GOOD EVENING, I'M FROM ESSEX IN CASE YOU COULDN'T TELL…
THE TRAVELS OF EXILED ESSEX MAN PETE MAY IN THE THAMES DELTA
Friday, 10 July 2015
Barking may soon have the cachet of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Dalston according to a recent piece in the Evening Standard headlined "Essex Hipsters? It's not such a Barking idea." Guess anything's possible, as I've just discovered a hipster coffee bar has opened at the Whitechapel end of the Commercial Road, near where my great great grandfather traded as a saddler. House prices (which used to be among London's lowest) are rising faster in Barking and Dagenham than in any other borough and there's just been a folk festival there with Barking's favourite bard, Billy Bragg. The Standard also discovered there's an artists' colony in a derelict warehouse on the River Roding, which is now known as the Ice House Quarter. Soon it seems Barking might be away with craft beer, beards and designer cereal shops.