Barking and Dagenham celebrates 50th birthday

Up until April 1 1965, Cllr Joe Butler (left) and Alderman Fred Brown (right) were the last mayors t

Up until April 1 1965, Cllr Joe Butler (left) and Alderman Fred Brown (right) were the last mayors to wear the respective robes of the boroughs leading citizens. Pictured centre is Alderman William Bellamy, who was mayor-elect for the new London Borough of Barking - Credit: Archant

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the London borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Up until April 1 1965, Cllr Joe Butler (left) and Alderman Fred Brown (right) were the last mayors t

Up until April 1 1965, Cllr Joe Butler (left) and Alderman Fred Brown (right) were the last mayors to wear the respective robes of the boroughs leading citizens. Pictured centre is Alderman William Bellamy, who was mayor-elect for the new London Borough of Barking - Credit: Archant

While Tom Jones was busy topping the charts with It’s Not Unusual, the London Government Act 1963 formally fused the Essex municipal boroughs of Barking and Dagenham together on April 1, 1965.

Although known as the London Borough of Barking until Dagenham joined the title in 1980, the district took its place among the other 31 serving the nation’s capital.

To celebrate the historic occasion, Barking and Dagenham Council is commemorating the half-century with a host of community events throughout the year – including encouraging people to take “fairy cake selfies” today (Wednesday),

About 200 fairy cakes costing 50p each are set to go on sale at four locations – the new Abbey Leisure Centre, Becontree Leisure Centre, Barking Learning Centre and Dagenham Library.


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Buyers will then be encouraged to post a picture of themselves with their cupcake to the council’s Facebook or Twitter pages using hashtag #BD50.

The best ten will be selected and given a prize including gym and soft play passes for the leisure centres, vouchers for the new spa at Abbey Leisure Centre and books and DVDs from the libraries.

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And all the profits from the day will go to the Mayor’s charity, the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “I want to encourage as many people as possible to get to one of the venues closest to where they live and be a part of it by taking a selfie and sending their picture in.

“If you want a selfie with me, then join me at the Barking Learning Centre from 1.30pm to about 2.30pm – I’d love to see you there.

“Come along and be a part of the celebrations.”

There are more than 70 events planned in the borough’s anniversary programme, including flagship occasions such as The Roundhouse Music Festival which will take place on June 6 in Central Park in Dagenham.

The inaugural Barking Folk Festival will be held on July 4 and 5 across Barking Town Centre, while the One Borough Community Day will take place on July 25 in Parsloes Park in Dagenham and the Steam and Cider Fair is set to entertain both young and old in Old Dagenham Park on August 22.

For more information about upcoming events to mark the 50th anniversary, visit lbbd.gov.uk

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