A picture tells a thousand words as photo collection explores borough’s history

An old aerial view of Dagenham

An old aerial view of Dagenham - Credit: Archant

From a Titanic survivor to the Queen’s dressmaker, a new book of snapshots from family albums creates a nostalgic look at the borough’s evolution. Janine Rasiah speaks to author Sylvia Kent

Dagenham Heathway in 1948

Dagenham Heathway in 1948 - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham were among the earliest Saxon settlements in Essex. Hard axes and other flint implements from the Paleolithic Era have been found at sites around the borough, including Chadwell Heath and Ripple Road.

The most remarkable object from the Neolithic period is the Dagenham Idol, uncovered in 1922 in marshland just south of Ripple Road – the event that kicks off Sylvia’s history of the borough.

The idol is carved from Scots Pine and is around 4,300 years old, making it almost 1,000 years older than Stonehenge and one of the earliest examples of human representation in Europe.

Sylvia Kent

Sylvia Kent - Credit: Archant