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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...

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

Did you buy the house?

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

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 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 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 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

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!!!

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

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..

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.

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 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

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

Too funny. Lovecat I posted too soon.

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.

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.

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 ...

SomeDizzyWhore1804 Sat 18-May-13 12:44:11

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 12:30:43

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

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

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

They are lovely, dippymother but also expensive, sadly.

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?

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!

TheHerringScreams Fri 17-May-13 19:38:14

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).

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

Good luck!! Let us know what you decide

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

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

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