Saturday, March 14, 2009

Views of Barkingside High Street

Barkingside High Street“A Pleasant Place to Shop”

That is how Seven Kings Councillor Balvinder Saund and resident of Chadwell Heath describes Barkingside High Street, as reported by the Ilford Recorder. Has Cllr Saund ever been to Barkingside High Street? It may well be a pleasant place to Eat, but shop? True there are a few proper shops left, like Danny’s DIY and Harmony [Judith is right, see comments, they have closed and it is to be.... a £ gift shop], but shop? Now, I’m not what you might call a shopper, and I tend to know what I want and where to get it, or know a man who does. Like yesterday I was at Middletons in York Road, Ilford, after a new fan belt for my Black & Decker GA100. So I’m not really the one to judge on this, so I’ll open it up for comments.

Following on I am alerted by the wonders of the interwebby techno facilities that a blog, which I am not familiar with, has linked to this site. Locals may or may not be surprised that it’s title is…

Charity Shop Tourism.

Some excerpts:

While the charity shopping is great, I found little worth hanging around for (although I’m sure others would argue). [Ed: the "others" is the link to this blog, so would you?]

Barkingside has little going for it except for charity shops, in my opinion, but for a quick stop on one’s way out east, it’s not that bad, and has at least two very good bargain shops which make it worth visiting.
There you have it, how others see us can be an eye opener. A whole new industry of Bed & Breakfasts for the tourists awaits us.

Oh! that report in the Ilford Recorder says that the High Road from Ilford through Seven Kings and Chadwell up to the borough boundary is to get a face-lift. Let’s hope TfL don’t get involved, and that Barkingside gets it’s promised and long awaited Regeneration Feasibility Study soon.


  1. If the esteemed councillor thinks Barkingside is a pleasant place to shop, either his blind dog enjoys the visits or Seven Kings must be a hell of a dump!

    Regeneration feasabilty? Simply getting the street cleaners to clean up all the bird poo on the pavement outside shops would be a start. Anyone fancy risking bird poo down the neck by entering a shop?

    As for charity shops, I buy all my shirts and T-shirts off the 50p rack at the Hospice shop. Long may it prosper.

  2. Make it pedestrianised, get an M and S there, along with a John Lewis, Debenhams, Currys and an Argos, and then and only then can we call it some kind of a 'High Street'!!!

  3. Barkingside High Street is much like any other High Street - nowhere to park and the blue uniform Gestapo hiding on rooftops, so no sane motorist would go there except in dire emergency - and the short sighted Councils thinking they have found a wonderful revenue raiser wonder why High Street shopping is dying on its feet so that eventually the High Streets will raise no revenue at all- the wonderful workings of the bureaucratic mind!

  4. Just goes to show that, like many Councillors in this Borough, Saund knows nothing of the rest of the Borough. (Proves they neither know nor care about life beyond their own narrow Ward - yet another reason for the borthern half of the Borough to break away fro the rest of my letter in this week's Ilford Recorder).

    Barkingside High Street: fast food outlets, charity shops, financial institutiions (Banks, Estate Agents) and now....Empty Shops.

  5. Some of us are old enough to remember when Barkingside High Street WAS a pleasant place to shop. This was long before Redbridge Council and TfL introduced the preposterous bus priority scheme the only effect of which has been to delay buses with all the rest of the traffic, including emergency service vehicles. It was also before the former Ilford Borough Council's development plan that gave Fullwell Cross the baths and library; when quiet, non-polluting trolleybuses glided up and down the High Street and when a cake and a cup of tea at Pithers Bakery was a pleasure at the end of the shopping. And, oh! Pithers' malt loaf at 6d (2.5p) was wonderful. In those days shoppers walked, or travelled on the bus or their bicycles. The High Street now has been ruined by traffic consultants more interested in their over-sized fee accounts than in serving the community.

    Other pleasant shopping places were Gants Hill with good quality shops, few estate agents or "fast food" outlets, and no grotty night clubs.

    Cranbrook Road at the Ilford end had some excellent high quality shops - Wests, Fairheads, Burns Furniture, Prentis's fruit and greengrocery, Hanmers grocers who delivered to your home.

    Other good shopping areas were Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Meads Lane, George Lane, Wanstead High Street, and many local parades.

    In Unity Progress? Well unity is almost non-existent and progress disappeared long ago.

  6. Firstly, it sadly appears that Harmony is going to close.

    Secondly, thanks to Cllr Moth for getting some seating installed in the High St.

    Thirdly, it is possible for Planning to take into account aesthetics, but unfortunately Redbridge has never seemed to bother, and thus Barkingside High St is perceptibly seedy in aspect.

  7. It's not a coincidence that all the best stores are in good areas and I'm sorry to say that Barkingside is no longer a good area. The quality of both the stores and the environment is a reflection of the class of people that both inhabit and frequent the area. Since this social `shift' (I think I've spelled that correctly!) began, the High St was destined to follow the same downward spiral as have so many of our once thriving suburban shopping centres; Ilford being a prime example.

  8. Quite! I do tend to get my deliveries direct from Harrods.

  9. Well, B21, at the risk of being labelled xenophobic I have to say that I would not patronise anything owned by that Egyptian spiv. Nor do I insult people and then hide behind the label of "anonymous" as in the previous post.

    I agree with Judith. The Council could have done more in Barkingside, and the much vaunted "regeneration" scheme trumpted in September 2007 by Councillor Mrs Huggett still lies dormant. As for Ilford, it is a scandal that so much money has been thrown at it over the years and still we have only a second-rate rubbish tip to show for it.

  10. how is the new DIY store in the High Street any comments? I was in there on Saturday looks nice and well stocked, thank GOD it was a DIY shop back on our high street and not an other cheap pound shop selling cheap throw away no good products!

  11. Not checked it out yet. We also have a new Chinese Herbal shop and apparently we may get a Holland & Barrett.