Would you buy in Barking?

(78 Posts)
AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 19:45:06

Got offer on a great house just need to canvas some opinion on the area is it okay or would you not go there ?
It wasn't our first choice of area looking at forest gate east ham but can't get much bigger than we have here e17
Please help me decide...

I really hope so as our house goes on the market tomorrow!

It's a pretty pleasant area, lots of nice parks, improving town centre and easy access to town and also M25 and Lakeside. We're only going because we would like to be closer to our families

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:00:58

Is it friendly in general 2tired? What are the schools like, secondary we would need.

hope the sale goes well.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:03:01

Anyone else?

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:05:08

C'mon i can take it...

I think it's pretty friendly for London. We moved here 10 years ago and have met some lovely people.

Can't really speak for the schools as dd is only 3. However i used to teach Sunday school at the main church in town and all the kids were very pleasant.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:14:01

Aw that sounds nice! shame you are going! Can I ask roughly which part you are in? We're looking at a house Faircross Estate, very close to tube but street itself seems really quiet.
It's great value in comparison to here E17, and just trying to work out the catch...

rubyflipper Thu 16-May-13 20:19:10

I'll be honest here, but you did ask.

I lived in Forest Gate as a child and have family there and East Ham as well as Barking. . I wouldn't move to any of those places. Too run-down for me. I don't like the levels of crime, either. Barking is a little better but not much, in my opinion.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:22:01

Thanks ruby, I need honesty! we liked forest gate but can only afford what we have here so no point, just want a bit more space and a garden...

so out of east ham and barking you'd go for Barking?

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:23:07

I don't mind inner city gritty but don't want racist vibe iykwim

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:24:55

Ruby flipper. That was a version of Pan's People, no?

rubyflipper Thu 16-May-13 20:30:15

Sure was smile

Where have you looked in Forest Gate?

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:32:58

The bit near wan stead flats is too expensive for us and the other part the houses very small, same as we have and few gangs hanging around, local park looked like druggie hang out by dusk so gave it a miss, it was Odessa road I think...

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:37:15

Feeling jittery about this now, meeting the vendor on Saturday

rubyflipper Thu 16-May-13 20:40:48

Can I be devils advocate and ask whether you would move further out to Essex or Herts?

If not then I'd stay in Walthamstow, to be honest. There's more of a social mix of people, better amenities and more to do than in Newham.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 20:45:56

I work in town and ds wants to stay at his primary school dh works here too..

Problem here is the rubbish on the streets outside our apartment and they are planing to build tower block right in front of us, seemed like an ideal time to get out but we can't go ove the stamp duty, hence Barking...it's a lovely house (head in hands)

rubyflipper Thu 16-May-13 20:51:29

Barking to DS's primary school will be a long journey, won't it?

How about Hornchurch or Elm Park? On the District line, family friendly, safer neighbourhoods?

VelvetSpoon Thu 16-May-13 21:07:17

Sorry (to anyone who lives there) Barking is awful, hugely rundown, and if you're a lone woman central Barking is pretty much a no-go area after about 9pm.

A friend travels through Barking daily, she says the area has massively declined over the last 10 years (and it wasn't that great even back then). She has suffered several minor assaults (been shoved/kicked by people on the bus) and many threats of violence. Just grim.

If you really need to move, you'd be better off further out into Essex - look further along the district line (Hornchurch/Upminster are both great areas, though the latter is expensive).

rubyflipper Thu 16-May-13 21:38:47

I've had a sniff on Rightmove and there are loads of 2/3 bed houses for under £250,000 in Hornchurch. Nice High Street, too.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 21:45:27

Oh no!

We were planning to use the overground here for school, it is only 4 stops about 15 mins so not too bad...

The violence sounds really grim, I looked at the local paper the other day and some woman had been done for racial abuse on the the tube, yikes.

Some families from school have moved there though, maybe by sheer affordability the atmosphere ..

We were in Brixton when it was thought of as a no go place, priced out and came to Walthamstow and now again priced out unless we want hutch life ...what to do...

gazzalw Thu 16-May-13 21:49:38

We won tickets to Potted Potter in Barking and 'reader' it seemed like an alien world "up there"....didn't like the vibe at all and we don't exactly live in a chi-chi part of SW London....

Yes, I would consider further into Essex TBQH....

GemmaTeller Thu 16-May-13 21:52:28

DH comes from Barking and would never move back now, apparently its a s**thole now!

