Apply to be an archive and oral history volunteer on our new Barking-based heritage project

Photo: Hydar Dewachi

We're looking for volunteers to be part of The Barking Stink. Volunteers will research and record oral histories of people involved with and who have memories of Barking Creek’s rich industrial history, as well as researching the history of the area. Volunteer research and recordings will contribute to the creation of an upcoming exhibition, animated films made with local schools and an online archive for the public.

The Barking Stink, our new heritage project, will be a scented history of the hugely varied industrial past of the Barking Creek area, little known to residents and Londoners alike. It has been common practice for centuries to place noxious smelling industries down wind from the capital. From mid 19th century there was a period when this was concentrated around Barking Creek. From fisheries to rubber production, chemical works to fertilizer factories, Barking Creek may have been out of sight, but not out of mind, thanks to the smells emanating from the area.

Working with the Thames Festival Trust team, archive experts at Valence House Museum and curator and oral historian Jen Kavanagh, volunteers will be given extensive training in conducting oral history interviews, researching the history and using London archives.

If you’re interested in gaining new skills and learning about Barking Creek's history then we want to hear from you.

Volunteer availability:

We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can give around five days of their time between April and July.

All volunteers will need to attend an initial training session. Dates will be offered to you once you apply.

Location: Valence House Museum, Barking and Dagenham. Volunteers must be able to organise their own travel to and from this location. Expenses will be reimbursed up to £12 per day.

How to Apply

Take a look at the Oral History Volunteer Role Description and complete the Application Form and Equal Opportunities form and return to Nikki at

Please note: We are recruiting volunteers for this project on a rolling basis. We are still looking for more people to join our Volunteer Research & Oral History team. If you are free to volunteer around 6 days on Tuesdays, Thursdays and / or Fridays (10am-4pm, flexible hours) from now until the end of May, please get in touch! The sooner you get in touch and apply, the sooner we can train you to be part of The Barking Stink