Borough of Barking and its predecessors, 1882-1965
1882 – 1965
This collection comprises the minute books, departmental records, financial accounts, correspondence, building plans and photographs of the Borough of Barking and its predecessors, including the Barking Town Local Board and Barking Urban District Council (1882-1965), relating to the management of the council, public health and housing, highways and town planning, parks, cemeteries and public buildings, education, public libraries, lighting, civil defence, transport, finance, welfare and rates.
Barking Local Board was formed in 1882, and took over many of the functions previously undertaken by the Parish Vestry, including the management of Barking Town Wharf. This local board was succeeded by Barking Urban District Council under the Local Government Act of 1894. The first meeting of the new council, consisting of twelve members was held on 8 January 1895, with Dr H. H. Mason being elected Chairman, Mr E. H. Lister becoming Clerk and Mr C. J. Dawson appointed Surveyor. Barking Urban District Council was responsible for public services, notably public health, sanitation, lighting, electricity, tramways, highways, libraries and parks, as well as having a jurisdiction over the Barking Burial Board from 1897 and the Barking School Board from 1903. Barking Council went on to apply for a borough charter, which was granted in 1931 and led to the awarding of additional statutory powers in 1933. Soon after incorporation the council began to plan a new town hall, but the project was delayed by the Second World War. After the war the scheme was resumed with only slight modifications to the original design by Herbert Jackson and Reginald Edmonds of Birmingham. Building work was carried out by the works department of the borough council and the new town hall was opened in 1958. The buildings, on the courtyard plan, occupy a large island site between East Street and Axe Street, and include an Assembly Hall approached from the Broadway. The old town hall, in East Street was sold to the Essex County Council for use as a magistrates' court, and became known as Barking Magistrates Court. The London Government Act of 1963, created the London Borough of Barking in 1965. The constituent parts were almost all of the Borough of Barking and the greater part of the Borough of Dagenham. At the time of the amalgamation the combined population of Barking and Dagenham was around 180,000, the northern tip of Dagenham having been incorporated into Redbridge and a small area of Barking in Newham. The borough was renamed the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in 1980.
Catalogued by Clare Sexton, Assistant Archivist in accordance with ISAD(G).