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 16-May-13 21:52:38

Barking is an absolute shit tip. Have you ever been there OP? It's not hiding the fact that it's a shit tip, if you go and have a look round, particularly at night you'll see what I mean!

As far as racism goes the BNP won 12 seats in Barking and Dagenham a few years back (they've gone back to labour now, but it's telling of local opinion).

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 16-May-13 21:57:05

It regularly appears on 'Top 10 worst places to live' lists as well

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:01:02

I have been there, it's not a place I ever thought of going it was bit gritty but not unlike other parts of London. It can be intimidating here in E17 e market at night can be lively with soup kitchen and homeless folks.

Tanks for your opinions, I need you to be honest. I thought it might have an element of salt of the earth types too, so it's rough and scary

Don't know if I' m ready for the suburbs, need to be in reach of E17 for DH job and DS school

Oh hell

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:02:55

Top 10 I wonde if that is to do with the sprawling estates.. It seems mad that they can't attract more young people given the housing crisis here, you know get avibe going or something

Forgive the tablet typing sox

Southeastdweller Thu 16-May-13 22:03:03

Heard it's a dump and crime is high. I don't like East London much anyway, most areas anyway.

Was going to mention the B.N.P link. That alone would deter me.

One of the cheapest areas in London to buy - I think the cheapest - apparently. No wonder.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:04:15

I wonde how difficult to sell

The was a lot of leafy roads near our place, the houses looked cared for..the sort of thing that is missing round he in mattri land

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:07:35

I would be scared to look at the crime figures for here tbh, the cops are always shrieking about, w have homeless under the arches aft being moved on from outside Sainsburys sharing space with the rats
Everyone dumps their crap outside, and people piss in the parks

..and I'm priced out of here! Oh hell

Southeastdweller Thu 16-May-13 22:14:44

But you've got the fab Victoria Line on your doorstep, as well as there being things to do locally. Not like in Barking.

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:23:54

We have 2 bed apartment and would like a little more space and garden. every one dumps their shit outside our apartment block the council are next to useless. We have had two fights at school this week - the mums fighting not the kids!

There is a lot I like about here but the general way people treat the area is appalling, we are not in the village, nor could we eve afford it...

Southeastdweller Thu 16-May-13 22:44:05

The words 'Frying pan' and 'fire' springs to mind...

You lot really don't seem to be describing the town i live in hmm

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:55:40

Yes I can see that... I guess this is the frying pan I know and the fire would be with extra bedroom and a garden!

I will go and have a scout round again tomorrow after work, was there on Sunday cycling round, it just seemed so quiet...

AuraofDora Thu 16-May-13 22:57:47

2tired..it was not the impression I got either...tube was bit inner city gritty town centre much like Walthamstow, even had a market and our street is really quiet

I feel quite confused, will have another look round tomorrow

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 09:34:02

Anyone from Barking in the morning crowd?

I'm really looking for anyone living there at the moment, like 2tired

Can anyone help me with their real impressions and opinions based on experience, purhlease!


AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 10:05:00

Anyone out there who can help?

I'm further down the train line- they say barking is improving...however it has a poor reputation here still...a friend finds it scarey at night -(tho true of many places maybe?)

DownstairsMixUp Fri 17-May-13 10:14:53

Well you wanted honesty. I was born in Barking and lived there till I was 22 when I decided to move to Kent.

Nice area - no, lots of crime, someone got shot near our house and there are frequent fights and lots of drug dealing which made me move out of the area. I lived in Dagenham to (same council) which seemed to have the same problems as Barking.

Schools, there aren't really any good schools there. Barking's main secondary schools are eastbury comprehensive (rubbish) and Barking Abbey which is better but it's quite hard to get into as it's one of the only good schools in the borough. The other good school that stood out was All Saints which is a catholic school so again, a little stricter on getting in. Dagenham Park and Sydney Russel are both terrible schools. When I was younger as I was catholic I could apply for some other catholic schools in our neighbouring borough Havering like Sacred heart girls school but not sure if times have changed over that.

In all my time living in barking as well it was def from 2000 onwards it's been on a downward spiral. Most of my family have encountered some sort of crime living there and have moved to other areas.

I agree Hornchurch and even some parts of Romford would be better to live in.

Also baring in mind the hospitals are rubbish that serve Barking and dagenham to, queens is the main one which is a pile of crap and constantly in the papers for failing in lots of their units (particuarly maternity) and king george is tired and not up to much anymore.

Upsides of barking are lots of transport into london and that's about it. I would never move back there.

Also the BNP stories speak for themselves, it's a very mixed area with a lot of cultures but I did find there was a huge amount of racism amongst the white british there which if your like me, you won't like at all.

