Saxham Road, IG11
House in Saxham Road, the gable end showing the stone laid by the Mayor of Barking in 1933.
Credit: Barking Historical Society
Saxham Road was the first road built on the Movers Lane Housing Estate.

The foundation stone for the Movers Lane Housing Estate, municipal housing which was built by Barking Council, was laid in Saxham Road on 6 Decmber 1933 by the Mayor, A. Edwards.

The estate was intended to provide 265 houses for approximately 1378 persons, according to the Council at the time. This first section, consisting of 106 houses and eight flat built at a cost of 35 706, was intended to provide accommodation for the occupants of Back Lane, Church Path, Bridge Street and Abbey Road areas. The mayor hoped "that the houses would be proceeded with rapidly, and that at an early date they would have the pleasure of transferring to the new houses tenants from the slum dwellings".

The Mayor gave a speech that day. He had asked the Borough Engineer, R.A. Lay, to see how many bricks Barking was responsible for laying in connection with the municipal houses since he came to the area in 1899, the year of the first housing scheme. Between 1899 and 1908, the number of bricks was 4 044 275. Since 1908, when Mr Edwards became a member of the Council, the number of bricks laid was 31 316 975, making a total of 35 361 250. The number of the brick he would lay in Saxham Road was therefore 35 361 251. He calculated that, if placed end to end, the bricks would reach about 5000 miles. The Mayor then laid the brick, and pencilled it with the number he had mentioned. Alderman J.W. Garland proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for performing the ceremony, and amid considerable merriment handed him 1s. 7d for his hour’s work, with his time sheet.

The contractors for the first phase of the housing estate were Thomas Bates and Son, Ltd. of Coventry.

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