Park friends lose bid for bandstand

John Phillips AN iconic bandstand promised to the Friends of St Chad s Park has been pulled down for good in a credit crunch U-turn. The Friends have been left gutted after council chiefs reneged on a pledge to move the Barking bandstand from East Street to the Chadwel

John Phillips

AN iconic bandstand promised to the Friends of St Chad's Park has been pulled down for good in a credit crunch U-turn.

The Friends have been left gutted after council chiefs reneged on a pledge to move the Barking bandstand from East Street to the Chadwell Heath park in Alexander Road.

The campaigners hoped to use the 1988 structure, dismantled in January to make way for the �200million East London Transit bus route, as a platform to boost activities inside the park.


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Friends chairman Maire Justice - wife of Chadwell Heath ward Cllr Terry Justice - said: "We're very, very disappointed over it. We were promised it, we asked for it four years ago when we were first set up and suddenly we found out it had been taken down and dismantled.

"Transport for London told us they would transport it for us free of charge and let us have it."

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The Friends planned to draw crowds and boost school visits with a raft of jazz and Salvation Army concerts at the bandstand previously used for Barking Town Centre performances.

But council bosses decided not proceed with the potentially costly and difficult rebuild and instead scrap the steel structure.

A council spokesman said: "Having assessed the nature of the building, the potential cost and locality implications it was considered inappropriate to attempt to take apart the structure and endeavour to rebuild it."

The East London Transit between Ilford, Barking Town Centre and Dagenham Docks is due to open early next year and ferry 6.2 million passengers a year.

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