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 10:27:51

thanks for being straight with me, it is appreciated.

I think a lot of places can be a bit alarming at night, there were a few characters around when we were there but is the area near the tube where most drug dealing takes place do you think?

It's the racist thing is one of the things that I am really rather worried about, the area seems mixed when wandering around but no I could bear that kind of attitude.

We need access to Walthamstow for DH's job so going further east is bit impractical
Schools to be honest the schools for boys in Waltham Forest dont foster much hope either. Was looking at Robert Clack School which looked okay, will check out Barking Abbey and see if we are in the catchment. Our place is right next to Eastbury.

A couple of Asian families from DS's school have moved there, they said they were worried before but it seems to have worked out for them, though i scan the playground I dont seem to be able to catch up with them

I dont expect anyone to wax lyrical but general feeling is a no go area then?

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 10:42:48

any more?

I wouldn't move there. DH is Newham born and bred, we lived in Walthamstow for 14 years. Newham is more deprived than Waltham Forest, the schools and hospitals are worse. I would see it as a step down for you. I think the detail that people have provided about violence are racism rings true.

What about Barkingside or Newbury Park - not the poshest of areas, but nicer than Barking and in Redbridge so the schools and local council are good. The secondary schools are way better than LBWF and Newham.

It's also just a quick bus ride on on the 123 into Walthamstow, or about 10 mins if you drive.

Some kids in Barking take the eleven plus and get into the Southend grammar schools...

Notyetthere Fri 17-May-13 11:59:32

The only good schools in the area are Barking Abbey and All Saints but then they at very competitive. We are in East ham and we were looking at secondary schools for my brother; my mum is a practising catholic which is why my brother got a place at all saints even if we were a good 8miles from the school. I do know people who lived closer but did not get into All Saints.

The thing about racism normally stems from social housing requirements where there is an air of that ''immigrants are given top priority to get housed compared to 'native' British folks''; you will find done really angry people who feel had done by their council.

I know a few girls from my secondary school in Newham who ended up as 'young mums' and most of them have been rehoused in Barking.

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 12:56:10

Thisisa.. Southend Grammar schools, will check that out - must be quite a journey each day though?

DH hoped we could still try for Ilford County High School, but that is going to be a journey too

Notyetthere... I cycled round the area on Sunday and spoke to Asian bloke doing up his fence in nearby street, he was saying it was okay but not to go 'over there' pointing across the tracks.

I'm going to take the tube in after work tonight, am not feeling good about this at all.

DownstairsMixUp Fri 17-May-13 13:05:10

I never got the option of sitting an 11+ in my primary school in dagenham (St Teresa's) so applying for a grammar school would never have been an option, plus that's quite a travel! It would be using c2c in the morning from Barking to southend central station which is about 40 minutes on the train! It was tough and competitive to get into All Saints, I went to a catholic primary school though to which helped I think.

I worked at Barking station and a lot of my shifts were night ones, yes, it was dodgy. Other areas in barking that are dodgy are the gasgoine estate, awful place! Barking town centre in general is not nice, it did used to be, but even most of the big shops shut shop, vicarage fields has a asda, an argos and a new look but no other "huge" shops. The market can be ok sometimes.

I know eastbury school had a lot of bullying reports and the results were not good, the houses are actually nice inside round them streets as i had friends that lived there, it's just the area in general sadly. :-(

Totally agree about it being about social housing, there were so many people that used to moan about the "foriegners" taking the houses, hence why BNP were voted in there. Overall, not a nice place to live in and I'd say you would be putting your eggs in one basket hoping for a place at southend grammar considering a lot of barking schools don't do 11+, it's a bit of a travel and it's a hard school to get into if your from castle point council let alone being from Barking!

I would defintely look into the outskirts of London bordering essex. Upminster, hornchurch, romford even elm park and rainham are all a step up from barking and dagenham

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 13:13:19

Thanks Downstairs

Just been looking at Barking Abbey, which is reassuring, and quite close to where we were planning to go, so there might be chance DS would get in there...

We are looking at the Faircross Estate, but it's near Longbridge Road, maybe too near..

DH says the town centre is due to be renovated, it was a bit grim when we were there, but mind you so is Walthamstow, the market has been run into the ground and there is a huge pointless tv on 24/7..

