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Discover the layers of smells and stenches that tell the story of Barking's rich industrial past. From the fragrance of thriving fisheries to the stench of the sewage works, manure to match makers, and fertiliser fumes to fizzy pop factories. Explore 200 years of stories via the sense of smell.


Throughout history it has been common planning practice to locate noxious–smelling industries downwind of the capital city and, for a hundred years or so, from the mid-nineteenth century, they gathered in ever greater numbers around Barking Creek: bitumen & asphalt producers, paint and chemical works, fertilizer factories, gas product works and rubber goods amongst the iron foundries, breweries, soap factories and timber mills. Barking Creek, its water's gutter getting ever fouler by the decade, was effectively cut off from the town. Out of sight maybe, but certainly not out of mind - its smell made certain of that.

Barking’s reputation for pungent smells was founded by its fisheries; it was developed by the pungent whiff of manure hauled through the town to its expanding market gardens; and it was firmly established by the foul consequences of Joseph Bazalgette’s Northern Outfall sewer. The Barking Stink is an innovative heritage project, seeking to explore these stories via the sense of smell to bring it to life for children, young people and adults alike.

The Barking Stink is a heritage project produced by Thames Festival Trust, in partnership with Valence House Museum. Exploring the industrial heritage via the sense of smell, the project includes pop-up exhibitions, located in Barking and South Bank, schools workshops, animated film resources for teachers, oral histories and a programme of talks, walks and workshops. Supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Thames Clippers.

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Event times

  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 24 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 25 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 26 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 27 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 28 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 29 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 30 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 31 Aug

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 1 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 2 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 3 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 4 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 5 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 6 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 7 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 8 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 9 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 10 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 11 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 12 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 13 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 14 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 15 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 16 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 17 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 18 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 19 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 20 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 21 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 22 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 23 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 24 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 25 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 26 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 27 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 28 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 29 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Mon 30 Sep

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 1 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 2 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 3 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 4 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 5 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition, South Bank

    Sun 6 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 8 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 9 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 10 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 11 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 12 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 15 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 16 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 17 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 18 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 19 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 22 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 23 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 24 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 25 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 26 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition`

    Tue 29 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 30 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Thu 31 Oct

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Fri 1 Nov

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Sat 2 Nov

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Tue 5 Nov

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  • The Barking Stink: A Scented Heritage Exhibition

    Wed 6 Nov

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