Hidden London

Thames View

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Barking & Dagenham

A dismal council estate trapped between Creekmouth and the A13. This was marshland until the mid-1950s, when the council began building over 2,000 homes using piles and rafts to secure the foundations. Bastable Avenue is the main thoroughfare. With industrial sites scattered in all directions, soulless architecture and a pervading air of dilapidation, this is east London at its most depressing. There is no Thames view from ground level. The estate’s ethnic mix includes residents of white, black African and black Caribbean heritage, but relatively few of Asian descent. In recent years, the council has placed a number of refugee and asylum seeking families here, mainly from Eastern Europe. Thames View has been the subject of a Sure Start initiative aiming to promote the physical, intellectual and social development of babies and young children. Its organisers commented, “The estate itself is isolated, the community fragmented, with little access to communal facilities. Services are basic, educational attainment poor, life chances limited.” To the east of Thames View is the new Barking Reach development, which has begun with the Great Fleete estate. Although merely acceptable in terms of its design and build quality, it looks dazzling in comparison with Thames View.

Thames View estate
Only social anthropologists would take a sightseeing tour to the Thames View estate

Newlands Park – the only open play area on the estate – was refurbished in 2001 as part of the lottery-funded A13 Artscape project. The improvements include a leaf-shaped layout, landscaping, skateboarding facilities and new play areas.

Postcode area: Barking, IG11

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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