5 - 2019 May - visit to Valence House
On Friday 10th May a group of us plus friends visited the Valence House Museum in Dagenham. Of the group only three had previously visited the Museum and that was before their Heritage Lottery funding [plus a good deal of money from their council]. The lovely little cafe found it difficult to cope with the sudden influx of 35 of us - the Museum staff had not warned them that we were coming, but eventually we all had coffee, placed our lunch orders and settled down in the education room for a talk by one of the curators, Mark. The talk was brilliant and included information about the history of the house, and about what to look for in the Museum itself. We had not realised that to get the Valence House we had passed through the Becontree estate with its homes built after WW1 - homes fit for heroes. http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/becontree/ As the weather was fine, many of us started by going round the herb garden, in case it was raining after lunch. [In fact we had beautiful weather all day!]The museum itself was lovely - everything was well displayed and covered so much of Dagenham and Barking's history. Mark had told us that to fulfil the Heritage Lottery fund requirements they had to give equal priority to the history of both boroughs, and even had to show the same number of women and men!
Tony had worked at Valence House 60 years ago, when it was the headquarters of the local library service, so for him it was a journey back in time.
We had a very good day out and many of us had heard the announcement on the previous day about the Prittlewell treasures which were about to be displayed for the first time to the public in Southend Museum - so watch this space!