Musician Billy Bragg is set to attend the first ever Neil Young Day at Barking’s Broadway Theatre to unveil a plaque commemorating the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 1971 recording in the town.

Young came to Barking that summer to work with the London Symphony Orchestra on two tracks, Man Needs a Maid and There’s a World, which would be on the LP that became his best-selling album.

Bragg was just a schoolboy at the time growing up in Barking and a fan of North American singers like Young — but unaware that his hero was in his home town recording his biggest-ever hit.

Bragg went on to become a singer-songwriter himself, a guitarist and champion of activism in the 1980s.

His music brings together folk, punk and protest songs involving the younger generation.

“I was becoming obsessed as a 13-year-old with North American singer-songwriters,” Bragg recalls.

“But growing up in Barking, that whole scene seemed like a million miles away.

“It would have blown my mind had I known that, while enduring a double physics lesson in school one afternoon, Neil Young was playing with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Assembly Hall, with Glyn Johns recording the session on the Rolling Stones mobile.”

Now, more than 50 years on, Bragg pays homage on June 3 by unveiling a plaque to commemorate that historic recording back in 1971.

He was a pupil at the time at Park Secondary School, now Barking Abbey Secondary.

The Broadway's Neil Young Day brings three events together about Neil Young’s music, marking the release of Harvest with a previously unseen documentary film about making the album.

The documentary, with Barking Assembly Hall clearly seen in footage, is being screened in the theatre’s main auditorium.

Daryl Easlea, music author and editor of the Rare Record Price Guide, is giving a special talk on “a complete history of Neil Young in six records”.

The Neil Young tribute band Rust for Glory are also performing the entire Harvest album and other Neil Young classics. 

The Neil Young Day events can be booked separately or as a package at £36.50, from the Box Office on 020 8507 5607, or online at the theatre's website.