Crazy golf, market and greasy spoon on Dagenham bucketlist
PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:21 01 October 2014
“There’s nothing to do in Dagenham, mate.”
That’s the response I got when I told friends of my weekend plans - a seven-stop tour across the “top things to do in Dagenham, before you die” as chosen by blogger Martin Ives, 33, of Darcy Gardens.
We began the weekend under grey September skies in a car park next to the A12, in the shadow of a tower block of flats, although luckily our first stop couldn’t be further removed from it’s less-than-scenic surroundings.
Moby golf, the UK’s largest crazy golf course is an 18-hole tour through waterfalls, ships and the mouth of a whale.
Inspired by the Herman Melville novel, and sitting opposite the Moby Dick pub, the hugely enjoyable setting is a reminder of the purported discovery of a washed-up whale in Dagenham in 1790.
Despite fishing my ball out of more rivers and streams than I care to remember, the enjoyment was heightened by the sweet taste of victory - not that anyone was being competitive.
“It’s certainly not something I’d do every week, but I imagine it’d be great for young families,” said Martin. “It’s nice to see it play on the cultural heritage of the area.”
A short trip down Whalebone Lane took us to Bowlers Angling - a fishing shop on Cinema Parade.
While seeming an odd choice for a pair of fishing novices, it was an eye-opening experience if nothing else.
1 Moby Golf in Whalebone Lane North
2 Bowlers Angling shop in Cinema Parade
3 Rosie Lee Café in Broad Street
4 Vue Cinema Dagenham in Cook Road
5 Sunday Market
6 Eastbrook pub in Dagenham Road
7 Curry Mahal Tandoori in Goresbrook Road
Whole shelves of catapults - the labels said they were for ground bait - and fridges full of all sorts of underwater nibbles, not to mention rods, nets and clothes make it a one-stop for all fishing enthusiasts.
“With so many businesses going online these days, it’s good to see some shops still benefitting from the personal touch,” said Martin.
Lunch was provided at our at our third destination, the Rosie Lee Cafe, on Broad Street.
“Probably the nicest greasy spoon I’ve visited in the borough,” explained Martin.
With owner Mehmet Hassan, 42, boasting a personal collection of more than 4,000 Elvis collectables, pictures, records and even guitars give customers a treat for the eyes, while the huge breakfasts were perfect for empty stomachs!
After a short afternoon break, we reconvened at the Vue cinema for the Saturday evening showing of Liam Neeson thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Although not totally won over by the script, being one of just 14 others made it a very attractive alternative to some of the over-crowded offerings elsewhere in east London.
Sunday afternoon began with a 45-minute browse of onesies, slush drinks and “designer” brands deliberately omitting certain letters.
For a first-timer Dagenham Sunday Market was definitely something to remember, as was the journey getting there, but had to be followed by a pint at the Eastbrook.
Unfortunately a selfie outside our seventh destination, Curry Mahal, on Goresbrook Road was as close as we got because of time restraints, although purely by coincidence, Martin actually enjoyed a curry there later that evening.
Read Martin’s original list at schpunk.co.uk/7-things-to-do-in-dagenham-before-you-die.
What do you think of the list? Is there anything we’ve missed?
Send you own Dagenham, and Barking, bucketlists to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8477 3824 - and we’ll compile the best next week.
Enjoying a pint at the Eastbrook pub.
Reporter Mark Shales and blogger Martin Ives play crazy golf.
Blogger Martin Ives and reporter Mark Shales play crazy golf.
Reporter Mark Shales and blogger Martin Ives play crazy golf
Dagenham Sunday market
Outside the Rosie Lee cafe, in Broad Street.
Martin checks out the goods at Bowlers Angling, in Cinema Parade.
Insert your own rod and tackle jokes.
Checking out the menu at the Rosie Lee cafe.
Outside Dagenham's Vue cinema.
Martin at Dagenham Sunday market.
Dagenham Sunday Market.
Dagenham Sunday Market.
Outside the Curry Mahal.
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