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Learn about Barking Creek history at The Boathouse

Tue 23 July 2019, 10:38 am

A major arts project at The Boathouse Creative Studios is inviting the public to learn about the captivating history of Barking Creek.

The tour and talk scheduled for mid-August builds on the first event held at the end of June, where more than 30 people learned about the Barking fishing fleet and heritage of the area.

Local historian Mark Watson will again explore the history of the Creek and its colourful past at this second event based in Barking’s Heritage Quarter.

The Boathouse Creative Studios, located at the unique riverside setting of The Ice House Quarter, received a £10,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund earlier this year – allowing them to start a project called The Hidden History of Barking Creek.

This offers a unique chance to celebrate the industrial, maritime and community heritage of the Barking Creek part of the River Roding.

Project participants will work with an artist and writer to generate an original mural and exhibition, focusing on the stories surrounding this historic location.

The mural will be painted on the restored Granary building, owned by Rooff Ltd that will co-fund the work, at the heart of The Ice House Quarter in Abbey Road.

Carl Blackburn, Heritage Lottery Fund project manager for The Boathouse Creative Studios, said: "Once home to the largest fishing fleet in the world, Barking Creek has seen many comings and goings, including some right royal shenanigans!

"There are still many evocative old buildings, boats and historical sites to explore and get a sense of the living past. If you missed the first tour, this is your chance to find out about the rich heritage of this area. Even if you came to the first tour in June, come again - there will be new things to discover!"

The Boathouse Creative Studios regularly host a range of arts and special events, and have recently transformed the venue into a film set for UM Studios, hosted a book launch for author Henrietta Akindele and held the University of East London’s final year Animation course exhibition.

The popular destination also holds a number of private occasions and helped Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company Be First to hold a consultation event.

The venue is currently working on the development of photographer Ruby Steele’s upcoming exhibition, which is a celebration of women’s lives. This will run at the Boathouse Studios from 5 -17 November this year.

The next historical tour for The Hidden History of Barking Creek project takes place on Thursday, 15 August, at 6pm. For more information contact



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