Young east London cyclists took to the streets in a Tour De Becontree to celebrate 100 years of the Addison Act on Friday, 26 July.

Around 50 young people from the Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club, Dorothy Barley Junior School and Manor Junior School Cycle Clubs were led on a special circuit by qualified instructors around the iconic Becontree Estate, just before the final stage of the Tour De France last weekend.

The estate was built in 1921 following the introduction of the Addison Act, which paved the way for the first major council house building programme in Britain. For many decades the Becontree estate was the largest council housing estate in Europe.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, who joined the youngsters, said: “It’s been 100 years since the Addison Act which led to Barking and Dagenham becoming the birthplace of modern council housing. In 2021 we will be hosting a number of events to celebrate one hundred years since the first property was built on the estate.

“We thought it would be fun to create a Tour De Becontree to coincide with the last stages of the Tour De France this weekend, as a way of celebrating the fact that we’re back in the saddle with large scale house building.”

Also taking part in the event will be Peter Murray, Board Member of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s pioneering regeneration company.

Peter said: “Be First is spearheading one of London’s largest building programmes and will be integrating healthy travel, including cycling, into the heart of our developments wherever we can.

“It’s apt that we’re celebrating 100 years of an epoch making Act which created the Becontree estate with another iconic event – the Tour De France.”

Cllr Rodwell added: “You could say we’re creating bespoke developments for ordinary Londoners in the 21st century.”