Oral History: Avril Glyne-Miller
If we looked out our back yard we could see the corner of the factory it was so close. Every time the sewerage at Beckton was let out, the smell just came over Thames View. And, I think someone once described it as chewable, it was so awful, it really was. You had to walk along with a handkerchief over your mouth it got so bad at times.
Avril Glyne-Miller is a ‘Creeker’; someone who was born and grew up in the lost village of Creekmouth in Barking. Until the age of 6, Avril lived at 4 Creekmouth Cottage, in a community created for workers of Lawes chemicals and fertiliser factory. A small and close-knit village, Avril shares what she can recall from her childhood there and the conditions of the cottages. Including playing by the riverside, school life, Coronation street parties and lots of rats!
Avril describes memories of her father, coming home from work at Lawes factory, and memories of her husband who worked at Beckton Gas works. She also describes the smells and stinks experienced at Thames View estate when they moved there after the Great Flood of 1953, that forced Creekmouth Village to become uninhabitable.
Avril is a proud member of Creekmouth Preservation Society, working to preserve the memory of the area and protect its cultural heritage.