The social housing does sound the problem, there are plenty huge tower blocks as you drive in

It sounds like it would be hard to sell if we had to move on

oh bugger

mummytime Fri 17-May-13 13:28:08

I think you would be well outside Ilford/Woodford County High's catchment there. Robert Clack is still supposed to be a good school I had heard, but has a tiny catchment in Dagenham.
Barking is not Newham BTW.

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 13:33:19

Mummytime, according to their map Ilford County High School we are just in, by about a millimetre!

Robert Clack looked very aspirational and organised. Barking Abbey looks good but DS is not sporty but very good at IT, won awards etc for it

Would prefer him to go local so he can have some time to himself each day and make friends too but am now so unsure of all this moving stuff - we only wanted a bit more space and a garden

Re schools - yes, it's prob over an hour door to door to Westcliff or southend high - but kids do come from barking. It's causing a lot of controversy in the town that nearly 50% kids are from out of catchment.

I agree with downstairs really, for a family life upminster, hornchurch etc might be better

ticklemyboobsofsteel Fri 17-May-13 15:29:02

I've lived in Rush Green (Romford) for the vast majority of my life - moved away a few times but always ended up back there. I live West Sussex now, and I wouldn't move back. And I wouldn't like to live in Barking to be honest. I used to get the tube from there as it was zone four whereas Romford is zone 6, and I never got a particularly good vibe.

Robert Clack school is a very good school - I went there when I was a teen smile It's improved much more since then, with the headteacher being knighted for the school's transformation from a failing school to Ofsted outstanding. It specialises in science and maths I think. I was very lucky to get in though, and as aforementioned, the catchment area for Dagenham is small.

I'd probably steer more towards Hornchurch or Upminster and steer well clear of Barking and Dagenham Heathway. But that is purely personal opinion.

I'm from further east down the c2c train line, and used to travel via Barking all the time. I wouldn't recommend it.

justpoppy Fri 17-May-13 16:18:12

You've mentioned a number of times the town centre being done too OP. to be brutally honest it's been modernised a number of times over the last 20 years or so. Vicaridge fields, the precinct where the shops are are, new library, the old lido in the park has been pulled down and a new play area built. Nothing ever stays nice for very long. The "salt of the earth" types you mentioned - most of them have moved further out into Essex and those that are left would move out in a heart beat if they could. I was born in barking (before they pulled the hospital down) and have a lot of affection for the place but would never ever live there again. I can't see it ever improving. All the problems you're currently having in E17 you'd experience in barking too. Like someone else said - frying pan to fire! Hornchurch is lovely and still on the district line. I'd really recommend looking further out if you can.

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 17:06:11

thanks guys, really appreciate this. off to have another look!

rubyflipper Fri 17-May-13 18:13:29

Good luck!! Let us know what you decide

I bought a house.

I like it. It's friendly and I have nice neighbours. BUT if I had the money, I'd move to Redbridge or somewhere like that. I'd move in a flash from Barking, but I'm happy here too. We have a good life in Barking. But I'd move for anything (which is good because we are following my job to Iceland soon).

AuraofDora Fri 17-May-13 20:17:50

Theherringscreams...sounds quite an apt name for someone off to Iceland, can i ask roughly which part you are in? dh is keen, this was the nicest house we have seen and can afford. To be honest the idea of two outstanding schools, huge parks is not unattractive.
I visited after work tonight, took a bit longer than I thought to get there. It's poor, but that is the east end, pawn shops, greggs, chicken bars, wilkinsons- I asked ds what he thought and he said 'normal' bless him.

We have paid for valuation so will wait for that, meeting vendor tomorrow too, so not sure if this is last wobble or not...DH a bit fed up but says it is better to come out now rather than later

Of course I will let you know what we do Ruby, it's been good to have opinions, you can always rely on this place for that!

dippymother Sat 18-May-13 08:35:33

Remember visiting my aunt and uncle in Halsham Crescent, Barking many years ago - thought the area was very nice. My cousin went to Barking Abbey. They no longer live there and it's a shame to hear that the area has gone down but perhaps the same could be said for a lot of places. Have you considered Woodford, Wanstead or Loughton, they always seemed pretty nice compared to other East London areas?

rubyflipper Sat 18-May-13 10:34:53

They are lovely, dippymother but also expensive, sadly.

