow citizens are denounced for unacceptably polluting their city or grossly violating the law. In the first episode, an illegal dog breeding is denounced. The animals were kept in large cardboard boxes in the living room and there was no health care whatsoever. The case is presented for everyone to see, right down to the punishment imposed.
The same threatens people who secretly dump their rubbish, who let old cars rot in front of their houses or traders who offer adulterated and spoiled food.
A whole district is added
Our twin town is growing rapidly. Next March, work will start on another major project: 3,500 new flats are to be built on the site of the former Ford press shop. That is roughly the size of Stockum. The first construction phase in the neighbourhood of Dagenham Dock comprises 935 flats.
In the new development area, 1640 dwellings are to be “affordable”, which is roughly equivalent to our social housing. The project also includes green spaces, playgrounds and a “local history trail”. The work is to be completed by 2029.
Literature prize for first work
Suad Kamaredeen from Barking has won the £4000 SI Leeds Literary award. The award, founded by the Soroptimists, has been offered for under-represented ethnic groups for ten years. Suad KIamaredeen had used the lockdown imposed because of Corona to write her first novella.
Aimed at: One more station
Barking and Dagenham Council is negotiating with TfL (Transport for London) to add an Overground station. Now that the Elizabeth line has been extended to the new Riverside neighbourhood, the issue is a new stop halfway to Barking Station, on Renwick Road.
Strangled by her own headscarf
A court case against the operators of a go-kart track in Barking, where a girl died in the summer of 2021 after her headscarf got caught between the rotating parts of the car, ended with tightened safety conditions. The court found fault with insufficient covers on moving parts. Above all, the team has to check that every driver has no pieces of fabric or long hair hanging out from under the helmet.
The Barking & Dagenham and Witten twinning arrangement is one of the oldest existing contacts between a German town and an English town.