Elegantly dressed Wednesday – Me

Lately, I spend much of my working day the cleanroom, well , either of two cleanrooms.

Room-A is a pretty basic cap and gown type affair – the room isn’t really clean (class 100,000 to 10,000 depending on how often used; more usually high than low), the kit is really there to control access (limited kit = limited number of users) to the room and provide nominal clean standards. Room-B, on the other hand, is a bit more serious; usually class 1000, sometimes approaching class 100 after a few weeks of no use, you need to get properly kitted up to enter this room.

Yesterday I found myself in the changing room for room B with a camera, so here is a self portrait showing me about to start work.


Elegance this Wednesday is yards of blue nylon and nitrile. Or something.

The difference a decade makes…

Continuing from last week’s theme of the construction of Dagenham, we move to the area around Dagenham parish church and see how it changes over a period of ten years.

Dagenham Village & Leys Field c1950

This first image shows the Leys Field and Church Elm Lane as they were c.1950. Leys in an old name for this area, dated to at least the mid 1600s from archive documents.

Snaking down the photograph to the right of the church is the Wantz stream, not culverted until later in the 1960s and at this point still prone to summer flooding. In the early 1950s there were plans to develop the Leys field into another large park similar to Central Park or Parsloes.

Dagenham Village & Leys Field c1959

Just ten years later (c.1960) and the need for housing has lead to development of the portion of Leys field close to the church. The ambitious park plans of the 1950s have found fruit in the form of Old Dagenham park, constructed from the remainder of the Leys, and just outside the field of view of the second photograph.

Dagenham – 11th July 1921 & June 1931

By mid 1921, the construction of the Becontree Estate and the enlargement of Dagenham was gathering pace. The photograph below shows an aerial view of the west of the estate looking north to Chadwell Heath. The two prominent roads running parallel to the bottom of the photograph and diagonally to the right are Longbridge Road and Beacontree Avenue respectively.

Dagenham - 11th July 1921

In the middle distance some of the housing is beginning to take shape, although large areas of land are still open fields. It took a further ten years before some of the more recognisable features of Dagenham were constructed. The second photograph has the Heathway running diagonally down, left to right. Just visible before the great sweep of Downing Road, and towards the top of the photo is a partially constructed Heathway Hill. Heathway station still being a year or so away from opening at this point.

Dagenham - June 1931

Another random dip into the past next week…

Not a lot going on…

Not a hell of a lot going on science-wise that I can post about at the moment. That is to say, there is a lot going on, but nothing I can tell anyone about.  A couple of science stories in the media have caught my attention and I might yet get around to writing something up about them.

In an effort to make sure I post here at least once per week, I’ve decided to start with some local history posts. These will probably be a fairly random jaunt though the early history of Dagenham, or more properly, Dagenham as it became during and after the construction of the Becontree estate. Kicking off tomorrow with  an aerial photo of Dagenham from 1921.