AuraofDora Sat 18-May-13 12:28:58

Thanks dippy thye are nice but as Ruby says they are expensive...I wouldn't get anymore than I have here atm

When I look at it on paper, two good schools we could possibly get in to and much bigger house with garden it seems to make sense, hoping that others might feel the same too as we can't be the only ones being pushed out due to lack of space

Will get DH to drive us to hornchurch later today just to che k it out, but he needs to be able to get to E17 by 8.30 everyday for work so overland train is quick and easy

AuraofDora Sat 18-May-13 12:30:43

Thanks dippy thye are nice but as Ruby says they are expensive...I wouldn't get anymore than I have here atm

When I look at it on paper, two good schools we could possibly get in to and much bigger house with garden it seems to make sense, hoping that others might feel the same too as we can't be the only ones being pushed out due to lack of space

Will get DH to drive us to hornchurch later today just to che k it out, but he needs to be able to get to E17 by 8.30 everyday for work so overland train is quick and easy

I live in Hornchurch and started working in East Ham a couple of years ago. I've been surprised by the nicer areas and work in an outstanding school so its unfair to say all the schools in that area are rubbish. It's actually much friendlier and less run down than I imagined- it has got it's dodgier areas, but where hasn't? Barking has always had a bad reputation (my grandad was from Dagenham and he used to say even they looked down on people on Barking grin) but it seems nice, some good green spaces and a usual mix of people. I think I'd even move over that way now.

AuraofDora Sat 18-May-13 12:51:51

Thanks dizzy.. I think you are right too, it does vary so much within the borough itself some bits of east ham were lovely and very friendly vibe too. Barking does have awful rep but when you are the it seems okay. This is what makes the comments from the folks that live there quite valuable for me, and they have both been positive too, which is a relief..
Off to meet the vendor later armed with lots of questions but feel quite open minded, ds really likes it though i suspect he'll say anything to stop our life revolving around viewings, houses and talk of the same ad infinitum ...

Lovecat Sat 18-May-13 19:17:22

I live up the road in Ilford, you can get quite a lot for your money here, we have quite a good shopping centre (big M&S, Next etc but also a huge amount of pound shops!), lovely parks and green spaces and the schools are pretty good, if a little ghettoised (schools are referred to as being 'the Asian school/black school/white school' - I saw someone saying about trying for Southend Grammar schools - I did hear that they're bringing in a rule that you have to live in the area to apply for Essex Grammars as they have such a huge influx from all over Essex (I know several people who live locally but their children go to Chelmsford Grammars - that's now closed to them) and Woodford/Ilford County Highs are hugely oversubscribed - my niece passed the 11+ several years ago but didn't get a place - she came something like 200th out of 1000 children but there were only 120 places. I think Ilford CH (boys) is slightly easier to get into but not by much.

I've been to Barking for shopping (used to have the only Wilkos for miles around!) and other stuff and it seems ok, but a bit more run down than Ilford and one of the few places I've seen the BNP openly canvassing. Round Upney station is very nice.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sat 18-May-13 20:54:47

OP have you considered Ilford or seven kings? I confess i know Ilford better. Worse transport links than Barking but there are reasonable areas. Valentines Park is lovely, better amenities overall. I think you at find something in your budget.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sat 18-May-13 20:55:54

Too funny. Lovecat I posted too soon.

rubyflipper Sat 18-May-13 23:57:58

Does the 123 bus still run from Ilford to Walthamstow? I spent a lot of time on that bus in the early 90s going to see my boyfriend at the time. happy memories

mamaspice Sun 19-May-13 00:52:54

Yes 123 still goes from Ilford to walthamstow. Ilford has some good secondary schools as well if that helps.

rubyflipper Sun 19-May-13 08:36:00

auraofdora - go and have a look round Ilford ASAP.

I think moving to barking will be an expensive mistake. Better to pull out now than live somewhere you are not happy with. Ilford to Walthamstow isn't far on the bus at all.

AuraofDora Sun 19-May-13 09:11:59

Thanks you guys. We were over in Barking for most of yesterday afternoon, early evening, visiting vendor and checked out town, local environs and the fun fair in the park.
The people at park seemed quite chilled, just loads of families out for a bit of fun.
To be honest we had a good walk around whole town, and managed to chat to some folks in the park and cafes too.

Our vendor is lovely, house is immaculate and we have some teachers from Robert clack in the road too though everyone is retiring so obviously will change. There is also the obligatory run down house with young man and a couple of devil dogs but such is London I guess.
She asked us why we wanted to live in Barking, and we said the house, garden, school Barking Abbey is pretty much across the road, I guess we are taking a chance on the other stuff.

Strangely though, i don't feel so jittery anymore, seems to be a bit of a tale of two Barkings, apologies to Dickens.

We had been round Ilford in our search, it seemed to be street upon street of houses, very busy congested road so perhaps we were a bit hasty there, will check out the house sites again.
Lovecat, that's quite scary definations re the schools. We sent ds to the local school here which was predominately Asian but it was small, friendly set up which attracted us, I never heard anyone refer to it like that though.

The BNP etc are abhorrent but they will canvas support just now as infact will any small extreme outfit as the main two or three parties have completely have lost touch with what is actually happening to people, and instead of directing the fight to the poverty gap where it belongs they faff around with Westminister infighting and re arranging deck chairs instead of having any idea what matters to people and how present crisis could be turned around...
oh heck this is a whole other thing..

mamaspice Sun 19-May-13 09:48:28

Good luck OP. It's so hard try to weigh up the image of a place with the reality. All you want is the best for your children. I feel for you . Some good advice on here. smile

chanie44 Sun 19-May-13 09:56:34

I'm pleased its working out for you. I grew up in the area and went to all saints, many many years ago. I think that there is a lot of snobbery about London, but unless you have mega bucks, you go where you can afford. It may not look nice, but where not many places in London do. Barking has good transport links, a nice park and lots to do in the area.

I think as people get pushed out of central London, due to housing costs, places like barking will be up and coming. Look how expensive places like battersea and Brixton are now!!!

AuraofDora Sun 19-May-13 10:18:19

Oh chanie, mamaspice... You guys, i got a lump in my throat!

I think you are right, it's very difficult to see past the stereotype of a place, we moved to Brixton when people were saying the exact same then, only thing was no ds so stakes much lower and only renting too but we stayed until it got trendy...

It would seem ripe for families, the open spaces and good schools, transport links, it just needs an image up and a leap of faith by some hard pressed folks like ourselves ....

Fingers crossed, and thanks so much to you all, am really touched y'all

Lovecat Sun 19-May-13 11:43:34

Sounds lovely, AuraofDora smile I've been told that the catchment for Barking Abbey is getting smaller by the day so the fact the house is close is a real plus.

I have to say that we live in North Ilford (Orf The Drive, doncha know wink ) by Valentines Park which is v. nice - I really wouldn't want to live in South Ilford off Ilford Lane as that is indeed street after street of identikit housing and the lane itself is a horror for driving (backstreets! always go by the backstreets!), however the Loxford/South Park side of it is nicer - I had an NCT friend who lived there, she was actually nearer Barking than Ilford and it was a very nice area (between Loxford Lane and Barking Park).

Having said that we've been here 23 years now and when we bought we were told it was 'up and coming' - we're still waiting! grin

AuraofDora Sun 19-May-13 12:36:16

Thanks Lovecat! Really appreciate your input. I think we will just have to stay positive...

Laughing at your 23 years up and coming, at least they are not even giving us the flannel that it is up and coming I guess...

Can I ask about the catchment area you mentioned, do you know exactly how we can find out what it is? our vendor mentioned we may not qualify for Robert Clack, so need to ensure we are ok for Barking Abbey. Looking at the LA website they seem to say we can apply for any schools so not sure what to expect <sweats>

Lovecat Sun 19-May-13 12:54:22

I don't think they have defined catchments as such, but it's measured on an 'as the crow flies' line from your house to the head teacher's office, so I suppose the nearer the better with only 270 places available. Map & ruler time... although if you're across the road from it you should be sorted! smile

Apparently they're building a new secondary, but whether that'll be up and running in time for you I don't know. Redbridge are massively expanding one of their 'good' schools but are doing it by building all over their lovely playing fields sad We're not sure what we're going to do re. secondary, DD is in private primary but we know we can't afford that for higher ed, so although we're in catchment for a good girls Catholic state school and we are nominally Catholic (baptised etc. but am totally disaffected with the church atm), I'm not sure she'd get in as she has shown no interest in taking her first communion and I'm not pushing it. But that's enough of my moaning!

Good luck smile

AuraofDora Mon 20-May-13 13:32:57

Lovecat, that is not a moan! Such a shame they can only do this by destroying the playing fields, it's so important to have some lungs here and there.
Am glad you have some options for your DD, do you have to decide soon? She might have a conversion if her best mate says she is off to the Catholic school.. It's tough all this stressing over something. I can feel it transfer to DS and that's not good.

DH likes the the idea of the Essex grammar schools, we hadn't realised that but I would perfer him to go to a local mixed school, he's the sensitive sort and gets on better with girls generally and don't fancy him travelling so much every day, though he is growing up, I saw him wince as I kissed him on his bike the other day

shellyf Sun 16-Jun-13 19:37:10

Did you buy the house?

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